Mark Douglas Seward: Fine-tuning as Evidence for a Multiverse: Why White is Wrong


Roger White (God and design, Routledge, London, 2003) claims that while the fine-tuning of our universe, α , may count as evidence for a designer, it cannot count as evidence for a multiverse. First, I will argue that his considerations are only correct, if at all, for a limited set of multiverses that have particular features. As a result, I will argue that his claim cannot be generalised as a statement about all multiverses. This failure to generalise, I will argue, is also a feature of design hypotheses. That is, design hypotheses can likewise be made insensitive or sensitive to the evidence of fine-tuning as we please. Second, I will argue that White is mistaken about the role that this evidence plays in fine-tuning discussions. That is, even if the evidence of fine-tuning appears to support one particular hypothesis more strongly than another, this does not always help us in deciding which hypothesis to prefer.


If a PDF version of this were to magically arrive in my inbox, I wouldn’t mind at all.

About Jeffery Jay Lowder

Jeffery Jay Lowder is President Emeritus of Internet Infidels, Inc., which he co-founded in 1995. He is also co-editor of the book, The Empty Tomb: Jesus Beyond the Grave.

  • Calum Miller

    I can ask him for a copy, if you want?

  • Hand of Talha
    • Denis Robert

      there’s a fundamental problem with that argument, which the so-called “new atheists” have systematically raised to no satisfying answer: If god acts in the world, then he has a physical action, by definition; that physical action must be detectable physically, and hence be amenable to scientific exploration.

      If god does not act in the world, then it’s pointless to posit anything about it. It’s nothing but the deist god, which no “new atheist” has ever claimed they could disprove.

      it’s your choice: either god acts in the world and is thus subject to scientific inquiry, or he doesn’t and he’s irrelevant.

  • Denis Robert

    If philosophers are justified in attacking Krauss and Hawking for stepping into their area of “expertise” (I don’t think they are), then scientists should slam philosophers when they attempt to tell scientists what to do and what to think. When philosophers show themselves to be able to handle quantum mechanics and relativity correctly (for the most part, they fail miserably), then they can chime in on questions of what the implications of the apparent “fine-tuning” of the universe means.

    Considering that the original article (White’s) comes in a book that also contains articles by Craig and Dembski, you can forgive me if I dismiss it as casually as philosophers dismiss Krauss.

    • Prometheist

      It is not logical to dismiss White’s article because it was in a book alongside other articles written by authors that you don’t like. This is what dogmatic scientists do when they reject intelligent design. They do not reply to the arguments themselves, but find other ways to reject them. An argument is either right or wrong based on its premises and conclusion, not because of the credentials of its author.

  • Jeffery Jay Lowder

    I now have a copy of the paper. Thanks!

    • GGDFan777

      Hi Jeff, do you have a pdf copy of it? I’m really interested in it as well so if you could send it to me I would appreciate it very much. Moreover, I’m interested in hearing your thoughts about it.

      - GGDFan777