William Lane Craig Admits that His Fine-Tuning Argument is Based Upon Speculation

William Lane Craig Admits that His Fine-Tuning Argument is Based Upon Speculation May 11, 2016

In my last post, I reported that WLC has reached the same conclusion I have regarding the scale of the universe as evidence against theism. After re-reading his article, I realized I missed an even more important announcement. Although he would deny it, in the same article he also admits that his fine-tuning argument is based upon speculation. Here’s the money quote:

Indeed, once we launch into speculating about universes operating according to different laws of nature, then we have completely lost our tether and have no idea whether such worlds would be preferable to a world like ours, especially in realizing God’s redemptive purposes for creatures created in His image. (boldface mine)

Craig argues we have no idea whether God would prefer such speculative universes to our actual universe, but he misses the fact that precisely the same point about “speculating about universes” also defeats an implied premise of his cosmic fine-tuning argument. That argument crucially depends upon an implied premise about the ratio of the number of (hypothetical) life-permitting universes to the number of (hypothetical) life-prohibiting universes. But, for the very reason Craig just gave, any estimates of such ratios are based upon pure speculation.

Indeed, this is pretty much the same point made by physicist Sean Carroll in his debate with Craig:

First, I am by no means convinced that there is a fine-tuning problem and, again, Dr. Craig offered no evidence for it. It is certainly true that if you change the parameters of nature our local conditions that we observe around us would change by a lot. I grant that quickly. I do not grant therefore life could not exist. I will start granting that once someone tells me the conditions under which life can exist. What is the definition of life, for example? If it’s just information processing, thinking or something like that, there’s a huge panoply of possibilities. They sound very “science fiction-y” but then again you’re the one who is changing the parameters of the universe. The results are going to sound like they come from a science fiction novel. Sadly, we just don’t know whether life could exist if the conditions of our universe were very different because we only see the universe that we see.

So, once again, we are beginning to see smalls signs of progress in Craig’s positions. 🙂

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