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A fine-tuned universe

U.S.A., early 21st century

There's been a debate* about "intelligent design" — the idea that nature shows evidence of a creator. Respectable scientists are wisely skeptical. The suggestion, probably mostly based upon a preference for religious belief, is too poorly-developed to even be called a theory.

But that doesn't mean it's wrong.

The idea of intelligent design may indeed be a good place to have discussion between religious and secular thinkers.
Much of the discussion seems to be focused upon deep improbabilities* within the complexity of the biosphere on Earth. And that's a good question. Not interesting — but a good question.

The real meat of an "intelligent design" debate may fall into a realm which is beyond understanding.

There are features of the Universe that one cannot explain by mere coincidence. This is known in popular science, at least, as the "fine-tuned universe" phenomenon. There are constants, or physical laws, which are explicitly tuned toward compatibility with ... us. Life.

There are large numbers of parameters — many quite narrow, any of which minutely altered would rule out the ordered, physical universe that we know. Factored together, the correspondence of such parameters is massively unlikely.

The weight of this, the strength of that; all within a minor fraction of incompatibility with our existence. The Universe is finely suited to allow us to exist as we do.

And here we are. This proves nothing — but certainly it's material evidence of some phenomenon.

The mystery is deep. Nobody has this one. Those who admit they don't know are probably closest to the answers.


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* "Debate" is probably not an accurate description of the dispute. "Spat" may be more accurate; two sides not speaking with each other.

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* Biological evolution was unlikely to have produced any given organism or body part because the odds are against their partial development before they were entirely in totality....

That's one description of the "irreducible complexity" hypothesis.

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