Fine-tuned Universe

From Wikiquote
Jump to navigation Jump to search

The fine-tuned Universe is the proposition that the conditions that allow life in the Universe can only occur when certain universal fundamental physical constants lie within a very narrow range, so that if any of several fundamental constants were only slightly different, the Universe would be unlikely to be conducive to the establishment and development of matter, astronomical structures, elemental diversity, or life as it is understood.


  • As we survey all the evidence, the thought insistently arises that some supernatural agency - or, rather, Agency - must be involved. Is it possible that suddenly, without intending to, we have stumbled upon scientific proof of the existence of a Supreme Being? Was it God who stepped in and so providentially crafted the cosmos for our benefit?
    • George Greenstein, The Symbiotic Universe, William Morrow, 1988, p. 26-27.
    • Greenstein's answer to these questions is "no", see p. 223.
  • Would you not say to yourself, in whatever language supercalculating intellects use, "Some supercalculating intellect must have designed the properties of the carbon atom, otherwise the chance of my finding such an atom through the blind forces of nature would be less than 1 part in 1040000." Of course you would. … I have always been intrigued by the remarkable relation of the 7.65 Mev energy level in the nucleus of 12C to the 7.12 Mev level in 16O. If you wanted to produce carbon and oxygen in roughly equal quantities by stellar nucleosynthesis, these are the two levels you would have to fix … A common sense interpretation of the facts suggests that a super-intellect has monkeyed with physics, as well as with chemistry and biology, and that there are no blind forces worth speaking about in nature.
  • We are, by astronomical standards, a pampered, cosseted, cherished group of creatures. … If the Universe had not been made with the most exacting precision we could never have come into existence. It is my view that these circumstances indicate the universe was created for man to live in.
    • John O'Keefe, quoted in Fred Heeren, Show Me God, Wheeling, Illinois, Searchlight Publications, 1995, p. 200
  • Astronomy leads us to a unique event, a universe which was created out of nothing, one with the very delicate balance needed to provide exactly the conditions required to permit life, and one which has an underlying (one might say 'supernatural') plan.
    • Arno Penzias, quoted in Henry Margenau and Roy Abraham Varghese, editors, Cosmos, Bios, Theos, La Salle, Illinois, Open Court, chapter 16, 1992, p. 83
    • Misquoted in Walter Bradley, "The 'Just-so' Universe: The Fine-Tuning of Constants and Conditions in the Cosmos", in William Dembski and James Kushiner, eds., Signs of Intelligence, 2001, p. 168.
  • Amazing fine tuning occurs in the laws that make this [complexity] possible. Realization of the complexity of what is accomplished makes it very difficult not to use the word 'miraculous' without taking a stand as to the ontological status of the word.
    • George F.R. Ellis, "The Anthropic Principle: Laws and Environments" in The Anthropic Principle: Proceedings of the Second Venice Conference on Cosmology and Philosophy (1988), F. Bertola and U. Curi, editors, Cambridge University Press, 1993, p. 30
  • When I began my career as a cosmologist some twenty years ago, I was a convinced atheist. I never in my wildest dreams imagined that one day I would be writing a book purporting to show that the central claims of Judeo-Christian theology are in fact true, that these claims are straightforward deductions of the laws of physics as we now understand them. I have been forced into these conclusions by the inexorable logic of my own special branch of physics.
    • Frank Tipler, "Preface", The Physics Of Immortality, New York, Doubleday, 1994.
  • The physicists are getting down to the nitty-gritty, they've really just about pared things down to the ultimate details, and the last thing they ever expected to happen is happening. God is showing through.
  • How surprising it is that the laws of nature and the initial conditions of the universe should allow for the existence of beings who could observe it. Life as we know it would be impossible if any one of several physical quantities had slightly different values.
  • With so many errors and misjudgments, and with such a gross lack of understanding of the basic science we have seen exhibited by the supporters of supernatural fine-tuning, we can safely say that their motivation is more wishful thinking than truthful scientific inference. A proper analysis finds there is no evidence that the universe is fine-tuned for us.
    • Victor J. Stenger, The Fallacy of Fine-Tuning. Amherst, N.Y.: Prometheus Books, 2011, page 294

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

Wikipedia has an article about: