By Dr. Jeff Zweerink
Recently, I wrote about what I find as the most persuasive argument (scientifically speaking) for the truth of Christianity. Big bang cosmology reveals a marked correspondence between the biblical description of the universe and our best scientific explanation. The fine-tuning argument ranks second on my list of most persuasive arguments, but only because it has a less-direct connection to the Bible.
What Is Fine-Tuning?
Before getting into the details, it’s worth noting that a great wealth of scientific knowledge demonstrates the fine-tuning required for life to exist. By fine-tuning, I mean that (1) life requires some parameter to have particular value, and (2) the parameter in question has an unusual or atypical value. For example, life requires that the universe contains sufficient carbon and oxygen as well as hydrogen. When scientists assess what strengths of the electromagnetic and strong nuclear forces lead to sufficient quantities of these three elements, only a small range of values meet life’s requirements. The fine-tuning arises because small changes to these values lead to an apparently lifeless universe.
Evidence of Fine-Tuning Is Pervasive
Evidence of fine-tuning abounds in the universe. As scientists tried to understand why the universe contains carbon, they recognized that it requires two finely tuned energy states—one in the nucleus of carbon and the other in oxygen. Fred Hoyle first postulated the existence of these two states decades ago, and scientists experimentally verified them a few years later. More recent studies show that changing the quark masses or the fine structure constant by a few percent results in a universe with insufficient carbon and oxygen for life…
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