Advertisement

Modern Cosmology and Anthropic Fine-Tuning: Three approaches

  • Robin Collins
Chapter
Part of the Astrophysics and Space Science Library book series (ASSL, volume 395)

Abstract

The anthropic fine-tuning of the cosmos refers to the claim that the laws of nature, the constants of physics, and the initial conditions of the universe must be set to an enormous degree of precision for embodied conscious agents to exist. Three major responses have been offered to this fine-tuning: the multiverse explanation; theism; and the claim that it is just a brute fact that requires no further explanation. In this chapter, I will consider each explanation in turn, and provide some novel arguments for the superiority of a theistic or related explanation. In the last section, I will show how whether or not one adopts a theistic or related explanation can significantly influence what features of the universe one considers in need of further scientific explanation, and the type of scientific explanation that one should find satisfactory. In particular, I will argue that in some cases atheism, not theism, serves as a science stopper in discouraging a search for deeper scientific explanations of phenomena.

Keywords

Scientific Explanation Dark Energy Density Brute Fact Theoretical Virtue Qualified Simplicity 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

References

  1. Atkins, P. (1987). Purposeless people. In A. Peacocke & G. Gillett (Eds.), Persons and personality (pp. 12–32). Oxford, UK: Blackwell.Google Scholar
  2. Baggini, J. (2003). Atheism: A very short introduction. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  3. Barrow, J., & Tipler, F. (1986). The anthropic cosmological principle. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  4. Carroll, J. (2005). Why most cosmologists are atheists. Faith and Philosophy, 22(5), 622–640.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Collins, R. (2003). The evidence for fine-tuning. In N. Manson (Ed.), God and design: The teleological argument and modern science. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  6. Collins, R. (2007). The multiverse hypothesis: A theistic perspective. In B. Carr (Ed.), Universe or multiverse? (pp. 459–480). New York: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  7. Collins, R. (2009). The teleological argument: An exploration of the fine-tuning of the universe. In W. L. Craig & J. P. Moreland (Eds.), The Blackwell companion to natural theology (pp. 202–281). Boston: Blackwell.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Collins, R. (Forthcoming – a). The fine-tuning evidence is convincing. In: C. Meister, J. P. Moreland & K. Sweis (Eds.), Oxford dialogues in Christian theism. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  9. Collins, R. (Forthcoming – b). The connection building theodicy. In: D. Howard-Snyder & J. McBrayer (Eds.), The Blackwell companion to the problem of evil. Maldon, MA: Wiley-Blackwell.Google Scholar
  10. Davenport, M., & Olum, K. (2010). Are there Boltzmann brains in the vacuum? arxiv.org/abs/1008.0808v1. Accessed June 20, 2011.Google Scholar
  11. Davies, P. C. W. (1974). The physics of time asymmetry. Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  12. Dirac, P. A. M. (1963, May). The evolution of the physicist’s picture of nature. Scientific American.Google Scholar
  13. Fung, Y.-L. (1948). A short history of Chinese philosophy. New York: The Free Press.Google Scholar
  14. Hogarth, W. (1753). The analysis of beauty. London: J. Reeves.Google Scholar
  15. Kline, M. (1972). Mathematical thought, from ancient to modern times (p. 153). Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.MATHGoogle Scholar
  16. Leslie, J. (1979). Value and existence. Totowa: Rowman and Littlefield.Google Scholar
  17. Livio, M. (2000). The accelerating universe: Infinite expansion, the cosmological constant, and the beauty of the cosmos (1st ed.). Boston: Wiley.Google Scholar
  18. Penrose, R. (2004). The road to reality: A complete guide to the laws of the universe. New York: Knopf.Google Scholar
  19. Rees, M. (2000). Just six numbers: The deep forces that shape the universe. New York: Basic Books.MATHGoogle Scholar
  20. Rescher, N. (2000). Nature and understanding: The metaphysics and method of science. Oxford, UK: Clarendon.Google Scholar
  21. Rice, H. (2000). God and goodness. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Steiner, M. (1998). The applicability of mathematics as a philosophical problem. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.MATHGoogle Scholar
  23. Susskind, L. (2006). The cosmic landscape: String theory and the illusion of intelligent design. New York: Little Brown and Company.Google Scholar
  24. Tegmark, M., & Rees, M. (1997). Why is the CMB fluctuation level 10−5? arXiv:astro-ph/9709058v2. (Also published in Astrophysical Journal, 499, 526–532, 1998).Google Scholar
  25. Vilenkin, A. (2006). Many worlds in one. New York: Hill and Wang.MATHGoogle Scholar
  26. Weinberg, S. (2001, September/October). A designer universe? Reprinted in The Skeptical Inquirer. Originally published in the New York Review of Books, October 21, 1999.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyMessiah CollegeGranthamUSA

Personalised recommendations