Today we’re going to be looking at a short interview clip from Justin Brierley where he talked to Richard Dawkins who ended up admitting that there’s evidence for God.
Dawkins: I believe that’s very profound. I mean if somebody was going to convince me of the need for a God, it would be there. It would not be in my own field of biology and I’ve read the Language of God and indeed I reread it today. I really read it first when it came out. When you come on later to the origin of the physical constants, now that’s getting warm, that’s getting close to a good argument, unlike the morality one.
Brierley: Is it mainly because it is essentially a scientific argument?
Dawkins: No, it’s obvious that the physical constants, things like the speed of light, gravitational constant and strong and weak force and things. Most physicists agree that if you change any of those constants by even a very very small amount, then we don’t come into existence, the universe doesn’t come into existence. They have to be like that in order for galaxies to form, for stars to form, for chemistry to form actually. And then for the prerequisite for life to evolve needs that as well. So that’s the nearest approach to a good argument.
Bailey: So it seems like the house of cards that was built by the new atheist is starting to fall. Not only does Richard Dawkins admit that the fine-tuning of the universe may be a very good argument for God but also the late Christopher Hitchens did as well. Let’s take a look.
Hitchens: At some point certainly we all asked which is the best argument you’ve come up against from the other side. And I think every one of us picks the fine tuning as the most intriguing, the goldilocks. The fine tuning, that one degree, one hair different of nothing…
Bailey: Now that we have Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens and others admitting that this may be a good argument for God, what is this argument? He briefly went over some of the figures related to the argument in his explanation but let’s break it down. It contains three different aspects – the fine-tuning of the laws of nature, the fine-tuning of the constants of physics and the fine-tuning of the initial conditions of the universe. When it comes to the first aspect of the fine-tuning of the universe, it’s describing the fine-tuning of the laws of nature. If you take something like gravity, it’s so finely adjusted that if it were to change even a hair’s breadth, matter would not clump together and therefore you would have no stars and no planets and therefore no life whatsoever. But that’s not all. In addition to this, there’s the fine tuning of the constants in physics, something called the cosmological constant which is the rate at which the universe expands and if that rate were even changed a hair’s breadth, there would also be no life. It would not allow for the universe to function in any way, shape or form the way that we observe it. And that’s really important to understand because it’s not just one aspect of the universe that’s finely tuned, it’s every single aspect finely adjusted to permit life. To give a picture of how finely adjusted these constants and quantities really are, it would be like stretching a ruler across the entire universe and adjusting even one trillionth of a trillionth of an inch to the left or to the right would cause the universe to not exist at all. The third aspect of the fine-tuning of the universe is the fine-tuning of the initial conditions and the fact that we have a low entropy rate contributes to the ability for life to exist as well. And if those initial conditions were not structured or adjusted to the fashion that they were, it would also be a non-life permitting universe. So you have every single aspect of the universe finely adjusted in such a way that life can be permitted to exist. This seems to need an explanation. Scientists have tried to propose things like the multiverse but that only kicks the problem back another step because then you would have to ask what finely tuned this so-called multiverse generator and so forth. And so the explanation is often going to have to or ultimately going to have to arrive at something that’s outside of time space and matter, intelligent enough to finally tune the constants and quantities of the universe in such a way that life can be permitted.