Craig’s Explanation of Teleological Argument


Craig explores  Dawkin’s God Delusion Objection and by far succeeded to trash them(I am sorry for using this word) down to the ground.

The Teleological Argument from Fine-tuning
William Lane Craig

We now come to the teleological argument, or the argument for design. Although advocates of the so-called Intelligent Design movement have continued the tradition of focusing on examples of design in biological systems, the cutting edge of the contemporary discussion concerns the remarkable fine-tuning of the cosmos for life.

Before we discuss this argument, it’s important to understand that by “fine-tuning” one does not mean “designed” (otherwise the argument would be obviously circular). Rather during the last forty years or so, scientists have discovered that the existence of intelligent life depends upon a complex and delicate balance of initial conditions given in the Big Bang itself. This is known as the fine-tuning of the universe.

This fine-tuning is of two sorts. First, when the laws of nature are expressed as mathematical equations, you find appearing in them certain constants, like the constant that represents the force of gravity. These constants are not determined by the laws of nature. The laws of nature are consistent with a wide range of values for these constants. Second, in addition to these constants, there are certain arbitrary quantities that are put in just as initial conditions on which the laws of nature operate, for example, the amount of entropy or the balance between matter and anti-matter in the universe. Now all of these constants and quantities fall into an extraordinarily narrow range of life-permitting values. Were these constants or quantities to be altered by less than a hair’s breadth, the life-permitting balance would be destroyed, and no living organisms of any kind could exist.1

For example, a change in the strength of the atomic weak force by only one part in 10100 would have prevented a life-permitting universe. The cosmological constant which drives the inflation of the universe and is responsible for the recently discovered acceleration of the universe’s expansion is inexplicably fine-tuned to around one part in 10120. Roger Penrose of Oxford University has calculated that the odds of the Big Bang’s low entropy condition existing by chance are on the order of one out of 1010(123). Penrose comments, “I cannot even recall seeing anything else in physics whose accuracy is known to approach, even remotely, a figure like one part in 1010(123).”2 And it’s not just each constant or quantity that must be exquisitely finely- tuned; their ratios to one another must be also finely-tuned. So improbability is multiplied by improbability by improbability until our minds are reeling in incomprehensible numbers.

So when scientists say that the universe is fine-tuned for life, they don’t mean “designed”; rather they mean that small deviations from the actual values of the fundamental constants and quantities of nature would render the universe life-prohibiting or, alternatively, that the range of life-permitting values is incomprehensibly narrow in comparison with the range of assumable values. Dawkins himself, citing the work of the Astronomer Royal Sir Martin Rees, acknowledges that the universe does exhibit this extraordinary fine-tuning.

Here, then, is a simple formulation of a teleological argument based on fine-tuning:

1. The fine-tuning of the universe is due to either physical necessity, chance, or design.
2. It is not due to physical necessity or chance.
3. Therefore, it is due to design.

Premise 1

Premise 1 simply lists the three possibilities for explaining the presence of this amazing fine-tuning of the universe: physical necessity, chance, or design. The first alternative holds that there’s some unknown Theory of Everything (TOE) that would explain the way the universe is. It had to be that way, and there was really no chance or little chance of the universe’s not being life-permitting. By contrast, the second alternative states that the fine-tuning is due entirely to chance. It’s just an accident that the universe is life-permitting, and we’re the lucky beneficiaries. The third alternative rejects both of these accounts in favor of an intelligent Mind behind the cosmos, who designed the universe to permit life. The question is this: Which of these alternatives is the best explanation?

Premise 2

Premise 2 of the argument addresses that question. Consider the three alternatives. The first alternative, physical necessity, is extraordinarily implausible because, as we’ve seen, the constants and quantities are independent of the laws of nature. So, for example, the most promising candidate for a TOE to date, super-string theory or M-Theory, fails to predict uniquely our universe. String theory allows a “cosmic landscape” of around 10500 different possible universes governed by the present laws of nature, so it does nothing to render the observed values of the constants and quantities physically necessary. With respect to this first alternative, Dawkins notes that Sir Martin Rees rejects this explanation, and Dawkins says, “I think I agree.”3

So what about the second alternative, that the fine-tuning of the universe is due to chance? The problem with this alternative is that the odds against the universe’s being life- permitting are so incomprehensibly great that they can’t be reasonably faced. Even though there will be a huge number of life-permitting universes lying within the cosmic landscape, nevertheless the number of life-permitting worlds will be unfathomably tiny compared to the entire landscape, so that the existence of a life-permitting universe is fantastically improbable. Students or laymen who blithely assert, “It could have happened by chance!” simply have no conception of the fantastic precision of the fine-tuning requisite for life. They would never embrace such a hypothesis in any other area of their lives—for example, in order to explain how there came to be overnight a car in their driveway.

Dawkins’s Defense of Chance

In order to rescue the alternative of chance, its proponents have therefore been forced to adopt the hypothesis that there exists an infinite number of randomly ordered universes composing a sort of World Ensemble or multiverse of which our universe is but a part. Somewhere in this infinite World Ensemble finely-tuned universes will appear by chance alone,and we happen to be in one such world. This is the explanation that Dawkins finds most plausible.4

Is a World Ensemble “Unparsimonious”?

Now Dawkins is acutely sensitive to the charge that postulating a World Ensemble of randomly ordered universes seems to be, as he so nicely puts it, an “unparsimonious extravagance.” But he retorts, “The multiverse may seem extravagant in sheer number of universes. But if each one of those universes is simple in its fundamental laws, we are still not postulating anything highly improbable.”5

This response is multiply confused. First, each universe in the ensemble is not simple but is characterized by a multiplicity of independent constants and quantities. If each universe were simple, then why did Dawkins feel the need to recur to the hypothesis of a World Ensemble in the first place? Besides, the issue is not the simplicity of the fundamental laws, for all the universes in the ensemble are characterized by the same laws—where they differ is in the values of the constants and quantities.

Second, Dawkins assumes that the simplicity of the whole is a function of the simplicity of the parts. This is an obvious mistake. A complex mosaic of a Roman face, for example, is made up of a great number of individually simple, monochromatic parts. In the same way, an ensemble of simple universes will still be complex if those universes vary in the values of their fundamental constants and quantities, rather than all sharing the same values.

Third, Ockham’s Razor tells us not to multiply entities beyond necessity, so that the number of universes being postulated just to explain the fine-tuning of our universe is at face value extraordinarily extravagant. Appealing to a World Ensemble to explain the appearance of design is like using a sledge hammer to crack a peanut!

Fourth, Dawkins tries to minimize the extravagance of the postulate of a World Ensemble by claiming that despite its extravagant number of entities, still such a postulate is not highly improbable. It’s not clear why this response is relevant or what this even means. For the objection under consideration is not that the postulate of a World Ensemble is improbable but that it is extravagant and unparsimonious. To say that the postulate isn’t also highly improbable is to fail to address the objection. Indeed, it’s hard to know what probability Dawkins is talking about here. He seems to mean the intrinsic probability of the postulate of a World Ensemble, considered apart from the evidence of fine-tuning. But how is such a probability to be determined? By simplicity? But then the problem is that Dawkins hasn’t shown the World Ensemble hypothesis to be simple.

Dawkins’s Suggested Mechanisms for Generating a World Ensemble

What Dawkins needs to say, it seems to me, is that the postulate of a World Ensemble may still be simple if there is a simple mechanism that through a repetitive process generates the many worlds. In that way the huge number of entities postulated isn’t a deficit of the theory because the entities all issue from a very simple fundamental mechanism.
An Oscillating Model of the Universe

So what mechanisms does Dawkins suggest for generating such an infinite, randomly ordered World Ensemble? First, he suggests an oscillating model of the universe, according to which

our time and space did indeed begin in our big bang, but this was just the latest in a long series of big bangs, each one initiated by the big crunch that terminated the previous universe in the series. Nobody understands what goes on in singularities such as the big bang, so it is conceivable that the laws and constants are reset to new values, each time. If bang-expansion-contraction-crunch cycles have been going on forever like a cosmic accordion, we have a serial, rather than parallel, version of the multiverse.6

Dawkins is apparently unaware of the many difficulties of oscillatory models of the universe that have made contemporary cosmologists skeptical of them. Back in the 1960s and 1970s, some theorists proposed oscillating models of the universe in an attempt to avert the initial singularity predicted by the Standard Model. The prospects of such models were severely dimmed in 1970, however, by Roger Penrose and Stephen Hawking’s formulation of the singularity theorems that bear their names. The theorems disclosed that under very generalized conditions an initial cosmological singularity is inevitable. Since it’s impossible to extend space-time through a singularity to a prior state, the Hawking-Penrose singularity theorems implied the absolute beginning of the universe. Reflecting on the impact of this discovery, Hawking notes that the Hawking-Penrose singularity theorems “led to the abandonment of attempts (mainly by the Russians) to argue that there was a previous contracting phase and a non-singular bounce into expansion. Instead almost everyone now believes that the universe, and time itself, had a beginning at the big bang.”7 Dawkins apparently labors under the delusion that a singularity does not form a boundary to space and time.

Moreover, the evidence of observational astronomy has been consistently against the hypothesis that the universe will someday recontract into a Big Crunch. Attempts to discover the mass density sufficient to generate the gravitational attraction required to halt and reverse the expansion continually came up short. In fact, recent observations of distant supernovae indicate that—far from slowing down—the cosmic expansion is actually accelerating! There’s some sort of mysterious “dark energy” in the form of either a variable energy field (called “quintessence”) or, more probably, a positive cosmological constant or vacuum energy that causes the expansion to proceed more rapidly. If the dark energy does indicate the existence of a positive cosmological constant (as the evidence increasingly suggests), then the universe will expand forever. According to the NASA website of the Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe, “For the theory that fits our data, the Universe will expand forever.”8

Furthermore, wholly apart from the physical and observational difficulties confronting oscillatory models, the thermodynamic properties of such models imply the very beginning of the universe that their proponents sought to avoid. For entropy is conserved from cycle to cycle in such models, which has the effect of generating larger and longer oscillations with each successive cycle. As one scientific team explains, “The effect of entropy production will be to enlarge the cosmic scale, from cycle to cycle. . . . Thus, looking back in time, each cycle generated less entropy, had a smaller cycle time, and had a smaller cycle expansion factor then [sic] the cycle that followed it.”9 Thus, as one traces the oscillations back in time, they become progressively smaller until one reaches a first and smallest oscillation. Zeldovich and Novikov therefore conclude, “The multicycle model has an infinite future, but only a finite past.”10 In fact, astronomer Joseph Silk estimates on the basis of current entropy levels that the universe cannot have gone through more than 100 previous oscillations.11 This is far from sufficient to generate the sort of serial World Ensemble imagined by Dawkins.

Finally, even if the universe could oscillate from eternity past, such a universe would require an infinitely precise fine-tuning of initial conditions in order to persist through an infinite number of successive bounces. Thus, the mechanism Dawkins envisions for generating his many worlds is not simple but just the opposite. Moreover, such a universe involves a fine-tuning of a very bizarre sort since the initial conditions have to be set at minus infinity in the past. But how could that be done if there was no beginning?

Looking back on the discussion of oscillating models of the universe, quantum cosmologist Christopher Isham muses,

Perhaps the best argument in favor of the thesis that the Big Bang supports theism is the obvious unease with which it is greeted by some atheist physicists. At times this has led to scientific ideas, such as continuous creation or an oscillating universe, being advanced with a tenacity which so exceeds their intrinsic worth that one can only suspect the operation of psychological forces lying very much deeper than the usual academic desire of a theorist to support his/her theory.

12
In Dawkins’s case, it is not hard to discern those psychological forces at work.

Lee Smolin’s Evolutionary Cosmology

Dawkins’s second suggested mechanism for generating a World Ensemble is Lee Smolin’s evolutionary cosmology. Smolin imagines a scenario, Dawkins explains, according to which

daughter universes are born of parent universes, not in a fully fledged big crunch, but more locally in black holes. Smolin adds a form of heredity: The fundamental constants of a daughter universe are slightly “mutated” versions of the constants of its parent. . . . Those universes which have what it takes to “survive” and “reproduce” come to predominate in the multiverse. “What it takes” includes lasting long enough to “reproduce.” Because the act of reproduction takes place in black holes, successful universes must have what it takes to make black holes. This ability entails various other properties. For example, the tendency of matter to condense into clouds and then stars is a prerequisite for making black holes. Stars also . . . are the precursors to the development of interesting chemistry, and hence life. So, Smolin suggests, there has been a Darwinian natural selection of universes in the multiverse, directly favouring the evolution of black hole fecundity and indirectly favouring the production of life.13

Dawkins acknowledges that “not all physicists” are enthusiastic about Smolin’s scenario. Talk about an understatement! For Smolin’s scenario, wholly apart from its ad hoc and even disconfirmed conjectures, encounters insuperable difficulties.

First, a fatal flaw in Smolin’s scenario is his assumption that universes fine-tuned for black-hole production would also be fine-tuned for the production of stable stars. In fact, the exact opposite is true: the most proficient producers of black holes would be universes that generate primordial black holes prior to star formation, so that life-permitting universes would actually be weeded out by Smolin’s cosmic evolutionary scenario. Thus, it turns out that Smolin’s scenario would actually make the existence of a life-permitting universe even more improbable.

Second, speculations about the universe’s begetting “baby universes” via black holes have been shown to contradict quantum physics. The conjecture that black holes may be portals of wormholes through which bubbles of false vacuum energy can tunnel to spawn new expanding baby universes was the subject of a bet between Stephen Hawking and John Preskill, which Hawking in 2004 finally admitted, in an event much publicized in the press, that he had lost.14The conjecture would require that information locked up in a black hole could be utterly lost forever by escaping to another universe. One of the last holdouts, Hawking finally came to agree that quantum theory requires that information is preserved in black hole formation and evaporation. The implications? “There is no baby universe branching off, as I once thought. The information remains firmly in our universe. I’m sorry to disappoint science fiction fans, but if information is preserved, there is no possibility of using black holes to travel to other universes.”15 That means that Smolin’s scenario is physically impossible.

These are the only mechanisms Dawkins suggests for generating a World Ensemble of randomly ordered universes. Neither of them is even tenable, much less simple. Dawkins has therefore failed to turn back the objection that his postulation of a randomly ordered World Ensemble is an unparsimonious extravagance.

Further Objections to the World Ensemble Hypothesis

But there are even more formidable objections to the postulate of a World Ensemble of which Dawkins is apparently unaware. First, there’s no independent evidence that a World Ensemble exists, much less one that is randomly ordered and infinite. Recall that Borde, Guth, and Vilenkin proved that any universe in a state of overall cosmic expansion cannot be infinite in the past. Their theorem applies to the multiverse, too. Therefore, since the multiverse’s past is finite, only a finite number of other worlds may have been generated by now, so there’s no guarantee that a finely-tuned world will have appeared in the ensemble. By contrast we do have independent evidence for the existence of a Cosmic Designer, namely, the other arguments for God’s existence which we have been discussing. Thus, theism is, all else being equal, the better explanation.

Second, if our universe is just a random member of an infinite World Ensemble, then it’s overwhelmingly more probable that we should be observing a much different universe than what we in fact observe. Roger Penrose has pressed this objection forcefully.16 He calculates that it is inconceivably more probable that our solar system should suddenly form by the random collision of particles than that a finely-tuned universe should exist. (Penrose calls it “utter chicken feed” by comparison.) So if our universe were just a random member of a World Ensemble, it is incalculably more probable that we should be observing an orderly universe no larger than our solar system. Or again, if our universe were just a random member of a World Ensemble, then we ought to be observing highly extraordinary events, like horses’ popping into and out of existence by random collisions, or perpetual motion machines, since such things are vastly more probable than all of nature’s constants and quantities’ falling by chance into the virtually infinitesimal life-permitting range. Observable universes like those are simply much more plenteous in the World Ensemble than worlds like ours and, therefore, ought to be observed by us. We do not have such observations, which strongly disconfirms the multiverse hypothesis. On atheism, at least, it is therefore highly probable that there is no World Ensemble.

Conclusion

The fine-tuning of the universe is therefore plausibly due neither to physical necessity nor to chance. It follows that the fine-tuning is therefore due to design unless the design hypothesis can be shown to be even more implausible than its competitors.

Dawkins’s Critique of Design

Dawkins contends the alternative of design is, indeed, inferior to the Many Worlds hypothesis. Summarizing what he calls “the central argument of my book,” Dawkins argues,

1. One of the greatest challenges to the human intellect, over the centuries, has been to explain how the complex, improbable appearance of design in the universe arises.
2. The natural temptation is to attribute the appearance of design to actual design itself….
3. The temptation is a false one, because the designer hypothesis immediately raises the
larger problem of who designed the designer. . . .
4. The most ingenious and powerful crane [i.e., explanation] so far discovered is
Darwinian evolution by natural selection. . . .
5. We don’t have an equivalent explanation for physics. . . .
6. We should not give up hope of a better crane arising in physics, something as
powerful as Darwinism is for biology. . . .

[Therefore] God almost certainly does not exist.17

This argument is jarring because the atheistic conclusion, “Therefore, God almost certainly does not exist” doesn’t follow from the six previous statements even if we concede that each of them is true and justified. At most, all that follows is that we should not infer God’s existence on the basis of the appearance of design in the universe. But that conclusion is quite compatible with God’s existence and even with our justifiably believing in God’s existence on other grounds. Rejecting design arguments for God’s existence does nothing to prove that God does not exist or even that belief in God is unjustified.

In any case, does Dawkins’s argument succeed even in undermining the alternative of design? Step (5) alludes to the cosmic fine-tuning that has been the focus of our discussion. Dawkins holds out hope that “Some kind of multiverse theory could in principle do for physics the same explanatory work as Darwinism does for biology.”18 But he admits that we don’t have it yet, nor does he deal with the formidable problems facing such an explanation of cosmic fine- tuning. Therefore, the hope expressed in step (6) represents nothing more than the faith of a naturalist. Dawkins insists that even in the absence of a “strongly satisfying” explanation for the fine-tuning in physics, still the “relatively weak” explanations we have at present are “self- evidently better than the self-defeating . . . hypothesis of an intelligent designer.”19 Really? What is this powerful objection to the design hypothesis that renders it self-evidently inferior to the admittedly weak Many Worlds hypothesis?

The answer is contained in step (3). Dawkins’s objection here is that we’re not justified in inferring design as the best explanation of the complex order of the universe because then a new problem arises: who designed the Designer? (Because Dawkins erroneously thinks that the World Ensemble is simple, it never occurs to him to ask, “Who designed the World Ensemble?”) This question is apparently supposed to be so crushing that it outweighs all the problems with the World Ensemble hypothesis.

Dawkins’s objection, however, has no weight for at least two reasons. First, in order to recognize an explanation as the best, you don’t need to have an explanation of the explanation. This is an elementary point in the philosophy of science. If archaeologists digging in the earth were to discover things looking like arrowheads and pottery shards, they would be justified in inferring that these artifacts are not the chance result of sedimentation and metamorphosis, but products of some unknown group of people, even though they had no explanation of who these people were or where they came from. Similarly, if astronauts were to come upon a pile of machinery on the back side of the moon, they would be justified in inferring that it was the product of intelligent agents, even if they had no idea whatsoever who these agents were or how they got there.

To repeat: in order to recognize an explanation as the best, you don’t need to be able to explain the explanation. In fact, such a requirement would lead to an infinite regress of explanations so that nothing could ever be explained and science would be destroyed! For before any explanation could be acceptable, you’d need an explanation of it, and then an explanation of the explanation of the explanation, etc. Nothing could ever be explained.

So in the case at hand, in order to recognize that intelligent design is the best explanation of the appearance of design in the universe, one needn’t be able to explain the Designer. Whether the Designer has an explanation can simply be left an open question for future inquiry.

Second, Dawkins thinks that in the case of a divine Designer of the universe, the Designer is just as complex as the thing to be explained, so that no explanatory advance is made. This objection raises all sorts of questions about the role played by simplicity in assessing competing explanations. First, Dawkins seems to confuse the simplicity of a hypothesis with the simplicity of the entity described in the hypothesis.20 Positing a complex cause to explain some effect can be a very simple hypothesis, especially when contrasted with rival hypotheses. Think, for example, of our archaeologists’ postulating a human fabricator to explain the arrowheads they discovered. A human being is a vastly more complex entity than an arrowhead, but the hypothesis of a human designer is a very simple explanation. It is certainly more simple than the hypothesis that the artifacts were the unintended result of, say, a stampede of buffalo that chipped a rock to look like an arrowhead. The point is that it is rival hypotheses are assessed by the criterion of simplicity, not the entities they postulate.

Second, there are many other factors besides simplicity that scientists weigh in determining which hypothesis is the best, such as explanatory power, explanatory scope, and so forth. A hypothesis that has, for example, broader explanatory scope may be less simple than a rival hypothesis but still be preferred because it explains more things. Simplicity is not the only, or even most important, criterion for assessing theories!

But leave all those problems aside. For Dawkins is plainly mistaken anyway in his assumption that a divine Designer is just as complex an entity as the universe. As a pure mind or consciousness without a body, God is a remarkably simple entity. A mind (or soul) is not physical object composed of parts. In contrast to the contingent and variegated universe with all its inexplicable constants and quantities, a divine mind is amazingly simple. Dawkins protests, “A God capable of continuously monitoring and controlling the individual status of every particle in the universe cannot be simple.”21 This is just confused. Certainly a mind may have complex ideas (it may be thinking, for example, of the infinitesimal calculus) and may be capable of doing complex tasks (such as controlling the trajectory of every particle in the universe), but the mind itself is a remarkably simple, non-physical entity. Dawkins has evidently confused a mind’s ideas and effects, which may, indeed, be complex, with a mind itself, which is an incredibly simple entity. Therefore, postulating a divine mind behind the universe most definitely does represent an advance in simplicity, for whatever that’s worth.

In his book Dawkins triumphantly relates how he once presented his supposedly crushing argument at a Templeton Foundation conference on science and religion at Cambridge University, only to be rebuffed by the other participants, who told him that theologians have always held that God is simple.22 They were quite right. Indeed, Dawkins’s smug and self- congratulatory attitude about his misguided objection, sustained even in the face of repeated correction by prominent philosophers and theologians like Richard Swinburne and Keith Ward, is a wonder to behold.

Therefore, of the three alternatives before us—physical necessity, chance, or design—the most plausible of the three as an explanation of cosmic fine-tuning is design. The teleological argument thus remains as robust today as ever, defended in various forms by philosophers and scientists such as Robin Collins, John Leslie, Paul Davies, William Dembski, Michael Denton, and others.23


1 You might think that if the constants and quantities had assumed different values, then other forms of life might well have evolved. But this is not the case. By “life” scientists mean that property of organisms to take in food, extract energy from it, grow, adapt to their environment, and reproduce. The point is that in order for the universe to permit life so-defined, whatever form organisms might take, the constants and quantities have to be incomprehensibly fine-tuned. In the absence of fine-tuning, not even atomic matter or chemistry would exist, not to speak of planets where life might evolve!
2 Roger Penrose, “Time-Asymmetry and Quantum Gravity,” in Quantum Gravity 2 (ed. C. J. Isham, R. Penrose, and D. W. Sciama; Oxford: Clarendon, 1981), 249.
3 Dawkins, God Delusion, 144.
4 Ibid., 145.
5 Ibid., 147.
6 Ibid., 145.
7 Stephen Hawking and Roger Penrose, The Nature of Space and Time (The Isaac Newton Institute Series of Lectures; Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1996), 20.
8 See http://map.gsfc.nasa.gov/m_mm/mr_limits.html.
9 Duane Dicus, et al., “Effects of Proton Decay on the Cosmological Future,” Astrophysical Journal 252 (1982): 1, 8.
10 Igor D. Novikov and Yakov B. Zel’dovich, “Physical Processes near Cosmological Singularities,” Annual Review of Astronomy and Astrophysics 11 (1973): 401–2.
11 Joseph Silk, The Big Bang (2d ed.; San Francisco: Freeman, 1989), 311–12.
12 Christopher Isham, “Creation of the Universe as a Quantum Process,” in Physics, Philosophy and Theology: A Common Quest for Understanding (ed. R. J. Russell, W. R. Stoeger, and G. V. Coyne; Vatican City: Vatican Observatory, 1988), 378. Isham’s mentioning “continuous creation” is a reference to the defunct Steady State theory.
13 Dawkins, God Delusion, 146.
14 For a first-hand account see John Preskill’s website: http://www.theory.caltech.edu/~preskill/jp_ 24jul04.html.
15 S. W. Hawking, “Information Loss in Black Holes,” http://arxiv.org/abs/hep-th/0507171 (September 15, 2005): 4.
16 See Roger Penrose, The Road to Reality (New York: Knopf, 2005), 762–65.
17 Dawkins, God Delusion, 157–58.
18 Ibid., 158.
19 Ibid.
20 See his comments on Keith Ward in God Delusion, 150. Ward thinks that the hypothesis of a single cosmic designer is simple, even though he rejects the notion that God is simple in the sense that he doesn’t have distinct properties.
21 Dawkins, God Delusion, 149.
22 Ibid., 153. God’s simplicity has even been construed to mean that he lacks distinct properties, a most implausible doctrine. But the simplicity of an immaterial entity need not imply that that entity lacks distinct properties, like immateriality and self-consciousness.
23 Robin Collins, The Well-Tempered Universe (forthcoming); John Leslie, Universes (London: Routledge, 1989); Paul Davies, Cosmic Jackpot (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2007); William Dembski, The Design Revolution (Downers Grove: IVP, 2004); Michael Denton, Nature’s Destiny: How the Laws of Biology Reveal Purpose in the Universe (New York: Free Press, 1998); Michael Behe, The Edge of Evolution: The Search for the Limits of Darwinism (New York: Free Press, 2007).

For more details on this Argument’s,debates, and podcasts can be found on William Lane Craig site, and in his Books:Reasonable Faith and On Guard is your place to dig deep.

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About Prayson Daniel

Prayson Daniel is a Tanzanian, married to Lea and a father to Eloise. Reformed theology, philosophy of religion, apologetics and church history are areas he enjoy reading, pondering and sharing with a motto "when love comes first, disagreement follows at its right and proper place".

9 comments

  1. Giancarlo

    Hello Prayson, God bless you,

    Are you a believer in the gifts of the holy spirit?
    A continuationist? or cessationist?

    I myself study philosophy and theology and seem to highly regard continuationism as the most plausible way.
    I attend a pentecostal church, but i dont neccesarily follow everything they do. i base my christian ways off the bible strictly with the addition of spiritual gifts. I attend assembly of God churches in other words.

    Do you believe Jesus when he said in John 14:12 (KJV) “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believes on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.
    ” ?

    Let me know your reasoning,thanks !

    In Christ

  2. hi bro, I would just like to ask, if You have a contact on the “Zangomatic” that made the “Is God Good” video. I was in contact with him on youtube and working on the translation to other languages, but he didn’t respond for a longer time. :) do U have some more contact on him? thnx. :)

    ssuuddoo, sdb
    just a small fish in the heart of God

  3. Wondering

    I’ve heard atheists debunk the “fine-tuning” argument of Craig’s by saying that if we were intelligent gasbags floating in the atmosphere of Jupiter, we might be marvelling at the fact that Jupiter is at just the right distance from the Sun to permit the evolution of intelligent floating gasbags.

    Or if the laws of physics were such that the only significant chunks of matter which could form were red dwarf stars, then either (a) there would be no intelligent life or (b) any intelligent life which did exist would be the kind of life that could only exist in or on a red dwarf star. Such life might be marvelling at the fact that its universe was finely tuned just to allow the evolution of red dwarf dwelling intelligences.

    How do you respond to that?

    • Hej Wondering,

      Thank you for your comment. I believe the atheists “debunk of teleological argument” comes from misunderstanding.

      Jupiter, Earth, Venus, Sun and red dwarf stars are in the universe with all of these constants and quantities which fall into an extraordinarily narrow range of life-permitting values. :)

      The atheist you heard have totally misunderstood the argument.

      In Christ,
      Prayson

      BTW: Point your atheist friends to world notorious atheist late Antony Flew abandoned his atheism because of the development and strength of this argument.

      • Stacey

        The refutation adequately shows that the argument from fine-tuning is lacking. It’s called the anthropic principle. In short- The only way we could possibly be observing the universe is if it were capable of supporting our life. The universe wasn’t fine tuned to us, we were fined tuned to it (and all the evidence shows through amazing natural ways).

        Take the analogy Douglas Adams wrote in A Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy.

        “…imagine a puddle waking up one morning and thinking, ‘This is an interesting world I find myself in, an interesting hole I find myself in, fits me rather neatly, doesn’t it? In fact, it fits me staggeringly well, must have been made to have me in it!’ This is such a powerful idea that as the Sun rises in the sky and the air heats up and as, gradually, the puddle gets smaller and smaller, it’s still frantically hanging on to the notion that everything’s going to be all right, because this World was meant to have him in it, was built to have him in it; so the moment he disappears catches him rather by surprise. I think this may be something we need to be on the watch out for.”

  4. Pingback: Exploring Why Richard Dawkins Is Chickening Out « With All I Am

  5. Pingback: Refuting Who Designed The Designer? « With All I Am

  6. Pingback: Arguments for Existence of God | With All I Am

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