So I was sent an article on godandscience.org that supposedly proves god using science and I, the magical and egotistical Peter, am here to refute the claims that are made on this beloved site! I will most likely be referencing other posts I make so be prepared. The page itself is broken up into sections and I will refute them in order.
Introduction: This makes a few false claims but there is nothing here that needs correcting.
The Big Bang: This really makes no argument at all but just states what the Big Bang Theory is. This part is all fine except for a small factual error which is made. The author says “…the universe arose from a singularity of virtually no size…” but a singularity is not of “virtually no size”, it is infinitely small due to the infinitely large gravitational force being exerted by the matter collapsing in and in and in. Here you can read what a singularity is: Read more
Excess quarks: The basis of this argument is that the masses of the quarks in the universe must be finely tuned to allow matter to exist and that somehow proves god. I have a few things to say on this.
1: String theory is beginning to provide a framework for why the elementary particles have the masses that they do so it is ludicrous to assume that they are fine tuned.
2: We have a classic case of the anthropic principle here. This can be easily rationalized by thinking about this:
What would we see if the masses were not “just right” and we did not exist? What would we see if the quarks and anti-quarks annihilated themselves and all we had was pure energy? What would we see if we were not here? We would see nothing! This is key because, regardless of how small the probability is of the masses lining up just right, it must have happened at least once in the past because we are here to study the amazing coincidence! This answer is more probable then saying “God dun it!” because, with the previous statement we are asserting that there is a massively more complex god that then must be accounted for and that violates Occam’s razor. Here we are using a simple logical premise whereas in the case of god we are asserting an even more complex watchmaker to make a watch that could have occurred merely by chance.
3: The next point I would like to make is that we do not know the possible ranges allowed for the mass of the quark (at least to my knowledge). This is also key because it means we cannot make a fair probability judgment because we do not know all the possible outcomes.
4: The up and coming multiverse theory makes this point moot since there are, according to the many theories, an infinite or very large number of universes which means that there is either a guaranteed shot of us being here or a very good shot. Here one could ask, what evidence is there of the multiverse? And to that I say, BAM! Point 1 and Point 2. Granted, we do not know for certain but, at least according to the evidence right now, it seems there may be a multiverse and if M-Theory is correct there most certainly is.
Large, just right sized universe: The point that is being made here is that if the universe were bigger or smaller we would not be alive. I will be addressing this in order.
Smaller: What is claimed here is that if the universe were smaller than the universe would not have undergone nucleosynthesis and we would only have hydrogen. To prove this the author cites the Wikipedia page on Big Bang Nucleosynthesis but if one actually reads the page it makes no mention of what would happen if the universe were smaller, in fact, it only uses the word once and this is talking about Helium-4. But even so, the things that caused it were density and heat that means that if the universe were smaller, the heat ratio could be offset and it would still occur. The same thing applies to it being bigger. So basically, we have a link to a Wikipedia page that doesn’t even prove your point.
Larger: What is claimed here is that if the universe were larger it would have collapsed in on itself. The evidence used to support this only proves your claim on the broadest of scales and is fundamentally dishonest. The article being cited is talking about the shape of the universe and the ultimate fate. The only time they talk about it collapsing in on itself is in the distant future and not at the beginning of time like you would *implying* have us believe. You say that the universe would have “collapsed before life was possible” but this is simply false. The only time it talks about the universe collapsing is when it says that it causes the “Big Crunch to happen right now!” Stephen Hawking also comments on the rate of expansion which is part of this by saying:
“The rate of expansion of the universe [in the inflationary model] would automatically become very close to the critical rate determined by the energy density of the universe. This could then explain why the rate of expansion is still so close to the critical rate, without having to assume that the initial rate of expansion of the universe was very carefully chosen.”
A thing that can be added to both points: If there is a multiverse, which there is evidence for as shown above, this too is moot. Also, the anthropic argument can be applied to this meaning that regardless of how small the probability is of the density being just right, it must have happened at least once.
Early evolution of the universe: The basic argument here is that the universe must have evolved a certain way to contain matter and life and that proves god. (?) We can also apply the anthropic principle to this as well. But again, if the multiverse does exist this too is moot. The evidence that is cited only talks about matter in our universe, it makes no mention of matter in other universes.
Just right laws of physics: The argument here is that the constants are just right for life but I, and many others, have refuted this point in depth. I wrote a post entitled Debunking the fine tuning argument which shows why this argument is false.
Universal Probability Bounds: This really makes no argument but just talks about the most improbable thing that could happen and I feel no need to comment on this.
What do cosmologists say: This too makes no real argument but what I have to say is that in 1998 only 7% of the members of the National Academy of Sciences who returned a poll (about 50%) said they believe in god whereas 72.2% said they did not. I think this speaks for itself.
Speculative “solutions” to the design “problem”: The basis of this is that the only alternative is the multiverse theory but that there is no evidence for it thus it is invalid. This is not true seeing as if one looks above I give evidence for the multiverse. Granted, it may not exist but it is still much more elegant and simple than an all knowing, all powerful cosmic sky daddy.
1: “The Fallacy of Fine-Tuning.”Colorado.edu. N.p., n.d. Web. 9 Aug. 2011. <http://www.colorado.edu/philosophy/vstenger/Fallacy/FT.pdf>
2: “Percentage of atheists – Think Atheist.” Think Atheist. N.p., n.d. Web. 9 Aug. 2011. <http://www.thinkatheist.com/notes/Percentage_of_atheists>