Fine-Tuning and Probability: Does the Universe Require Explanation?

Sophia 40 (1):7 - 15 (2001)
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It has been suggested by many philosophers that the cosmos cries out for explanation. They base this claim on the fact that many of the fundamental characteristics of the cosmos seem to have to be incredibly ’fine-tuned’ to permit the existence of intelligent life. They further claim from this ’fine-tuning’ that the cosmos is highly improbable, and thus requires an explanation. In recent times, these views have been criticized by writers, such as Quentin Smith, who suggest that no explanation for the universe is really required at all, that the universe just is. I wish in this paper to criticize this view, for I believe that we have reached a point in our history where the only defensible way to maintain that the universe requires no explanation at all, is to suggest that intelligent life is in no way special. (edited)



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