Fine-tuning and the infrared bull's-eye

Philosophical Studies 160 (2):287-303 (2012)
I argue that the standard way of formalizing the fine-tuning argument for design is flawed, and I present an alternative formalization. On the alternative formalization, the existence of life is not treated as the evidence that confirms design; instead it is treated as part of the background knowledge, while the fact that fine tuning is required for life serves as the evidence. I argue that the alternative better captures the informal line of thought that gives the fine-tuning argument its intuitive plausibility, and I show that the alternative formalization avoids all of the most prominent objections to the fine-tuning argument, including the objection from observation selection effects, the problem of old evidence, the problem of non-normalizable probability measures and a further objection due to Monton. I conclude that the alternative formalization is the one that attention should be focused on.
Keywords Fine-tuning  Design  Natural theology  God  Elliott Sober  Bradley Monton
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s11098-011-9719-0
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
Edit this record
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Mark as duplicate
Request removal from index
Revision history
Download options
Our Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 30,934
Through your library
References found in this work BETA
The Anthropic Cosmological Principle.John D. Barrow - 1986 - Oxford University Press.
Universes.John Leslie - 1989 - Routledge.
God, Fine-Tuning, and the Problem of Old Evidence.Bradley Monton - 2006 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 57 (2):405-424.

View all 10 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
Fine-Tuning in the Context of Bayesian Theory Testing.Luke A. Barnes - forthcoming - European Journal for Philosophy of Science:1-17.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
The Fine-Tuning Argument.Neil A. Manson - 2009 - Philosophy Compass 4 (1):271-286.
Fine-Tuning as Evidence for a Multiverse: Why White is Wrong. [REVIEW]Mark Douglas Saward - 2013 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 73 (3):243-253.
The Fine-Tuning Argument.M. C. Bradley - 2001 - Religious Studies 37 (4):451-466.
God, Fine-Tuning, and the Problem of Old Evidence.Bradley Monton - 2006 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 57 (2):405-424.
Astrophysical Fine Tuning, Naturalism, and the Contemporary Design Argument.Mark A. Walker & M. Milan - 2006 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 20 (3):285 – 307.
Fine-Tuning, Multiple Universes, and the 'This Universe' Objection.Neil Manson - 2003 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 84 (1):67 - 83.
Added to PP index

Total downloads
351 ( #9,351 of 2,214,209 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
48 ( #5,790 of 2,214,209 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Monthly downloads
My notes
Sign in to use this feature