Fine-tuning and the infrared bull's-eye

Philosophical Studies 160 (2):287-303 (2012)
Authors
John Roberts
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
Abstract
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
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DOI 10.1007/s11098-011-9719-0
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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.

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Citations of this work BETA

Fine-Tuning in the Context of Bayesian Theory Testing.Luke A. Barnes - 2018 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 8 (2):253-269.

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