Why is the universe so precise?

Dinesh D'Souza, debate at Tufts University (2007). Used by permission.

Please see the article, Scientists Baffled by the Laws of Nature.

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Video transcript:

In recent decades scientists have asked the following question, and that is, "Why does the universe have the values that it does?" Our universe has an incredibly wide and diverse set of very precise values.

You can almost think, in fact Lee Smolin, the physicist, whom Dan sites in his book, speaks about God as sitting in a sense at a big desk with a hundred dials, and each dial reflects one of the values or forces of the universe. There is the mass of the electron, the mass of the proton, the gravitational force, the electromagnetic force, the electroweak force, and so on and so on. And the question is this: Why are those numbers set at precisely what they are?

What if you were to move it and let's say fool with the dials a little bit? Change them a little? What would happen? The scientists that asked this question came up with a very startling conclusion, and that is, if you touch the dials, if you fool with them, not to the point of 50%, or 20%, or even 1%, Stephen Hawking says in his Brief History of Time, that if you touch one of the dials -- this is the expansion rate of the universe -- and move it one part in a hundred thousandth millionth million, we would have no universe. We would have no life.

In other words, the constants and values of the universe appear to be fine tuned, precisely for, well, us.

Why is the universe apparently fine tuned for life? It would seem Ockham's Razor -- the logic of simplicity -- would seem to say a creator designed it that way. We may not know who built the car, or we may not know who did the painting, but is it even reasonable to suggest that the universe and all its laws created themselves?

Let me put it a slightly different way. If we think of modern science, modern science has spent the last 500 years doing what? Excavating the intelligence built into the laws of nature. We live, apparently, in a rational universe that reflects extremely complicated laws, right? Kepler's laws of planetary motion, Newton's inverse square laws, Einstein's E=mc2, and so on.

My question is, if our most brilliant scientists have spent their entire lifetime trying to decode the intelligence out of nature, who put it there? Or if not, a good question for Dan, how did it get there? Where did this intelligence come from? What is its explanation? What is your account for why nature obeys laws in the first place?

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