Scientists nowadays for the most part agree that the evidence for what has been termed the fine-tuning of the universe is both qualitatively unmistakable and quantitatively abundant. The set of numerically measurable physical constants governing, for example, the fundamental forces of the universe – gravity, electromagnetism, the weak nuclear force, and the strong nuclear force – are so precisely specified for the function of human life against the ranges of their possible values that to alter those numbers even very slightly, in a typical case by as little as one part in ten to the thirty-first power, would render human life physically impossible.*
Atheists by and large have been reluctant, for obvious reasons, to acknowledge either the legitimacy of these findings or their theistic implications, or both. Now recall the bold and insulting assertions of Dawkins and company: Is this not, by their own understanding of denial, sheer fine-tuning denialism? Can refusal to acknowledge the overwhelming evidence for fine-tuning be anything but atheistic personal incredulity at the thought that the initial conditions and natural laws governing the universe were established precisely and purposefully so that human life might emerge and flourish?
In any event, the unusually entrenched bias that apparently underlies fine-tuning denialism spells trouble for the very scientific enterprise otherwise held in such high esteem among atheists and naturalists. I say this mainly because science depends on acceptance of evidence. But even an atheistic reading that accepts the evidence but denies its theistic implications is unfriendly to science, for the particular argument raised against theistic explanation of fine-tuning undercuts scientific explanation at the same time. Consider what appears to be the most common rejoinder to fine-tuning, based on the "multiverse" hypothesis. On the multiverse hypothesis, ours is but one of a vast, if not infinite, number of universes. Given a vast, if not infinite, number of universes, it is not implausible that just one would feature a set of life-permitting physical constants, and that ours happens to be that universe.
The problem is that such reasoning would reduce any explanation for anything to cosmological happenstance. The very laws of nature presumably discovered by careful adherence to the scientific method would be, on the same logic that denies fine-tuning, just a really, really remarkable coincidence. So, for example, if every time that an apple is released above the ground it falls, this does not mean that there is a law of gravity or any other law of science. It only means that, given enough universes, there would be one in which apples happen to fall whenever released above the ground. Presumably there would be other universes in which apples float above the ground consistently, and other universes still in which apples sometimes float above the ground arbitrarily and other times fall, universes in which apples float above the ground only when no one is looking, etc. The same could be said for any other set of observations used to advance the scientific enterprise.
On the premise that otherwise highly improbable scenarios become probable in a multiverse, the following argument can be constructed:
1. It is highly improbable that each of the countless factual observations presumed to instantiate the laws of science in our particular universe actually occurs at random.