Modern Cosmology and Anthropic Fine-tuning: Three Approaches

Document Type


Publication Date



The anthropic fine-tuning of the cosmos refers to the claim that the laws of nature, the constants of physics, and the initial conditions of the universe must be set to an enormous degree of precision for embodied conscious agents to exist. Three major responses have been offered to this fine-tuning: the multiverse explanation; theism; and the claim that it is just a brute fact that requires no further explanation. In this chapter, I will consider each explanation in turn, and provide some novel arguments for the superiority of a theistic or related explanation. In the last section, I will show how whether or not one adopts a theistic or related explanation can significantly influence what features of the universe one considers in need of further scientific explanation, and the type of scientific explanation that one should find satisfactory. In particular, I will argue that in some cases atheism, not theism, serves as a science stopper in discouraging a search for deeper scientific explanations of phenomena.


Originally published as:

Collins, R. (2012). Modern cosmology and anthropic fine-tuning: Three approaches. In R. D. Holder & S. Mitton (Eds.), Georges Lemaître: Life, Science and Legacy (Vol. 395, pp. 173–191). Springer Berlin Heidelberg. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-32254-9_13

This document is currently not available here.