Over at BioLogos, fine-tuning was mentioned. A comment asked whether they wished to do that, since fine-tuning was an “example of intelligent design reasoning”. Here’s my reply:
I’m not certain of the original provenance of fine-tuning arguments, but I know that they cannot be claimed to be the product of “intelligent design reasoning”. One can certainly find fine-tuning among the arguments of natural theology, as in the Rev. William Paley’s 1802 book, “Natural Theology”.
At best, the “intelligent design” creationism advocates can claim that fine-tuning arguments are consonant with their own views, not that they have originated any such argument. “Intelligent design” creationism is about as intellectually barren as the surface of the moon, having raided natural theology and earlier forms of religious antievolution for its content, adding technical epicycles to such standard objections as “what good is half a wing?” and “evolution is too improbable”. Of course, “intelligent design” creationism is simply a sham engaged in to inject as many religious antievolution arguments as possible into the public school curriculum, so it is not unexpected that its advocates would seek to borrow justification wherever they think they can find it.
Christians who embrace fine-tuning arguments would do well to look to the earlier and honest examples of its use as apologia for the nature and attributes of God, and to reject the associations with the inherently deceptive modern religious antievolution movement under any of its misleading labels — scientific creationism, creation science, intelligent design, critical analysis, strengths and weaknesses, academic freedom, and others.