In debating an atheist on whether there is indeed order in the universe to the degree that we can refer to it as “fine-tuned” I came up with this response which I decided to post for any other would-be apologists looking for a concise answer to this common objection:
“While a few great minds do reject fine tuning, it is not really doubted among the vast majority of scientists (atheists included). They do not ascribe this to God, of course, and that is why they have speculated about counter responses like the multi-verse. There is not really much disagreement on whether there is fine-tuning, the disagreement is on the explanation for the fine-tuning.
You said, “I see no ‘fine tuning’ at all. What I see is a very inhospitable galaxy with very few places that life could exist.”
But this is not relevant. The argument for fine tuning applies to the universe as a whole. More extreme fine tuning would be required for life to exist in more places of the universe but the fact that life exists anywhere at all does require fine-tuning of very narrow parameters for some 150 odd properties of the Anthropic Principle to work. Even if there is life on just this tiny speck of the universe it yet there is life in abundance here. Whether this makes us insignificant or incredibly special depends on one’s worldview, I suppose.
You also said, “Life evolved to fit the places on this planet it could exist not the other way around.”
In my opinion, this is irrelevant as well. The universe STILL has to be extremely fine-tuned for complex chemistry or evolution to exist in the first place.”
For a little more information on the Anthropic Principle I recommend this link as a starter.