Atheist author and evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins says the best argument for God he's ever hard has to do with a deistic God as the fine-tuner of the universe.
Dawkins visited Google's office in Kirkland, Washington, to discuss his book, Brief Candle in the Dark: My Life in Science, after which he took a couple of readers' questions. He was asked in a video published on Monday what is the best argument in favor of God and the best argument against evolution that he has heard.
Dawkins prefaced his answer by making it clear that he is not "in any sense admitting that there is a good argument," and insisted that "there is no decent argument for the existence of deities."
He said, however, that the best argument he has heard of concerns a "deistic God, who had something to do with the fine tuning of the universe."
"It's still a very, very bad argument, but it's the best one going," he added, noting that a major problem with the argument is that it leaves unexplained where the fine tuner came from.
As for evolution, however, he said there is simply no argument at all that he can consider.
"There are reasons why people don't get it, such as the time scale involved is so huge. People find it difficult to grasp how long a time has been available for the changes that are talked about," the evolutionary biologist asserted.
Back in June 2011, Evangelical geneticist Francis Collins revealed that Dawkins had told him in a conversation the most troubling argument for nonbelievers he has heard concerns the fine-tuning of the universe.
"If they (constants in the universe) were set at a value that was just a tiny bit different, one part in a billion, the whole thing wouldn't work anymore," Collins, the director of the National Institutes of Health, said at the time.
The argument concerns the need for matter and energy, such as strong and weak nuclear forces, gravity, and the speed of light, to be precisely right during the Big Bang for the creation of life as we know it to exist.
"To get our universe, with all of its potential for complexities or any kind of potential for any kind of life form, everything has to be precisely defined on this knife edge of improbability," Collins added.
Dawkins has remained a major critic of religion and the idea of God, and in December listed in an interview five of his strongest reasons why he believes no deity exists.
The list was criticized by Creation Museum CEO Ken Ham, who has often opposed Dawkins both for his atheistic views and his strong support for evolution.
"What he never explains is how natural selection — a process that only works by decreasing or re-shuffling existing genetic information — is supposed to add the massive amounts of new information that are required to get the complexity we see today from a simple single-celled organism over millions of years," Ham said about Dawkins' view on evolution as it relates to the process of natural selection.
"How do you get from simple pond scum to highly complex people without adding massive amounts of new genetic information?" he asked.