As Vic Stenger and Lawrence Krauss have recently pointed out, the universe is not "finely tuned" for any sort of life. There are ranges for many constants that could plausibly allow for some form of life
A theist would counter that there's hardly scientific consensus regarding which of the constants must be fixed as opposed to those that could exist within ranges (and, for the latter, how wide the ranges could be) in order for intelligent life to exist. She might quote prominent scientists such as the astrophysicist Hugh Ross
, among others
, to support her argument.
But the more significant question, it seems to me, even if you spot them the poker hand analogy, is how does that imply a designer God?
If one believes that a) the universe we see is all there is -- no multiverse; b) it is the only universe that has ever existed (no Big Bang/Big Crunch eternal recurrence), and c) the possible combinations of physical constants that could support intelligent life are in fact as unlikely as they seem to be...
...if one believes those three things, it seems incredible that those critical initial starting parameters could have come together purely by chance. A Plantinga or Craig would ask, incredulously: We're believe that such an incredibly unlikely combination of constants somehow simply... occurred
? Isn't it vastly more likely they were selected by an Intelligence? What a fantastic just-so story these atheistic scientists tell! We'd as well believe a tornado could sweep through a junkyard and assemble a 747!
If the entire purpose of creating the universe was that there would be life (and in particular for the Judeo/Christian religions, a tribe of people living in ancient Israel over 2,000 years ago), why the long prologue and immense amounts of wasted space? Why is the vast majority of the universe inhospitable to life? The constants could surely have been tweaked further to allow for life everywhere, which is what I would define as a royal flush. Our universe is more akin to a pair of twos.
"The Lord is inscrutable," the theist would say. (Or words to that effect.) "Anyway, for all we know, the universe may be crawling with life. Some of it might even be intelligent. That we haven't discovered it doesn't mean it doesn't exist."
(BTW, as you mention Victor Stenger, he debated William Lane Craig on this very subject a couple years ago. Really entertaining, and can be downloaded here