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God the Failed Hypothesis: How Science Shows That God Does Not Exist Paperback – 30 Apr 2008


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Product details

  • Paperback: 310 pages
  • Publisher: Prometheus Books; Reprint edition (30 April 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1591026520
  • ISBN-13: 978-1591026525
  • Product Dimensions: 15.3 x 1.6 x 22.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 146,052 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Victor Stenger (Lafayette, CO) is emeritus professor of physics and astronomy at the University of Hawaii and adjunct professor of philosophy at the University of Colorado. He is the author of Has Science Found God?, The Comprehensible Cosmos, Timeless Reality, The Unconscious Quantum, Physics and Psychics, and Not by Design.

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Customer Reviews

3.2 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By au'cheval on 29 Mar. 2009
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A very well written and tightly argued book. The god heads out there will of course raise their arms in horror and there will be much wailing and gnashing of teeth, but by approaching the god question as a scientific question Stenger clearly and concisely shows that their delusions are just that.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By opus on 13 April 2009
Format: Paperback
I am re-reading this book! It is beautifully written and superbly reasoned. Calm, but to the point. It repays well any effort put into it. Should be compulsory reading in all science classes.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Legal Vampire on 19 July 2010
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This is not a bad book; it contains some interesting facts and asks some reasonable questions. However, it is overall just not as interesting and gave me fewer new ideas than some other sceptical literature.

Those wanting to read a reasoned case against the existence of God may often do better to read Richard Dawkins The God Delusion, Christopher Hitchens' God is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything, Sam Harris Letter To A Christian Nation or (a different kind of book, addressing only one religion) Why I Am Not a Muslim by Ibn Warraq.

However, if you want a shorter summary of the argument than some of the above, the latter part of Stenger's book is quite a good one.

In a debate in which the sceptical case is often made by biologists (e.g. Darwin & Dawkins) the earlier part of Stenger's book is a welcome attempt to make such a case from the evidence of physics and astronomy, but one would probably need to study those subjects for a long time to be able to judge whether he is right.
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17 of 21 people found the following review helpful By M. Raven on 6 Sept. 2009
Format: Paperback
As someone who went through his teenage years being abused, physically, mentally and emotionally by Christianity in the name of God, you would think that I'd have no problem in thoroughly rejecting this nasty and hateful superstitious nonsense as soon as was free of the church and able to make decisions for myself as an adult. Unfortunately, the psychological grip of the hypocrites who like to abuse children in this way is a strong one and doubts can sometimes creep in.

God. The Failed Hypothesis is a book I would recommend for any survivor of religion who wants the security of scientific proof to finally put this god business to rest. Easy to read and not full of jargon, it explains simply how god is a logical inconsistency and a scientific impossibility. We see gods as being man (or woman) made, created in man's image to gain power over other men (and women, and children).

Read the book and break free.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By J. Taylor on 10 Sept. 2011
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There is a profusion of books on the existence or non-existence of God. I wanted a perspective from a professor of physics and astronomy. In this regard the book is fantastic. What I didn't realise before purchase was that Stenger is also adjunct professor of philosophy at Colorado university. Whilst I agreed these arguments added completeness and were often edifying, I felt they watered down the strength of the other arguments, here's why:

The philosophical material regularly took the form of syllogisms to make a point. These sets of statements always start with positions which are held to be self evidently true and swiftly draw a logical deduction. The trouble in my view is, it is far to easy to make a 'false syllogism' to prove an absurd point of view. This is often because the initial statements are out of context, or have obscure but relevant exceptions. Therefore, Stenger's subtitle "How science shows that God does not exist" seems to have be stretching the subtitle from "science showing", to "syllogisms suggesting", in order to include other interesting material.

The core of the book, however, involves the debunking of some really hard hitting questions. Stenger's knowledge and scientific expertise are in their element here. The central chapters easily justify the meagre price of this book. These are real answers, not amateur fudging or political spin. I would like to see this section with an extra chapter (expanding p231-233), it would reveal the impossibility of explaining through natural causes a universe that really had been designed.

Finally, I found this book very readable and structured. Stenger has a truly wicked sense of humour (the hiddenness of God paradox and the Ecclesiastical solution is a classic.) I hope Stenger's enthusiastic disbelief hasn't translated to biased objectivity where opinion inevitably arises. This book is a keeper!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Petri on 24 Jan. 2012
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A must-read for everyone who wants to understand what's real and what's not. The book is filled with strong arguments and evidence to counter the claims of theists. I was a bit skeptical about the title, but having read the book I'm convinced: the God/Gods of Christianity, Islam and Judaism don't exist.
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16 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Roland on 2 Jun. 2008
Format: Paperback
Victor Stenger is explaining in the entire first chapter the scientific method and what a theory is compared to hypothesis, and why/how science is able to test some of the religious hypothesizes.
The next chapter is then focusing on the testing of supernatural claims and highlights that several studies about the usefulness of prayers have been conducted. These studies were funded from religious organizations like Templeton, so not from "bad atheist scientists" who only want to disprove them. Nevertheless despite heavy intercessory praying of whole religious communities for the health of freshly operated patients, no positive effect of prayer could be found.

After this Stenger is demolishing the `fine tuning' Goldilocks argument about the basic constants of the universe, which is so often used from theists as the last deist refuge to house their God of the dwindling gaps. After reading several books mentioning this `fine tuning' and haven't found a strong scientific rebuttal, I was quite surprised that the so miraculous `fine tuning' argument is only valid if a single factor is changed c.p. (all other left unchanged). Stenger claims that several alternative combinations of the 4 fundamental constants are possible and are providing a stable universe where stars can form and burn for billions of years as well.
To give an example of real life: my car is so fine-tuned if the gearbox is just 2 millimeter from the engine block it would not work, if the clutch is just a few millimeter apart it would not close and can't drive, if the crankshaft is just a little shorter ...etc... yes true if just a single parameter is changed, but there are many other brands and models where another combination of all this parts result in a proper working car.
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