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15 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Scientific method for unscientific hypothesis, 2 Jun 2008
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This review is from: God the Failed Hypothesis: How Science Shows That God Does Not Exist (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.

The maximal entropy of the initial universe makes a deity unnecessary and unable to control any future development of the universe especially when quantum effects prevent any deterministic Lamarckian plan. And the universe don't need to be `divinely created' as the universe has a zero balance of energy and mass versus gravity e.g. coming out of nothing.

All claims of creationist and ID are refuted by the usual arguments from evolution, and the millennia old philosophical word games as `proof of God' ala St. Augustine or Aquinas are countered by logical arguments from modern philosophers, who show logical arguments (proof) that God does not exists.

Also the Biblical history is outed as fiction and fairy tales as most stories from Genesis, great flood, Abraham, Exodus, Canaan's conquest, David and Solomon's powerful `golden empire' etc. are falsified from historical and archeological evidence. Ergo the god YHWH from the Bible as basis for Judeo-Christian-Islamic faith who is interacting with the local tribes of bronze-age gout and sheep herders does not exist.

In short Victor Stenger is claiming the absence of evidence on that grand scale plus all the falsifications of theist claims are evidence of absence and falsification of the theist God hypothesis, and is even a strong indicator for the non existence or of a deist God.
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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 9 Apr 2011 00:23:00 BDT
M. Fearnley says:
Hello,
It looks like your review is a good summary of the contents of the book, so thanks for that.
But while I don't want to attack in general, I have just a comment on this example.

"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."

I don't know much about car mechanics, but other brands and models are all, I guess, fine-tuned as well. If you were to combine the parts without any tuning, would the car be likely to fail?

In reply to an earlier post on 14 Mar 2012 23:13:12 GMT
Ringo says:
And your point?

In reply to an earlier post on 15 Mar 2012 16:46:55 GMT
M. Fearnley says:
Hi Ringo,
I may not have a point, It depends on the answer to the question. I think I phrased it that way in order to better engage the reader in the answer and to ensure I don't step off common ground.
But anyway, if you (or the original reviewer, or someone else) responds, then maybe there'll be a point to contend.
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