God the Failed Hypothesis: How Science Shows That God Does Not Exist Paperback – 30 Apr 2008
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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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Top Customer Reviews
The structure of the book is roughly as follows:
In the first chapter, Stenger lucidly explains the scientific method and what makes it such a potent investigative tool. This is important because many people have no real understanding of these concepts. He also refutes the widely held (at least, by religious people) view that science has nothing to say about religion. This is a very important point, which sets the foundation for the rest of the book.
Stenger also deals with another common misconception, which is that scientists are somehow opposed to, or in denial of the discovery of any supernatural forces, whether religious, psychic, or anything else which violates the natural laws as they are currently understood. In reality the only reason why most scientists do not acknowledge the evidence of such things is because the evidence does not exist.
In the remainder of the book, Stenger goes on to assess the objective evidence for and against the God hypothesis by investigating a plethora of scientific and historical research.Read more ›
"...I will...argue that...science has advanced sufficiently to be able to make a definitive statement on the existence or nonexistence of a God having the attributes that are traditionally associated with the Judeo-Christian-Islamic God." --from page 11
These statements are a great leap forward from the fairly recent belief (I'm thinking of the late, great Stephen Jay Gould, for example) that we ought to render unto science things belonging to science and unto religion things belonging to religion. But what Professor Stenger is saying is that we can look at religion in a scientific sense and decide which aspects of it are true and which are false. In particular Stenger looks at the God of Abraham and fulfills the promise of the subtitle: "How Science Shows that God Does Not Exist." Note that it is only the personal God of the three Middle Eastern religions that he specifically lays to rest. The Ineffable God of the Vedas is presumably still standing, as are many other gods who are not defined as personal and possessing the three O's: omnibenevolence, omnipotence, and omniscience. An interesting book including arguments against the existence of some other gods is The Impossibility of God (2003) by Michael Martin and Ricki Monnier (cited by Stenger; see my review at Amazon).
Stenger's is a step-by-step consideration of the arguments and the "evidence" for God's existence, followed by a demonstration that the arguments are faulty and/or the evidence is lacking.Read more ›
Although Stenger credits Galileo and Darwin with significant contributions to pushing a god away from human affairs, it's his own field of physics that provide the most compelling evidence, or lack of it, for any gods. As with any research subject, the author formulates hypotheses explaining why a god should exist, then tests them for valid evidence. To apply scientific methods to examining the evidence for the supernatural, he explains that ideas about the world are observed and models derived to explain their workings. Those models must be tested by valid methods, comprehensive and definitive. His examination of intercessory prayer as a healing mechanism [Chap. 3] demonstrates how flawed methods skew evidence. Ignoring real evidence, as his examination of the "Illusion of Design" demonstrates, has allowed such commentators as Michael Behe and William Dembski to forward untestable concepts of how life's processes work.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Stenger tries to define God, says he'll define evil (though I don't think he actually does), but doesn't define Science. Read morePublished 22 days ago by bill
I read this book twice to really get to grips with the depth and breadth of great content, evidence and rationale that Senger brings. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Painspotter1
A brilliant and well written summary of much more than I have discovered alone when researching the God question. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Mark A. Collins
Excellent and compelling read. Scrupulous in its research and thoroughly engaging. Highly recommended.Published 13 months ago by Andy Hughes
Well researched well documented. A very able view of religion from a scientific view point. I don't know how those who believe in a God any God can ignore this and still expect to... Read morePublished 18 months ago by Peter
Religious people really need to read this, then tackle Hitchens. A good and informative introduction to life as an atheist.Published 23 months ago by Dave W
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