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God: The Failed Hypothesis: How Science Shows That God Does Not Exist Hardcover – January 2, 2007

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Editorial Reviews


"I learned an enormous amount from this splendid book."
-Richard Dawkins, author of the New York Times bestseller The God Delusion

"Marshalling converging arguments from physics, astronomy, biology, and philosophy, Stenger has delivered a masterful blow in defense of reason. God: The Failed Hypothesis is a potent, readable, and well-timed assault upon religious delusion. It should be widely read."
-Sam Harris, author of the New York Times bestsellers The End of Faith and Letter to a Christian Nation

"Extremely tough and impressive...a great book...a huge addition to the arsenal of argument."
-Christopher Hitchens, author of the New York Times bestseller God Is Not Great

About the Author

Victor J. Stenger (1935 - 2014) was an adjunct professor of philosophy at the University of Colorado and emeritus professor of physics and astronomy at the University of Hawaii. He was the author of the New York Times bestseller God: The Failed Hypothesis, God and the Atom, God and the Folly of Faith, The Comprehensible Cosmos, and many other books.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 287 pages
  • Publisher: Prometheus Books (January 25, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1591024811
  • ISBN-13: 978-1591024811
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 0.9 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (237 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #328,725 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

319 of 349 people found the following review helpful By Andrew on March 13, 2007
Format: Hardcover
This is an outstanding book. Victor Stenger, a Professor of both Physics and Astronomy, convincingly argues against the existence of God (by which he means the Judea-Christian-Islamic version) by examining a wide variety of scientific evidence. In my view Stenger succeeds in disproving God beyond a level of reasonable doubt. Certain high profile atheists (Richard Dawkins and Same Harris, to name but two) have already written bestsellers on this subject, and I would evaluate Stenger's work as one that fully deserves the same level of success and recognition.

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. He covers everything from biblical prophecies to the illusion of design to prayer experiments and much more.
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184 of 209 people found the following review helpful By Thomas Adam L. on February 24, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Having just finished the book moments ago, I was left with the distinct impression that I liked it better than almost any other non-fiction book that I have read lately.

One thing that I liked immensely about "God: The Failed Hypothesis" was its focus on science and showing that it is by far the best way to know the universe, not necessarily the only way, but indeed the best and most accurate method available to human beings to learning about life and all of its mysteries.

Preceding my reading of "G:TFH," I had just finished "Atheist Universe" by David Mills and while I agreed with almost everything he had to say, that book left me with an ambiguous feeling towards its merit. Not so the case with Stenger's book; it could almost be called uplifting.

As a former evangelical, who has studied almost every religion at least in a cursory manner, I am convinced that a personal, religiously affiliated, or intervening god does not exist and is a mere psychological projection. However, I had still remained somewhat agnostic toward the concept of a deistic god. Stenger shows that modern physics can indeed answer such seemingly hard questions as "Why is there something rather than nothing?" rather convincingly. This book weakened my position of agnostic deism from "maybe" to "probably not" because complete naturalism seems to be the best and most likely explanation.
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114 of 128 people found the following review helpful By Michael Heath VINE VOICE on July 15, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
There are several reasons I highly recommend purchasing this book even though I believe it contains some major flaws that yields a less than convincing argument by Dr. Stenger:

Stenger makes an excellent argument the scientific method is able to run the various hypotheses for the existence of God with certain characteristics through the gauntlet. While an informed person could certainly argue we didn't have the knowledge and tools to perform such a task 100 years ago, Stenger eloquently points out that our accumulated knowledge in this century provides the empirical evidence necessary to make rational conclusions of History's arguments on the question of God's existence.

Stenger does an excellent job early in the book of describing the scientific method itself. To those of us who follow the interface between science and culture in modern America, I welcome his pre-empting any criticism of his conclusions that are based on an ignorant understanding of what a theory actually is and how one is developed and differs from credible and absurd hypotheses. He also does an excellent job of defining who has the obligation to make their case, though he's not dependent on expecting fundamentalists and other theists to make their case; the book is filled with arguments backed with empirical evidence on why a certain type of god cannot exist.

Stenger presents the best arguments for the existence of God and rebuts each claiming to use the approach scientists' use when critiquing scientific claims. I do believe Dr. Stenger stretches his case on some of his rebuttals. Having a comprehensive list alone with a usually adequate response makes the book not only worthy to buy and read, but also to keep for future reference.
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126 of 145 people found the following review helpful By Jerry P. Lightner on March 16, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Victor J. Stenger's God: The Failed Hypothesis deserves to be read by believers and non-believers alike. Fifty years ago, upon completion of my formal study in the sciences, I concluded that God could not exist. With each passing decade, as the scientific method enabled man to advance his knowledge and understanding of the world and universe, this conviction grew stronger. Unfortunately I was never able to adequately explain to others why I felt as I did.

And then I picked up God: The Failed Hypothesis. I could not put it down; indeed I read it cover to cover within hours of purchase. Here was everything I wanted to say to individuals who were ignorant of rigorous science methodology, or scorned it, and relied solely upon faith and revelation.

I have never taken to task people with faith; that is their prerogative. But I always felt inadequate when articulating my own opposite point of view. And how I find meaning and beauty in the arts and nature from within myself, independent of some mystical or religious basis. Furthermore, I see no need for immortality; once around will suffice. So read Stenger's book; I promise you're in for an emotional experience!
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