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God and the Folly of Faith: The Incompatibility of Science and Religion Paperback – April 24, 2012
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"I learned an enormous amount from this splendid book."
-Richard Dawkins, author of the New York Times best-seller 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
From the Hardcover edition.
More About the Author
Moving to Los Angeles on a Hughes Aircraft Company fellowship, Dr. Stenger received a master's of science degree in physics from UCLA in 1959 and a PhD in physics in 1963. He then took a position on the faculty of the University of Hawaii, retiring to Colorado in 2000. He currently is emeritus professor of physics at the University of Hawaii and adjunct professor of philosophy at the University of Colorado. Dr. Stenger is a fellow of the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry and a research fellow of the Center for Inquiry. Dr. Stenger has also held visiting positions on the faculties of the University of Heidelberg in Germany, Oxford in England (twice), and has been a visiting researcher at Rutherford Laboratory in England, the National Nuclear Physics Laboratory in Frascati, Italy, and the University of Florence in Italy.
His research career spanned the period of great progress in elementary particle physics that ultimately led to the current standard model. He participated in experiments that helped establish the properties of strange particles, quarks, gluons, and neutrinos. He also helped pioneer the emerging fields of very high-energy gamma-ray and neutrino astronomy. In his last project before retiring, Dr. Stenger collaborated on the underground experiment in Japan that in 1998 showed for the first time that the neutrino has mass. The Japanese leader of this experiment shared the 2002 Nobel Prize for this work.
Victor Stenger has had a parallel career as an author of critically well-received popular-level books that interface between physics and cosmology and philosophy, religion, and pseudoscience. These include: Not by Design: The Origin of the Universe (1988); Physics and Psychics: The Search for a World beyond the Senses (1990); The Unconscious Quantum: Metaphysics in Modern Physics and Cosmology (1995); Timeless Reality: Symmetry, Simplicity, and Multiple Universes (2000); Has Science Found God? The Latest Results in the Search for Purpose in the Universe (2003); The Comprehensible Cosmos: Where Do the Laws of Physics Come From? (2006); God: The Failed Hypothesis--How Science Shows That God Does Not Exist (2007); Quantum Gods: Creation, Chaos, and the Search for Cosmic Consciousness (2009); The New Atheism: Taking a Stand for Science and Reason (2009); The Fallacy of Fine-Tuning: Why the Universe is Not Designed for Us (2011); God and the Folly of Faith: The Incompatibility of Science and Religion (2012). God: The Failed Hypothesis made the New York Times Best Seller List in March 2007.
Vic and his wife, Phylliss, have been happily married since 1962 and have two children and four grandchildren. They now live in Lafayette, Colorado. They travel the world as often as they can.
Dr. Stenger maintains a website where much of his writing can be found, at http://www.colorado.edu/philosophy/vstenger.
Top Customer Reviews
Stenger takes us on a quick and lively ride. Each chapter briefly covers data that volumes have been written about. Those familiar with the history of science and familiar with the perennial conflicts between science and religion will see familiar names and will have read many of the books in his bibliography.
Preface: From the beginning, all religions have been concerned with keeping the status quo. Science, on the other hand, is continuously being fine-tuned, as new evidence is found and studied. Religion is based on things supernatural that have proven to be undetectable by scientific methods. Science is based on things observable and testable. Although many have tried to demonstrate otherwise, science and religion are incompatible. Scientists who are religious, when they enter their churches, usually check their scientific hats at the door.
Chapter 1 Introduction: Despite efforts to rewrite history, science was effectively squelched by religion from the last days of the Roman Empire until shortly before the Enlightenment. "All the great pioneers of science - Copernicus, Galileo, Kepler, and Newton - were believers, although they hardly had a choice in the matter. Open nonbelief was nonexistent in the West at that time.Read more ›
In conclusion I tip my hat to the religious institution I was a part of for the mental excersise of faith. Now I must carry on with more productive mental excersises, THANK YOU VERY MUCH.
The reader is treated to the history of the conflict between science and religion where Stenger argues there is a fundamental conflict between the two. "Science" he writes, "has earned our trust by its proven success. Religion has destroyed our trust by its repeated failures. Using the empirical method, science has eliminated smallpox, flown men to the moon, and discovered DNA. If science did not work, we wouldn't do it. Relying on faith, religion has brought us inquisitions, holy wars, and intolerance. Religion does not work, but we still do it." (p. 25)
Stenger writes in hopes that he can stem the tide of the growing distrust of science in America. It is a call for scientists and other rationalists "to join together to put a stop to those who insist they have some sacred right to decide what kind of society the rest of us must live in--for the sake of the future of the planet and the betterment of mankind. Hopefully in perhaps another generation America will have joined Europe and the rest of the developed world in shucking off the rusty chains of ancient superstition that stand in as an impediment to science and progress. (p. 30)
Believers generally do not trust science. Stenger's book is the antidote. Believers will see just how science works and why it is to be trusted over anything religion has ever produced. "Science and religion are fundamentally incompatible," Stenger argues, "because of their unequivocally opposed epistemologies--the separate assumptions they make concerning what we can know about the world." (p.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is an important book to read regardless or your religious persuasion. Science has been impuned by people with no factual data to back up their position and who have lied about... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Ed V
This is the second Victor J. Stenger book I have read and I must say it's the best of the two. Stenger tackles every aspect of religion and how it relates to science. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Robert Williams
I have read a few of Victor Stenger's books and I find them quite refreshing and clear-headed.Published 6 months ago by Rick Ferro
Victor John Stenger (born 1935) is an American particle physicist, philosopher, author, and religious skeptic; he is also a regular featured science columnist for the Huffington... Read morePublished 8 months ago by Steven H Propp
Victor Stenger is sadly misinformed. His argument that we shouldn't believe that Jesus even existed and was crucified (which is contradicted in both Roman historical documents and... Read morePublished 10 months ago by Stephanie Thomason
“God And the Folly of Faith” is the most advanced and insightful book I've read on the issue of science and religion. Read morePublished 13 months ago by Bakari Chavanu
Those who accept God as a "given" do not rationally come to this conclusion. It is indoctrinated into us as children without logical argument. Read morePublished 13 months ago by Barry Hoffman