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God and the Multiverse: Humanity's Expanding View of the Cosmos 2nd Printing Edition

4.1 out of 5 stars 26 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1616149703
ISBN-10: 1616149701
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Editorial Reviews

Review

God and the Multiverse takes you on a cosmological trek through eternal inflation, multiple universes, quantum gravity, and God. This book will forever change the way you view reality.”  
Dr. Peter Boghossian, author of A Manual for Creating Atheists
 
“A masterful lesson on cutting-edge cosmology. It also presents a broad and penetrating rebuttal to claims that science offers anything approaching proof of the existence of supernatural gods. When people say that Earth was intelligently fine-tuned for life or that the universe reveals itself to be a magical creation, this is the perfect book to place in their hands. Light on speculations and heavy with evidence-based conclusions, God and the Multiverse is a remarkable tour through reality that is sure to deepen anyone’s understanding of the cosmos.”    
Guy P. Harrison, author of Think: Why You Should Question Everything
 
“Victor J. Stenger provides a methodical, comprehensive review of the scientific developments necessary to grasp the fundamental problems and current ideas in cosmology, the origin of the universe, and the notions of god that emerge from these. An informative read, indispensable for audiences interested in these and similar issues.”
Demos Kazanas, NASA, Goddard Space Flight Center

“The multiverse is one of the most exciting and controversial ideas in all of science today, with implications for both cosmology and theology, and there is no one writing on these topics better than Victor Stenger. His exposition of difficult topics in physics is brilliantly lucid; and his treatment of theologians and their religious beliefs, unfailingly fair. With this book you are in the hands of a masterful thinker and writer. If you are going to read just one book on science and religion, this is that work.”
Michael Shermer, publisher of Skeptic magazine, monthly columnist for Scientific American, and author of The Moral Arc, Why Darwin Matters, and The Believing Brain
 
“In this fascinating and provocative book, Stenger takes us on an eye-opening journey down the road of scientific progress from the earliest of creation myths and cosmologies to the frontiers of modern science—including the growing consensus that our universe is part of a much vaster, perhaps infinite, multiverse. Along the way we find the roadside littered with failed cosmologies, discarded creator gods, and antiquated ways of thinking about the cosmos and our place in it. This books is truly a must read for anyone interested in the development of scientific cosmology and the various ways it clashes with the religions of yesterday and today!”
Gregg D. Caruso, author of Free Will and Consciousness, editor in chief of Science, Religion & Culture

“Although a prominent and outspoken atheist, Stenger has never opposed the existence of God, per se. What he passionately repudiates is the unwarranted acceptance and celebration of anything not found in the data. Equally egregious to this prolific writer is the plague of intellectual laziness and its profligate yield. Avoiding the miasma of bloviating bluster, Stenger skillfully articulates the reasons why science is uniquely qualified to enlighten curious minds and advance empirical understandings. God and the Multiverse is chock-full of compelling arguments why God is supererogatory and that any discussion of divine providence is an unproductive exercise.”
Dr. Kim M. Clark, author of Escaping the Darkness of Religious Light
 
“With insight and sometimes with personal stories, Stenger takes us in eminently readable fashion through the history of the universe and of our understanding of it. He is a friendly guide, and both historically minded readers and those searching for the latest about the Higgs boson, dark matter, inflation, and gravity waves are accommodated. He evaluates the relevance of religion at many points, as a theme, but the book can be happily read with or without that interest.”
Jay M. Pasachoff, Field Memorial Professor of Astronomy at Williams College and chair of the Historical Astronomy Division of the American Astronomical Society
 
“Stenger has recorded the entire history of multiverse theory from antiquity through the middle ages and all the way to the present. You won’t find this story written anywhere else in such detail. Every important figure, from philosopher to scientist, is placed in the sequence of events, and the strongest evidence confirming the big bang theory is surveyed. And from there we learn why the multiverse is not a flight of fancy but a plausible scientific theory based on hundreds of years of empirical discoveries and observations, which Stenger rightly contrasts with the ridiculous speculations of theologians standing on no evidence whatsoever.”
Richard Carrier, PhD, author of Proving History: Bayes's Theorem and the Quest for the Historical Jesus

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: 447 pages
  • Publisher: Prometheus Books; 2nd Printing edition (September 9, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1616149701
  • ISBN-13: 978-1616149703
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1.4 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #300,782 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Book Shark TOP 500 REVIEWER on September 16, 2014
Format: Hardcover
God and the Multiverse: Humanity's View of the Cosmos by Victor J. Stenger

"God and the Multiverse" traces the history of humanity's view of the cosmos and examines how that view has changed over the last ten thousand years to the present. Sadly, Dr. Stenger passed away before the release of this book in which he makes use of disciplines within physics to present plausible scenarios for a natural origin of our universe and though more speculative infers that our universe is but one of an eternal multiverse that contains unlimited number of other universes. This provocative yet challenging 447-page book includes the following sixteen chapters: 1. From Myth to Science, 2. Toward the New Cosmos, 3. Beyond Unaided Human Vision, 4. Glimpses of the Unimagined, 5. Heat, Light, and the Atom, 6. The Second Physics Revolution, 7. Island Universes, 8. A Dynamic Cosmos, 9. Nuclear Cosmology, 10. Relics of the Big Bang, 11. Particles and the Cosmos, 12. Inflation, 13. Falling Up, 14. Modeling the Universe, 15. The Eternal Multiverse, and 16. Life and God.

Positives:
1. A well-written and well-researched book.
2. An interesting topic, humanity's evolving understanding of the cosmos.
3. Dr. Stenger has a great command of the topic and tries his darndest to keep it accessible.
4. The book's emphasis is on science. That is a focus on observation and experiment than theory. "If a model agrees with the data, then it has something to do with reality."
5. Plenty of graphs, illustrations and charts to assist the reader.
6. Provocative. "Short of divine revelation, for which no evidence exists, I know of no method by which we can determine what is ultimately real.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I find myself in agreement with much of the other reviews. To put it my own words:
This is not a book about the multiverse or "Humanity's Expanding View of the Cosmos." What is said about the multiverse could have been said in a chapter, or two at the most.

It is written in two languages: English and math. There is nothing complicated about the math, but if you do not have a pretty good background in math (I do not) you will have to keep extensive notes to keep up with what the literals stand for and be comfortable with scientific notation. Fortunately for the layman, you do not need to understand the math.

After reading several chapters, I realized that the work is part of an ongoing debate between the author, who takes the position that a supernatural being is not needed to explain the creation of the universe (or multiverse), and those who say God is behind it all. One William Lane Craig is the prime representative of the latter and is attacked, sometimes in a personal way.

To make his case the author tries to convince the reader that "something" can be created from "nothing" by understanding physics. This is an extremely difficult notion to grasp and is not explained well. The definition of nothing is called into question, but not answered, which makes the author's case less tenable.

If you want to understand the concept of multiverse you would probably do better reading a book that does not center on a debate between two opposing camps.

Nevertheless, there is a lot of good physics history included. To avoid the math jargon, which can be intimidating and I suspect would put off those without a math background, just avoid it! You will still get the essence of the physics discussed.
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Format: Hardcover
"On winter mornings," mused a contemplative Stenger, "I can look out my office window to an empty field covered with fresh snow. Occasionally I will see footprints of wild animals ....I rarely see the animals themselves, but I know they exist by the fact that they left footprints. God has left no footprints on the snows of time." And for this acclaimed physicist, we celebrate only what observation and rigorous testing confirms and not what unhinged minds imagine.

In "God and the Multiverse" (his most recent and, sadly, what will be his last of thirteen books), Dr. Stenger explains why nothing - nothing - in the data points to divine providence or remotely suggests that god was ever part of the cosmic algorithm. In all probability, there never was a beginning and nor will there be an end. The Big Bang was a symmetry-breaking event - a phase transition - not a first moment in time. For this prolific writer and erudite physicist, "The widespread assertion that our universe is fine-tuned for life is greatly overblown and not required by known physics. Our existence on Earth is a simple matter of natural selection. With every type of planet possible in the multiverse, we naturally evolved on one with the properties needed for intelligent life. In short, nothing in our observations of the universe requires the existence of God."

Chapters 1-4 are an informative and instructive review of the history of science and our incremental egress from the darkness of religious dogma and primitive thinking. But while Stenger expends great effort presenting chapters 5-15 in language accessible to most readers, physics is, well, physics. And physics is not always intuitive (think quantum mechanics here) or easy to understand.
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