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The God Experiment: Can Science Prove the Existence of God? Hardcover – November 1, 2000


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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Adult/High School-The author, a nuclear physicist, is fascinated by the meeting points between science and religion. He discusses the laws of physics and moves from chaos theory and random quantum probabilities at the atomic level to evolution, genetics, and DNA, using language that general readers can understand. In a clear, sequential scheme, one idea or concept leads to the next, and a body of knowledge both science-based and faith-based reveals itself as intricately bound together. In the chapter titled "Do Miracles Happen?" Stannard postulates that, for most people, a miracle is a violation of a law of nature. After examining a number of biblical miracle stories, he concludes that these phenomena are not intrinsically impossible; not that they necessarily happen, but that "-belief in miracles is not irrational." He makes clear that there are no simple answers to the questions he poses. Acknowledging that there will be no definitive proof of God's existence, he suggests that readers ask themselves if it doesn't make better sense to assume there is a God. He states, "Scientists and theologians alike must approach their respective data with humility, fully prepared to change their theories in the light of new evidence and insights." Teens are grappling with many of the issues and questions that Stannard addresses, and this book will provide them with interest- ing and arresting views to consider.
Molly Connally, Kings Park Library, Fairfax County, VA
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Review

“Russell Stannard writes with his customary clarity about important concerns relating to how a scientist approaches issues of religious belief.” -- John Polkinghorne, Fellow of Queens’ College, Cambridge and the Royal Society<br /><br />“…stimulating and entertaining. Stannard has that rare gift, especially rare among physicists, for making complex, challenging ideas accessible.” --The Herald, Glasgow
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Hidden Spring (November 1, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1587680076
  • ISBN-13: 978-1587680076
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 6 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #866,875 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By "myerb" on January 23, 2002
Format: Hardcover
I first got acquainted with Stannard's work when he appeared on a popular BBC program as part of a panel of distinguished scientists. The panel was assembled to comment on the problem of creationism in American public schools. When Stannard spoke I was intrigued to hear of an experiment that an organisation he was associated with was conducting: "The God Experiment".
When I saw a copy of the book with the same name at a local book store, I bought it immediately. I had hoped that it described in detail the results of the "prayer" experiment that was out to "prove" (or disprove) God's Existence. Unfortunately mention of the actual experiment, conducted with the assistance of hundreds of patients about to undergo heart surgery, was quite brief and had not been completed at the time of publication. Instead, Stannard proclaims that the actual investigation into the existence of God requires multiple sources of evidence in addition to the actual empirical "prayer" experiment.
Stannard commences by examining whether miracles can indeed occur. After a long discussion, he ultimately confesses that it is up to the individual to make up their mind. He then proceeds to dicuss the views of two psychologists regarding religion. He sides with the theistic psychologist and attempts to discredit the logic of the non-theistic one by employing some very simple, unconvincing arguments. His discussion on why suffering exists in the world is quite amusing. He turns the tables on the reader by proclaiming that in some instances evil and suffering are "necessary" and "good". In the light of this proclamation, he continues to say that it is plausible that God can exist in a world full of suffering. However, once again he concludes by falling back on his favourite expression: "It's a mystery".
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Gwen Puza on December 4, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Russell Stannard is a scientist with the heart, mind, and soul of a theologian/minister and seeks to explore the compatibility of science and religious beliefs. He presents science that the intelligent layperson can understand, including quantum physics and relativity. In presenting evidence for the Big Bang and evolution, he goes beyond the intelligent design theories I have heard before, to include new ways of understanding God's role. He gives wonderful scientific/theological views on miracles, evil and suffering, the resurrection, how the world began, the physical laws of our world and how God relates to them. His exploration of the dimension of time that we live in, but that God is beyond, is wonderfully enlightening and mentally challenging. The analogies he presents when discussing complex issues of science or of God's relationship to us are wonderful new ways of understanding age-old questions.
I highly recommend this book for those seekers or scholars who are trying to comprehend how our concept of God fits with today's scientific knowledge of the world and our place in it.
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11 of 16 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 20, 2003
Format: Hardcover
The author's scientific credentials are impeccable, but his knowledge of Christianity is pretty dismal. For example, he writes that Mary Magdalene was a prostitute. I'm no Biblical scholar, but I know that, not only is there no Scriptural authority for that claim; there is no evidence whatsoever. If a "creation scientist" claimed that the dinosaurs were animals that Noah forgot to put on the Ark, he would be ridiculed as an illiterate Bible pounder. When a man of learning chooses to write about religion and science, he owes it to his audience to be as careful about his religious data as he is about his scientific data. The author accepts the Resurrection on faith, although he says that if it turned out that Jesus didn't rise from the dead, he (Stannard) would still be a Christian. The truth is, if Jesus didn't die and rise again, his whole mission is pointless.
I was disappointed, but others might enjoy this book. It's not the worst book in the world; I may have set my hopes too high.
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5 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Brad Brasher on March 4, 2002
Format: Hardcover
To flesh out what one previous reviewer hinted at, this book attempts what several philanthropic organizations are paying good money for: To meld religion (Faith/Un-reason) and Science (Reason / Unbelief). It is a mildly interesting read, yet Stannard ends up doing a dis-service to both particle/ Astro-physics, and Christian Apologetics. There is a sound thinking behind epistmilogically seperating physics and meta-physics: one is academic, one is artistic. The last culture to wed them with success was the Greek, and we are long past Athenian philosophical treatises on objectivity and subjectivity. Try reading Stephen Hawking, and Debates between Dan Barker and William Craig on The Secular Web. At least it was short, though.
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8 of 31 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 10, 2001
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I dont recommend you waste your money on this book. Rather than accept the biblical accounts of Jesus life as written, the author modifies them (adopting the theories of the most liberal scholars, and manufacturing some strange theories of his own) to fit his ideas of what is possible.
He allegorizes everything from the virgin birth to the resurrection, discounting the disciples eye witness accounts as mere story telling.
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