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God and the Atom Hardcover – April 9, 2013
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- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY
Praise for the New York Times bestseller God: The Failed Hypothesis:
"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
About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
"God and the Atom" is the instructive history of the atom. Dr. Stenger takes the reader on a ride through time from Aristotle to the present and in doing so makes the strong case that atoms and the void indeed are all there is. This book chronicles the empirical confirmation of atomism and the notion that we can reduce everything to its parts. It's a challenging topic that starts off mostly historical, and becomes increasingly scientific but ultimately rewarding as Dr. Stenger brings it all together at the end. This educational 300-page book is composed of the following fifteen chapters: 1. Ancient Atomism, 2. Atoms Lost and Found, 3. Atomism and the Scientific Revolution, 4. The Chemical Atom, 5. Atoms Revealed, 6. Light and the Aether, 7. Inside the Atom, 8. Inside the Nucleus, 9. Quantum Fields, 10. The Rise of Particle Physics, 11. The Dreams that Stuff is Made Of, 12. Atoms and the Cosmos, and 13. Summary and Conclusions.
1. A well-written, well-researched book about the history of the atom.
2. Dr. Stenger has complete command of the topic. For the physics lovers in all of us.
3. A physics heavy book but the author keeps math to a minimum and focuses on the history and scientific concepts.
4. In defense of atomism and reductionism. Defining the terms and providing compelling arguments for its justification.
5. Dr. Stenger is always provocative and persuasive. "Time and again, we hear from scientists, philosophers, theologians, spiritualist gurus, and laypeople that "the whole is greater than the sum of its parts." We will see that while this statement is technically true, it is far less profound than its proponents claim."
6. Interesting history.Read more ›
Although "GOD" appears prominently on the cover, the conflict between theism, that denied atoms, and the atheism of Democritus and other early proponents is only a very small part of the story, and one that seems almost accidental. One suspects Stenger's publisher wanted "GOD" to be in the title. The conflict between atomism and theism is just another aspect of the general conflict between science and religion. Science is skeptical. It tests and discards old theories and creates new theories based on new evidence. Religion is based on faith in an unchanging transcendent revelation and so tends to get stuck with ancient ideas.
His atoms moved about randomly through empty space, sometimes careening off each other into new directions and sometimes latching onto geometrically compatible atoms to coalesce into us and the objects we see in reality. In time these objects, including us, come to an end, and their constituent atoms separate back into the void until they ever recoalese into some new thing. Nowhere in his model did a creator determine any beginnings or ends.
Later Epicurus relied in part on their atomistic model when he developed his philosophic school, wherein the goal of life was not limited or determined by gods. Like everything else, the gods were composed of atoms from the void, and like everyone else, they pursued their own interests. They did not especially concern themselves with human matters.
Moreover, as products of material atoms in an otherwise empty void, we and our souls would simply disintegrate after death. No hell could receive a soul that no longer existed, nor could a heaven reward the scattered parts of the obedient person's soul. Thus humans waste time and squander opportunities if they try to conform to imagined dictates from supposedly controlling gods.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Deep insight into the implications of physics along with a fascinating history of atomism since the Greeks. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Adrian Cockcroft
An excellent overview of the history of our scientific progress over the last few centuries (in spite of the constant opposition of the church). Read morePublished 16 months ago by Charles Hurlburt
Perhaps a very good counter view to Dr. Stenger can be found in the recent eBook "Does the Atom have a Designer? Read morePublished 23 months ago by Whitedoves
God has been on our minds a lot lately. We hear arguments about the existence of God and whether God is necessary in order for the universe to exist. Read morePublished 23 months ago by D. Wayne Dworsky
The book is beautifully written, and moves you effortlessly from philosophy, to science and back to philosophy... Read morePublished on January 18, 2014 by Fadi
If you love science and brilliant ideas that have changed the world, this book is for you. I've learned so much from this book. Read morePublished on January 16, 2014 by Andrea Garatshun
......ZERO IS BETTER THAN MINUS THREE, OR SUCH
Well, people have complained that I rated this brand new masterpiece by Stenger Zero stars. Read more
but I only went to High School. A lot of this was over my head. I own three other books by Dr Stenger.Published on September 1, 2013 by Donald E. Gould
The first third of the book is a concise, readable history of early particle physics beginning with classical Greece and the duality between Aristotle and Epicurus. Read morePublished on August 23, 2013 by Amazon Customer