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Science and Nonbelief Paperback – November 30, 2007

4.7 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"This book, which defends nonbelief effectively from some attacks based on science (particularly those using intelligent design, anthropci principles or paranormal phenomena), could influence an inquirer to that that the claims of Christianity are false. Edis seeks to protect the scientific community's ability to benefit society, both against restrictions coming from religious conservatives, and against recognition of pseudoscientific ideas. The committed Christian reader could be helped to identify arguments to avoid in apologetics, and unresolved conflicts between science and faith." - Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith

"This clear, balanced survey of the interactions between science and religious doubt includes issues raised by physics, biology, neuroscience, pseudoscience, and philosophy. Designed for advanced students, it includes some primary sources." - VOYA

"[T]his is an intelligent and well-balanced book that carefully considers all the arguments offered on both sides of the issue of science and belief. The author refuses to take the easy way out of saying that science and religion are dealing with different realms: one being limited to facts, the other focusing on meaning….Overall, this is an excellent book for the layman and professional alike. Anyone interested in the subject would find this to be one of the few contemporary books that approaches these controversial issues with more light than heat." - Catholic Library World

"In the context not only of the intellectual debates between scientific and supernatural or transcendent realities, but also the political relationship between the social institutions of science and religion, Edis explores what he calls science-minded nonbelief, which takes the naturalism of current science as the leading reason to reject the existence of spiritual realities. He touches on social and well as natural science, discusses philosophical disputes and scientific ideas, and incorporates the complex historical interactions between science and nonbelief." - SciTech Book News --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

About the Author

Taner Edis (Kirksville, MO) is an associate professor of physics at Truman State University and the author of The Ghost in the Universe: God in Light of Modern Science and An Illusion of Harmony: Science and Religion in Islam, among other publications.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 283 pages
  • Publisher: Prometheus Books; Updated Paperback Ed edition (November 30, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1591025613
  • ISBN-13: 978-1591025610
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,843,532 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Taner Edis has written a marvelously critical overview of where naturalism and supernaturalism collide. Books in this vein tend to be overly biased in favor of one side or the other, but Edis somehow maintains an edge of skepticism toward even his own viewpoints. Strength rests in this book where it points out the incomplete and weak areas of a fully naturalistic account of existence. The tactic utilized seemed to be very effective in that, generally speaking, he shows why naturalistic accounts are the best explanations, why their supernaturalistic rivals are woefully inadequate or just plain wrong, and then he points out the potential weak spots for those who hold to naturalism. I found this approach especially refreshing seeing that this method invites critical reflection on the issues at hand - something that the epistemological methodology of supernatural belief often lacks.

Chapter 1: Science, Philosophy, and Religious Doubt

This chapter is a very good overview for framing the thesis of the book. It contains the historical background of science, philosophy, and doubt and traces their beginnings in ancient Greece, their revitalization during the Enlightenment and how this trend is (and isn't) being carried into today. This chapter also gives a good introduction to the meta-representational differences between naturalism and supernaturalism.

Chapter 2: An Accidental World

Providing a primer on our current and mature physical picture of the universe, Edis explains why "commonsense" notions of believing in a Designer-god such as the "anthropic principle" are inadequate when one has a good understanding of physics.
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Format: Paperback
Of all the books I've read on this topic, this one takes the cake. Edis presents well-thought out, logical, and unbiased arguments - a combination particularly difficult to find on a subject like this. The author examines each of his topics thoroughly, and his writing demonstrates skill, fair-mindedness, and expertise that far exceeds other books I have read on science and nonbelief. This book expounds complex ideas in a digestible way that holds the reader's interest while introducing intricate concepts and ideas. Edis explicates the politics and history behind creationism, intelligent design, and Darwinism in addition to their principles, claims, and assertions. It is quite easy to take this author's writings seriously because he does not make the mistake of appearing elevated, bombastic, or egotistical; he simply offers the facts and spreads his prodigious knowledge on to the rest of us.
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Format: Paperback
If all physicists had the grasp of philosophy, biology, human prehistory, religion and new age bunkum that this writer has the world would have been a better place. Having read Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett, Paul Kurtz, Sam Harris, Matt Ridley, Steven Weinberg, Jared Diamond, Peter Watson, Frederick Streng, Peter J Gould, Joseph Campbell, Ninian Smart, Michael Shermer, Stephen Hawking, Simon Blackburn, Philip Kitcher, Charles Freeman, Karen Armstrong, Hector Avalos, Robert M Price and many others, Taner Edis stands apart with this single volume that introduces the reader to just about all the important topics that these writers have explored.

The book (dare I call it a landmark publication?) leads the reader effortlessly through all the important topics related to nonbelief. The style is clear and convincing, the scope expansive and the author self-assured and well informed. His insights are wider than most of his peers and his exposition of the subject convincing. Unlike Dawkins he never snaps at religion, unlike Harris he doesn't stop short at vague mysticism, and unlike anyone else I've read his understanding of the central issues seems unmatched. And he adds just that touch of sarcasm where opportune, Heisenberg's uncertainty principle's "oracular" reputation outside physical science being a juicy example. I also appreciated his unapologetic naming of the phenomenon under discussion as nonbelief rather than atheism, agnosticism or "bright-ism".

And he puts his finger on the pulse when he laments science and skepticism's standing in society amid the pseudosciences, new age bunkum and other intellectual hallucinations.
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Format: Paperback
This book presents a very comprehensive and fair-minded accessment of how science and religion differ in shaping human thoughts about life and the nature of our universe. Additionally and of equal importance, it offers an extensive description of the socio-political implications that these differences hold for a society such as ours in the USA. While it is written in language for an intellectually astute audience, I recommend this book for skeptics and believers alike. It will open a few eyes and a few minds.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Whereas Science is involved with the investigation of the secular (Natural) world, Religion is about morality for which it employs and depends on a supernatural world with supernatural entities. The problem for religion is the threat science poses by being capable to disprove and refute many of religion's claims. Taner Edis discusses the differences between these two domains in a very clear and understandable manner in his book SCIENCE AND NONBELIEF.
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