New York Times best seller!
No. 21 In March, 2007
God: The Failed Hypothesis
How Science Shows That God Does Not Exist
Paperback has Foreword by Christopher Hitchens
the notion has arisen that science has nothing to say about a supreme
being that much of humanity worships as the source of all reality. Yet,
in recent years theologians and theistic scientists have claimed that
modern science provides evidence for the proposition that God exists.
If scientific arguments for the existence of God are to be allowed into
intellectual discourse, then those against his existence also have a
In the present book, I argue that by this moment in time science has
advanced sufficiently to be able to make a definitive statement on the
existence or nonexistence of a God having the attributes that are
commonly associated with the Judaic-Christian-Islamic God. My analysis
is based on the contention that this God should be readily detectable
by scientific means—simply by virtue of the fact that he plays such a
central role in the operation of the universe and in the lives of
The process I will follow is the scientific method of hypothesis
testing. The existence of God will be taken as a scientific hypothesis
and the consequences of that hypothesis searched for in objective
observations of the world around us. We will see that many of the
attributes commonly associated with God have specific consequences that
can be tested empirically.
This search for evidence of God will be conducted according to the same
standards that are applied in the investigation of any extraordinary
claim in science. After evaluating all the evidence, we conclude beyond
a reasonable doubt that the universe and life look exactly as they can
be expected to look if there is no God.
Although most scientists do not believe in God, they are unwilling to
challenge the deeply held beliefs of the majority of Americans and
others worldwide. I am a physicist who refuses to equivocate. The God
worshipped by the billion of followers of the monotheistic religions
either exists or he does not. And his existence is a legitimate
If God is the intelligent designer of life on Earth, then we should
find evidence for that in observations of the structure of life. We do
not. If God has endowed humans with immaterial souls and is the source
of morality, then we should find evidence for that in observations of
human behavior. We do not. If God answers prayers, then we should see
miraculous effects of prayer. We do not. If God has revealed truths to
humanity, then those truths should be empirically verified. They are
not. If God is the creator of the universe and the laws of nature, then
we should find evidence for that in astronomy and physics. We do not.
If humans are a special creation of God, then the universe should be
congenial to human life. It is not.
The universe and life look exactly as they can be expected to look if
there is no God.
Slideshow. PDF of original
Errata in hardback edition.
edition has a foreword
by Christopher Hitchens and a new Postscript
by the author.
Errata in paperback
You can watch, listen to or read interviews of Vic Stenger at these
Naturalism YouTube interview by Tom Flynn, editor of Free Inquiry.
This has a You-Tube video of talk to CFI Toronto on April 5, 2007.
Start at part 3. This site also has links to other relevent videos and
News Column in West Virginia web newspaper.
Debate in Sydney, Aug. 19, 2008.
Doubts This podcast has the
best summary of my views.
up in debate with William Lane Craig (2007).
comments to: vic.stenger#comcast.net
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