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


Somehow 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 legitimate place.
 
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 humans.
 
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 scientific issue.

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 Ketnote presentation.

Errata in hardback edition.

Paperback Edition

The paperback edition has a foreword by Christopher Hitchens and a new Postscript by the author.

Errata in paperback edition.

Podcasts and interviews

You can watch, listen to or read interviews of Vic Stenger at these locations among others:

Future of Naturalism YouTube interview by Tom Flynn, editor of Free Inquiry.
Point of Inquiry
Thinking-critically
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 podcasts.
Huntington News Column in West Virginia web newspaper.
IQ2 Debate in Sydney, Aug. 19, 2008.
Reasonable Doubts This podcast has the best summary of my views.
Summing up in debate with William Lane Craig (2007).

Reviews.



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