Vic Stenger


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Anthropics

The Anthropic Coincidences: A Natural Explanation (1999) (Off Site)

Stenger argues that the fine-tuning argument is flawed because it assumes that only one kind of life, ours, is possible in every configuration of universes. Stenger also provides a naturalistic explanation for the anthropic coincidences.

Anthropic Design: Does the Cosmos Show Evidence of Purpose (1999) (Off Site)

A shorter version of Stenger's "Anthropic Coincidences" article.

Cosmythology: Is The Universe Fine-Tuned To Produce Us? (1996) (Downloadable PDF) (Off Site)

The latest concoction of the argument from design utilizes the socalled anthropic coincidences to assert that the universe is fine tuned for life. The contention is that a random set of physical constants would have had negligible chance for producing us. Undoubtedly, if the universe were to start again from scratch with random parameters it would not look at all the way it does today. However, it can be shown that the conditions necessary for the evolution of some form of life would have arisen from a wide variation in physical constants.

Intelligent Design: Humans, Cockroaches, And The Laws Of Physics (1998) (Off Site)

The process in which we are engaged is the search for rational evidence for or against intelligent design. It does not suffice to say that intelligent design is possible, and proponents of intelligent design have no right to re-cast the question as one in which the non-existence of intelligent design must be proven. Within the framework of Occam's razor, intelligent design is an added hypothesis and the proponent's burden is to demonstrate why it is necessary to make this hypothesis. I have argued that no evidence or rational argument for intelligent design can be found in either the data or the theories of modern physics and cosmology. If the hypothesis of intelligent design is to be discussed in science classrooms, then good science methodology demands that we make clear that this is an uneconomical hypothesis that is not required by existing scientific knowledge.

Is the Universe Fine-Tuned for Us? (draft) (Downloadable PDF) (Off Site)

The fine-tuning argument would tell us that the Sun radiates light so that we can see where we are going. In fact, the human eye evolved to be sensitive to light from the sun. The universe is not fine-tuned for humanity. Humanity is fine-tuned to the universe.

Natural Explanations for the Anthropic Coincidences (2000) (Downloadable PDF) (Off Site)

The anthropic coincidences are widely claimed to provide evidence for intelligent creation in the universe. However, neither data nor theory supports this conclusion. No basis exists for assuming that a random universe would not have some kind of life. Calculations of the properties of universes having different physical constants than ours indicate that long-lived stars are not unusual, and thus most universes should have time for complex systems of some type to evolve. A multi-universe scenario is not ruled out since no known principle requires that only one universe exist.

Physics, Cosmology, and the New Creationism (2002) (Downloadable PDF) (Off Site)

A draft chapter for a new book entitled, Scientists Confront Creationism II.

Science and Religion

Intelligent Design: The New Stealth Creationism (2000) (Downloadable PDF, Off Site)

Stenger argues that intelligent design arguments amount to just one more set of variations on the ancient argument from design and as such should be considered pseudoscientific rather than scientific. "The intelligent design movement," Stenger writes, "is nothing more than stealth creationism, yet another effort to insinuate the particular sectarian belief of a personal creator into science education."

The Breath of God: Identifying Spiritual Energy (2001) (Downloadable PDF) (Off Site)

If other forms of energy exist beyond those recognized by physics, these should still be detectable in controlled experiments by the observation of apparent violation of energy conservation. This includes the psychic energy associated with paranormal phenomena, the vital energies supposedly manipulated in alternative medicine, and even supernatural or spiritual energy. So far all the data are consistent with conservation of the known forms of energy. Furthermore, observations indicate that the total energy of the universe is zero, and so no outside energy was necessary to bring it about.

Flew's Flawed Science (2005) (Off Site)

In addressing well-known atheist Antony Flew's recent "conversion" to a form of deism, ostensibly based on recent scientific discoveries, Stenger takes a look at such works as The Science of God, by Gerald Schroeder, Darwin's Black Box, by Michael Behe, and The Design Inference, by William Dembski--works that were, in part, responsible for Flew's change of heart.

The God of Falling Bodies Galileo, Newton, Bentley, and Leibniz Chat on the Internet (2001) (Off Site)

Stenger examines contemporary dialogue between science and religion from the perspective of a fictional conversation between the modern-day versions of Galileo, Newton, and Leibniz.

Has Science Found God? (1998/1999) (Off Site)

The Other Side of Time (1999) (Off Site)

Short essay on the Kalam cosmological argument in which it is shown that the universe need not have had a beginning.

Physics and Metaphysics

ESP And Cold Fusion: Parallels in Pseudoscience (Downloadable PDF, Off Site)

The Myth Of Quantum Consciousness (Downloadable PDF, Off Site)

A rebuttal to Robert Lanza's claim that, according to the current quantum mechanical view of reality, "We are all the ephemeral forms of a consciousness greater than ourselves."

Quantum Metaphysics (Off Site)

Talk given at the Westminster College, Oxford Conference on the Modern Spiritualities, March 1995.

Quantum Quackery (Off Site)

Quantum physics is claimed to support the mystical notion that the mind creates reality. However, an objective reality, with no special role for consciousness, human or cosmic, is consistent with all observations.

 

Reviews

Beyond the Big Bang: Quantum Cosmologies and God by Willem Drees (1992) (Off Site)

The Big Bang Never Happened by Eric Lerner (1992) (Off Site)

Cranks, Quarks and the Cosmos by Jeremy Bernstein (1993) (Off Site)

Dreams of a Final Theory by Steven Weinberg (1994) (Off Site)

The Physics of Immortality by Frank Tipler (1995) (Off Site)

The Science of God: The Convergence of Scientific and Biblical Wisdom by Gerald L. Schroeder (1998)

The Creator and the Cosmos by Hugh Ross (1998)

Belief in God in the Age of Science by John Polkinghorne (1998)

The Cosmic Blueprint by Paul Davies (2004) (Off Site)

 

See Also:

Interview with Cliff Walker (1999) (Off Site)

Science and Religion

Various articles on this subject listed by Vic Stenger on his own website.


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