Is there a God, or a spiritual reality beyond nature? Physicist Taner Edis takes a fresh look at this age-old question, focusing on what we have learned about our world rather than on traditional metaphysical disputes. Emphasizing a search for explanation rather than listing flaws in theistic metaphysics, Edis uses the results of natural science to present a world where complexity, intelligence, and even the sublime heights of religious experience emerge from what is ultimately material and random. Sympathetically criticizing Muslim and New Age perspectives, as well as Jewish and Christian arguments, Edis argues that a thoroughgoing naturalism leads to a much better explanation of our world. While making it clear that spiritual views have a genuine intellectual appeal, Edis systematically critiques such arguments, contrasting them with stronger naturalistic explanations. Science is central to this naturalistic picture; modern physics, evolutionary biology, and critical history, as well as contemporary psychology and brain sciences, all cast doubt on any spiritual reality.
Bringing together ideas from many disciplines in a style that remains accessible to nonspecialists, and also interesting to scientists and philosophers, Edis provides an informative, in-depth statement of the case for scientific naturalism as the most accurate and powerful description of our world today.