God and the Folly of Faith

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  • Edition: Original
  • Format: Trade Paper
  • Copyright: 4/24/2012
  • Publisher: Prometheus Books
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A sweeping historical survey that begins with ancient Greek science and proceeds through the Renaissance and Enlightenment to contemporary advances in physics and cosmology, makes a convincing case that Christianity held back the progress of science.

Author Biography

Victor J. Stenger is adjunct professor of philosophy at the University of Colorado and emeritus professor of physics and astronomy at the University of Hawaii. He is the author of the New York Times bestseller God: The Failed Hypothesis, The New Atheism, and many other books.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsp. 13
Forewordp. 15
Prefacep. 25
Introductionp. 31
The Earliest Skirmishesp. 47
Origins of Religionp. 47
Caveman Logicp. 49
The First Scientistsp. 51
The Atomistsp. 54
Pythagorasp. 56
Creation and Designp. 57
Epicurus and Lucretiusp. 59
Aristotlep. 62
Early Christian Philosophyp. 65
The Rebirth and Triumph of Sciencep. 67
Arabic Sciencep. 67
Europe Awakensp. 70
Science in Islam Todayp. 71
The First European Universitiesp. 72
Science as the Handmaiden of Religionp. 74
The Medieval Worldviewp. 76
Aquinas Rebuffedp. 77
The New Sciencep. 79
Galileop. 82
Newton's Lawsp. 86
Halley's Cornerp. 90
The Newtonian World Machinep. 90
The Enlightenmentp. 93
Three Philosophical Viewsp. 95
Did Christianity Beget Science?p. 99
Darwin, Design, and Deityp. 101
Natural Theologyp. 101
Natural Selectionp. 102
Dissent and Disputep. 104
Darwin and Designp. 108
Evolutionary Politicsp. 111
Evolution Theologyp. 120
Social Evolutionp. 122
Religion as a Virusp. 124
Toward the New Physicsp. 127
Putting Heat to Workp. 127
Thermotheologyp. 129
The Wave Nature of Lightp. 130
Fieldsp. 131
The Arrow of Timep. 134
Special Relativityp. 136
Cause and Effectp. 138
General Relativityp. 140
Practicles and Wavesp. 141
The Dematerialization of Matterp. 141
The History of Quantum Mechanicsp. 142
Quantum Fieldsp. 146
Toward the Standard Modelp. 148
Quantum Spiritualityp. 151
Divine Actions without Miraclesp. 153
The End of Dualityp. 154
Quantum Realityp. 156
Is Quantum Mechanics Complete?p. 160
Cosmos and Creatorp. 165
Creation Mythsp. 166
Big Bang Theologyp. 167
Big Bang Sciencep. 176
Natural Originsp. 186
Quantum Tunnelingp. 187
Tunneling from (or through) Nothingp. 188
The Grand Accidentp. 189
The Universe as a Quantum Computerp. 194
The Cosmic Insignificance of Humanityp. 197
Purposep. 199
Contingency or Convergence?p. 199
Teilhard's Omega Pointp. 202
Tipler's Omega Pointp. 204
Reductionism versus Holismp. 205
Weak Emergencep. 207
Self-Organizationp. 212
Strong Emergencep. 215
The Definition of Lifep. 218
The Origin of Lifep. 220
Transcendencep. 223
The Afterlifep. 223
Beyond Matterp. 225
Religion and Healthp. 226
Spiritual Energyp. 229
Religious Experiencesp. 230
Near-Death Experiences: Historical Datap. 230
Veridical NDEsp. 232
Maria and the Shoep. 233
The Blind Shall Seep. 234
Near-Death Experiences: Recent Datap. 234
Problems with NDEsp. 235
Reincarnationp. 238
Investigation the Paranormalp. 239
The Physics of Christianityp. 243
The Rematerialization of Matterp. 244
A Personal Remembrancep. 245
Science and Eastern Mysticismp. 246
Beyond Evolutionp. 249
Justice and Moralityp. 249
Did Morality Evolve?p. 250
What Do the Data Say?p. 252
Atheist Terrorp. 255
Slaveryp. 256
Does Morality Prove God Exists?p. 257
The Postevolutionary Phasep. 259
Matter and Mindp. 261
Body and Soulp. 261
The Material Brainp. 263
Consciousnessp. 267
Free Willp. 269
The Quantum Brainp. 270
Metaphor, Atheist Spirituality, and Immanencep. 273
A Metaphorical Godp. 273
Spiritual Atheismp. 275
The Modernist View of Religionp. 277
Science Works Betterp. 280
From Conflict to Incompatibilityp. 283
The State of Religion Todayp. 283
Is Religion Good for You?p. 287
Summary of Conflictsp. 290
Confrontation or Accommodation?p. 297
Why Does It Matter?p. 301
The American Anomalyp. 301
The Ups and Downs of Science in the Public Mindp. 304
The Cultural Dividep. 306
Tobacco and Pollutionp. 310
Global Warmingp. 313
The Impending Crashp. 320
A Final Conclusionp. 322
Notesp. 323
Bibliographyp. 363
Indexp. 389
About the Authorp. 407
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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