Many authors claim that modern science supports the proposition that God exists, but very few authors have directly challenged this assertion. Physicist Victor J. Stenger point out that if scientific arguments for the existence of God are included in intellectual, not to mention political discourse, then arguments against his existence should also be considered. In God: The Failed Hypothesis, Stenger argues that science has advanced sufficiently to make a definitive statement on the existence--or nonexistence--of the traditional Judeo-Christian-Islamic God. He invites readers to put their minds and the scientific method to work to test this claim.
By using five principle conditions for evaluating extraordinary claims, Stenger treats the existence of God like any other scientific hypothesis, stipulating that God should be detectable by scientific means, given that he is supposed to play a central role in the operation of the universe and in the lives of humans.
Stenger provides hypothetical examples in which scientific research could in principle demonstrate conclusively that God exists. By examining the studies done by reputable institutions on the power of prayer; writing of philosophers who have puzzled over the problem of God and of good and evil; the efforts of biblical scholars to prove the accuracy of holy scripture; and the work of biologists, geologists, and astronomers looking for clues to a creator on Earth and in the cosmos, Stenger determines that all these human endeavors fail to demonstrate the existence of a divine creator. He convincingly shows that not only is there no evidence of God, but scientific observations actually point to his nonexistence. Life on Earth looks just as it should if were not designed, and indeed, the universe looks and operates just as it should if it appeared spontaneously from nothing.
Even though the scientific community has largely disavowed "theories" such as intelligent design that claim to prove God's existence, ancient beliefs in a creator deity persist. Stenger concludes, after reflecting on the long history of misrepresentation and manipulation of scientific fact regarding God, that our world actually is worse off as a result of religious faith. "The certainty and exclusiveness of the major monotheisms make tolerance of differences very difficult to achieve, and these differences are the major source of conflict," he writes. Instead of holding on to ancient superstitions, Stenger stresses the importance of finding meaning internally rather than externally and reminds us that beauty and inspiration can indeed arise from secular sources. [from the jacket]