A review of Victor Stenger's book "God and the Folly of Faith

(Albert Leo) #1
  1. Victor J. Stenger; ‘God and the Folly of Faith’ ‘The Incompatibility of Science and Religion’
    Biography: Stenger was raised in Catholic environment; got PhD in Theoretical physics at UCLA in 1963

CONTRARY to BioLogos position:
Preface p.28: “Science and religion today mix like oil and water. Even scientists who
are religious keep religion out of their work”
p. 45: “The incompatibility between science and religion becomes especially striking on the question of the origin of morality and ethical behavior.” {Here Stenger must be
contrasting ‘religion’ and ‘spirituality’. See p. 44 below.}
p.203 (quoting William Provine): “There are no gods, no purposes, no goal-directed
forces of any kind. There is no life after death…There is no ultimate foundation of
ethics, no ultimate meaning of life, and no free will for humans either.”
p. 265: “Not only is religion in the brain, it is a brain dysfunction…”

SUPPORTIVE of Bio Logos position
p. 44: “…we do not yet have a plausible physical model …(for) the nature of
consciousness. …”the door to some immaterial reality in human consciousness is
still open a tiny crack,…”
“While a primitive morality can be found in animals and early humans that evolved
biologically, our modern ideas of morality more likely evolved socially as humans found ways to overcome some of their animal instincts by force of intellect. Not only did these developments allow people to live together in some semblance of order, they also allowed us to use the ability to act cooperatively to obtain resources from the
environment, to protect ourselves from predators and other natural dangers.

p.258: (quoting Sam Harris) “While the possibilities of human experience must be
realized in the brains that evolution has built for us, our brains were not designed with a view to our ultimate fulfillment.” {Harris does not take into account that Darwinian
evolution, through exaptation, ‘overdesigned’ the human brain. When the ‘exapted’ version of it was‘programmed’, then current needs could update the program in Lamarkian fashion to anticipate ‘ultimate fulfillment’.}
Al Leo

(system) #2

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