Friday, December 22, 2006

Curbstone Critic Mentioned in New Book

Prof. Vic Stenger is Emeritus Professor of Astrophysics at the University of Hawaii. He is presently Adjunct Professor of Philosophy at the University of Colorado.

He has written numerous books on science, and science and religion. Above is the dust jacket of his latest, in which this author gets an honorable mention.

Stenger thinks, as do most scientists that there is no need whatsoever, of any supernatural explanation for anything in the universe. In almost 400 years of systematic investigation of nature there is not one single solitary example of any need for any explanation of any phenomena in the universe that involves the supernatural.

Not in physics....

Not in Chemistry...

Not in Biology ...

I am the token biologist on Vic Stenger's listserve where he discusses with his peers what he is writing, and they act as editors and peer reviewers for him. I stay away from the physics, mainly becasuse I don't understand what they are talking about half the time. But I do jump in occasionally when physicists dabble in Biology. Mostly they do an excellent job. They pulled our fat out of the fire in the 70's and 80's when the creationists (I prefer to call them cretinists) crawled out from the woodwork again to make fools of themselves fighting organic evolution. We biologists were absent, in large part, from the battlefield because we thought it was such a stupid subject that it was demeaning to participate. That has all changed.

Stenger offers several examples and knockdowns of old religious canards such as Paley's watchmaker analogy (almost 200 years old) and the Anthropic Principal(s), to show that all these questions are false in themselves and that there is absolutely no reason to suspect any influence outside the laws of nature to either cause them or to explain them.

You can read many of Stenger's articles in the popular literature by going HERE and brousing through his website.

7 Comments:

Anonymous Ole Olson said...

http://xkcd.com/store/shirtpics/

John, I think you'll appreciate the messages on these t-shirts. ZachIsHere pointed me to the site this week. Thank him if you agree!

9:44 PM, December 28, 2006  
Blogger John Stone said...

Great .. I passed it along to PZ at Pharnygula. It will be interesting to see how many of his students will get one. PZ would probably be a lot happier if they had a picture of something slimy and with multiple appendages on them rather than something with teeth.

My favorite science t-shirt has just the number 137 on it. The only ones who understand are physics students --
It is the cosmological fine structure constant of the universe -- one of those rare pure numbers in science, no parameters. See an explanation that noone can understand at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fine_structure_constant

12:01 AM, December 29, 2006  
Blogger island said...

Vic Stenger is an anti-fanatically motivated loser who is making one final last ditch effort at fame and fortune via lame attacks on IDists... which has absoltely nothing to do with science.

And PZ Meyer is following closely to his ideologically motivated footsteps.

Again, zero relationship to science.

Loser fanatics vs Loser Anti-fanatics... So, what's new?

10:04 AM, December 29, 2006  
Blogger John Stone said...

Anyone who would live in a town named "Argyle" should not cast stones at his betters.

PZ and Vic will be delighted, I'm sure to learn they are not scientists. Of course, that would leave open the question of *YOUR* science credentials, wouldn't it.

Geeeeezzzzeeee... and I thought PZ got all the loons ....

10:31 AM, December 29, 2006  
Blogger island said...

Oh, and just an FYI, but it's 1/137. Dirac said that It's a number provided by Nature, and we should expect that a theory will someday provide a reason for it.

A real HONEST scientist would try to figure out what this has to do with the anthropic principle, since Dirac's Large Numbers Hypothesis is where Robert Dicke got his anthropic coincidence from.

http://www.fdavidpeat.com/interviews/dirac.htm

10:35 AM, December 29, 2006  
Blogger island said...

You think I'm a loon?

Prove it.

PS: I didn't say that they aren't scientists. My point is that their fanatical motivations get in the way of doing HONEST science.

10:38 AM, December 29, 2006  
Blogger John Stone said...

Proof posted at 10:38 AM....

3:18 PM, December 29, 2006  

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