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The Ghost in the Universe: God in Light of Modern Science [Format Kindle]

Taner Edis

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Descriptions du produit

Présentation de l'éditeur

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.

Biographie de l'auteur

Taner Edis (Kirksville, MO) is assistant professor of physics at Truman State University.

Détails sur le produit

  • Format : Format Kindle
  • Taille du fichier : 3710 KB
  • Nombre de pages de l'édition imprimée : 330 pages
  • Editeur : Prometheus Books (1 juin 2002)
  • Vendu par : Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Langue : Anglais
  • Synthèse vocale : Activée
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Commentaires en ligne

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Amazon.com: 4.4 étoiles sur 5  20 commentaires
86 internautes sur 87 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Natural Science: The Best Explanation 4 juillet 2002
Par Rob Hardy - Publié sur Amazon.com
Is there a God? Taner Edis has the answer to the big question, and he is qualified to submit an answer, given the amount of thinking he has done on it. A physicist, he has for years run the cerebral and entertaining e-mail Skeptic Discussion List...which is devoted to the discussion (read 'debunking') of such topics as astrology, psychic powers, creation 'science,' miracles, and more. So you can probably guess where he stands: There are thousands of gods you don't believe in, and chances are he believes in even fewer than you. In _The Ghost in the Universe: God in the Light of Modern Science_ (Prometheus Books), his first book, he tells why he thinks that a naturalistic view, based on science, is a better explanation for what we experience in the world than any reach for spiritual answers. It is clear, wide-ranging, and intelligent, and it brings in topics from philosophy and science explained at a level accessible to readers with no expertise in those fields. It perhaps will swing no one from the spiritual camp, but those who wish to stay within it with intellectual vigor will do well to examine the arguments here.
Edis starts with philosophical proofs of God: 'A perfect being must exist, since if it did not, it would not be perfect. Having made God pop into existence by sheer force of logic, we now break out the champagne.' They carry little weight, even among believers, who are more likely to favor stories of a God who created and maintains the universe. Even the argument that there has to be a first cause God is a strong one that withers under quantum physics. We are used, in day to day life, to examining causes and effects, but we are guilty of looking only in our own scale of neighborhood. In the quantum world, things happen without being caused, and the Big Bang was a quantum event; the chain back to the first cause is broken. Of course Evolution is covered, in only a chapter, which shows that Edis's book is about much more. Edis shows how the physics of the universe has a random foundation, and randomness can be harnessed to ratchet up to increasing complexities. No designer, intelligent or otherwise, is needed. He critiques the scriptures, including the Quran, as human creations. He shows that psychological and neurological evidence indicates that our brains are engaged in examining an unmagical world, and spirits, souls, or direct contact with some ultimate reality are all equally unlikely. He sees no transcendent moral reality, no good and evil 'out there'; morals instead are a product of our genes and our social, collective effort to live together and incorporate conflicting interests.
Believers should be grateful that they have such a gentle critic. It could only be a fundamentalist of insecure faith who would accuse Edis of trashing religion. In fact, in intelligent opposition, Edis has shown a great deal of respect for the religious view. He also reveals himself to be a fan of the stories religions tell, because they can explain a good deal about ourselves. Most will think that this will be giving the stories too little credit, but as he repeatedly says in acknowledging how little certainty we have, it is good enough. His book is certainly good enough to benefit believers and nonbelievers alike.
38 internautes sur 39 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 What a book! 31 mai 2003
Par Chris - Publié sur Amazon.com
I have an interesting perspective on Taner Edis. As a fourth-year biology undergraduate at Truman State University (where Edis teaches), I have heard him speak twice. The first time was a short speech to a small group of Freethinkers about the subjects covered in his book. The second time was an afternoon Science Hall lecture on design in the universe. In that lecture, he identified the two elements of "design": chance and necessity. Purpose was not one of them, which may have been one of the many things that upset a fellow science professor (a rather belligerent old Creationist) to the point that he referred to Edis as "the Inquisition." I assure you, the label is unwarranted. I have never run into a more intelligent, unbiased "skeptic" in my life ...
Edis's book synthesizes a lot of material from history, theology, philosophy, and science. He deftly addresses not only Christianity, but also Judaism and Islam. The material is very in-depth, though, requiring some sort of elementary understand of the aforementioned subjects prior to reading the book.
In stark contrast to Christian apologists, Edis takes a rather passive approach to God and other theological matters, free from insults and judgements. He never identifies himself as an atheist - only as a skeptic. And it becomes clear to the reader at several points in the book that Edis has a profound and legitimate interest in the concept of God - far from the idea, perpetuated by many Christians, that non-Christians are just out to get Jesus. Edis has a quiet respect for some elements of religion, and a quiet disgust for some of the fundamentalist interpretations of reality.
Because Edis's book is so full of all kinds of information, there is little I want to say about the arguments presented against God. It's not like that, really. I mean, the book has a lot of value, in a lot of different areas. Edis merely shows the reader that the arguments FOR God are lacking quite a bit - especially evidence and coherence! He does not attack God or believers, though.
A very fulfilling read for anyone with a little background or a little interest in these subjects.
28 internautes sur 29 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 A Great Argument for Science and Naturalism 2 janvier 2003
Par H J Coulter - Publié sur Amazon.com
This is the best book on science and religion that I've read in a long time. Most others I've read were either too obviously stuck in a certain philosophical point of view, were too hostile to religion, or defended religion by too much unconvincing "it might be"s. Edis leaves no doubt that he thinks modern science makes all supernatural beliefs untenable, but does so without hostility to religion. I especially liked how he explained the attractive aspects of religious ideas before going on to show that his naturalistic approach does a better job. I was also impressed by his discussing Islam and the New Age as much as Christian ideas, and the fact that he emphasized modern, liberal defenses of God and religion rather than bashing obviously absurd fundamentalist beliefs.
22 internautes sur 24 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Dares to say what few others do 30 juillet 2003
Par William Alexander - Publié sur Amazon.com
A physicist tackles the ultimate question: is there any reason to believe in any type of god? Bringing together and harmonizing insights in the fields of philosophy, biology, physics, the brain sciences, history, human morality, and scripture revelation, the author argues that what is becoming more obvious as we advance in these realms of knowledge is that there is no evidence whatsoever that there is a superior being presiding over the universe. His argument is clear and well presented. The distinct advantage that this book has over others that attempt to address this same question is that it evaluates it from so many divergent perspectives. Not all of this material is easy reading, but it is all insightful and though provoking.
Although there continue to be scientists, philosophers, and historians that believe in some sort of transcendent being, the details of these disciplines are revealing that if there is a god, he is certainly not the God humans have come to assume: law-giving, personal, imminent, and omni-benevolent. One of the boldest assertions herein is the admission of the fact that evolutionary biology has taught us that the universe is indifferent, disinterested, and amoral. While liberal Christians and believing scientists struggle to reconcile evolution with divine revelation, the stark truth is that the idea of a personal, caring God is completely incompatible with the indifference and randomness of evolution. Quantum physics has taught us that the reality that we are accustomed to where every effect has a cause that precedes it is not the reality in the sub-microscopic world. In that world events happen without a cause, particles and anti-particles randomly pop into existence from a seething energy field before quickly annihilating one another. The ultimate beginning of the point-particle universe prior to the Big Bang had no cause, it just was. This is very illuminating material. After all, which is more likely: a seething energy field behaving randomly that 14B years ago inflated the universe we find ourselves in or an eternal, loving, personal, and intelligent Being? Everything in our universe and world goes from simple to complex, not the other way around. The author admits that this is not for the faint of heart. He acknowledges that this awareness will be viewed by some as liberating, by others as terribly lonely; either way the universe doesn't care.
This is great reading, challenging, insightful, thought provoking. If you're a believer prepare to have your world-view upset.
27 internautes sur 30 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 An Outstandingly Thoughtful Book 14 janvier 2003
Par E. Schechter - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié|Achat vérifié
This book is a rare achievement, a dispassionate examination of the religious impulse and its validity. With clear and careful reasoning, Taner Edis holds religion up to the light of our knowledge and rationality and finds it wanting. At the same time, he refuses to write a polemic against faith; he shows understanding and compassion toward the religious urge, a quality that makes his statement on behalf of science and reason all the more compelling.
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