Stenger's New Book: God and the Folly of Faith: The Incompatibility of Science and Religion

I have had the privilege of reading through Victor J. Stenger's soon to be released book, God and the Folly of Faith,and it's a tour de force. Among the published atheists trying to bridge the gap between scientifically minded people and people of faith, I think Stenger is the best.

The reader is treated to the history of the conflict between science and religion where Stenger argues there is a fundamental conflict between the two. "Science" he writes, "has earned our trust by its proven success. Religion has destroyed our trust by its repeated failures. Using the empirical method, science has eliminated smallpox, flown men to the moon, and discovered DNA. If science did not work, we wouldn't do it. Relying on faith, religion has brought us inquisitions, holy wars, and intolerance. Religion does not work, but we still do it." (p. 15)

Stenger writes in hopes that he can stem the tide of the growing distrust of science in America. It is a call for scientists and other rationalists "to join together to put a stop to those who insist they have some sacred right to decide what kind of society the rest of us must live in--for the sake of the future of the planet and the betterment of mankind. Hopefully in perhaps another generation America will have joined Europe and the rest of the developed world in shucking off the rusty chains of ancient superstition that stand in as an impediment to science and progress. (p. 20)

Believers generally do not trust science. Stenger's book is the antidote. Believers will see just how science works and why it is to be trusted over anything religion has ever produced. "Science and religion are fundamentally incompatible," Stenger argues, "because of their unequivocally opposed epistemologies--the separate assumptions they make concerning what we can know about the world." (p. 16)

It is a massive refutation of the claim that science is a religion or that science is based on faith. At the end of it Stenger shows how the future of mankind will be determined by whether or not science wins over faith in issues like tobacco use, pollution, and global warming.

Unlike some other books by Stenger this one was written for the average intelligent reader. There isn't a lot of technical jargon in it. Stenger just keeps getting better and better. I consider this book to be his best book yet because of its appeal to a broad range of readers and because he's hit the nail on the head, writing about the essential problem between scientifically minded people and believers. I think it'll probably be a classic.

You can pre-order it now. Get it.