Famous atheist dies

Dr. Victor J. Stenger, the physicist and prolific author who wrote the 2007 New York Times bestseller God: The Failed Hypothesis, died late Wednesday night in Hawaii at the age of 79. 

Christians should now rest a little bit easier; seeing that he has departed from this world and into oblivion, like all living creatures go one day. 

He was one of the brightest stars in the night sky but thankfully his books and quotes will live on - and here are some of them, which as always and forever, will leave faithful believers speechless, dizzy and punch drunk. 

A Causeless Universe. 

But, as we have seen, movement does not require a mover, and modern quantum mechanics has shown that not all effects require a cause. And even if they did, why would the Prime Mover need to be a supernatural anthropomorphic deity such as the Judeo — Christian God? 

Why could it not just as well be the material universe itself? 

Advantage of Separation' 

Scientists have practical reasons for wishing that religion and science be kept separate. They can see nothing but trouble … if they venture into the deeply divisive issue of religion — especially when their results tend to support a highly unpopular, atheistic conclusion. 

Creationist Strategies' 

In the United States, the new creationist movement has convinced many people and their political servants that scientists are being unfair in not supporting the teaching of alternatives to evolution in science classes. They say it is censorship to exclude intelligent design from those classes.

 The usual argument raised against teaching intelligent design is that it unconstitutionally promotes religion. Design promoters, however, insist that they have no particular designer in mind. 

No one believes them, but skilled lawyers arguing for the cause of impartiality on their behalf could probably prevail in court. In any case, a better argument exists: Intelligent design theory, as currently formulated by its leading proponents, should not be taught in science classes because it is provably wrong. 

Deny Creationists Their Lies. 

When people start using science to argue for their specific beliefs and delusions, to try to claim that they're supported by science, then scientists at least have to speak up and say, you're welcome to your delusions, but don't say that they're supported by science. 

Economy of Thought' 

The argument from design rests on the notion that everything, but God, must come from something. However, once you agree that it is logically possible for an entity to exist that was not itself created, namely God, then that entity can just as well be the universe itself. 

Indeed, this is a more economical possibility, not requiring the additional hypothesis of a supernatural power outside the universe… To [creationists], it is not a matter of logic anyway, but common sense. They see no way that the universe could have just happened, without intent. 

How can something come from nothing? They continue to ask, never wondering how God came from nothing. 

Evolution, the Fact. 

In short, evolution is as close to being a scientific fact as is possible for any theory, given that science is open — ended and no one can predict with certainty what may change in the future. 

The prospect that evolution by natural selection, at least as a broad mechanism, will be overthrown in the future is about as likely as the prospect of finding out some day that the Earth is really flat. Unfortunately, those who regard these scientific facts as a threat to faith have chosen to distort and misrepresent them to the public. 

Hold of Supernatural Belief. 

Any attempt at understanding humanity must include an explanation of the hold that supernatural belief continues to have on most of the human race. 

I wish, therefore it is. 

To most theistic believers, human life can have no meaning in a universe without God. Quite sincerely, and with understandable yearning for a meaning to their existence, they reject the possibility of no God. In their minds, only a purposeful universe based on God is possible and science can do nothing else but support this truth. 

Lack of Evidence. 

Proof is not required to believe [in a god]. But some sign, some evidence is needed. None exists… Find some inkling of evidence. There is none. 

No Jehovah, Beyond a Reasonable Doubt. 

Until recent times, absence of evidence for his [Jehovah’s] existence has not been sufficient to rule him out. However, we now have enough knowledge that we can identify many places where there should be evidence, but there is not. 

The absence of that evidence allows us to rule out the existence of this God beyond a reasonable doubt. 

Park Your Brains. 

Is there a place in a church where you leave your brains when you enter? 

Prayer Experiments.

Consider the supposed power of intercessory prayer. Well-executed experiments by reputable institutions such as Harvard, Duke, and the Mayo Clinic have failed to find that prayer improves the recovery of hospital patients.

 Apologists simply say God did not choose to respond to this test. But you can bet they would have changed their tune if the results had been positive. 

Trillions of prayers have been tendered over millennia. Of course, most sick people get better anyway, except once. If the God most people worship and pray to does exist, intercessory prayer would have a better batting average than what you would get from the normal operation of the natural world, including luck. It doesn’t. 

Quantum Weirdness. 

Just because quantum mechanics is weird does not mean that everything that is weird is quantum mechanics. 

Requirements on Evidence. 

Scientific evidence for God’s existence is being claimed today by theists, many of whom carry respectable scientific or philosophical credentials. He who is neither a she nor an it supposedly answers prayers and otherwise dramatically affects the outcome of events. If these consequences are as significant as believers say, then the effects should be detectable in properly controlled experiments. 

Science vs Religion. 

Science flies you to the moon. Religion flies you into buildings. 

Undermining Science. 

Any strategy that attempts to reinforce faith by undermining science is also doomed to failure. Showing that some scientific theory is wrong will not prove that the religious alternative is correct by default. 

When the sun was shown not to be the center of the universe, as Copernicus had proposed, the Earth was not moved back to that singular position in the cosmos.

If Darwinian evolution is proved wrong, biologists will not develop a new theory based on the hypothesis that each species was created separately by God 6,000 years ago. 

Validity of Evolution is No Longer a Scientific Question. 

The battle over the validity of evolution has been publicly posed as a scientific one. However, you will find little sign of it in scientific journals, where such quarrels as exist are over details, not the basic concept… Evolution has proved so useful as a paradigm for the origin and structure of life that it constitutes the foundation of the sciences of biology and medicine. 

Welcoming Alternatives. 

Alternative explanations are always welcome in science, if they are better and explain more. Alternative explanations that explain nothing are not welcome… Note how science changed those beliefs when new data became available.

Religions stick to the same ancient beliefs regardless of the data.

Wehr Wulf 2014-09-02 07:40:30 AM
Nice piece and great thinking from the man. I'm afraid the scaredy cats that are the godbots won't heed his wisdom and logic because they lack the courage to let go of their religious security blanky.
Henno 2014-09-02 07:50:58 AM
Why would they sleep easier? Are Christians threatened by a man who does not believe in a god? I doubt it ... I also doubt that they would have wanted him to die an early death, but hey ... that is your perception. Also like your perception of nothingness and having no brains if you do believe in a god or something other than yourself, a matter of opinion. Luckily opinions can differ
Pieter Fraser Botes 2014-09-02 07:53:39 AM
For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?
Smurwe 2014-09-02 07:53:48 AM
Good luck to him for where he is going
Lefenki Choenyane 2014-09-02 08:05:42 AM
Make sure before u die , you have accepted Christ as your personal savior
Mattheus Human 2014-09-02 08:09:40 AM
Die man wat my - soos vir baie ander - laat aanbeweeg het van die dalk negatiewe konsep van ateisme, na die empiriese en rasioneel gegronde konsep van non-teisme. Die stelling hierbo uit een van sy werke: "Until recent times, absence of evidence for "god's" existence has not been sufficient to rule him out. However, we now have enough knowledge that we can identify many places where there should be evidence, but there is not. The absence of that evidence allows us to rule out the existence of this God beyond a reasonable doubt" sal vir altyd die kern en fondament van non-teisme bly want dit is onomstootlik waar.
Morwen 2014-09-02 08:12:16 AM
"Christians should now rest a little bit easier"- could you please explain that thinking Thomas, and why.
ingwe 2014-09-02 08:15:24 AM
Thank you Thomas. He played a big role in showing how science does not need religion to explain the universe. In many ways a greater influence than the 4 Horsemen. The quotes you have used will not be responded to by the religious but as is the norm many thumbs down will be used on the comments.
RabbleRouser 2014-09-02 08:18:43 AM
Great piece. One author to take note of is Dr. Richard Carrier. He has written some very interesting stuff on the Jesus myth. Some of his debates reveal how much of the bible is historically false.
Justanother Numty 2014-09-02 08:24:53 AM
Ha ha hah ha ha ha ha! We will sleep easier because of his passing! Funny guy, this Thomas Freeman. We sleep easy because of God's promise. His legacy will live on through his books..bla bla. Like the bible? 2000 odd years and still going strong, still relevant today as it was when it was first committed to paper! I sincerely doubt this atheist will be remembered 100 years from now, let alone 2000 years on. The atheists will have you believe that we believe because it is what is popular amongst our circle of friends. Rest assured that a lot of Christians believe because they have had a direct experience of the love and power of God, and this experience is more real to us than a punch to the face that breaks the nose. We couldn't care less if the science can't find God, even if it was looking for him he has already stated the way to find him, he assured us that there is only one way to find him, to know him, and this is through the blood of his son, Jesus Christ. If God had intended for there to be multiple ways to find him, he would not have gone to the trouble to use many generations, many deaths, wars, and all sorts of tribulations and strange customs to prove the lineage and necessity of Jesus Christ. Your choice is simple, you can choose to believe thousands of scientists who make their money looking in any direction so long as it does not point towards God, or you can choose to believe in a book that has endured 2000 years, the message remaining unchanged!