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Victor Stenger
Victor J. Stenger is a retired elementary particle physicist and author of twelve books including the 2007 New York Times bestseller God: The Failed Hypothesis. How Science Shows That God Does Not Exist. His latest book is God and the Atom: From Democritus to the Higgs Boson.

Dr. Stenger grew up in a Catholic working class neighborhood in Bayonne, New Jersey. His father was a Lithuanian immigrant, his mother the daughter of Hungarian immigrants. He attended public schools and received a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering from Newark College of Engineering (now New Jersey Institute of Technology) in 1956. While at NCE, he was editor of the student newspaper and received several journalism awards.

Moving to Los Angeles on a Hughes Aircraft Company fellowship, Vic received a Master of Science degree in physics from UCLA in 1959 and a Ph.D. in Physics in 1963. He then took a position on the faculty of the University of Hawaii, retiring to Colorado in 2000. His current positions are adjunct professor of philosophy at the University of Colorado and emeritus professor of physics at the University of Hawaii. Vic has also held visiting positions on the faculties of the University of Heidelberg in Germany, Oxford in England, and has been a visiting researcher at Rutherford Laboratory in England, the National Nuclear Physics Laboratory in Frascati, Italy, and the University of Florence in Italy.

Dr. Stenger's research career spanned the period of great progress in elementary particle physics that ultimately led to the current standard model. He participated in experiments that helped establish the properties of strange particles, charmed quarks, gluons, and neutrinos. He also helped pioneer the emerging fields of very high-energy gamma ray and neutrino astronomy. In his last project before retiring, Vic collaborated on the underground experiment in Japan that showed for the first time that the neutrino has mass. The Japanese leader of the project shared the 2002 Nobel Prize in physics for that work.

Vic Stenger has had a parallel career as an author of critically well-received popular-level books that interface between physics and cosmology and philosophy, religion, and pseudoscience. These include: Not By Design: The Origin of the Universe (1988); Physics and Psychics: The Search for a World Beyond the Senses (1990); The Unconscious Quantum: Metaphysics in Modern Physics and Cosmology (1995); Timeless Reality: Symmetry, Simplicity, and Multiple Universes (2000); Has Science Found God? The Latest Results in the Search for Purpose in the Universe (2003); The Comprehensible Cosmos: Where Do the Laws of Physics Come from? (2006); God: The Failed Hypothesis. How Science Shows That God Does Not Exist (2007) [NY Times bestseller]; Quantum Gods: Creation, Chaos, and the Search for Cosmic Consciousness (2009); The New Atheism: Taking a Stand for Science and Reason (2009); The Fallacy of Fine-Tuning: Why the Universe Is Not Designed for Us (2011); God and the Folly of Faith: The Fundamental Incompatibility of Religion, God and the Atom: From Democritus to the Higgs Boson (2013), and God and the Multiverse: Humanity's Expanding View of the Universe.

Vic and his wife Phylliss have been happily married since 1962 and have two children and four grandchildren.

Vic maintains a website where much of his writing can be found here.

Entries by Victor Stenger

Myths of Physics: 2. Gravity Is Much Weaker Than Electromagnetism

(23) Comments | Posted August 26, 2014 | 5:19 PM

This is one you will hear in physics classrooms and read in physics textbooks. It even seems to be familiar experience. The magnetic repulsion between the like poles of two small bar magnets easily overcomes their mutual gravitational attraction.

But the sun and Earth have magnetic fields too, and their...

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Myths of Physics: 1. Einstein's Speed Limit Is the Speed of Light

(50) Comments | Posted August 12, 2014 | 4:50 PM

This is the first of some huffing and puffing I plan to do involving several common myths about physics, which are held by most people including some but not all physicists. The first involves the speed of light.

One of the axioms of Einstein's special theory of relatively is that...

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The End of Accelerator Physics?

(3) Comments | Posted July 31, 2014 | 3:37 PM

In summer 2012, a dramatic news conference was held at the CERN laboratory in Geneva. There it was announced that two independent experiments at the lab's Large Hadron Collider (LHC) had confirmed the existence of the Higgs boson. This was a great triumph for the standard model of elementary particle...

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The Revolution That Didn't Happen

(12) Comments | Posted July 18, 2014 | 7:39 PM

In 1975, a young Austrian physicist by the name of Fritjof Capra published a bestselling book called The Tao of Physics that still can be found on the science shelves of most bookstores. Capra claimed to see strong parallels between Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism, and modern physics--especially quantum mechanics. The word...

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Science Is Politics

(17) Comments | Posted May 28, 2014 | 11:58 AM

When I received my PhD in elementary particle physics from UCLA in 1963, numerous opportunities presented themselves. I decided to take an offer from the University of Hawaii to join the faculty as a tenure-track assistant professor. I was able to avoid the two or three years as a postdoc...

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Oklahoma, Where the Sun Shines Brightly in the Sky

(2) Comments | Posted May 6, 2014 | 10:58 AM

The Republican governor of Oklahoma, Mary Fallin, has just signed a bill that forces homeowners to pay a fee for the right to remain connected to the local power grid if they have solar panels on their houses to generate electricity. The right-wing propaganda organization Americans For Prosperity,...

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Christianity and Modern Science

(132) Comments | Posted April 21, 2014 | 8:01 AM

Christianity, as practiced by billions of people worldwide, still rests on a foundation that was erected by desert tribesmen who lived thousands of years ago in a tiny spot on a the surface of a planet that itself is, as we now know, an infinitesimal speck in an immense universe....

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The Freedom in Our Future

(1) Comments | Posted April 7, 2014 | 2:50 PM

I am reading Poland by James Michener, another one of his fine historical tomes--fiction based very closely on historical fact. It is now about 1650 and some nations in Europe are struggling to give the beginnings of basic rights to their common people who, up to this point, have had...

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How to Debate a Christian Apologist

(1018) Comments | Posted February 28, 2014 | 5:23 PM

Recently there seems to have been a rash of debates between atheists and Christian apologists. Of course, we had the much-ballyhooed debate between Ken Ham and Bill Nye on creationism versus evolution ("Ham on Nye"), which only served the purpose of giving Ham's ridiculous beliefs attention they did not deserve....

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Fusion, Fission, and Fossil Fuels

(31) Comments | Posted January 5, 2014 | 5:26 PM

In his Washington Post column published December 20. George F. Will presented an optimistic view of controlled nuclear fusion as a potential efficient and clean energy source to replace fossil fuels.

Fusion is a nuclear process by which light nuclei, such as hydrogen, combine to form heavier nuclei,...

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(321) Comments | Posted November 15, 2013 | 1:43 PM

The Kepler Space Observatory was launched on March 7, 2009 with the express purpose of searching for Earth-sized planets. As of November 2013 Kepler had confirmed the detection of 167 planets with another 3,568 candidates awaiting confirmation. On May 11, 2013, the failure of reaction wheels that...

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Testing the God Hypothesis

(601) Comments | Posted November 6, 2013 | 12:04 PM

This article was originally published in Fair Observer.

In my 2007 book God: The Failed Hypothesis; How ScienceShows That God Does Not Exist, I applied the scientific process of hypothesis testing to the question of God. The common objection I heard was that the existence of God is...

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Stiffening the Standards of Scientific Research

(19) Comments | Posted October 24, 2013 | 1:05 PM

The Economist has published a scathing indictment of scientific research titled "Unreliable research: Trouble at the lab." The headline proclaims: "Scientists like to think of science as self-correcting. To an alarming degree it is not."

An accompanying article, "Problems with scientific research: How science goes wrong," tells...

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The Essential Pursuit of Science

(125) Comments | Posted October 11, 2013 | 1:28 PM

On Tuesday, October 8, it was announced that two Europeans, Peter Higgs and François Englert, had been awarded the 2013 Nobel Prize for Physics. The same day, the Boulder Colorado Daily Camera reported that two Boulder Nobel-Prize-winning physicists, David Wineland (2012) and Eric Cornell (2001) were furloughed from their jobs...

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The Rising Antiscience

(2273) Comments | Posted September 27, 2013 | 8:35 AM

New atheism refers to a set of ideas presented in a series of bestselling books that appeared between 2004 and 2007. Today it remains a strong but minority view among atheists. Basically, new atheists differ from the old atheists by being more willing to challenge religious beliefs that contradict science...

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Dealing With Life Without God

(274) Comments | Posted August 26, 2013 | 3:50 PM

The recent posting of an interview "Showing God Does Not Exist," attracted over 2,000 comments. So here's a follow-up.

The 12 Unthinkable Horrors of Human Existence: A Manual for Atheists, Agnostics and Secular Humanists
By I.M. Probulos, Amazon Digital Services

Slightly edited and brought...

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Showing God Does Not Exist

(2792) Comments | Posted August 15, 2013 | 9:32 AM

An interview of Victor Stenger by Robert Johnson, author of Rational Morality.

Victor J Stenger is a particle physicist, philosopher and religious skeptic with over 50 years academic experience. He is the author of 12 books, including the influential rationalist text God: The Failed Hypothesis. How Science Shows...

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More Trick Than Treat

(10) Comments | Posted August 12, 2013 | 11:00 AM

Click here to read an original op-ed from the TED speaker who inspired this post and watch the TEDTalk below.

I suppose Keith Barry's magic show was entertaining, though far from exceptional. But TED audiences expect more for their money than to be simply entertained. They...

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The New Secular Strategy

(562) Comments | Posted July 9, 2013 | 2:08 PM

Organized religion is slowly dying in America, following a trend already being witnessed in Europe among the non-Muslim population. Here are some interesting figures from the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life, which lists by generation the percentage of religiously unaffiliated in the U.S. as of October...

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Does Academic Freedom Give Professors the Right to Teach Whatever They Want?

(114) Comments | Posted May 25, 2013 | 10:51 AM

University faculties enjoy a form of freedom of speech called academic freedom that you will not find in any other institution. However, it is not enshrined in law but is rather the product of historical tradition, enforced not only by the courts but by professional societies such as the American...

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