Return of the God Hypothesis

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Steven Weinberg and the Twilight of the Godless Universe

With the passing last month of Steven Weinberg, the world lost a great theoretical physicist. Born to Jewish parents in New York in 1933, Weinberg received the Nobel Prize in 1979 for unifying two of the four fundamental forces of physics, the electromagnetic and weak nuclear forces. His proposed unification, later confirmed by experiment, proved key to the development of the Standard Model of particle physics, the best current theory of fundamental physics and our guide to the strange world of elementary particles. In addition, Weinberg made seminal contributions to quantum theory, general relativity and cosmology.

His death also marks the twilight of an increasingly dated view of the relationship between science and religion. Though Weinberg was a friend to the State of Israel, he was not sympathetic to Judaism or any theistic belief. Weinberg wrote many popular books about physics in which he often asserted that scientific advance had undermined belief in God – and, consequently, any ultimate meaning for human existence. The First Three Minutes, his most popular book published in 1977, famously concluded: “the more the universe seems comprehensible, the more it seems pointless.”

Weinberg’s aggressive science-based atheism now seems an increasingly spent force. Since 1977, Carl Sagan, Richard Dawkins, Stephen Hawking, Victor Stenger, Lawrence Krauss and many other scientists have published popular anti-theistic broadsides. Many of these stalwarts have since passed from the scene. Others have so overplayed their hands with overt attacks on religion that they have provoked even fellow atheists and agnostics to recoil.

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Stephen Meyer on Uncommon Knowledge with Peter Robinson

Dr. Stephen Meyer directs the Center for Science and Culture at the Discovery Institute in Seattle. He returns to Uncommon Knowledge with Peter Robinson to discuss his newest book, Return of the God Hypothesis: Three Scientific Discoveries That Reveal the Mind Behind the Universe. In this wide-ranging and often mind-bending interview, Dr. Meyer explains the God Hypothesis; makes his continuing Read More ›

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Astronomer with a telescope watching at the stars and Moon. My astronomy work.

Scientific Discoveries Reveal the Mind of God Behind the Universe

Throughout history, many prominent scientists have believed in God. Far from seeing their faith in God as incompatible with scientific investigation, most have found the two things complementary. Seventeenth-century German astronomer Johannes Kepler, for example, believed that science was only possible because God made the world to be “intelligible” to the human mind. In his view, the same God who Read More ›

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Brian Keating Interviews Stephen Meyer on Return of the God Hypothesis

Stephen Meyer discusses whether the laws of cosmology, physics, and biology exhibit evidence for Intelligent Design. Does Fine-Tuning imply a “Mind” behind the Cosmos, or was the appearance of design inevitable thanks to random fluctuations due to the capaciousness of the Multiverse? Meyer, author of the NYT Bestseller Darwin’s Doubt”, and Keating debate whether we can intuit the existence of Read More ›

Dr. Stephen Meyer: Return of the God Hypothesis

Building on the case for the intelligent design of life that he developed in Signature in the Cell and Darwin’s Doubt, Meyer demonstrates how discoveries in cosmology and physics coupled with those in biology help to establish the identity of the designing intelligence behind life and the universe. An interview with Eric Metaxas on The Eric Metaxas Show. Watch the Read More ›

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Scott Rae Interviews Stephen Meyer at Biola University

Seeing the Mind Behind the Universe

Stephen Meyer founded and heads the Center for Science and Culture at the Discovery Institute. He has a Ph.D. from Cambridge University in England and is the author of three books that are essential reading in the scientific debate about evolution. The first, Signature in the Cell, examines the role of DNA and the cellular-level evidence for intelligent design. The second, Darwin’s Doubt, shows how the explosive origin of animal life makes a case for intelligent design that even Charles Darwin would have trouble opposing. Return of the God Hypothesis: Three Scientific Discoveries That Reveal the Mind Behind the Universe, was due out on March 30.

What is the God hypothesis? It’s the idea that God exists and theism as a worldview explains some of the key evidence concerning biological and cosmological origins. I’m proposing that hypothesis to explain some of the key discoveries of modern science — the origin and fine-­tuning of the universe, the origin of life, and new forms of life on this planet.

Why do you use the word return to describe the God hypothesis? It’s a return because the scientific revolution began roughly in 1300 from a Christian foundation, as more and more scientists thought about nature in Biblical terms. One of the key ideas was that systematic investigation could reveal and help us understand nature. Since we are made in the image of a rational Creator, we could understand the rationality, design, and lawful order God built into nature. Theism provided a framework for doing science, and scientists discovered evidence supporting that framework.

Science moved away from that foundation? During the 19th century that framework dramatically shifted as more and more scientists began to commit themselves to a strictly materialistic approach to science. They became convinced they could explain the origins of the solar system, life, and human beings by reference to purely unguided processes. By the end of the 19th century, the materialistic — or naturalistic — worldview was dominant in Western science. Return of the God Hypothesis is the story of how three great scientific discoveries since the beginning of the 20th century — in physics, biology, and cosmology — have brought back a strong evidential basis for theistic belief.

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