Victor J. Stenger

American philosopher

Victor John Stenger (January 29, 1935 – August 25, 2014) was an American particle physicist, philosopher, author, and religious skeptic.


  • Science flies you to the moon. Religion flies you into buildings.
    • In The New Atheism: Taking a Stand for Science and Reason' (2009), 59. As attributed on a web page using the quote as a title at web site of Richard Dawkins Foundation.
  • The universe is not fine-tuned to us; we are fine-tuned to our particular universe.
    • In The Fallacy of Fine-Tuning: Why the Universe Is Not Designed for Us
  • The so-called mysteries of quantum mechanics are in its philosophical interpretation, not in its mathematics.
    • In God and the Folly of Faith: The Incompatibility of Science and Religion (2012)
  • The problem is that people think faith is something to be admired. In fact, faith means you believe in something for which you have no evidence.
    • In God and the Folly of Faith: The Incompatibility of Science (2012)

God: The Failed Hypothesis (2007)Edit

  • The existence of matter and energy in the universe did not require the violation of energy conservation at the assumed creation. In fact, the data strongly support the hypothesis that no such miracle occurred. If we regard such a miracle as predicted by the creator hypothesis, then the prediction is not confirmed.
    • Chapter 4: 'Cosmic Evidence', p.117
  • used in physics simply as a shorthand for "a very big number.”
    • Chapter 4: 'Cosmic Evidence', p.123
  • The God of the gaps argument for God fails when a plausible scientific account for a gap in current knowledge can be given. I do not dispute that the exact nature of the origin of the universe remains a gap in scientific knowledge. But I deny that we are bereft of any conceivable way to account for that origin scientifically.
    • Chapter 4: 'Cosmic Evidence', p.126-127
  • We have yet to encounter an observable astronomical phenomenon that requires a supernatural element to be added to a model in order to describe the event...Observations in cosmology look just as they can be expected to look if there is no God.
    • Chapter 4: 'Cosmic Evidence', p.128-129
  • [T]he most fundamental laws of physics are not restrictions on the behaviour of matter. Rather, they are restrictions on the way physicists may describe that behaviour.
    • Chapter 4: 'Cosmic Evidence', p.129
  • The transition of nothing-to-something is a natural one, not requiring any agent. As Nobel laureate physicist Frank Wilczek has put it, "The answer to the ancient question 'Why is there something rather than nothing?' would then be that 'nothing' is unstable." [...] In short, the natural state of affairs is something rather than nothing. An empty universe requires supernatural intervention--not a full one. Only by the constant action of an agent outside the universe, such as God, could a state of nothingness be maintained. The fact that we have something is just what we would expect if there is no God.
    • Chapter 4: 'Cosmic Evidence', p.133

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