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  • Return of the God Hypothesis

  • Three Scientific Discoveries That Reveal the Mind Behind the Universe
  • Auteur(s): Stephen C. Meyer
  • Narrateur(s): Timothy Andrés Pabon
  • Durée: 18 h et 49 min
  • 4,9 out of 5 stars (35 évaluations)

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Return of the God Hypothesis

Auteur(s): Stephen C. Meyer
Narrateur(s): Timothy Andrés Pabon
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Description

The New York Times best-selling author of Darwin’s Doubt presents groundbreaking scientific evidence of the existence of God, based on breakthroughs in physics, cosmology, and biology.

Beginning in the late 19th century, many intellectuals began to insist that scientific knowledge conflicts with traditional theistic belief - that science and belief in God are “at war”. Philosopher of science Stephen Meyer challenges this view by examining three scientific discoveries with decidedly theistic implications. 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. 

Meyer argues that theism - with its affirmation of a transcendent, intelligent and active creator - best explains the evidence we have concerning biological and cosmological origins. Previously Meyer refrained from attempting to answer questions about “who” might have designed life. Now he provides an evidence-based answer to perhaps the ultimate mystery of the universe. In so doing, he reveals a stunning conclusion: the data support not just the existence of an intelligent designer of some kind - but the existence of a personal God. 

Supplemental enhancement PDF accompanies the audiobook. 

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio. 

©2021 Stephen C. Meyer (P)2021 HarperCollins Publishers

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A low-resolution snapshot of the book

In the 19th century, the scientific consensus was that God was not needed to explain the universe because the universe had always existed. That the universe had always existed went back to the ancient Greeks. Even St Thomas Aquinas was careful to construct his 5 proofs for the existence of God on this supposition.


But things changed in the 20th century, and science has now given us more reason to believe in God than ever before. That many people don't realize this only demonstrates that recent scientific findings have not yet seeped into the popular imagination. 


What follows is a low resolution snapshop of the three most important ideas in the book. Please read the book for a more precise presentation. 


1) The Big Bang


Contributing to the discovery of the "Big Bang" was a Belgian Catholic priest by the name of Georges Lemaître. That the universe had a beginning was incoherent to the leading scientists of the day who were prejudiced against such ideas. Nevertheless, Albert Einstein and others soon came to accept the theory.  


Astronomers had noticed that galaxies in every quadrant of the sky are moving away from us. This can be known by observing the redness in the light from distant galaxies. We can then extrapolate back to a time when all of the universe was condensed into a singularity. But if the universe, and time itself, had a beginning, then an explanation for that beginning is required. 


Wanting to avoid God as an explanation, some scientists posited the "Big Crunch." Perhaps the universe will eventually stop expanding and contract back into itself. There may then be an infinite series of Big Bangs and Big Crunches, and the universe has always existed after all. 


But this theory was disproven when it was discovered that the rate at which the universe is expanding is not decelerating but accelerating. Therefore, there will be no Big Crunch. 


Perhaps there are bubble universes instead, or Big Bangs within Big Bangs. Perhaps our universe exploded out of another universe, which exploded out of another universe in turn, and so on for infinity. However, we have no way of confirming the existence of these other universes, and one may just as well believe in God. 


2) The Incredible Fine Tuning of the Universe for Life


In recent decades, scientists have discovered that the physical parameters of the universe are finely tuned for life. For example, if the force of gravity were even slightly weaker, then there would be no molecules because everything would have spread apart after the Big Bang without coming together to form anything. But if the force of gravity were even slightly stronger, then life would still not be possible because everything would have become conflated. As it is, the force of gravity is finely tuned for life, and there are a number of other such parameters that demonstrate the same remarkable quality. 


In fact, the chances that the physical parameters of the universe would be finley tuned for life are even greater than the chances of selecting a single atom from all of the atoms in the universe by chance. To say that we just got lucky is not an adequate explanation. 


Perhaps a multiverse exists, and there are a near infinite number of alternate universes. Although the vast majority would not be finely tuned for life, we just happen to live in one that is.


However, if these alternate universes came into existence independley, then we are left with the same improbable chances that any one of them would be finely tuned for life. Therefore, there must be a "universe generating machine" that spits out alternate universes with differing physical parameters one after another. Eventually, it would have to spit out a universe where life is possible. 


We are now left with two expanations: Either God exists or a multiverse exists. Occam's razor says that we should accept whichever theory is the simplest. Although we cannot "see" God, much less can we see a near infinite number of alternate universes.


3) The Cambrian Explosion 


Darwin's theory postulated a gradual evolution from lower to more complex lifeforms, and he hoped that the fossil record would eventually prove him right. However, it has not. During the Cambrian explosion (approximately 541 million years ago), a large number of species suddenly appeared in the fossil record with no trace of their earlier incarnations. Perhaps their earlier incarnations were boneless?


Fast forward to the 1950's, and Watson and Crick became the first scientists to map the structure of DNA. (It was another Catholic priest, an Augustinian friar by the name of Gregor Mendel, who had become the father of genetics in the previous century).  


As it tuned out, the DNA present in all cells was infinitely more complicated than previously imagined. It was one thing to think that natural selection would cause one species to adapt to a new climate until its features changed accordingly. But it was another thing to imagine that the complex structure of a single cell, DNA and all, could fashion itself out of some primordial soup by chance. 


Perhaps the first cell was deposited on earth by aliens from distant galaxies? This theory is called "panspermia" and is taken seriously by some scientists who want to avoid the God hypothesis. But instead of answering the question of origins, it merely pushes the problem further back. How did the alien race originate?


Moreover, mutations alone do not explain the drastic differences that exist between species. Just as random changes would almost always ruin a computer program, causing it to crash, so too would random mutations almost always ruin a DNA sequence, resulting in nothing sustainable. Moreover, the age of the universe (13.9 billion years) would not allow for mutations alone to account for incredible diversity of life that exists in the world. There simply has not been enough time for that. 


Again, we are left with God as the best explanation. This is not a "God of the gaps," but an inference to the best explanation. If an explorer were to stumble upon ancient ruins and be dumbfounded, it would not be a "God of the gaps" fallacy to infer the existence of an ancient civilization, neverminding that the civilization was unknown. In the same way, when we stumble across the incredible fine tuning of the universe for life and the amazing complexities of DNA, we infer the existence of a creative mind because that is how we account for such improbable ordered complexity in everyday life. 

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Well written, well explained and very thorough.

Natural sciences are not my strength at all, but this book is so well written that I was able to understand, at least, most of it! I think the other world views are fairly presented and well explained. I really enjoyed this book. I have the paper version and will read it again. Great work Dr Stephen C. Meyer!

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Immensely Important Listen

Irrespective of your beliefs - or the lack thereof - this is a must read. Dr. Myers beautifully frames the strong and long known arguments for the existence of God within a purely scientific framework. Also, he brings to light the clear and glaring faults and contradictions within the purely materialistic view points dominating the scientific voice piece.

I've listened to this book and now plan or reading it, as well.

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  • Trevor Rolls
  • 2021-03-31

A Wonderful Culmination of Dr. Meyer’s Work

If you follow Stephen C. Meyer, then whether you are friend or foe, you likely know what to expect from this book. I do want to try to tailor this review to the person that might not know what to expect, but I also think it only fair to disclose my bias. I have been following Dr. Meyer for some time now, read much of his previous work, and enjoyed several occasions to speak with him through webinar and zoom conferences, so keep that in mind when considering my opinion. Finally, I want you to understand what Meyer is trying to do here, so be aware that my summary will contain some content from the book. While I will try to keep it at a minimum, avoid my review if you direly disapprove of spoilers.

Summary:
While Dr. Meyer presents a sophisticated argument for theistic intelligent design, he does so in a fairly straightforward argumentative format. He starts with background of the areas he will discuss, in two parts. He then offers an explanation of the methodology he will use before applying it to the areas of interest regarding his thesis. From there he considers counterarguments to his points. Finally, he offers his conclusions.

The background begins with sort of a tour of the history and philosophy of science in order to refute the pervasive warfare myth between theism and science. The second part of his background treatment offers the history and current beliefs regarding the origin of the universe, the fine tuning of the universe, and the presence of information in both the origin and explosion of life.

Explaining his methodology and reasoning, Dr. Meyer discusses various modes of evaluation as well as various worldviews and their positions on metaphysical components to reality. From here, Meyer, using the method of abductive reasoning, seeks to show the adequacy and explanatory power of the God hypothesis, that is, theism, as compared to the competing hypotheses of deism, naturalism, and pantheism, to account for the beginning of the universe, the design of the universe, and the design of life.

After applying his methodology in examination of the three main ideas, Dr. Meyer addresses responses, potential refutations, and conjectures on behalf of the positions he claims are inadequate causally and explanatorily regarding his main thesis points. Some of these include chemical evolution, RNA world, evolutionary biologists (theistic and atheistic), various multiverse theories, quantum theories, and more.

Finally, Meyer moves to his conclusion, which is as the title suggests, that the God hypothesis has come full circle and is, once again, a viable and (in his opinion) superior explanation for the previously named phenomena.


Critique:
As I am fond of, I will offer my critique in a, “The good, the bad, and the ugly” format.

First, the good. Meyer is a storyteller. He doesn’t simply make assertions, such as, say, “The big bang suggests a big banger.” Rather, he will tell you the whole story of the big bang, how it was arrived at, what it means, why it is still around, who likes it, who doesn’t like it, and all such else. Then, he will, in light of those facts, explain the philosophical implications. This is just an example, but this is his style. He is very thorough. On that note, if you look at the bibliography, you will see over 500 sources. Again, he doesn’t just make claims, he presents whole accounts. When you read his work, you really get the feeling that you are getting a detailed and fair treatment of an issue or topic.

This leads to the bad. Sometimes, it is just too much for the average layperson to grasp. I did okay with this book because I am familiar with most of the material, but if a person is just learning about these topics for the first time, it can seem a little overwhelming. In his previous works, I had to, at times, skip through some of the more technical explanations and move to the parts in the chapters that were summaries.

The ugly. Dr. Meyer is on the bleeding edge of development in a philosophical and scientific turf war (or arms race if you prefer). He did a great job refuting the myth that science and religion were at odds in times past, but he is completely aware of the war of the worldviews currently in play. This is an ugly subject, and while he was ever the gentleman in his presentations, I expect a deluge of ad hominem attacks and invective from those who hate him and his position.

Conclusion:
If you are even at all interested in the relationship between science and religion, buy this book. If you don’t like having your presuppositions and worldview challenged, don’t buy this book. If you are open and objective, you will be pressed and stretched, whether theist, deist, or naturalist. If you buy the book and don’t like what it says, all of the claims are sourced and open for investigation.

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  • Lucky Canucky
  • 2021-05-12

The best book for those skeptical of religion

I used to be a staunch atheist. I used to think that religion was merely a social construct designed to make people feel better about their lives. I believed that people who believed were ignorant and foolish. But in the back of my mind I always struggled with the big questions about the purpose of life and how to find meaning in a seemingly meaningless world.

After going through a really tough period in my life, I realized that religion, specifically Christianity, may be the answer to my questions. I have been trying to grow in my faith for over a year now, but I have always had the nagging feeling in the back of my head that this was all too good to be true and it’s made up. But this book has finally provided me the convincing reasons I needed to fully trust in the reality of God. This book has been the best thing I have ever done for growing my faith, and I would highly recommend it to anyone who is having a similar struggle as I had. I would also recommend it to those who are staunch atheists, so that they may consider that maybe they should not be so critical of religious believers being ignorant and foolish.

I would also like to say that if you are truly skeptical, you should listen to the entire book, as that should fully respond to your skepticism. Reading only specific parts will likely not satisfy you, and may leave you not fully understanding the argument of the book. Additionally, if you are interested in hearing the other side of the debate, the atheist perspective, you should check out Stephen C. Meyer’s debates on YouTube.

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  • John Maddox
  • 2021-04-06

Extremely detailed case for God

an excellent culmination of his previous books, both in using points from them, and in creating a new, formal argument for God. I also love the part of the book where he directly responds to the critics. if you like his previous books you will absolutely love this one. however it also has the capacity to be a standalone which is excellent!

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  • Utilisateur anonyme
  • 2021-04-03

Clear and Scientific Case for God

It's sad that so many today have fallen prey to the belief that science and belief in God are at odds. Dr. Stephen Meyer carefully and methodically debunks such a notion and demonstrates how science actually points unequivocally in a theistic direction. This is a timely read that counters a lot of what my professors in college who made assertions about science being anti-God without actually making that case. Listen to this audiobook with an open mind. It's long, but well worth your time!

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  • nayab khan
  • 2022-02-22

Basis is mostly Christian theology & less science

I never fear reading about unreligious theories. So after reading a lot of Sagan, Weinberg, Darwin, & Dawkins I was looking forward to this book with an opposing point of view. However, I find its 5-star review unjustified and this book was truly disappointing. There are a few nice scientific facts sprinkled throughout the book but otherwise its mainly fluff, wordsmithing, and Christian theology. I've yet to find a good read that separates God from any theology and has a scientific base. I agree with the (escape) argument that current science is bound by physics in cosmology and timeline in evolution but even in that limited domain of physics and evolution, existence of God should be provable. If you know of any good books on the subject let me know.

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  • DRF
  • 2021-05-31

I got your point in the first few chapters

I understood Meyer's three arguments for the existence of a divine intelligence behind the universe after the first few chapters of the book. He makes what I consider to be excellent presentations of the three main difficulties that secularists must deal with to explain the origin of the universe and the existence of biological life. However, he then devotes the middle part of the book to what constitutes legitimate scientific proof and the latter part of the book to secular objections to the three main arguments. Both of these sections were fairly tedious for me and it was obvious that I was listening to stuff from his area of expertise, which is the history and philosophy of science.

The latter two sections comprise a large portion of the book, and I have to admit my mind wandered a bit. There was something of a let down after the spectacular information about the three premises in the first part. I suppose that he felt he needed to be as complete and erudite as possible to go up against the storm of criticism that his position engenders from Dawkins, Harris, and others, and I suppose I need to hear it. I just don't have to enjoy it.

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  • chris
  • 2021-11-19

A necessary balm for our confused souls

In these times of the unrelenting scientific progress, it’s hard for the average person to sift out the relevant from the arbitrary, let alone understand a bigger picture. This book does an excellent job of framing hundreds of years of discovery and philosophy in a way that is all to often dismissed with a hand wave by our academic institutions. The book contains an excellently structured argument that, in my opinion, will help those who find themselves stuck in the middle of what our external sources of information seem to want us to believe, with the internal spark that is kindled in us all. I’m thankful that Mr. Meyer has taken the time to put this work together, and articulate what is so difficult for most of us lay folk to say. Truly a paradigm shifting tome.

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  • Lee
  • 2021-11-01

A compelling argument

I found the "Return of the God Hypothesis" to be both interesting and factual. The author writes a compelling story and the reader presents to well. Highly recommended.

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  • DenGig
  • 2021-04-14

Devine creation, Devin accident Just an accident?

Stephen Meyer has done an admirable job of simplifying all the theories on the origins of the cosmos. It does become a slog for us of lower intellect because of all the philosophical scientist that have put forth their intricate theories and have built on others. And just like all the schools of thought in our culture, you have to rid yourself of the knotty problem of the Great Designer. A mere mention of God makes you superstitious and not allowed in high brow debate. One thing I gained from the read is that most of these astrophysicist and deep thinkers is they realize there was an event, some prime mover (which in Darwin's day they could deny), but they don't know what. It is worth the brain strain to listen, at least when you are turning in for the night. If you cannot engage you can snooze. But you will missout....rewind an try again

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  • Adane Yonder
  • 2021-04-09

convincing evidence for all who seek truth

Meyer exposes the scheme of those who twisted scientific evidence to fit their ideology, and dragged the society down to the atheistic pit. Convincing evidences show modern science supports the God hypothesis.

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