God and the Multiverse: Humanity’s Expanding View of the Cosmos

Victor J. Stenger. Prometheus Books, $26 (428p) ISBN 978-1-61614-970-3
Despite the title, the one thing that is in short supply in Stenger’s newest book is a discussion of the relationship between God and the multiverse. Indeed, only the final chapter even attempts to address the issue directly, when Stenger (God and the Atom) declares his belief that God is irrelevant: “While we certainly do not know everything, we know of no observed fact that requires the existence of God.” It is in this final chapter that he also takes on the anthropic principle—the belief that the universe is designed explicitly for life—and demonstrates that the data does not support such an extreme conclusion. The bulk of the book examines our changing concept of the universe, beginning with the ancients and moving through the Renaissance to the present. He goes into greatest detail when discussing modern cosmology and quantum physics, but the complex topics demand more attention (particularly in light of statements such as “If you write down Friedmann’s equations for a de Sitter universe with a positive cosmological constant, it takes only college freshman math to prove that the solution is an exponential expansion”). With over 2,000 years of perceptions to explore, it’s no surprise that Stenger’s coverage of his topic is cursory. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 07/28/2014
Release date: 09/09/2014
Genre: Nonfiction
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