University of Colorado — Lafayette, CO
Victor J. Stenger is a retired elementary particle physicist and author of eleven 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 Folly of Faith: The Fundamental Incompatibility of Science and Religion.
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 PhD 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); 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 and Science and Why It Matters (2012).
Vic and his wife Phylliss have been happily married since 1962 (50 years in 2012!) and have two children and four grandchildren.
Vic maintains a Web site where much of his writing can be found, at http://www.colorado.edu/philosophy/vstenger/.
Below, Victor discusses the future of naturalism:
- Critical Thinking
- Humanistic and Naturalistic Ethics
- Natural science
- Paranormal and Fringe-Science Claims
- Philosophy of Theism and Atheism
- Religious Liberty and the Civil Rights of the Non-Religious
- Science and Pseudoscience
- Science and Religion
- Secular Health and Wellness
- Secular Humanism
- Separation of Church and State
- The Center for Inquiry
- The Existence of God
- The Humanist and Skeptic movements
- The Scientific and Naturalistic Worldview