Amir Aczel, the author of many popular science books, has produced a new work countering what he views as the claims of the so-called New Atheists. The publication date is April 15 and a review has appeared in the Washington Post:

Aczel holds a Ph.D. in statistics from the University of Oregon and has held academic posts at various institutions. At present he is a part-time lecturer in mathematics at the University of Massachusetts Boston.

The title suggests that the book is an extended straw man argument. None of the new atheists has claimed to disprove God—they only marshall the arguments against the existence of God. Nor do theists claim to prove existence. In fact it seems to be widely recognized on both sides that proof is not accessible as we understand what constitutes proof. (Proofs only truly exist in formal axiomatic systems in which the axioms function as assumptions and are not themselves established within the system.)

The book is likely to sell quite well and make money for the author, but it does not promise on the basis of the review linked above to add much to the discussion.

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The man may be quoteing Einstein but at what times in his life and in writings to whom in those times. Opinions on "god belief" have changed in all of us in our lifetimes. I'm sure Einstein had that happen to him as well.

Now the questions. Who created the quantum foam? Where did this come from? Where did that come from? What came first, the chicken or the egg? It is so easy to write in "god did it" and we make everybody happy, especially the theists who want to believe so badly. That's really what this book is about.

What are the real answers? WE DON'T KNOW. There is no shame in admitting that you do not know something. There was a time in our world when it was believed that the penis became erect because of air from our lungs. I think that has been disproven now.

Einstein was quite clear that he did not believe in a personal God as promulgated by the various religions. In a letter to an atheist he wrote:

"It was, of course, a lie what you read about my religious convictions, a lie which is being systematically repeated. I do not believe in a personal God and I have never denied this but have expressed it clearly. If something is in me which can be called religious then it is the unbounded admiration for the structure of the world so far as our science can reveal it."

And to the author of a religious book sent ot him, he wrote:

Still, without Brouwer’s suggestion I would never have gotten myself to engage intensively with your book because it is written in a language inaccessible to me. The word God is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weakness, the Bible a collection of honorable, but still purely primitive, legends which are nevertheless pretty childish. No interpretation no matter how subtle can (for me) change this. ... For me the Jewish religion like all other religions is an incarnation of the most childish superstition.

These expressions of his beliefs were not casual remarks, but deliberate and thoughtful answers to specific inquiries.

Book review: ‘Why Science Does Not Disprove God’ by Amir D. Aczel.

By Alan Lightman

There are over three thousand Gods so why does this author only examine arguments for the 'proof' or 'disproof' of a single God ? If so it's because the author was raised in a single God culture and is selling his work in a single God culture. It's nonsense. There are the same old arguments about what happened before the big band and other references to natural processes which are yet to be fully understood by science. This silly concept of attributing what one can't explain to a God has no rational or logical basis. It is just bullshit.

There are no Gods. The supernatural does not exist. The universe has a natural history. The author might be having a good laugh and raking in the profits at the same time. All the gullible idiots who buy and read this shit probably think they are educating themselves ! What crap ! The author should stick to maths and science.

Amir D. Aczel's book  is a load of shit but will rake in the profits.

You don't need to operate within an axiomatic system to require proof of a claim. We demand proof every day in practical matters.

On the other hand, proof or disproof is irrelevant to self-contradictoy claims.

It would perhaps be more accurate to say that in practical matters we accept some kinds of evidence as sufficient for proof, but it may be argued that such acceptance is based on presuppositions that may not be justified. The testimony of witnesses in court is based on  trust in their character, in their expertise, and in the accuracy of their observations. Those presuppositions are the axioms so to speak of the justice system.

In the common law of evidence there are two well known standards of proof applying to civil law and criminal law respectively. The first is proof on the 'balance of probabilities' which is a comparison between the likelihood of truthfulness of different versions of testimony. The second is proof 'beyond  reasonable doubt' which is the higher standard of proof applicable in criminal trials.

A 'legal axiom' might refer to a principle of law in jurisprudence.

Prove to me there are no elves baking cookies in hollow trees.

Jove in the clouds had his inhuman birth.
No mother suckled him, no sweet land gave
Large-mannered motions to his mythy mind.
He moved among us, as a muttering king,
Magnificent, would move among his hinds,
Until our blood, commingling, virginal,
With heaven, brought such requital to desire
The very hinds discerned it in a star.
Wallace Stevens, "Sunday Morning"

Supernatural claims are not falsifiable.  It's a simple concept.




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