Victor Stenger

Victor Stenger nsIn human thermodynamics, Victor Stenger (1935-2014) was an American physicist noted for his 1995 "entropy per unit volume" argument of how life or order formed starting from the big bang in a universe tending towards maximal entropy or what Stenger equates to maximal disorder. [1]

In 2003-2007, Stenger expanded on his earlier entropy of the universe augments to disprove the existence of God scientifically, by arguing that the universe at the start of the big bang existed not in a low entropy state, as is commonly stated, but rather in a state of maximum entropy (per unit volume) and in a state of zero energy, the latter view loosely derived from Stephen Hawking. [2]

In the mid-2000s, Stenger was an atheism advocate, the following being one of his more famous quotes (see: atheism timeline).

Interestingly, one of Stenger, in his final days, was posting up in Google Groups, about the so-called “Roemer-Styer fiasco”, on the rather peculiar and unusually over-zealous efforts of David Roemer, 2008-present, to get the 2008 article “Entropy and evolution”, by American physicist Daniel Styer, retracted from the American Journal of Physics, the following, e.g., being a 2 Jun 2014 response letter from New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand to Roemer about his concerns. (Ѻ) Among the 21 email recipients to the forward of this scan/fax, Stenger aside, include: Libb Thims (two emails) and Fred Wolf.

Entropy of the universe (Stenger 2007)Science and religion (Victor Stenger, 2009)
Left: Stenger's entropy gap model: Plot of the total entropy of the universe and the maximum entropy of the universe as a function of the radius of the universe, according to Stenger's calculations. [2] Right: Stenger's noted 2009 atheism quote.
Entropy of the universe
In the figure adjacent, Stenger states that the plot shows the total entropy of the universe and the maximum entropy of the universe as a function of the radius of the universe. [2] He argues that, according to his calculations, the maximum entropy and the total entropy are equal at the origin, the Planck time, which according to his view shows that the universe began in a state of total chaos. After the big bang, however, the universe began to expand in such a way that the maximum entropy, supposedly, is increasing faster than the actual entropy, thus leaving room for order (supposedly he means humans by this term) to form without violating the second law of thermodynamics, as typically claimed by Creationists.

Stenger completed his BS in electrical engineering in 1956 from Newark College of Engineering, and MS in physics (1958) and PhD in physics (1963) at UCLA. Stenger was a professor of physics at the University of Hawaii until his 2000 retirement.

Difficulties on theory

Two salient difficulties on Stenger’s big bang thermodynamics models are firstly his unassuming equation of entropy with disorder, which is only a statistical mechanical approximation (Boltzmann-Planck approximation of Boltzmann chaos assumption) valid only in certain cases and under certain types of entropy change, and secondly his definition of the universe as a “closed system”, which technically means a system surrounded by a boundary across which energy, in the form of work or heat, but not matter may pass. On the latter terminology, it is likely “isolated system” to which Stenger meant to define the universe (a common slip), as there do not exist any known theories that purport the universe to be being acted on by transfers or passages of energy, heat, or work (aside from fringe wormhole theories, parallel universe theories, or multiverse theories, etc.).
Quotes | By
The following are quotes by Stenger:

“Modern physics, including quantum mechanics, remains completely materialistic and reductionist while being consistent with all scientific observation.”
Victor Stenger (1997), “Quantum Quackery” [3]

“As a physicist who had never seen the hand of god in any observable phenomena, I view the scientific rejection of the soul as the ultimate validation of reductionist material monism.”
Victor Stenger (2005), “Forward” to The Soul Fallacy (pg. 9) by Julien Musolino
1. (a) Stenger, Victor J. (1995). The Unconscious Quantums: Metaphysics in Modern PHysics and Cosmology (pg. 227-30). Prometheus Books.
(b) Edis, Taner. (2002). The Ghost in the Universe: God in the Light of Modern Science (pgs. 67-68, 80). Prometheus Books.
2. (a) Stenger, Victor J. (2003). Has Science Found God? The Latest Results in the Search for Purpose in the Universe (mathematical derivation of the curves in the plot given in Appendix C, pgs. 356-57). Prometheus books.
(b) Stenger, Victor J. (2007). God: the Failed Hypothesis: How Science Shows That God Does Not Exist (ch. 4: Cosmic Evidence, pg. 113-36). Prometheus Books.
3. (a) Stenger, Victor. (1997). “Quantum Quackery” (Ѻ), Committee for Skeptical Inquiry, Jan/Feb.
(b) Musolino, Julien. (2015). The Soul Fallacy: What Science Shows We Gain from Letting Go of Our Soul Beliefs (foreword: Victor Stenger) (pg. 124). Prometheus.
Further reading
● Stenger, Victor J. (2013). God and the Atom: from Democritus to the Higgs Boson: the Story of a Triumphant Idea. Prometheus Books.

External links
Victor J. Stenger – Wikipedia.

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