God's Debris: A Thought Experiment

God's Debris: A Thought Experiment

by Scott Adams


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God's Debris is the first non-Dilbert, non-humor book by best-selling author Scott Adams. Adams describes God's Debris as a thought experiment wrapped in a story. It's designed to make your brain spin around inside your skull.

Imagine that you meet a very old man who—you eventually realize—knows literally everything. Imagine that he explains for you the great mysteries of life: quantum physics, evolution, God, gravity, light psychic phenomenon, and probability—in a way so simple, so novel, and so compelling that it all fits together and makes perfect sense. What does it feel like to suddenly understand everything?

You may not find the final answer to the big question, but God's Debris might provide the most compelling vision of reality you will ever read. The thought experiment is this: Try to figure out what's wrong with the old man's explanation of reality. Share the book with your smart friends, then discuss it later while enjoying a beverage.

It has no violence or sex, but the ideas are powerful and not appropriate for readers under fourteen.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780740747878
Publisher: Andrews McMeel Publishing
Publication date: 09/01/2004
Pages: 144
Sales rank: 216,971
Product dimensions: 5.00(w) x 7.00(h) x 0.50(d)

About the Author

What started as a doodle has turned Scott Adams into a superstar of the cartoon world. Dilbert debuted on the comics page in 1989, while Adams was in the tech department at Pacific Bell. Adams continued to work at Pacific Bell until he was voluntarily downsized in 1995. He has lived in the San Francisco Bay Area since 1979.


Danville, California

Date of Birth:

June 8, 1957

Place of Birth:

Catskill, New York


B.A., Hartwick College, 1979; M.B.A., University of California, Berkeley, 1986



By Scott Adams

This is not a Dilbert book. It contains no humor. I call it a 99-page thought experiment wrapped in a fictional story. I'll explain the thought experiment part later.

God's Debris is not being published in the old-fashioned dead-tree way because it doesn't fit into normal publishing cubbyholes. There is even disagreement about whether the material is fiction or non-fiction. I contend that it is fiction because the characters don't exist. Some people contend that it is non-fiction because the opinions and philosophies of the characters might have lasting impact on the reader.

The story contains no violence, no sexual content and no offensive language. But the ideas expressed by the characters are inappropriate for young minds. People under the age of 14 should not read it.

The target audience for God's Debris is people who enjoy having their brains spun around inside their skulls. After a certain age most people are uncomfortable with new ideas. That certain age varies by person, but if you're over 55 (mentally) you probably won't enjoy this thought experiment. If you're 80 going on 35, you might like it. If you're 23, your odds of liking it are very good. If you're a literary critic, keep in mind that I hate you, too, and I said it first.

The story's central character has a view about God that you've probably never heard before. If you think you would be offended by a fictional character's untraditional view of God, please don't read this.

The opinions and philosophies expressed by the characters are not my own, except by coincidence in a few spots not worth mentioning. Please don't write me with passionate explanations of why my views are wrong. You won't discover my opinions by reading my fiction.

The central character in God's Debris knows everything. Literally everything. This presented a challenge to me as a writer. When you consider all of the things that can be known, I don't know much. My solution was to create smart-sounding answers using the skeptic's creed:

The simplest explanation is usually right.

My experience tells me that in this complicated world the simplest explanation is usually dead wrong. But I've noticed that the simplest explanation usually sounds right and is far more convincing than any complicated explanation could hope to be. That's good enough for my purposes here.

The simplest explanation approach turned out to be more provocative than I expected. The simplest explanations for the Big Questions ended up connecting paths that don't normally get connected. The description of reality in God's Debris isn't true, as far as I know, but it's oddly compelling. Therein lies the thought experiment:

Try to figure out what's wrong with the simplest explanations.

The central character states a number of scientific "facts." Some of his weirdest statements are consistent with what scientists generally believe. Some of what he says is creative baloney designed to sound true. See if you can tell the difference.

You might love this thought experiment wrapped in a story. Or you might hate it. But you won't easily get it out of your mind. For maximum enjoyment, share your legal copy with a smart friend and then discuss it while enjoying a tasty beverage.

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God's Debris: A Thought Experiment 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 31 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Given the title, it's no great spoiler to point out that the basic idea underlying Adams' first major publication in the area of philosophy (in a Socratic dialogue no less!!) is pandeism. Pandeism is the belief that God became the Universe, generally through some form of transformative transfer enacting carefully crafted laws of physics. Adams employs a particularly violent take on this theme, which I won't give away here, not will I give away the mechanism Adams suggests for the restoration of the Universe to being God, also an element common to most strains of pandeism. Altogether an enjoyable discourse with characters just deep enough to make you forget that what you're really getting here is a philosophy lesson!!
monototo on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
some of the chapters were gold. Adams warns that the all-knowing character in the book makes some scientific fallacies which is good in a sense, it keep the reader on their toes and makes them analyse everything. However, the misconceptions regarding the limitations of evolution are worrying, there's already enough misinformation surrounding this subject. The analogy between living evolution and the evolution of cookware was however clever and well presented.
millsge on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
If you ever enjoyed Dilbert, do yourself a favor and thank the man who did so much to make cubicle life a little more bearable by giving this short and very original book a chance. Plato would have loved (or perhaps loves) it - I'm sure God does.
hjjugovic on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I read this free download on the recommendation of another LibraryThing member (Thanks, Leah!) and really enjoyed it. It is very short and thought provoking. There isn't much of a plot (it really is a thought experiment) but is never boring. It's also not for everyone - if you are religious and easily offended by ideas contrary to your own, walk away. The most intriguing bit is the author's own admission that some of the ideas are legitimate scientific or philosphical principals and some are just plain made up. Part of the experiment is to see if you can tell the difference. I admit some of them have me stumped! Either way, it's really fun to challenge your assumptions, think in a different way, and ponder the preposterous. Recommended!
whynaut on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is a book that completely opened up my brain when I was thirteen years old. It was more than teaching me something new, it was teaching me that things could be new; that the world could be vastly different from what my teachers were telling me or what I could perceive with my senses. If you need a good brain-jarring or just trying to mix the world up you should read this book.Though looking back at it now from much older eyes (ten years later) the book it more cute and nostalgic than anything else.
EAG on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I was surprised to run across a non-fiction work by the creator of Dilbert, especially one that set out to examine weighty issues about the meaning of life, the universe and everything in just over 100 pages. I was hesitant to get it at first, especially since the book¿s set-up was eerily similar to Daniel Quinn¿s Ishmael---a cringe-worthy example of philosophy `lite¿ if ever there was one. Fortunately there are no telepathic gorillas here. The Socratic dialogue between the two main characters can be irritating at times; however, it serves its purpose well. And while he does have a definite philosophic stance (notwithstanding his disclaimers), Scott is less interested in providing answers to the key issues in the science vs. religion debates than he is in challenging people to think more critically about the big questions in life. God's Debris is an unexpected delight: chock-full of clever and thought-provoking metaphors, it is a quirky "thought-experiment" worth engaging in.
HutcH on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
God's Debris is a short story written by Scott Adams of Dilbert fame as, defined accurately in the title, a thought experiment. Scott does an excellent job in this philosophical work putting ideas, some old and some new, together in a new way.It's a great read if you don't mind someone challenging the status quo. I recommend this book to those looking for something a bit different.
AlexTheHunn on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
While ostensibly departing from his openly humorous and subtly philosophical Dilbert comic strip, Adams in effect reverses modalities and becomes openly philosophical and subtly humor in this work. Adams himself states there is a flaw in his logic. There are probably many, yet as a whole this book works well as a vehicle for a very practical approach to living in peace, harmony, and tolerance.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Fantastic book
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A great book, gave it to several friends and we have had many a long discussion about it.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
Adams packs a lot in what seems to be a short story (I finished the entire book in under 2 hours). Most of the book is a philosphical discussion between a UPS delivery man and an old man (called the Avatar). The discussion is just as good as anything I have read by Plato (I am thinking of The Apology) and basically tries to define who is God and what is his purpose. Towards the end of the discussion, the Avatar gives the deliveryman some great advice about relationships and life. I really enjoyed Adam's preface at the beginning that basically tells you not to expect Dilbert or any comic moments like the Dilbert strips. Adams is excellent deviating from what he is known for.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Although at times the story and character became dull, it was an overall good read. It makes you think.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I don't think the purpose of this book is to give the Great Answer to the Big Question it says just that on the back cover. For me, this book was made to make me think, or at least entertain me for a short while. After finishing the book, I came away from it with a smile on my face, because I had found something I was looking for. The way things are today, there are only two 'acceptable' answers to the Big Question. Here is a third answer that makes sense. This is not to say that the this third answer is the real Answer, but it proves the point that what we think we know now is based on what we can do now. There are answers to questions out there that we haven't even asked, simply because we don't know they can be asked. That is what this book says to me. A great read, but don't pick it apart trying to seperate fact from fiction. The fun of the book is that you forget about that distinction. And if you find it boring and useless, just remember that it was less than $15.
Guest More than 1 year ago
A delivery boy delivers a package to an old man and they end up having a philosophical discussion. But don't get me wrong, they may be doing nothing but talking but this book is anything but boring. It had me completely captivated from the first page. As someone who's done some intense thinking from a really young age, it's hard for me to be shocked by any new ideas so although it didn't surprise me with wild new ideas, it was pretty amazing how a few lines actually gave me goose bumps making me feel like I'd had some shocking new revelation. I absolutely loved the amazingly simplistic way in which Scott Adams presents some really complex ideas. This book is SO easy to read , it's an absolute DELITE. As I said, I read it twice in a row! If you love to think and have thought of everything, you'll find this intriguing little book highly entertaining and intellectually stimulating in a refreshingly relaxing way. If you don't like to think too much, you just might love this book even more because it certainly has the power to blow your mind.
Guest More than 1 year ago
God's Debris is a thought provoker. I would definetly recommend! This book was incredibly captivating. It is a theory presented in a story, and intricately ties details in amazing ways. I would recommend it to people of all faiths, all backgrounds, and all scientific beliefs. Further, I would recommend it for reading groups, because it is a book worth discussion.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I bought this book over a year ago and loaned it to a someone and they have not returned it. they loaned it to someone and they loaned it to someone else. we all know how it goes but this is one of the most thought invoking reads I have ever had the pleasure to read.