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It doesn’t sound like Larry Krauss has sold the New York Times reviewer …

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A Universe from Nothing: Why There Is Something Rather than Nothing

In “On the Origin of Everything” (New York Times, March 25, 2012), David Albert reviews A Universe From Nothing by Lawrence Krauss:

Lawrence M. Krauss, a well-known cosmologist and prolific popular-science writer, apparently means to announce to the world, in this new book, that the laws of quantum mechanics have in them the makings of a thoroughly scientific and adamantly secular explanation of why there is something rather than nothing. Period. Case closed. End of story. I kid you not. Look at the subtitle. Look at how Richard Dawkins sums it up in his afterword: “Even the last remaining trump card of the theologian, ‘Why is there something rather than nothing?,’ shrivels up before your eyes as you read these pages. If ‘On the Origin of Species’ was biology’s deadliest blow to super-naturalism, we may come to see ‘A Universe From Nothing’ as the equivalent from cosmology. The title means exactly what it says. And what it says is -devastating.”

Well, let’s see. There are lots of different sorts of conversations one might want to have about a claim like that: conversations, say, about what it is to explain something, and about what it is to be a law of nature, and about what it is to be a physical thing. But since the space I have is limited, let me put those niceties aside and try to be quick, and crude, and concrete.

In a backward northern country, people are accustomed to say, in such uncertain cases, “Fine. Whatever you say. See you on the ice tomorrow.”

6 Replies to “It doesn’t sound like Larry Krauss has sold the New York Times reviewer …

  1. 1
    mike1962 says:

    Krauss and Dawkins both demonstrate clearly that it’s possible to be a high functioning insane person.

  2. 2
    JDH says:

    Krauss is just one more example of someone who must create an extremely complicated theory in order to disbelieve what is obviously true.

    Dawkins, Krauss, and there ilk desperately do not want to believe in God. They are incredibly committed to this idea, and this is why their arguments have to get more and more complicated. They want so badly for materialism to be true.

    What they purposely close their eyes to, is the inherent self-contradiction in their ideas. Meaning and information – which undoubtedly is contained in their theories – can only be created by a being that can make choices against natural law. The so-called self-won’t. If they – as physical entities – are able to create a meaningful theory about the world around them, they must not be entirely subject to physical law. In other words, the only being who could create a “materialistic view of the universe” must have a non-material component. Because they are very intelligent, ( i.e. their blindness is of their own volition, not of any intellectual limitation ) Krauss and his fellow materialists can correctly be called fools. “The fool hath declared in his heart, ‘There is no God'”. Krauss has not only declared this in his heart, he is with great aplomb, striving to convince us all to adopt his foolishness. I pity him.

  3. 3
    Axel says:

    I wonder if it would be possible to sue Krauss and Dawkins for corrupting the minds of the young, not morally – which is incidental and open to dispute, albeit unenlightened – but epistemically.

    These people seem to exert enormously exaggerated influence over the more impressionable members of our society, notably, disaffected adolescents, by peddling simplistically and desperately erroneous ideas based on commensurately simple incomprehension of the elementary physics articulated by David Albert in article.

    As for the Dawk, his ravings would seem to urge us to view Krauss as a cross between Einstein and John the Evangelist. As David Albert intimated, Dawkins’ wild ravings proclaim an entirely mythical discovery of how nothing created something, and yet doubtless hundreds of children might read Krauss’ tome, to their enormous epistemic detriment.

  4. 4
    Axel says:

    “Who cares what we would or would not have made a peep about a hundred years ago? We were wrong a hundred years ago. We know more now. And if what we formerly took for nothing turns out, on closer examination, to have the makings of protons and neutrons and tables and chairs and planets and solar systems and galaxies and universes in it, then it wasn’t nothing, and it couldn’t have been nothing, in the first place.”

    Shame on YOU, Mr Albert! Who could be so stony-hearted as not to sympathize with the estimable Mr Krauss, in his hankering for the simpler view of things of yesteryear. You may scoff at his religious yearnings, but the heart has its reasons… As dear old Dawks instantly realised. Such “olde worlde” loyalty and camaraderie warms the cockles of one’s heart. You rock, Richie!

  5. 5
    azc says:

    True we do not know the origin of the universe and it is continually being tested by physicists. We have a pretty good idea of what happened from 10^-43 seconds after the start of the universe. From that time on, there is no evidence of intelligent design. This also applies to evolution. No intelligent design there. What is obvious to me is-why would an intelligent designer get the Universe off with a Big Bang and then not refine their design? I struggle with this.

  6. 6
    Axel says:

    That’s a real puzzler, azc. A real knotty one. Every which way I looks, nothin’ but chaos! (… in case you’re not taking the rise out of the Unintelligent Designers.)

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