Stuff I should be reading: A Universe From Nothing

A Universe from Nothing by Lawrence M. Krauss.

For many religious folks, the God of the Gaps argument from design has retreated from humanity (What a piece of work is a man!) to the universe.  OK, Darwin has a point, but still, there must be a Prime Mover, an Uncaused Cause.  But maybe not.

…[W]hat I find remarkable is the fact that the discoveries of modern particle physics and cosmology over the past half century allow not only a possibility that the Universe arose from nothing, but in fact make this possibility increasingly plausible.  Everything we have measured about the universe is not only consistent with a universe that came from nothing (and didn’t have to turn out this way!), but in fact, all the new evidence makes this possibility ever more likely.  Darwin demonstrated how the remarkable diversity of life on Earth, and the apparent design of life, which had been claimed as evidence for a caring God, could in fact instead be arrived at by natural causes involving purely physical processes of mutation and natural selection.  I want to show something similar about the Universe.  We may never prove by science that a Creator is impossible, but, as Steven Weinberg has emphasized, science admits (and for many of us, suggests) a universe in which one is not necessary.

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11 thoughts on “Stuff I should be reading: A Universe From Nothing

  1. Not an unreasonable argument, but irrelevant to the question of whether God exists. Most believers I know give a big yawn to the question of whether scientific cosmology or evolutionary biology actively support the supposition of God’s existence. Science can’t prove (or disprove) God’s existence, and to expect it to is a wrong-headed approach to both science and faith. For the people I know, the proof comes from the experience of God’s presence. Sometimes it’s a life-changing, single event that confirms the belief; sometimes it’s a slow but steady walk.

    I love science, but these kinds of arguments are barking up the wrong tree.

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    • This deserves a more considered reply, but I’ll just note here that religious people throughout history have been making (and continue to make) the argument from design.  Have you read Karen Armstrong’s The Case for God by any chance?  It taught me the word apophatic, which seems relevant here.  

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  2. God will exist scientifically so long as special theory of relativity will remain intact. God will exist scientifically so long as time and distance will go on becoming unreal at the speed of light. No scientist, however great, can ever be able to do anything against God so long as these two conditions are satisfied, that is, so long as time and distance can become unreal.

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  3. With the help of special theory of relativity we can explain God’s spacelessness. With the help of special theory of relativity we can explain God’s timelessness. With the help of special theory of relativity we can explain God’s changelessness. With the help of special theory of relativity we can explain God’s immortality. With the help of special theory of relativity we can explain how God can be everywhere. With the help of special theory of relativity we can explain all the major attributes of God. When we find that science can explain God, why shall we have to think then that God is non-existent? If God is non-existent, then why has science explained God? Is it the job of science to explain a non-existent entity like God? So either that particular science is faulty that explains God; or, if that particular science is not faulty, then God is not non-existent.
    For further reading, please see
    http://scigod.com/index.php/sgj/article/view/50
    http://scigod.com/index.php/sgj/article/view/62
    http://scigod.com/index.php/sgj/article/view/63
    http://scigod.com/index.php/sgj/article/view/76

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  4. Pingback: Science and Religion | richard bowker

  5. The Krauss book is reviewed in this week’s New Scientist, by the way. The reviewer finds it to be an excellent telling of the science, but less successful where it extrapolates to theology. The reviewer also calls the Dawkins afterword “silly.”

    The same issue of New Scientist also has an article on the question of whether the universe had a beginning, or is endless and cyclical (many Big Bangs). According to the article, the evidence seems to point toward there being a beginning (even if it’s cyclical), leaving open the question of how it all got started.

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  6. Pingback: Design | richard bowker

  7. Pingback: The Big Bang Theory and Pope Pius XII | richard bowker

  8. Pingback: A Universe from Nothing | richard bowker

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