| 3.9/5 |
January 10, 2012
10 January 2012
United States of America
| Print (Hardcover and Softcover), e-book|
Lawrence M Krauss books, Universe books, Physics books
A Universe from Nothing: Why There Is Something Rather than Nothing is a non-fiction book by the physicist Lawrence M. Krauss, initially published on January 10, 2012 by Free Press. It discusses modern cosmogony and its implications for the debate about the existence of God. The main theme of the book is how "we have discovered that all signs suggest a universe that could and plausibly did arise from a deeper nothing - involving the absence of space itself - and which may one day return to nothing via processes that may not only be comprehensible but also processes that do not require any external control or direction." This is Krauss's ninth non-fiction book.
A Universe from Nothing Wikipedia
The book ends with an afterword by Richard Dawkins in which he compares the potential impact of the book to that of The Origin of Species — a comparison that Krauss himself called "pretentious". Christopher Hitchens had agreed to write a foreword for the book prior to his death but was too ill to complete it. To write the book, Krauss expanded material from a lecture on the cosmological implications of a flat expanding universe he gave to the Richard Dawkins Foundation at the 2009 Atheist Alliance International conference. The book appeared on The New York Times bestseller list on January 29, 2012.
In the New York Times, philosopher of science and physicist David Albert said the book failed to live up to its title, and he criticized Krauss for dismissing concerns about his misuse of the term nothing. Commenting on the philosophical debate sparked by the book, the physicist Sean M. Carroll asked, "Do advances in modern physics and cosmology help us address these underlying questions, of why there is something called the universe at all, and why there are things called 'the laws of physics,' and why those laws seem to take the form of quantum mechanics, and why some particular wave function and Hamiltonian? In a word: no. I don't see how they could."
The physicist George F. R. Ellis, when asked whether Krauss has "solved the mystery of why there is something rather than nothing", noted that the "belief that all of reality can be fully comprehended in terms of physics and the equations of physics is a fantasy ... Krauss does not address why the laws of physics exist, why they have the form they have, or in what kind of manifestation they existed before the universe existed (which he must believe if he believes they brought the universe into existence)."
The mathematical physicist I. S. Kohli also analyzed the main technical arguments in Krauss' book, concluding that "many of the claims are not supported in full by modern general relativity theory or quantum field theory in curved spacetime".
Caleb Scharf, writing in Nature, said that "it would be easy for this remarkable story to revel in self-congratulation, but Krauss steers it soberly and with grace". Samantha Nelson, writing for The A.V. Club, gave A Universe from Nothing a 'B' grade and commented that it "is solidly in the New Atheism camp, a cosmologist's version of Dawkins' The Blind Watchmaker," but noted that "the concepts he explores are so complex, and filled with so many factors that top physicists and cosmologists don't understand, expanding on them in print actually makes them more confusing". In New Scientist, Michael Brooks wrote, "Krauss will be preaching only to the converted. That said, we should be happy to be preached to so intelligently. The same can't be said about the Dawkins afterword, which is both superfluous and silly."