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A Universe from Nothing: Why There Is…
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A Universe from Nothing: Why There Is Something Rather than Nothing (2012)

by Lawrence M. Krauss

Other authors: Richard Dawkins (Afterword)

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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Outstanding work on cosmology, and the first I've seen to discuss what "happened" before the Big Bang, and how one can get "A Universe from Nothing" -- and why there is no alternative.

The book seems to have originated in this lecture given by Krauss at the invitation of Richard Dawkins at the October 2009 Atheist Alliance International (AII) in October 2009:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ImvlS8PLIo&feature=kp

Other talks at this conference here:

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLD62809AD452EDB98 ( )
  bodhisattva | Jun 12, 2014 |
unknown
  Bruno_Estigarribia | Mar 31, 2014 |
A Universe from Nothing by Lawrence M. Krauss

Modern physics and the Cosmological Argument - why anything exists at all. Pleasant, interesting and non-obnoxious.

Popular science books can vary a lot in tone and content. This one manages to be both informative in summarising both the history of and modern cosmological theories while also being smooth, interesting reading.

One of the main themes is the book is explaining what current cosmology and particle physics propose as the origins of the universe and why there is a universe at all, rather than nothing, and so it’s partially being put forward as a pop-atheism book, and this was my main worry picking it up. I was pleasantly surprised to find it avoided being off-putting in the way many authors on this topic can be, that is, smug to the point of making the alleged goal of such books, deprogramming, unlikely.

I’m not sure how convincing it was on explaining why anything at all exists; I may be giving it a second read, but I have been looking for some targeted layman discussion of this point for some time and it hit the elusive spot. Of course, it’s difficult to evaluate the quality of a summary without knowing the content being discussed; but it comes off as reasonably thorough for a piece that avoids any mathematics. I’d recommend having a look if you like this sort of thing.
  Achromatic | Feb 16, 2014 |
Given it's a book about bleeding edge fundamental physics written for lay-people, Lawrence Kraus did a pretty good job of keeping me on board for the whole of a rather roller-coaster ride. The book sets out to explain how a Universe like the one we live in that comes from absolutely nothing is not only not surprising, it is a natural consequence. Now and then my grip on what was being explained was tenuous (perhaps my deficiency) and sometimes it felt a little padded rather than necessary background, but on the whole this tackled some very difficult stuff in a way I could wrap my head around.

I must admit I am also gratified that my own musings on the subject (that the Universe is an unstable zero-sum game) seem to fit with current evidence and scientific conclusions....................perhaps the old grey matter is not quite dead yet....................

Well worth a read (and should be compulsory at School)! ( )
  malcrf | Jan 11, 2014 |
Doesn't actually elucidate the basic premise at all well, but, gives you the general idea of what this line of arguement is and some other things ( )
  BakuDreamer | Sep 7, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 16 (next | show all)
Where, for starters, are the laws of quantum mechanics themselves supposed to have come from? Krauss is more or less upfront, as it turns out, about not having a clue about that. He acknowledges (albeit in a parenthesis, and just a few pages before the end of the book) that every­thing he has been talking about simply takes the basic principles of quantum mechanics for granted.

...

And I guess it ought to be mentioned, quite apart from the question of whether anything Krauss says turns out to be true or false, that the whole business of approaching the struggle with religion as if it were a card game, or a horse race, or some kind of battle of wits, just feels all wrong — or it does, at any rate, to me. When I was growing up, where I was growing up, there was a critique of religion according to which religion was cruel, and a lie, and a mechanism of enslavement, and something full of loathing and contempt for every­thing essentially human. Maybe that was true and maybe it wasn’t, but it had to do with important things — it had to do, that is, with history, and with suffering, and with the hope of a better world — and it seems like a pity, and more than a pity, and worse than a pity, with all that in the back of one’s head, to think that all that gets offered to us now, by guys like these, in books like this, is the pale, small, silly, nerdy accusation that religion is, I don’t know, dumb.
 
A Universe From Nothing isn’t going to win any converts, nor is it particularly useful for debating with atheists, as the science sounds so fanciful. But as bizarre as the spontaneous creation and destruction of particles might seem, Krauss argues that there’s scientific proof of the phenomenon, which makes it better than any creation myth.
 

» Add other authors (5 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Lawrence M. Kraussprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Dawkins, RichardAfterwordsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Vance, SimonNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
On this site in 1897,

Nothing happened.

- Plaque on wall of Woody Creek Tavern, Woody Creek, Colorado
Dedication
To Thomas, Patty, Nancy, and Robin, for helping inspire me to create something from nothing...
First words
Preface: In the interests of full disclosure right at the outset I must admit that I am not sympathetic to the conviction that creation requires a creator, which is at the basis of all of the world's religions.
Chapter 1: Early in 1916, Albert Einstein had just completed his greatest life's work, a decade-long, intense intellectual struggle to derive a new theory of gravity, which he called the general theory of relativity.
Quotations
A universe without purpose or guidance may seem, for some, to make life itself meaningless. For others, including me, such a universe is invigorating. It makes the fact of our existence even more amazing, and it motivates us to draw meaning from our own actions and to make the most of our brief existence in the sun, simply because we are here, blessed with consciousness and with the opportunity to do so.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 145162445X, Hardcover)

“WHERE DID THE UNIVERSE COME FROM? WHAT WAS THERE BEFORE IT? WHAT WILL THE FUTURE BRING? AND FINALLY, WHY IS THERE SOMETHING RATHER THAN NOTHING?”

Lawrence Krauss’s provocative answers to these and other timeless questions in a wildly popular lecture now on YouTube have attracted almost a million viewers. The last of these questions in particular has been at the center of religious and philosophical debates about the existence of God, and it’s the supposed counterargument to anyone who questions the need for God. As Krauss argues, scientists have, however, historically focused on other, more pressing issues—such as figuring out how the universe actually functions, which can ultimately help us to improve the quality of our lives.

Now, in a cosmological story that rivets as it enlightens, pioneering theoretical physicist Lawrence Krauss explains the groundbreaking new scientific advances that turn the most basic philosophical questions on their heads. One of the few prominent scientists today to have actively crossed the chasm between science and popular culture, Krauss reveals that modern science is addressing the question of why there is something rather than nothing, with surprising and fascinating results. The staggeringly beautiful experimental observations and mind-bending new theories are all described accessibly in A Universe from Nothing, and they suggest that not only can something arise from nothing, something will always arise from nothing.

With his characteristic wry humor and wonderfully clear explanations, Krauss takes us back to the beginning of the beginning, presenting the most recent evidence for how our universe evolved—and the implications for how it’s going to end. It will provoke, challenge, and delight readers as it looks at the most basic underpinnings of existence in a whole new way. And this knowledge that our universe will be quite different in the future from today has profound implications and directly affects how we live in the present. As Richard Dawkins has described it: This could potentially be the most important scientific book with implications for supernaturalism since Darwin.

A fascinating antidote to outmoded philosophical and religious thinking, A Universe from Nothing is a provocative, game-changing entry into the debate about the existence of God and everything that exists. “Forget Jesus,” Krauss has argued, “the stars died so you could be born.”

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:35:47 -0400)

"Internationally known theoretical physicist and bestselling author Lawrence Krauss offers provocative, revelatory answers to the most basic philosophical questions: Where did our universe come from? Why is there something rather than nothing? And how isit all going to end? Why is there something rather than nothing?" is asked of anyone who says there is no God. Yet this is not so much a philosophical or religious question as it is a question about the natural world--and until now there has not been a satisfying scientific answer. Today, exciting scientific advances provide new insight into this cosmological mystery: Not only can something arise from nothing, something will always arise from nothing. With his wonderfully clear arguments and wry humor, pioneering physicist Lawrence Krauss explains how in this fascinating antidote to outmoded philosophical and religious thinking. As he puts it in his entertaining video of the same title, which has received over 675,000 hits, "Forget Jesus. The stars died so you could be born." A mind-bending trip back to the beginning of the beginning, A Universe from Nothing authoritatively presents the most recent evidence that explains how our universe evolved--and the implications for how it's going to end. It will provoke, challenge, and delight readers to look at the most basic underpinnings of existence in a whole new way. And this knowledge that our universe will be quite different in the future from today has profound implications and directly affects how we live in the present. As Richard Dawkins has described it: This could potentially be the most important scientific book with implications for atheism since Darwin"-- "Authoritatively presents the most recent evidence that explains how our universe evolved--and the implications for how it's going to end"--… (more)

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