A few months ago, I wrote two posts on Lawrence Krauss’ take on the question of why is there something rather than nothing. In the meantime, he has written a book on the subject. I don’t need to review the book, because David Albert has done it for me in the New York Times. Here’s a highlight:
The fact that some arrangements of fields happen to correspond to the existence of particles and some don’t is not a whit more mysterious than the fact that some of the possible arrangements of my fingers happen to correspond to the existence of a fist and some don’t. And the fact that particles can pop in and out of existence, over time, as those fields rearrange themselves, is not a whit more mysterious than the fact that fists can pop in and out of existence, over time, as my fingers rearrange themselves. And none of these poppings — if you look at them aright — amount to anything even remotely in the neighborhood of a creation from nothing.
Even worse is Dawkins’ afterword to Krauss’ book: “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 supernaturalism, 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.” Pathetic, desperate nonsense. By his own admission, Krauss isn’t answering the question “why is there something rather than nothing?”; he is using equivocation to substitute an unrelated scientific question “why are there particles rather than the quantum vacuum?” and then announcing victory over the philosophers. What it says is not devastating. It is sophomorically irrelevant.
Via Ted Poston.