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?
Krauss’ answers to these and other timeless questions, in a wildly popular lecture on YouTube, has 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. Scientists have, however, historically focused on more pressing issues—such as figuring out how the universe actually functions, which could help us to improve our quality of life.
In this cosmological story that rivets as it enlightens, pioneering theoretical physicist Lawrence Krauss explains groundbreaking scientific advances that turn the most basic philosophical questions on their head. One of the few prominent scientists to have actively crossed the chasm between science and popular culture, Krauss reveals that modern science is indeed addressing the question of why there is something rather than nothing—with surprising and fascinating results. The beautiful experimental observations and mind-bending theories are all described accessibly, and they suggest that not only can something arise from nothing, something will always arise from nothing.
With his characteristic wry humor and clear explanations, Krauss takes us back to the beginning of the beginning, presenting recent evidence for how our universe evolved—and the implications for how it will end. It will provoke, challenge, and delight listeners 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 has profound consequences and directly affects how we live in the present. As Richard Dawkins described it, this could potentially be the most important scientific book with implications for supernaturalism since Darwin.
©2012 Lawrence M. Krauss (P)2012 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
“Nothing is not nothing. Nothing is something. That’s how a cosmos can be spawned from the void—a profound idea conveyed in A Universe from Nothing that unsettles some yet enlightens others. Meanwhile, it’s just another day on the job for physicist Lawrence Krauss.” (Neil deGrasse Tyson, astrophysicist, American Museum of Natural History)
I wish I understood more of the physics behind the theories but that not withstanding, this book certainly makes you step back and wonder at the complexities of the universe. It certaily is thought provoking on many levels...
Krause provides an excellent rebuttal to the old theological saw that there must be a creator god. Without one, we are forced to explain how something, the universe, came out of nothing. Thanks to Krause, we now know there is empirical evidence that the appearance of subatomic particles from nothing is actually a rather banal occurrence. He goes on to provide a very plausible explanation of our current understanding of cosmology. One that is far more bazaar and interesting than anything organized religion offers.
This book fits very nicely on the shelf with Dawkins' 'God Delusion', Sam Harris' 'The End of Faith', and Hitchens' 'God is Not Great'.
Great explanation of how something can come from nothing for the person that does not have a degree in physics. He uses no convoluted math or technical jargon that can not be understood by the layman.
Just another boring Atheism vs. God debate that's been done a hundred times before.
Was expecting a purely quantum physics/cosmology book a la Michio Kaku.
Authour and narrator were both well-spoken, at least.
Yes, it did make my head hurt... but in a good way. Granted, I'm not a cosmologist and as a simple layman there was much here that flew over my head. Much. But what I did get - particular the bit about stardust - was beautiful.
This book blew my mind and my imagination. As an animator and science lover I was very impressed with comprehensive the subject matter is. My imagination sparked as he spoke about the future of our universe as well as the possible other universes. I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to learn, whether they are science literate or not. After all your brain is most happy when it learns something new.
This book is on the one hand a delight, and on the other hand a disappointment.
It's a lively and interesting look at current physics--or at least, physics as of 2011; developments have continued. Krauss gives us a clear, interesting, and compelling account of the current scientific understanding of how our universe came into existence, how matter and energy can come from nothing, and why such exotic concepts as dark matter are fundamental to understanding how this universe works the way it does and why we are even able to exist.
And if my references to "this universe" and "our universe" seem a bit strange, well, Krauss also describes why it's likely there's more than one universe.
This is all challenging material, and Krauss makes it worth the work to pay careful attention. That's a vital skill in a good science popularizer--and we need more good science popularizers. Children taught in school that science is a matter of rote memorization to pass a test are at far too high a risk of becoming adults who think science is a matter of belief and ideology--and that scientists are just being narrow-minded when they insist climate change is real, or that so-called "creation science" is simply, factually false, and not anything like real science. They will, in short, be at risk of becoming adults who think science is a liberal conspiracy out to undermine decent moral and religious values, and wreck our economy and way of life.
Where we run into trouble in this book is that Krauss thinks he has not not just make the science clear, but also make it clear that, in his mind, which he takes to be objective fact, of course you are totally free to believe in God, but "God" is completely unnecessary... He's far too polite, reasonable, and probably a totally nice guy, to say that only fools believe in God.
He doesn't seem to understand, as many other atheist or agnostic scientists do understand, that religion and science are not about the same things. (Granted, there are religious believers who make the same mistake, aided and abetted by poor quality science education in the schools.) No, Mr. Krauss, I don't need to know your views on God, or your views on my belief in God, to be a fascinated and receptive audience for your explication of the physics and cosmology you've devoted your professional life to doing such good work in. I'm not interested in what Christopher Hitchens had to say; if I were, I would read his books to find out, not yours. There's no need to quote him repeatedly in a books I'm reading because I want to know about the physics and cosmology you're writing about.
Now, I do need to say that there was not so much of this stuff that it prevented me from enjoying the book and learning from it. And I'm well aware that what annoyed me will make this book more attractive to some readers. If so, great! Enjoy! I don't write these reviews to discourage anyone from reading something they'll enjoy. My hope is, in fact, that even if you disagree with my judgments, you'll still be able to recognize in my reviews books you'll enjoy even if I dislike them, and books you won't enjoy even if I love them.
In any case, I did enjoy A Universe From Nothing. I just would have enjoyed it a bit more if he'd stayed on topic better.
So, on the whole, recommended.
I bought this book.
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