Gendou's Reviews > A Universe from Nothing: Why There Is Something Rather Than Nothing

A Universe from Nothing by Lawrence M. Krauss
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Feb 10, 2012

it was amazing
bookshelves: non-fiction, physics, cosmology, atheism
Read from February 08 to 10, 2012

Krauss comes out swinging, calling theism morally bankrupt, and poo-pooing "first cause" as a cop out.

The first half of the book is a very good explanations for lay or studied person.

Later on, though, the author beats his thesis like a dead horse with a floppy philosophy stick.
I got really tired of hearing the phrase "something from nothing".

I was curious why he insists space is precisely flat.
Experiments like BOOMERanG show it is very nearly flat.
But then again, the gravitational constant is very nearly zero compared to the other forces.
Nearly zero can only be called zero when zero is otherwise an important prediction, like the rest mass of a photon.
While it's a safe guess that our limit for the curvature will continue to approach zero, it is by no means a certainty!
Krauss seems to imply otherwise, an in my opinion, mistakenly so.

In the end of the book, he gives a shockingly poor answer to Einstein's question:
Did got have a choice in creating the universe?
He responds with a sort of anthropic argument, that if the universe were much different, there would be nobody around to ask the question.
This is clearly not true for computer scientists, who, if they're like me, create toy universes all the time.
Their made-up laws of nature may be simple, and the results may be trifling compared to, and by definition are lesser than, our universe.
But they are universes, just the same.
Chess, Conway's game of life, Richard Dawkin's Biomorphs, any Minecraft map, and the World of Warcraft are all universes, with their own laws.
None of them incorporate quantum mechanics, or have an Einstein in them, however.
Idea: Build Einstein in Mincraft!

My favorite part of the book was the terrifying story of the impoverished physicists living 2 trillion years from now.
They will have no traces of dark energy, or the big bang, because the CMBR will have red-shifted out of view.
Poor guys.
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