Friday, March 23, 2012

Today's Academic Takedown

Lawrence Krauss published a book titled A Universe from Nothing: Why There is Something Rather than Nothing, which argues that the laws of quantum mechanics are sufficient to justify existence. Not just necessary, but sufficient. All the reviews I've scanned of it so far have been accepting (one thing I've noticed is that book reviews of popular science books in science magazines will criticize the science but will rarely criticize the philosophy so long as it hews to the party line). Richard Dawkins said this will do for the origin of the universe what the Origin of Species did for, well, the origin of species. But then in the New York Times a philosophy professor familiar with quantum mechanics reviewed it and, in short, he took it down. I have a feeling this review is more fun than the book is. Personally, I'm getting a little tired of the automatic acceptance of shoddy philosophy by the science magazines in their reviews, and this is a step in the other direction -- in the right direction, that is.

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