The New Nothingness: A Look at Lawrence Krauss’s A Universe from Nothing

By Dean C. Halverson

Lawrence Krauss writes that recent scientific discoveries show the universe could have come from nothing. He qualifies his definition of nothingness, though, to mean “empty space,” and then he fills that “empty space” with matter and antimatter ruled by the laws of quantum physics. So Krauss’s “nothing” is not really no thing, but is in fact something. Well into his book, Krauss addresses what came “before” the Big Bang. He proposes that a “more fundamental nothingness” is what came before the Big Bang, and he then applies several of God’s attributes— omnipotence, infinity, and necessity—to that “more fundamental nothingness.” It’s impossible, though, for a “more fundamental nothingness,” which has no being, to possess such attributes. Krauss himself raises the question as to where the laws of quantum physics could have resided before the Big Bang since “the more fundamental nothingness” is not sufficient to hold such ideas. By raising that question, Krauss inadvertently makes a case for the existence of a necessary Being that has a Mind in which such laws could have existed, thereby giving an apologetic for the God of the Bible. Since, after all is said and done, we cannot rise above that which is ultimate, Krauss’s view that ultimate reality is a nothingness eliminates all hope of our personal survival after death. Just as the universe came from nothing, as Krauss claims, so then in the end we will become nothing. Only the God who “has life in Himself” (John 5:26 NIV) can be a sufficient explanation for how the contingent universe came to be and is able to give us life.

Nothing comes from nothing. It would seem there is no more well-established truth than that. It has come under scrutiny, though, by Lawrence Krauss in his book A Universe from Nothing: Why There Is Something Rather than Nothing. Krauss, the director of the Origins Project at Arizona State University, writes that recent scientific discoveries have “produced remarkable new support for the idea that our universe arose from precisely nothing.”1 What we will see as we look at Krauss’s system of belief is that he has replaced God with nothingness and then given several of God’s attributes to that nothingness.

While Krauss affirms that the universe had a beginning (“The Big Bang picture is in good shape”2), he denies that God is the One who caused it to come into existence. So what was its cause? What “created” all things? As the title of his book says, nothing. Krauss states in his preface that, when it comes to answering the question as to why something rather than nothing exists, “something from nothing is not a problem. Indeed, something from nothing may have been required for the universe to come into being.”3 But, of course, because something really can’t come from nothing, Krauss has to fill his nothingness with something. He expresses his frustration with the philosophers and theologians who object to his concept of nothing as not being a true nothingness…

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The New Nothingness: A Look at Lawrence Krauss’s A Universe from Nothing – Christian Research Institute