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Afterword from Lawrence Krauss' New Book - A Universe From Nothing

[Update 25 Jan] Now on the New York Times Best Sellers List

Almost 2 years ago, Richard Dawkins and Elisabeth Cornwell asked me to deliver a lecture for the RDFRS at the AAI convention in Burbank California. I was happy to do that, but even happier to discover the reaction that followed. Much to my surprise, once RDFRS posted it to YouTube it became something of a hit, and now has over a million views. Almost a year later several friends of mine who had seen the lecture suggested I consider a book on the subject, and after discussing it with Leslie Meredith at Simon and Schuster's Free Press, the die was cast. I was very happy to have the opportunity to extend the discussions I gave in the lecture, and add significant background material describing the underlying science. Equally important I wanted to address and refine the key question of creation from nothing that I had been thinking about at length following the lecture, and also following several debates with theologians and the like. The last three chapters of the book focus on this. Upon completing the book, I asked my good friend RIchard to write the afterword, and he responded with a remarkably beautiful and insightful piece, which I am very happy that my publisher agreed to let us share on this site as a preview of the book. Unfortunately, our good friend Christopher Hitchens, who had agreed to write a foreword, became too ill to complete it, and died shortly after the book went to press. While we all mourn his passing, I am hoping that this book, and our other activities, will help carry on in some small way his remarkable legacy of skepticism, reason, and humanity. I am, in any case, very happy to have this opportunity to thank Richard and Elisabeth for helping me create something from nothing, and I hope you enjoy his afterword, and the book that accompanies it.

Lawrence Krauss


by Richard Dawkins

Nothing expands the mind like the expanding universe. The music of the spheres is a nursery rhyme, a jingle to set against the majestic chords of the Symphonie Galactica. Changing the metaphor and the dimension, the dusts of centuries, the mists of what we presume to call “ancient” history, are soon blown off by the steady, eroding winds of geological ages. Even the age of the universe, accurate—so Lawrence Krauss assures us—to the fourth signi!cant !gure at 13.72 billion years, is dwarfed by the trillennia that are to come.

But Krauss’s vision of the cosmology of the remote future is paradoxical and frightening. Scienti!c progress is likely to go into reverse. We naturally think that, if there are cosmologists in the year 2 trillion "#, their vision of the universe will be expanded over ours. Not so—and this is one of the many shattering conclusions I take away on closing this book. Give or take a few billion years, ours is a very propitious time to be a cosmologist. Two trillion years hence, the universe will have expanded so far that all galaxies but the cosmologist’s own (whichever one it happens to be) will have receded behind an Einsteinian horizon so absolute, so inviolable, that they are not only invisible but beyond all possibility of leaving a trace, however indirect. They might as well never have existed. Every trace of the Big Bang will most likely have gone, forever and beyond recovery. The cosmologists of the future will be cut off from their past, and from their situation, in a way that we are not.
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'A Universe From Nothing' by Lawrence Krauss, AAI 2009

Releases January 10th and available for advance purchase now. Purchasing via the links below helps support RDFRS - US hardcover release 10 Jan, 2012 - audio CD - Kindle edition - UK hardcover release 16 Feb, 2012 - MP3 CD - Kindle edition



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