Theism, Atheism, and Big Bang Cosmology / Edition 1

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Contemporary science presents us with the remarkable theory that the universe began to exist about fifteen billion years ago with a cataclysmic explosion called "the Big Bang." The question of whether Big Bang cosmology supports theism or atheism has long been a matter of discussion among the general public and in popular science books, but has received scant attention from philosophers. This book sets out to fill this gap by means of a sustained debate between two philosophers, William Lane Craig and Quentin Smith, who defend opposing positions. Craig argues that the Big Bang that began the universe was created by God, while Smith argues that the Big Bang has no cause. Alternating chapters by the two philosophers criticize and attempt to refute preceding arguments. Their arguments are based on Einstein's theory of relativity and include a discussion of the new quantum cosmology recently developed by Stephen Hawking and popularized in A Brief History of Time.
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Editorial Reviews

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"Recommended for all college libraries."--Choice

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780198263838
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 5/28/1995
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 352
  • Sales rank: 1,095,574
  • Product dimensions: 8.30 (w) x 5.40 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Catholic University of Louvain

Western Michigan University

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Table of Contents

1 The Theistic Cosmological Argument
I The Finitude of the Past and the Existence of God 3
II Infinity and the Past 77
III Time and Infinity 92
IV The Uncaused Beginning of the Universe 108
V The Caused Beginning of the Universe 141
VI A Criticism of A Posteriori and A Priori Arguments for a Cause of the Big Bang Singularity 161
2 The Atheistic Cosmological Argument
VII Atheism, Theism, and Big Bang Cosmology 195
VIII Theism and Big Bang Cosmology 218
IX A Defence of the Cosmological Argument for God's Non-existence 232
X A Criticism of the Cosmological Argument for God's Non-existence 256
3 Theism, Atheism, and Hawking's Quantum Cosmology
XI 'What Place, then, for a Creator?': Hawking on God and Creation 279
XII The Wave Function of a Godless Universe 301
Index 338
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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 22, 2000

    Heavy reading on a heavy problem

    According to Big Bang cosmology, the universe began to exist about fifteen billion years ago with an explosion called `the Big Bang'. But was this explosion created by God, or did it occur without cause? In Part I, Christian philosopher William Lane Craig defends the theistic interpretation of Big Bang cosmology. In Part II, atheist philosopher Quentin Smith defends the atheistic interpretation. Part III contains Craig's and Smith's interpretations of Stephen Hawking's cosmology, and its implications for the existence of God.<P> An excellent scholarly resource for anyone interested in the debate over Big Bang cosmology. Readers unfamiliar with Big Bang Theory may wish to consult other works before reading this one.

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