Tim Maudlin on Two Answers to the Big Question
Tim Maudlin has recently weighed in on two books which explore the question of why there is something rather than nothing. The first, ‘A Universe From Nothing’ by physicist Laurence Krauss, has been controversially panned by our group’s researcher David Albert; the second, ‘Why Does the World Exist’ by Jim Holt, has been controversially panned by physicist Freeman Dyson.
Maudlin’s take is somewhat less critical than either of these previous reviews, but points out that the two authors seem to be answering (or trying to answer) different questions. Maudlin takes Krauss to task for being sloppy in his argument that the vacuum state is empty; he also discusses why physicists see some states, such as our current state, as requiring explanation, but others, such as the ‘false vacuum’ of inflationary theory, as natural or preferred.
Tim has given us permission to post the paper here to be subject to comments. Maybe he will reply to some. As usual, comments will be moderated.