I know I already promised a book review which I’m yet to deliver upon, but in the meantime I’ve been reading a lot and a great new book I’ve read is “Conjuring the Universe” by Peter Atkins. Peter Atkins is a professor of Chemistry and fellow of Lincoln College, Oxford. His atheistic views are well-known having participated in several debates with apologists such as William Lane-Craig and Richard Swinburne.
In a similar vein to Lawrence Krauss’ book “A Universe from Nothing”, Atkins seeks to attack the intuition that the universe could not arise from Nothing. This is a common criticism levelled against atheists: that it takes more faith to believe the universe could just spring out of Nothing than believing a God created it. Atkins seeks to show that this claim has no basis in evidence and that the hypothesis that the universe comes from Nothing actually explains a lot of what we see in it today.
In my review of his book, I will argue that Atkins walks a thin line between established scientific fact and wild speculation, but that he does so in an engrossing and ultimately plausible way. He certainly doesn’t establish that the universe can arise from nothing, but he convincingly argues that there’s no reason why it couldn’t.