Philosopher Edward Feser snarkily critiques Lawrence Krauss's A Universe from Nothing: Why There is Something Rather Than Nothing in the June/July issue of First Things and demonstrates that he is clearly not impressed:
A critic might reasonably question the arguments for a divine first cause of the cosmos. But to ask “What caused God?” misses the whole reason classical philosophers thought his existence necessary in the first place. So when physicist Lawrence Krauss begins his new book by suggesting that to ask “Who created the creator?” suffices to dispatch traditional philosophical theology, we know it isn’t going to end well.
The bulk of the book is devoted to exploring how the energy present in otherwise empty space, together with the laws of physics, might have given rise to the universe as it exists today. This is at first treated as if it were highly relevant to the question of how the universe might have come from nothing—until Krauss acknowledges toward the end of the book that energy, space, and the laws of physics don’t really count as “nothing” after all. Then it is proposed that the laws of physics alone might do the trick—though these too, as he implicitly allows, don’t really count as “nothing” either.
His final proposal is that “there may be no fundamental theory at all” but just layer upon layer of laws of physics, which we can probe until we get bored. But this is no explanation of the universe at all. In particular, it is nowhere close to what Krauss promised his reader—an explanation of how the universe arose from nothing—since an endless series of “layers” of laws of physics is hardly “nothing.”
My favorite line from the review:
His book is like a pamphlet titled How to Make a Million Dollars in One Week that turns out to be a counterfeiter’s manual.