Contemporary science presents us with the remarkable theory that the universe began billions of years ago with a cataclysmic explosion, the “Big Bang.” But was this explosion created by God? 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.
In this volume, William Lane Craig, a Discovery Institute Fellow, and Quentin Smith defend opposing positions in alternating chapters. In Part I, Craig argues that the past necessarily is finite and that God created the universe, and Smith presents his criticisms of these arguments. Part II consists of Smith’s arguments that Big Bang cosmology is inconsistent with theism and that the Big Bang has no cause, with Craig’s criticisms of Smith’s argument. Part III presents both philosophers’ interpretations of Stephen Hawking’s new quantum cosmology and its bearing upon theism.