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Theism, Atheism, and Big Bang Cosmology

William Lane Craig

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.

William Lane Craig

Fellow, Center for Science and Culture
William Lane Craig is a Research Professor of Philosophy at Talbot School of Theology in La Mirada, California. He earned a doctorate in philosophy at the University of Birmingham, England, before taking a doctorate in theology from the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universit√§t M√ľnchen, Germany, at which latter institution he was for two years a Fellow of the Alexander von Humboldt-Stiftung. Prior to his appointmant at Talbot he spent seven years at the Higher Institute of Philosophy of the Katholike Universiteit Leuven, Belgium. He has authored or edited over thirty books, including The Kalam Cosmological Argument; Divine Foreknowledge and Human Freedom; Theism, Atheism, and Big Bang Cosmology; and God, Time, and Eternity, as well as nearly a hundred articles in professional journals of philosophy and theology, including The Journal of Philosophy, American Philosophical Quarterly, Philosophical Studies, Philosophy, and British Journal for Philosophy of Science. He currently lives in Atlanta with his wife Jan; they have two children, Charity and John.