According to this interview, Lawrence Krauss wrote his latest book, A Universe from Nothing as a way to defeat the philosophical-theological question “Why is there something rather than nothing?” The motivation to write a book about how the universe arose seems thus to be a theological one, although Krauss admits in the interview his goal “is not to destroy religion, though in fact that would be an interesting side effect”. The answer he seems to give to the age-old question amounts to another multiverse story. Not really that ground-breaking, and Krauss seems to be aware of that:
“Some people say, ‘Well, that’s just a cop-out,’” Krauss acknowledged. “But it’s actually less of a cop-out than God.”
My point is: does he really answer the philosophical question? The point of the book probably is to answer the question by referring to natural laws, etc. – all the stuff that makes up the toolbox that the natural sciences use to explain the world we live in. But where does the toolbox itself come from? Science can’t answer that, since it has no meta-toolbox to answer it. (Note that I’m definitely not claiming that philosophy or religion do have such a meta-toolbox!) So does Krauss really answer the age-old question, or does it stand unshaken and as fresh as when it was first asked, probably many centuries ago?
Anyway, I haven’t read the book yet, but only the interview. The book seems interesting in itself, as a book about cosmology, and not because it tries to answer a philosophical or theological issue. Because it can’t and it doesn’t.