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John Leslie

(paperback edition), Routledge, 228 pp., 1996

Item# B041
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Why does our universe exist? In order to answer that most fundamental of questions, John Leslie examines the philosophical as well as the scientific arguments for "fine tuning"; that is, the theory that the cosmos is specifically suited to produce life. The result is one of the most powerful versions of the "argument from design" in this century. Atheists, however, have responded to the "fine tuning" data with a theory of multiple universes, claiming that if a large enough number of universes exist, then the chance of one of them being finely tuned for life is more probable. Leslie introduces these issues in an exceptionally clear way; his use of examples and simple analogies to illustrate the more subtle arguments makes Universes not only accessible to none-experts, but one of the most enjoyable books on cosmology in a long time. This is one of those rare books that is praised by atheists and theists alike. Quentin Smith, a die-hard atheist who debates William Lane Craig on similar topics in Theism, Atheism and Big Bang Cosmology (ARN hyperlink), states "Universes is a highly original, powerfully argued book that reveals a thorough knowledge of contemporary physics and cosmology....I would recommend it strongly to all philosophers, physicists, biologists, and to anybody interested in the question about why the universe exists and contains intelligent life" Likewise Peter Van Inwagen from the University of Notre Dame, and a defender of theism, also praises the book: "Clearly written and beautifully organized...The philosophical arguments strike me as being of a very high order....Universes is a very important book and should be part of the working library of anyone seriously interested in the Argument from Design" Leslie uses a unique style of numbering each argument with a chapter number and argument number (2.14) which make it very convenient for him to refer to other arguments throughout the book, and would also make it an ideal book to discuss and debate in a forum on the Internet. Leslie released Modern Cosmology & Philosophy (ARN hyperlink) at the same time as a companion book to Universes, which contains 26 papers by various noted authors on related topics. If you master both books you will be fully armed for any classroom, coffee house, or Internet discussion on cosmology. Table of Contents 1 World Ensemble, or Design 2 The Evidence of Fine Tuning 3 Further Evidence 4 Multiple Worlds 5 The Need to Explain Life 6 Anthropic Explanations 7 The Design Argument 8 God 9 Conclusions Notes References Index of Concepts Index of Names

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