Chapter

The Wave Function of a Godless Universe

Quentin Smith

in Theism, Atheism, and Big Bang Cosmology

Published in print May 1995 | ISBN: 9780198263838
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191682650 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198263838.003.0012

Series: Clarendon Paperbacks

The Wave Function of a Godless Universe

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This chapter discusses the wave function of a Godless universe. It analyses the concept of nothingness, the interpretation of quantum cosmology, and Stephen Hawking's quasi-instrumentalist interpretation of quantum mechanics. It comments on the concept of imaginary time in Hawking's quantum cosmology and his physical interpretations of the exponential part of the wave function, and suggests that Hawking's quantum cosmology is rationally preferable to theism. It could be argued that his cosmology has greater predictive power since it predicts that it is highly probable there is a universe with properties we observe and that the universe is near the critical density.

Keywords: Godless universe; nothingness; quantum cosmology; Stephen Hawking; quantum mechanics; imaginary time; wave function; theism

Chapter.  14220 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Philosophy of Religion

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