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William Lane Craig and Quentin Smith. Pp. x + 342. (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1993.) 35-00 [pounds] hb.
The central scene of Raphael's School of Athens provides an appropriate cover illustration for this book: Plato pointing upwards to the heavenly Forms as the source of knowledge (otherwise William Lane Craig pointing out the theistic implications of modern cosmology) and Aristode indicating instead the world of sense (otherwise Quentin Smith arguing that cosmology leads to atheism). Craig and Smith have been pursuing each other in books and journals in recent years on cosmological arguments, replying to each other's papers and replying to each other's replies. This work consists largely of adaptations of previously published material, so organized as to give a clear sense of the continuity of the debate.
Craig and Smith take as the common ground for their debate the classical `Big Bang' theory, according to which the universe (and indeed time itself) had a beginning in the explosion of a microscopic region of high density. Both authors, however, are somewhat cautious about this common ground, pointing out that this theory is only one of a …