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Three Big Bangs Matter-Energy, Life, Mind

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ISBN-10: 0231156391

ISBN-13: 9780231156394

Edition: 2011

Authors: Holmes Rolston

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Rational explanations of the universe leave the spiritually curious cold, and religion-based theories tend to devalue the findings of science. By dividing the creation of matter, energy, life, and mind into three big bangs, Holmes Rolston III strikes a middle path between these two camps. He divines a history of the universe that respects both scientific discovery and the potential presence of an underlying intelligence.In Rolston's first bang, matter-energy appears, initially in simpler forms but with a remarkable capacity for generating heavier elements. The size and expansion rate of the universe, the nature of electromagnetism, gravity, and nuclear forces, and other cosmic features all enable the second big bang, the explosion of life on Earth. As DNA begins to discover, store, and transfer information, life endures to establish billions of species. Cognitive capacities escalate, and with neural sentience, the third big bang results: human genius. A massive singularity, the human mind gives birth to language and culture, increasing the brain's complexity and promoting the spread of ideas. Ideas generate ideals, which leads life to take on spirit. The nature of matter-energy, genes, and their genesis therefore encourages humans to wonder where they are, who they are, and what they should do. Rolston draws on a variety of fields as he studies the underlying order of this cybernetic system.
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Book details

Copyright year: 2011
Publisher: Columbia University Press
Publication date: 11/30/2010
Binding: Hardcover
Pages: 160
Size: 6.00" wide x 9.25" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 0.748
Language: English

Born in Staunton, Virginia, Holmes Rolston received both a theological and secular education. After receiving a B.S. degree in philosophy from Davidson University in 1953, he went on to earn a divinity degree from the Union Theological Seminary (1956) and a Ph.D. in theology from the University of Edinburgh (1958). Rolston initially taught philosophy at Hampden-Sydney College in 1958, before becoming pastor of the Walnut Grove Presbyterian Church in Bristol, Virginia, where he remained until 1967. Since 1968 he has been professor of philosophy at Colorado State University. Rolston's main areas of research and writing have focused on the interrelationship between ecology and religion and on ecological ethics and environmental issues. He is the associate editor of the Journal of Environmental Ethics, which is a primary outlet for articles in the field of environmental ethics. One of Rolston's main themes is that science can be used to promote religious experience, rather than destroy it.

List of Illustrations
The Primordial Big Bang: Matter-Energy
Explosive Startup and Ongoing Expansion
A Singular Universe: Unfolding Order
Logical Explosion: A Theory of Everything?
A Biogenic/Anthropic Universe
Cosmic Results: Predictable and Surprising
Life: Earth's Big Bang
Proactive Genetic Information and Order
Explosions: Combinatorial and Evolutionary
Biodiversity and Biocomplexity
Expanding Neuro-sentience: Felt Experience
Escalating Co-option: Serendipity
Evolutionary Headings: Surprising or Inevitable?
Mind: The Human Big Bang
Theory of Mind: The Human Singularity
Hyperimmense Brain: Neural Explosion
Ideational Uniqueness: Cultural Explosion
Symbolic Explosion: Human Language
Mind: Predictable or Surprising?
Spirited Persons: The Ultimate Marvel
Presence with Presence