The Life of the Cosmos

The Life of the Cosmos

Lee Smolin offers a new theory of the universe that is at once elegant, comprehensive, and radically different from anything proposed before. Smolin posits that a process of self organization like that of biological evolution shapes the universe, as it develops and eventually reproduces through black holes, each of which may result in a new big bang and a new universe. Natural selection may guide the appearance of the laws of physics, favoring those universes which best reproduce. The result would be a cosmology according to which life is a natural consequence of the fundamental principles on which the universe has been built, and a science that would give us a picture of the universe in which, as the author writes, "the occurrence of novelty, indeed the perpetual birth of novelty, can be understood." Smolin is one of the leading cosmologists at work today, and he writes with an expertise and force of argument that will command attention throughout the world of physics. But it is the humanity and sharp clarity of his prose that offers access for the layperson to the mind bending space at the forefront of today's physics.

Carl Sagan

A Life in the Cosmos

Carl Sagan

The first biography of the best-known scientist of his generation and the author of the best-seller Cosmos. In this, the first full-scale examination of the life of Carl Sagan, award-winning science writer William Poundstone details the transformation of a bookish young astronomer obsessed with life on other worlds into science's first authentic media superstar. As a fixture on television and a bestselling author, Sagan became instantly recognizable. To people around the world, he offered entrée into the mysteries of the cosmos and of science in general. To much of the scientific community, though, he was something of a pariah, a brazen publicity seeker who cared more about his image and his fortune than the advancement of science. Poundstone reveals the seldom-discussed aspects of Sagan's life, the legitimate and important work of his early scientific career, the almost obsessive capacity to take on less projects, the multiple marriages and fractured tumultuous personal life-all essential elements of this complicated and extraordinary man, truly the first and most famous scientist of the media age.

Jonathan Edwards and the Life of God

Toward an Evangelical Theology of Participation

Jonathan Edwards and the Life of God

Jonathan Edwards and the Life of God aims to offer a retrieval of Edwards’s theology of participation for contemporary evangelical theology. It critically expounds and elucidates the concept of participation in God, or theosis, in Edwards’s Trinitarian theology as it relates to around three unions: the three persons of the Trinity, the hypostatic union of the divine and human in Christ, and that of believers with Christ. This volume brings Edwards’s rich theological work into conversation with the patristic (Augustine and the Cappadocians) and Reformed traditions (Calvin and, especially, Barth), in order to construct with Edwards a more hopeful, liberating, and truly human version of Christian life. Consideration of the life of God in Edwards thus moves “beyond” in two senses: first, perspectives on participation beyond those of Edwards from Barth, Volf, the Cappadocian Fathers, and others in the tradition, are engaged in order to locate and critique and enhance it; and secondly, in the sense that, as Hastings argues, participation leads, for Edwards and others, into the “beyond” of the beatific vision—the glory of God.

Mind and Cosmos

Why the Materialist Neo-Darwinian Conception of Nature is Almost Certainly False

Mind and Cosmos

The modern materialist approach to life has conspicuously failed to explain such central mind-related features of our world as consciousness, intentionality, meaning, and value. This failure to account for something so integral to nature as mind, argues philosopher Thomas Nagel, is a major problem, threatening to unravel the entire naturalistic world picture, extending to biology, evolutionary theory, and cosmology. Since minds are features of biological systems that have developed through evolution, the standard materialist version of evolutionary biology is fundamentally incomplete. And the cosmological history that led to the origin of life and the coming into existence of the conditions for evolution cannot be a merely materialist history, either. An adequate conception of nature would have to explain the appearance in the universe of materially irreducible conscious minds, as such. Nagel's skepticism is not based on religious belief or on a belief in any definite alternative. InMind and Cosmos, he does suggest that if the materialist account is wrong, then principles of a different kind may also be at work in the history of nature, principles of the growth of order that are in their logical form teleological rather than mechanistic. In spite of the great achievements of the physical sciences, reductive materialism is a world view ripe for displacement. Nagel shows that to recognize its limits is the first step in looking for alternatives, or at least in being open to their possibility.

Exploring the Origin, Extent, and Future of Life

Philosophical, Ethical and Theological Perspectives

Exploring the Origin, Extent, and Future of Life

Philosophers, historians, ethicists, and theologians provide the perspectives of their fields on astrobiology for graduate students and researchers.

Citizens of the Cosmos

Citizens of the Cosmos

n this sequel to the bestselling "Meditations on the Signs of the Zodiac," Beredene Jocelyn sheds valuable new light on the cosmic meaning of existence by charting life's passages in concert with planetary laws. With compassion, authority, and a deep knowledge of spiritual science, the author explores in clear detail such subjects as life's year-by-year unfolding through the stages of child development and adult life, as well as thanatology (the science of death and dying) and the process of passing through the journey from death to rebirth. Beredene Jocelyn presents a far-reaching, holistic perspective on the place of human beings in the universal order-a major effort that recalls the immense achievement in the spiritual research of Rudolf Steiner. "Citizens of the Cosmos" meets the growing urgent need for spiritual wisdom and individual responsibility. It will appeal not only to general readers, regardless of occupation or life status, but will be especially relevant for all those interested in spiritual values and our human place in the cosmos.

Microcosmos

Four Billion Years of Microbial Evolution

Microcosmos

BACK IN PRINT WITH A REVISED PREFACE Microcosmos brings together the remarkable discoveries of microbiology of the past two decades and the pioneering research of Dr. Margulis to create a vivid new picture of the world that is crucial to our understanding of the future of the planet. Addressed to general readers, the book provides a beautifully written view of evolution as a process based on interdependency and thei nterconnectedness of all life on the planet.

Impetus and Equipoise in the Life-Strategies of Reason

Logos and Life

Impetus and Equipoise in the Life-Strategies of Reason

Employing her original concept of the ontopoiesis of life, the author uncovers the intrinsic law of the primogenital logos - that which operates in the working of the indivisible dyad of impetus and equipoise. This is the crucial, intrinsically motivated device of logoic constructivism. This key instrument is engaged - is at play - at every stage of the advance of life. In a feat unprecedented in the history of western philosophy, the emergence and unfolding of the entire orbit of the human universe is shown to bear out this insight. Furthermore, the intrinsic rhythms of impetus and equipoise are taken as a guide in uncovering the workings of the logos all at once, in contrast to the piecemeal exposition of a single line of argument. In a schema covering the entire career of beingness-in-becoming between the infinities of origin and destiny, an historically unprecedented harmonizing all sectors of rationality is accomplished in a span of reflection comparable to Spinoza's Ethics. The work draws on interdisciplinary investigations in both science and the arts. All of the history of Occidental philosophy finds summary in it, even as feelers, guidelines, leitmotifs are thrown out for its future development. A landmark of Occidental philosophy at the turn of the millennium.

The Imagination of Pentecost

Rudolf Steiner and Contemporary Spirituality

The Imagination of Pentecost

Carlo Pietzner speaks, out of his own ego-directed, inner experiences, about several motifs inherent to inner striving: the problem of self in relationship to the world, the disintegration of the three soul forces, the transition from sense perception to spiritual perception, the reality of evil, the condition of loneliness, and more.