The winner of the 2003 Templeton Prize, Holmes Ralston III has blazed a long and distinguished career exploring the relationship between nature, science, and religious inspiration. As one of the brightest lights in the dialogue between science and religion, he has fused his deep ecological concerns, his passion for philosophy, and a strong religious sensibility into a career exploring the significance of what it means to be human at this unique moment in history.
In his latest work, Three Big Bangs: Matter-Energy, Life, Mind, Ralston takes on the biggest of the big subjects—the foundations of matter, life, and mind. He suggests that there have been three big bangs in the history of our universe. Science has given us the primordial big bang, the genesis of matter, and has documented the genesis of life on Earth. But Ralston is determined to give equal weight to the third singularity, the human singularity, the internal big bang that gave birth to the mind of the Homo sapiens. He writes:
We can take Albert Einstein as an icon of discovering the first big bang in the astronomical heavens (or at least of contemporary physics); we can take Charles Darwin as an icon of discovering the second big bang, evolutionary life on earth. But then the third big bang inescapably confronts us. Continuing to take Einstein and Darwin as icons, the marvel is not just in the heavens above or Earth beneath; the marvel is equally, indeed more so, the human minds capable of such knowledge.
You can find Holmes Ralston’s Three Big Bangs: Matter-Energy, Life, Mind at the following link: http://cup.columbia.edu/book/978-0-231-15639-4/three-big-bangs