OSHR 1639 - Scientific Natural History Discovers "Three Big Bangs"

  • Noncredit
  • Fort Collins

This course is offered through the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at Colorado State University. You must be a member of Osher to enroll in this course.

At the primordial big bang, matterenergy appears explosively, initially in simpler forms, but with the remarkable capacity to generate heavier elements. The size and expansion rate of the universe, the nature of the four fundamental forces and physical constants, and other cosmic features are surprisingly congenial to the evolution of life on Earth.

Life explodes on Earth with DNA discovering, storing, and transferring information. Across a singular natural history, life persists in the midst of its perpetual perishing, generating and regenerating billions of species. These increase in biodiversity, with trajectories escalating biocomplexity.

The human genius, a massive singularity, crosses a transgenetic threshold, generating language and making possible cumulative transmissible cultures, radically novel in kind and in scale. With the escalating size and complexity of the human brain, ideas pass from mind to mind. Ideas generate ideals. Life takes on spirit.

The nature of matterenergy, the nature of genes and their genesis, invites those at the center of complex caring intelligence to wonder where they are, who they are, and what they ought to do. Is there sacred Logos in, with, and under a cybernetic system with such breakthrough creativity?

Reading: Rolston, III, Holmes, Three Big Bangs: Matter-Energy, Life, Mind, Columbia University Press, 2011. ISBN: 978-0-231-15639-4.

Noncredit courses do not produce academic credit nor appear on a Colorado State University academic transcript.