This book critically explores answers to the big question, What produced our universe around fifteen billion years ago in a Big Bang? It critiques contemporary atheistic cosmologies, including Steady State, Oscillationism, Big Fizz, Big Divide, and Big Accident, that affirm the eternity and self-sufficiency of the universe without God. This study defends and revises Process Theology and arguments for God's existence from the universe's life-supporting order and contingent existence.
REM B. EDWARDS received his A.B. degree from Emory University in 1956, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. During graduate school, he was a Danforth Graduate Fellow. He received a B.D. degree from Yale University Divinity School in 1959 and a Ph.D. from Emory University in 1962. He taught for four years at Jacksonville University in Florida, moved from there to the University of Tennessee, Knoxville in 1966, and retired from there partly in 1997 and partly in 1998. He continues to be professionally active and kept an office on the University campus until the end of May 2000. He was a U. T. Chancellor’s Research Scholar in 1985 and a Lindsay Young Professor from 1987 to 1998. His areas of specialization are Philosophy of Religion, American Philosophy, Ethical Theory, Medical Ethics with a special interest in Mental Health Care, Ethics and Animals, and Formal Axiology. He is the author and/or editor of sixteen books, including Reason and Religion (New York: Harcourt, 1972 and Lanham, Md.: University Press of America, 1979); Pleasures and Pains: A Theory of Qualitative Hedonism (Ithaca, N. Y.: Cornell University Press, 1979); with Glenn Graber, BioEthics (San Diego: Harcourt, 1988); with John W. Davis, Forms of Value and Valuation: Theory and Applications (Lanham, Md.: University Press of America, 1991); Formal Axiology and Its Critics (Amsterdam—New York: Editions Rodopi, 1995); Violence, Neglect, and the Elderly, co-edited with Roy Cebik, Glenn Graber, and Frank H. Marsh (Greenwich, Conn.: JAI Press, 1996); New Essays on Abortion and Bioethics (Greenwich, Conn.: JAI Press, 1997); Ethics of Psychiatry: Insanity, Rational Autonomy, and Mental Health Care (Buffalo, NY: Prometheus Books, 1997); Values, Ethics, and Alcoholism, co-edited with Wayne Shelton (Greenwich, Conn.: JAI Press, 1997); Bioethics for Medical Education, co-edited with Dr. Edward Bittar (Stamford, Conn.: JAI Press, 1999), Religious Values and Valuations (Signal Mountain, Tenn.: Paidia Publishing Co, 2000); and Dialogues on Values and Centers of Value: Old Friends, New Thoughts, co-authored with Thomas M. Dicken (Amsterdam—New York: Editions Rodopi, in press). Edwards is also the author of over sixty articles and reviews, including “How Process Theology Can Affirm Creation Ex Nihilo,” Process Studies, 29:1 (2000), pp. 77–96. He is an Associate Editor with the Value Inquiry Book Series, published by Editions Rodopi, where he is responsible for the Hartman Institute Axiology Studies special series. For a number of years he was co-editor of the Advances in Bioethics book series published by JAI Press. Edwards has been the President of the Tennessee Philosophical Association (1973-1974), the Society for Philosophy of Religion (1981-1982), and the Southern Society for Philosophy and Psychology (1984-1985). He is a Charter Member and Fellow of the Robert S. Hartman Institute for Formal and Applied Axiology, has served on its Board of Directors since 1987, and since 1989 has been its Secretary-Treasurer. He chaired the committee that established the website for the R. S. Hartman Institute.
"Edwards’ scholarship and erudition are really quite impressive … provides a very helpful overview of the basic alternatives seeking to explain the origination of the big bang, making a reasoned case for creation" - in: International Journal for Philosophy of religion 53 (2003)
"This is a book that fills a large lacuna in process studies, namely, an examination of contemporary cosmology’s theories of origins from a perspective knowledgeable about, and sympathetic to, process thought. This is the first book authored by an avowed process thinker that focuses on the Big Bang and other recent theories of the physical universe’s origin. … [Edwards’] whole book is “must” reading for anyone interested in issues pertaining to the cognitive integration of science and religion, and particularly for those with interests in the integration of science and process theism." - in: Process Studies 31.2 (2002)
Editorial Foreword Kenneth A. BRYSON: Preface Acknowledgments ONE. Scientific Cosmology and the Big Bang 1.The Evolution of the Universe 2. Evidences for the Big Bang 3. Scientific Cosmological Agnosticism TWO. Humanistic Naturalism 1. Family Traits of Humanistic Naturalism 2. How Scientific Is Humanistic Naturalism? THREE. Steady State and Plasma Cosmologies 1. Steady State Cosmology 2. Critique of Steady State Cosmology 3. Plasma Cosmology and Eric Lerner’s Critique of the Big Bang 4. Critique of Plasma Cosmology FOUR. Antecedent Universe Cosmologies 1. Gamow’s Infinite Squeeze/Bang/Rebound Universe 2. Critique of Gamow’s Cosmology 3. Oscillation Cosmology 4. Critique of Oscillation Cosmology FIVE. Big Fizz and Big Divide Quantum Cosmologies 1. Big Fizz Quantum Cosmology 2. Big Divide Many Worlds Cosmology 3. Critique of World-Ensemble Cosmologies SIX. Quantum Observership Cosmology 1. Observers Create the Universe 2. Critique of Quantum Observership SEVEN. Big Accident Quantum Cosmology 1. The Universe as a Big Accident 2. Critique of Big Accident Quantum Cosmology EIGHT. Atheistic Anthropic Cosmology 1. The Anthropic Principle and Cosmic Purpose Without God 2. The Weak and Strong Anthropic Principles 3. Critique of Infinite World-Ensemble Teleology NINE. The Final Anthropic Principle 1.The Omega Point as the Purpose of the Universe 2. Critique of the Final Anthropic Principle TEN. Concepts of God’s Nature and Existence 1.Two Concepts of God’s Nature: Classical and Process Theology 2. Conceiving of God’s Existence 3. Critique of Process Theology ELEVEN. The Biopic Teleological Argument 1. God’s Purpose for the Universe and Cosmic Teleology 2. Critique and Defense of the Biopic Teleological Argument TWELVE. Theism and Cosmic Contingency 1. A Cosmological Argument from Contingency 2. Critique and Defense of the Cosmological Argument from Contingency Notes Bibliography About the Author Index