The New Universe and the Human Future


You are viewing an older version of the Yalebooks website. Please visit out new website with more updated information and a better user experience:

How a Shared Cosmology Could Transform the World

Nancy Ellen Abrams and Joel R. Primack

View Inside Format: Paper
Price: $20.00
Our shopping cart only supports Mozilla Firefox. Please ensure you're using that browser before attempting to purchase.

Also Available in:

Visit The New Universe and the Human Future website for more information on images, videos, and eBook editions

The New Universe and the Human Future is on Facebook

Two cutting-edge thinkers—one a cultural philosopher and the other a leading astrophysicist—combine their abilities to present a new picture of the universe with critical relevance for our time

After a four-century rupture between science and the questions of value and meaning, this groundbreaking book presents an explosive and potentially life-altering idea: if the world could agree on a shared creation story based on modern cosmology and biology—a story that has just become available—it would redefine our relationship with Planet Earth and benefit all of humanity, now and into the distant future.

Written in eloquent, accessible prose and illustrated in magnificent color throughout, including images from innovative simulations of the evolving universe, this book brings the new scientific picture of the universe to life. It interprets what our human place in the cosmos may mean for us and our descendants. It offers unique insights into the potential use of this newfound knowledge to find solutions to seemingly intractable global problems such as climate change and unsustainable growth. And it explains why we need to "think cosmically, act globally" if we're going to have a long-term, prosperous future on Earth.

Nancy Ellen Abrams is an attorney, philosopher of science, and lecturer. Joel R. Primack is Distinguished Professor of Physics and Astronomy. Both are at the University of California, Santa Cruz.

"Abrams and Primack argue for an interpretation of contemporary cosmology suggestive of human significance in a universe filled with meaning. They do so for a general audience, with elegant prose, provocative images, and stunning online animations."—William Grassie, Metanexus Institute

"When science reveals to us an opportunity for profound hope — a potential bond among all humans — we must grasp it and celebrate it. The New Universe and the Human Future shows us how the strange and newly discovered nature of our universe can empower us to meet the gravest challenges of our time."—Archbishop Desmond Tutu, winner of the Nobel Prize for Peace

"This book is in every sense of the word, a prophetic book. Its message ranks right up there with those of Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Joel. Like the prophets, it is at times poetic, demanding, grounded, soaring, empowering, and always awe-inspiring."—Matthew Fox, Tikkun

". . . fascinating and potentially transformative."—Priyamvada Natarajan,

Yale University

"Whenever I read the work of Nancy Abrams and Joel Primack I gain more insight into the Cosmology that stands behind the structures of the Kabbalah. Their work shows how the ongoing discovery of a universe made of dark matter and dark energy is opening up not only new vistas in Kabbalah but even more vital offers new and optimistic perspective on humanity’s problems.  In beautiful prose they present a meaningful creation story that helps us feel how we belong in the timescales of the universe -- a creation story that is equally true for everyone and a boon for vast contemplation. They use new cosmological metaphors to help us grasp the enormous stakes in the political and ecological decisions being made in all countries today. That they are able to do this largely through pictures is a special treat."—Rabbi Zalman Hiyyah Schachter-Shalomi, co-author of Jewish With Feeling and A Heart Afire

"The strikingly beautiful images of the universe that run through this wonderful book are in and of themselves a sublime prompt for us to stop looking for differences, and instead build a cosmology that unites culture and science. Nancy Abrams and Joel Primack show us the way!"—Roald Hoffman, Nobel Prize winner in Chemistry, 1981

"The authors tell the cosmology story well and illustrate it with stunning images, in the book and online at"—Ron Cowan, Science News

"The ideas and images are fascinating and certainly contribute to a sense of the profound stakes involved in what we’re doing to the planet and ourselves."—William Kowinski, North Coast Journal

"Told in beautiful prose, appealing to brain and heart."—Johan Galtung, Foreign Policy Journal

"So what kind of meaning do Primack and Abrams find in the cosmos? Their book answers this question through a totally engaging and very readable exploration of 'the new universe' explained by quantum physics and contemporary astrophysics. . . . The View from the Center of the Universe goes a long way in that direction, and it should be read by anyone, not just scientists, who worry about the human condition."—Deepak Chopra, The Huffington Post

"Primack and Abrams open the only way forward that can possibly work."—Deepak Chopra, The Huffington Post

Winner of the 2012 Nautilus Gold Award for the science/cosmology category.
The Nautilus Awards recognizes Books and Audio Books that promote spiritual growth, conscious living & positive social change, while at the same time stimulating the "imagination" and offering the reader "new possibilities" for a better life and a better world.

Winner of the 2012 Spirit of Rustum Roy Award, as awarded by The Chopra Foundation. Abrams & Primack received the award for their contribution to science in expanding our understanding of what it is to be human.
ISBN: 9780300181241
Publication Date: June 5, 2012
256 pages, 7 x 9
72 color illus.
The Terry Lectures Series
Freud and the Problem of God

Hans Küng; Translated by Edward Quinn

View details
The Divine Relativity

A Social Conception of God

Charles Hartshorne

View details
Freud and Philosophy

An Essay on Interpretation

Paul Ricoeur; Translated by Denis Savage

View details

Basic Considerations for a Psychology of Personality

Gordon W. Allport

View details