Letter from the Authors
Hello, and welcome! This website goes with our book, THE NEW UNIVERSE AND THE HUMAN FUTURE. In the book we describe a universe that is so counterintuitive it's hard at first to wrap your mind around, let alone believe. This is why videos have turned out to be so central to modern cosmological research. This website offers some of the best astronomical videos from around the world. Some are based on actual observations and others on supercomputer simulations, which can show billions of years of evolution pass in minutes, or show a region of universe a billion light years across all at once. This website also provides the best version of all the book's illustrations. Finally, it has a lot of stuff about us, the authors, and our goals.
But the book is not just about the new picture of the universe. Its subtitle is HOW A SHARED COSMOLOGY COULD TRANSFORM THE WORLD. We believe humanity's first data-supported picture of the entire universe could become the basis for a shared picture of reality as our species moves toward an emerging global civilization. Ever since ancient Egypt and Sumer, cultures have bonded around a shared picture of the cosmos – usually peopled with gods and scientifically inaccurate by modern standards, but a unifying reality nonetheless. This is the first chance ever to have a unifying picture that may actually be true. A shared reality, if we can even imagine such a concept today, would be the most valuable possible gift to our fragmented human race. At this pivotal moment cosmology, a field that seems at first completely irrelevant to any normal human endeavor, could actually turn out to be not only practical but our salvation. It will let us begin to re-envision global problems that seem intractable and possibly see solutions on different timescales. There is no law of physics that says we humans can't solve our biggeest problems -- but first we have to raise the level of our thinking.
What would it take, and mean, for Earth's citizens to become a cosmic society, a society capable of thinking in, and acting for, the extremely long term? The possibility of becoming a cosmic society may seem abstract, even pie-in-the-sky silly right now -- but in fact, it may only be possible now. There may be freedoms and resources available today that in a generation or two will disappear unless changes occur. How can we seize this opportunity? How can we help the world's people to recognize that the new cosmos is everyone's home, its origin story is everyone's story, and that sharing the unique place of intelligent life in this universe is a bond that unites us all?
Our goal in this book and this website is to inspire readers to imagine what a cosmic society that accepts and lives by the new cosmological concepts could become, and to start becoming it. We believe this may be humanity's best chance for a very long and successful future. And our best chance for infusing today with the hope and optimism necessary to get there.