What is the New Cosmology?
In 1543 Copernicus announced to a startled Europe that the Earth was not stationary, but was sailing rapidly through space as it spun around the Sun. This was difficult news to take in all at once, but over time the Europeans reinvented their entire civilization in light of this strange new fact about the universe.
The fundamental institutions of the medieval world, including the monarchies, the church, the feudal economic system, and the medieval sense of self, melted away as a radically different civilization was constructed.
We live in a similar moment of breakdown and creativity. The cosmological discovery that shatters nearly everything upon which the modern age was built is the discovery that the universe came into existence 13.7 billion years ago, and is so biased toward complexification that life and intelligence are now seen to be a nearly inevitable construction of evolutionary dynamics.
Our new challenge is to reinvent our civilization. The major institutions of the modern period, including that of agriculture and religion and education and economics, need to be re-imagined within an intelligent, self-organizing, living universe, so that instead of degrading the Earth's life systems, humanity might learn to join the enveloping community of living beings in a mutually enhancing manner.
This great work will surely draw upon the talents and energies of many millions of humans from every culture of our planet throughout the rest of the 21st century.