Seven Ways We Are Central to the Universe

The New Universe and the Human Future

entrance to another world

When people say, “I’m human,” they usually mean “I make mistakes,” “I have my limits,” “Don’t expect too much of me.” Admitting our own imperfections is admirable, but thinking of being human essentially as a limitation is a self-fulfilling prophecy and denies an astonishing truth that science has just discovered: in the expanding universe, human beings are not only significant – we are central! Not, of course, in a literal, geographic sense. There is no geographic center to our expanding universe. But we humans are cosmically central or special in at least seven fascinating ways never before imagined, all of which follow directly from the principles of modern astrophysics.


The authors’ book, The New Universe and the Human Future: How a Shared Cosmology Could Transform the World, will be published by Yale University Press in April 2011. This material is also discussed in their 2006 book, The View from the Center of the Universe: Discovering Our Extraordinary Place in the Cosmos. Joel R. Primack is one of the world’s leading cosmologists and Nancy Ellen Abrams is a philosopher of science.

Related Topics: Universe, Purpose
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