Is the Universe Enough? Can It Suffice as a Basis for Worldviews?



The modern scientific cosmic perspective is unique and compelling, but it is not for everyone.  Modern cosmology can be humbling and awe-inspiring, even motivating  It can also be overwhelming, even scary.  The extent to which the universe we know today can form the basis of satisfactory worldviews rests largely on human psychology, preferences, and needs, as well as on what we mean by “worldview”.  This essay will explore some ways to think about worldviews and the universe, with an emphasis on exploring relationships between cosmic evolution and cultural evolution (Dick and Lupisella), including what might be called “cosmocultural evolution” – the coevolution of cosmos and culture (Lupisella 2009).  We will touch on a few cosmocultural evolutionary perspectives as well as broader underlying “cosmological theories of value”.  With an eye toward psychology, we will consider if and how such perspectives might inform, or possibly suffice as worldviews, suggesting generally that the universe may suffice for some people some of the time, but probably not for most people most of the time.