Our philosophy of education

For those who want to learn more about our pedagogy, the writings below offer a deep dive into the ideas underlying our unique approach to teaching science. In these essays, YourCosmos founder Ari Makridakis explains why opening to new cosmological visions — and the new forms of education they entail — may be especially important in our historical moment.

Like so many young people, I graduated from college believing that the universe is a purposeless machine. Although I was acutely aware of the distress this view caused me — after all, how could my choices matter if I was just a collection of atoms governed entirely by the laws of physics? — I believed that a rigorous commitment to science left me with no alternative.

All that changed when I discovered a few audio lectures from cosmologist Brian Swimme while driving across the country in my late twenties. Listening to those cassette tapes as I sped across the vast expanse of the American West, I found myself immediately enraptured. In Swimme’s work, I noticed a profound allegiance to science’s empirical evidence, but I also noticed something wildly refreshing: an interpretation of that evidence which suggested that human lives actually matter in the context of the cosmos as a whole. Simply put, Swimme claims that through the human species, the universe’s fundamental processes can now occur in conscious self-awareness.

Personally, I found Swimme’s perspective to be immensely comforting and inspiring — in his vision, not only does our species fit coherently into this universe, but we also play a unique role in its development. For many scientifically minded people, however, this idea might appear to be a classic example of nonsensical new-age pseudoscience. I should admit that I myself harbored these same doubts. Partly to see how well this radical perspective could withstand my own skeptical voices, I’ve spent the last five years pursuing a Ph.D. with Professor Swimme. In that time, I’ve become convinced that a rigorous commitment to science and logic does not, in fact, require us to accept that the universe is a meaningless machine. In the essays below, I suggest that there may be good reasons to question the mainstream scientific worldview and reconsider the possibility of cosmological meaning.

Ari Makridakis, YourCosmos Founder and Principal Instructor

Turning the Titanic

The Challenges of Changing the
Course of Public Education

The Fault in Our Stars

Offering Students a Challenge
Worthy of their Creativity

Meeting Our Moment

Education Organized around Our
Civilization's Great Challenges

The Price of Freedom

Why the Human Species Needs
Functional Worldviews

The Frame's
Unseen Power

Envisioning an Education
Centered on Worldviews

Reinventing the Human

Preparing for the Next Chapter
of the Planetary Journey

An Incoherent Cosmos

Modern Science's Inability to Explain
how Mind and Matter Relate

The Battle between
Truth and Intimacy

Reckoning with Modern Cosmology's
Impossible Choice