Finding A God That Is Real with Nancy Ellen Abrams, J.D.

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In this deep dialogue we look at a new theory of God based on science. Our guest suggests that we need a God that can connect us spiritually to the “real” universe and can guide our now globally conscious species toward a long-term and honorable civilization. Abrams says, “God, as I see it, is our bridge to the universe. God did not create the universe but God created the meaning of the universe. God is an emergent phenomenon from us human beings. It has come about because of our aspirations; every person has aspirations. Our aspirations over generations and generations, maybe even millennia, have interacted, become so complex that something larger has emerged from them and that is God. But emergence is a two way street. Although God emerges from us, we are, in turn, fed by God and this God is the creator of meaning. Meaning is a collective creation.” She goes on to comment on the effectiveness of prayer:, “The deeper you feel that you’re part of this universe and you connect to it, the closer you’re actually getting to this God. It is absolutely a new form of prayer. . . When you move into the real universe and you start to feel that you are part of this earth, you are part of the local group of galaxies in this enormous super cluster that we’re part of, in this gigantic cosmos that is actually something like 46 billion light years back. . . When you feel you’re part of that, you’re part of the universe that has made it possible for a God to emerge.” (hosted by Justine Willis Toms)


Nancy Ellen Abrams, J.D. has been studying the cosmological revolution. She strives, as a philosopher, to put the discoveries of modern cosmology into a cultural context. She is an attorney and philosopher of science and one-time atheist who has worked in a European environmental law think tank, as well the Office of Technology Assessment of the U.S. Congress. She also co-created the technique of Scientific Mediation, a process that allows government agencies to make informed and insightful policy decisions on issues where science is crucial but disputed.

With her husband, the famed astrophysicist, Dr. Joel Primack, who is a Distinguished Professor of Physics and Astrophysics at the University of California, Santa Cruz, she has coauthored several books including:

She is the author of:

  • A God That Could Be Real: Spirituality, Science, and the Future of Our Planet. (Beacon Press 2015)

To learn more about the work of Nancy Ellen Abrams go to

Topics Explored in This Dialogue

  • How working with a 12-Step program of recovery for an eating disorder helped her find a way to God
  • How people conceived God in ancient times
  • How the concept of God evolved as residing in a spiritual realm that is immune to the laws of physics
  • How we reconcile a “real” God with how the universe actually operates
  • How the way we think about God affects the way we behave
  • What is an emergent phenomenon and how does it relate to an emergent God
  • What makes humans stand out from other species is our ability to participate consciously with our aspirations
  • Can God answer prayer

Host: Justine Willis Toms               Interview Date: 9/26/2016           Program number: 3595

Music Playlist

From Album: Bloom Road
Artist: Dan Kennedy
2015 Mt. Pullux Music #MPM-003 

Opening Essay: Track 07 A Moment
Music Break 1: Track 6 Dulcimer in C Minor
Music Break 2: Track 11 Torrent
Music Break 3: Track 11 Torrent (reprise)