Noo Sphere

A concept developed by Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, a Jesuit thinker and palaeontologist who wrote on the spirituality of technological progress in the first half of the 20th century.

TeilhardDeChardin's thesis is some way from mainstream Christian thought, but it fits nicely with the current thinking of the radical net prophets. His pronouncement that between "absolute optimism or absolute pessimism there is no middle way, because by its very nature progress is all or nothing" is one justification for the utopianism one often hears preached about the future of the net.

Teilhard believed that man, through his intellectual works, was evolving - in the biological sense of the term - towards God (see TheSingularity). He coined a word for the sum of the world of ideas, the "noosphere", which he believed would grow separate and superior from the physical world. He thought greater communication between individuals would lead to an apotheosis: "We are faced with a harmonised collectivity of consciousnesses to a sort of superconsciousness. The earth not only becoming covered by myriads of grains of thought, but becoming enclosed in a single thinking envelope, a single unanimous reflection."

More than 50 years ago, Teilhard was already suggesting that a global communications network might lead to this communion with God, though his works were mostly published after his death in 1955, so that he is now the most widely read Jesuit writer.


From http://www.sunday-times.co.uk/news/pages/sti/2000/04/09/stidordor02006.html , as mentioned in WabiSabi. More detail is available at TeilhardDeChardin.

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