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Vernadsky and the Noosphere

Discussion in 'Guest/Topic Suggestions' started by rani, Apr 29, 2019.

  1. rani

    rani Active Member

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    A prominent Russian researcher, organizer of science, educator, public figure, person of encyclopedic knowledge, philosopher, and thinker - Vladimir Ivanovich Vernadsky, a genius that belongs to all of humanity. Paradoxically, Vernadsky's ideas for more than half of a century insensibly and organically penetrated many fields and branches of modern science. They have been used widely, without attaching his name though. His ideas even predetermined the appearance and influenced the development of such important disciplines as Biogeochemistry, Global Ecology, and Earth System Science. According to Evelyn Hutchinson (1903-1991), "the twentieth century's most eminent limnologist [i.e. freshwater ecologist] and the founder of the Yale school of ecology, whose influence is still felt in disciplines ranging from systems ecology to biogeochemistry"

    Vernadsky's most interesting idea, for me, was the Noosphere. Developed with philosopher Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, it is a new phase of development in the life of the planet, and jives with a lot of what more recent researchers have been saying.

    (from Wikipedia)
    "In the theory of Vernadsky, the noosphere is the third in a succession of phases of development of the Earth, after the geosphere (inanimate matter) and the biosphere (biological life). Just as the emergence of life fundamentally transformed the geosphere, the emergence of human cognition fundamentally transforms the biosphere. In contrast to the conceptions of the Gaia theorists, or the promoters of cyberspace, Vernadsky's noosphere emerges at the point where humankind, through the mastery of nuclear processes, begins to create resources through the transmutation of elements"

    Literally, "the envelope of mind" (Smil, 2002, p. 12) or the "sphere of human thought" (Wikipedia Encyclopedia, 2004). "The Noosphere is the last of many stages in the evolution of the biosphere in geological history" (Vernadsky, 1945, p. 10).

    "Looking far ahead, Vernadsky considered the emergence of the noosphere as a critical evolutionary step needed for preserving and reconstructing the biosphere in the interest of humanity as a single entity... We have already altered the biosphere to such an extent that the only rational way out is to understand as good as possible its intricate functions - and then to make sure that the future changes we inflict on the global environment will remain within tolerable limits. Obviously, the collective role of human consciousness will be essential if this unprecedented process of planetary management is to succeed... Moral choices will be essential. Limiting and eventually reducing the human impact on the biosphere would require an unprecedented degree of international, indeed global, cooperation and, inevitably, collective willingness to forgo certain kinds of consumption (Smil, 2002, p. 25, 265, 266).


    Teilhard de Chardin also wrote a lot of material that has become the catch cry of the modern 'new ager' such as


    "We are not human beings having a spiritual experience; we are spiritual beings having a human experience."

    "Someday, after mastering the winds, the waves, the tides and gravity, we shall harness for God the energies of love, and then, for a second time in the history of the world, man will have discovered fire."

    "Humanity has been sleeping-and still sleeps-lulled within the narrowly confining joys of its little closed loves. In the depths of the human multitude there slumbers an immense spiritual power which will manifest itself only when we have learnt how to break through the dividing walls of our egoism and raise ourselves up to an entirely new perspective, so that habitually and in a practical fashion we fix our gaze on the universal realities."

    And finally, something that I feel describes the THC community :

    "Today, something is happening to the whole structure of human consciousness. A fresh kind of life is starting. Driven by the forces of love, the fragments of the world are seeking each other, so that the world may come into being."