History of concept

One of the original aspects of the noosphere concept deals with evolution. Henri Bergson (1907) was one of the first to propose that evolution is 'creative' and cannot necessarily be explained solely by Darwinian natural selection. L'évolution créatrice is upheld, according to Bergson, by a constant vital force that animates life and fundamentally connects mind and body, an idea opposing the dualism of René Descartes. In 1923, C. Lloyd Morgan took this work further, elaborating on an 'emergent evolution' that could explain increasing complexity (including the evolution of mind). Morgan found that many of the most interesting changes in living things have been largely discontinuous with past evolution, and therefore did not necessarily take place through a gradual process of natural selection. Rather, evolution experiences jumps in complexity (such as the emergence of a self-reflective universe, or noosphere). Finally, the complexification of human cultures, particularly language, facilitated a quickening of evolution in which cultural evolution occurs more rapidly than biological evolution. Recent understanding of human ecosystems and of human impact on the biosphere have led to a link between the notion of sustainability with the "co-evolution" [Norgaard, 1994] and harmonization of cultural and biological evolution.

The resulting political system has been referred to as a noocracy.

American integral theorist Ken Wilber deals with this third evolution of the noosphere. In his work, Sex, Ecology, Spirituality (1995), he builds many of his arguments on the emergence of the noosphere and the continued emergence of further evolutionary structures.

U.S. politician Lyndon LaRouche and his political organization have published many articles, pamphlets, and short books pertaining to their views of the importance of the noosphere in human development.

History of this expression:

* Henri Bergson's L'évolution créatrice (1907)
* E. LeRoy's Les origines humaines et l'évolution de l'intelligence (1928)
* Vladimir I. Vernadsky (1863-1945)
* Pierre Teilhard de Chardin (1881-1955)
* David Ronfeldt and John Arquilla

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Replies to This Discussion


Noosphere Evolution and Value Metabolism
An examination of the nature and behavior of the structures of consciousness and culture

Steve McIntosh

This article expands on the work of Ken Wilber and the theory of Spiral Dynamics, advancing the thesis that the essential forms of consciousness and culture (the holons of the Lower-Left quadrant -- the "organisms of the noosphere") are human relationships which, like biological organisms, are self-organizing dynamic systems that metabolize the "noosphere equivalent of energy" to create order in themselves and their environment. However, unlike energy in the biosphere, the "food chain" in the noosphere is made up of the spectrum of information, meaning, and value.

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