The evolution of mind: Global Consciousness, Meaningful Correlations in Random Data

The Noosphere, according to the thought of Vladimir Vernadsky and Teilard de Chardin,  denotes the “sphere of human thought”. The word is derived from the Greek νοῦς ( “mind”) and σφαῖρα (sphaira “sphere”), in lexical analogy to “atmosphere” and “biosphere”. It was introduced by Pierre Teilhard de Chardin  in 1922 in his Cosmogenesis.

Another possibility is the first use of the term by Edouard Le Roy, who together with Teilhard was listening to lectures of Vladimir Vernadsky at Sorbonne. In 1936 Vernadsky accepted the idea of the Noosphere in a letter to Boris Neonidovich Lichkov (though, he states that the concept derives from Le Roy).

The noosphere the third in a succession of phases of development of the Earth

Noosphere biosphere technosphereIn the original 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 thetransmutation of elements. It is also currently being researched as part of the Princeton Global Consciousness Project.

For Teilhard, the noosphere emerges through and is constituted by the interaction of human minds. The noosphere has grown in step with the organization of the human mass in relation to itself as it populates the Earth. As mankind organizes itself in more complex social networks, the higher the noosphere will grow in awareness.

The law describing the nature of evolution in the universe

This concept is an extension of Teilhard’s Law of Complexity/Consciousness, the law describing the nature of evolution in the universe. Teilhard argued the noosphere is growing towards an even greater integration and unification, culminating in the Omega Point , which he saw as the goal of history. The goal of history, then, is an apex of thought/consciousness.

One of the original aspects of the noosphere concept deals with evolution.  Henri Bergson, with his L’évolution créatrice (1907), was one of the first to propose 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 which animates life and fundamentally connects mind and body, an idea opposing the dualism of Rene Descartes.

The evolution of mind

Global mind

In 1923,C. Lloyd Morgan  took this work further, elaborating on an emergent evolution which could explain increasing complexity  (including the evolution of mind). Morgan found 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.

At the level of the brain


At the level of the brain, this abstraction becomes evident as the information structure known as the mind. Certain theories posit that such an ordering alters the information state of the surrounding environment such that, for ever decreasing levels of entropy, there is a net local entropy deficit or “information moment” impressed upon the surrounding environment by the extant local information structures. In this way, the mind, an abstract phenomenon seated in the physical substrate of the brain, may be capable of inducing a local entropic force that, when summed among many minds simultaneously, produces an even more amplified phenomenon known as the noosphere.

The Global Consciousness Project

Coherent consciousness creates order in the world. Subtle interactions link us with each other and the Earth. When human consciousness becomes coherent and synchronized, the behavior of random systems may change. Quantum event based random number generators (RNGs) produce completely unpredictable sequences of zeroes and ones.
But when a great event synchronizes the feelings of millions of people, our network of RNGs becomes subtly structured. The probability is less than one in a billion that the effect is due to chance. The evidence suggests an emerging noosphere, or the unifying field of consciousness described by sages in all cultures.

The Global Consciousness Project is an international, multidisciplinary collaboration of scientists and engineers. They collect data continuously from a global network of physical random number generators located in 70 host sites around the world. The data are transmitted to a central archive which now contains more than 12 years of random data in parallel sequences of synchronized 200-bit trials every second.

Purpose is to examine subtle correlations that reflect the presence and activity of consciousness in the world. They hypothesize that there will be structure in what should be random data, associated with major global events.

Subtle but real effects of consciousness are important scientifically, but their real power is more direct. They encourage us to make essential, healthy changes in the great systems that dominate our world. Large scale group consciousness has effects in the physical world. Knowing this, we can intentionally work toward a brighter, more conscious future. For more informations check out:

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