The Noosphere: History, Present Reality, and Future Possibilities


A series of conceptual studies of the Noosphere are in progress:


Understanding the Contemporary Resonance of the Noosphere: A study of the current pandemic which theorizes that COVID-19 is afflicting both human beings as individuals as well as the Noosphere, i.e. the global superorganism. This research underscores the emergence of the Noosphere as a superorganism and clarifies the extent of the current global health crisis within this framework. An article is being co-written by Professor Terry Deacon and Dr. Boris Shoshitaishvili


Formation of the Noosphere Research: Dr. Clément Vidal is completing a six-month research project reviewing and analyzing Teilhard de Chardin’s The Formation of the Noosphere, which was a scientific paper that later was published as Chapter 10 in the book The Future of Man, a collection of papers by Teilhard. The research includes a detailed updating and discussion of this text based on current scientific, technological, and social developments, as well as an academic paper (in progress), and a popular account entitled “What is the Noosphere“.


The Noosphere: History, Present Reality, and Future Possibilities: A collaborative exploration of the history, development, and future of the Noosphere concept has begun, which will be jointly researched and written as a monograph by Dr. Boris Shoshitaishvili and Dr. Clement Vidal under the supervision of Professor Terry Deacon.


The Noosphere as a Scientific Paradigm for the Great Acceleration: A study is in progress of the Noosphere as a major scientific paradigm which reconceptualizes globalization as a process recentering significance around the Earth and humankind in a post-Einstein relativistic universe. This work is being done by Dr. Boris Shoshitaishvili.


Psychological Resistance and Affordances About the Third Story: The aim of this project, undertaken by Dr. Clement Vidal, is to identify the psychological resistances and affordances to the idea of the Noosphere. The project emphasis will be on understanding the psychological reactions to the noosphere of the public at large.


Meaning and Purpose: Bridging the Gap from Mathematics to the Third Story: This project complements the Templeton project of Prof. Heylighen’s group on the origin of goal-directedness, which aims to develop a mathematical model based on Chemical Organization Theory for the origin of life, and the origin of goal-directed social systems. It proposes to make the link between this mathematical model and the philosophical idea of the Third Story as an alternative to traditional religious and scientific stories. This will require explaining the mechanisms of self-organization and emergence of autopoietic networks that form the basis of the model into a more intuitive narrative that would bridge the gap between mathematical demonstrations and a third story understandable by the broad public. The project would focus on the emergence of a common purpose in a group of individuals who are initially all pursuing their individual, selfish purposes, but who through interaction discover the synergy of cooperation that binds them into a coherent whole. This research is led by Professor Francis Heylighen. 


Evolution of Social Interconnection—Conversations and Research: A series of conversations among evolutionary biologists are being organized around Professor Terry Deacon’s theory of synergy & the complexity ratchet and Professor David Sloan Wilson’s theory of multilevel selection. These conversations are intended to lay the groundwork for a comprehensive evolutionary theory that explains how biological and social interconnection and/or competition have resulted in higher-order unities, including the noosphere as global superorganism.