The "World Wide Web" is a important example of Teilhard's understanding of the noosphere, the layer of conscious thought spread over the Earth, similar to the layers of air, water and life (atmosphere, hydrosphere and biosphere) surrounding our planet. Nous is Greek for "mind" or "thought."
Teilhard uses "thought" in a broad sense when he says that "exchange of thought" is the essence of the noosphere. It's people in the global human community creating a web of human consciousness surrounding the Earth. It's the expression of our concerns, images, feelings, insights, all characterized by personal freedom, choice and commitment.
The Web-- and Blogs ("web-logs") on it-- are a very recent expression of evolution at the human level. It provides us an opportunity to personally contribute to the noosphere and to participate in human evolution in a way not possible just a few years ago. Via the web, access to the noosphere is at our fingertips.
So, if you are reading this, I invite you to use my blog to contribute your comments-- suggestions, questions, feelings and ideas, with regard to the convergence of science and religion-- to the world-wide human community.
Just click on "Comments" at the bottom of the specific blog entry you want to respond to. Comments on previous entries are welcome since these postings are expected to be around for many years. A continuing dialogue over time and space is one of the unique features of blogs.
I've only recently learned how to include readers' comments with blog entries; the inaugural comment I received is a great example of the world-wide nature of the web: it comes from Pakistan. It's at the end of posting #8.
My next blog entry (#10) will be an overview of the basic ideas of Biogenetic Structuralism. I've already presented in entry #8 an introductory background to those perspectives which come out of a unique combination of neurophysiology and cultural anthropology. This next post will be more challenging.
Its main focus is the distinction, taking into account biological evolution and brain physiology, between human and animal consciousness. The distinction is at the very basis of the century-old "science versus religion" debate.
The Biogenetic Structuralist perspective is especially important because it neither reduces mind to body nor does it do away with the reality of our everyday experience of personal uniqueness. In fact, it presents an understanding of our mind (soul, spirit, person) in such a way that it helps us to respect the body and brain more, and to have a much more rich and full understanding of the nature of human consciousness as the natural result on Earth of the cosmic evolutionary process. It helps us to see that our very existence is part of the evolution of the universe.
It may seem odd to be writing about the convergence of science and religion at a time when religious fundamentalists and anti-religion writers are getting a great deal of media attention. But the whole point of my starting with the "Anthropology Plus" of Biogenetic Structuralism is that it allows us to move out of those dead-end perspectives.
I see my blog as offering interested readers a place to start for continued "exchange of thought" with regard to the science-religion relationship. The convergence of these two basic areas of human experience has been a life-long interest for me, but none of us have to be experts or academics to explore the meaning of our lives and to investigate our place in the universe. And we don't need anyone's permission to be part of the noosphere.
So, if you have thoughts to share, don't hold back.