Noosphere



NOOSPHERE
De Chardin has coined this phrase, building upon the other uncontroversial biosphere and atmosphere. Julian Huxley (20thcentury’s leading evolutionary biologist) in his introduction to the book, defines the word ‘to denote the sphere of mind, as opposed to, or rather superposed on, the biosphere of sphere of life, and acting as a transforming agency promoting hominisation.’ (‘Hominisation’ if another of De Chardin’s neologisms, and deserves another entry.) Huxley criticizes De Chardin for not defining the term and wonders whether by noosphere De Chardin meant ‘the total pattern of thinking organisms (i.e. human beings) and their activity . . . or the special environment of man, the systems of organized thought and its products in which men move and have their being, as fish swim and reproduce in rivers and the sea?’ Huxley thinks, the former. I think, the latter.
It seems to me that by noosphere De Chardin meant the body, though invisible, like the atmosphere, in which we live, the interior of things.
I adore De Chardin for putting the emphasis back into the interior of things. There will be more about this is another entry. For now let me quote him: ‘the time has come to realize that an interpretation of the universe – even a positivist one – remains unsatisfying unless it covers the interior as well as the exterior of things; mind as well as matter. The true physics will one day achieve the inclusion of man in his wholeness in a coherent picture of the world.’    

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