Quotes & Sayings

We, and creation itself, actualize the possibilities of the God who sustains the world, towards becoming in the world in a fuller, more deeper way. - R.E. Slater

There is urgency in coming to see the world as a web of interrelated processes of which we are integral parts, so that all of our choices and actions have [consequential effects upon] the world around us. - Process Metaphysician Alfred North Whitehead

Kurt Gödel's Incompleteness Theorem says (i) all closed systems are unprovable within themselves and, that (ii) all open systems are rightly understood as incomplete. - R.E. Slater

The most true thing about you is what God has said to you in Christ, "You are My Beloved." - Tripp Fuller

The God among us is the God who refuses to be God without us, so great is God's Love. - Tripp Fuller

According to some Christian outlooks we were made for another world. Perhaps, rather, we were made for this world to recreate, reclaim, redeem, and renew unto God's future aspiration by the power of His Spirit. - R.E. Slater

Our eschatological ethos is to love. To stand with those who are oppressed. To stand against those who are oppressing. It is that simple. Love is our only calling and Christian Hope. - R.E. Slater

Secularization theory has been massively falsified. We don't live in an age of secularity. We live in an age of explosive, pervasive religiosity... an age of religious pluralism. - Peter L. Berger

Exploring the edge of life and faith in a post-everything world. - Todd Littleton

I don't need another reason to believe, your love is all around for me to see. – Anon

Thou art our need; and in giving us more of thyself thou givest us all. - Khalil Gibran, Prayer XXIII

Be careful what you pretend to be. You become what you pretend to be. - Kurt Vonnegut

Religious beliefs, far from being primary, are often shaped and adjusted by our social goals. - Jim Forest

We become who we are by what we believe and can justify. - R.E. Slater

People, even more than things, need to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed; never throw out anyone. – Anon

Certainly, God's love has made fools of us all. - R.E. Slater

An apocalyptic Christian faith doesn't wait for Jesus to come, but for Jesus to become in our midst. - R.E. Slater

Christian belief in God begins with the cross and resurrection of Jesus, not with rational apologetics. - Eberhard Jüngel, Jürgen Moltmann

Our knowledge of God is through the 'I-Thou' encounter, not in finding God at the end of a syllogism or argument. There is a grave danger in any Christian treatment of God as an object. The God of Jesus Christ and Scripture is irreducibly subject and never made as an object, a force, a power, or a principle that can be manipulated. - Emil Brunner

“Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh” means "I will be that who I have yet to become." - God (Ex 3.14) or, conversely, “I AM who I AM Becoming.”

Our job is to love others without stopping to inquire whether or not they are worthy. - Thomas Merton

The church is God's world-changing social experiment of bringing unlikes and differents to the Eucharist/Communion table to share life with one another as a new kind of family. When this happens, we show to the world what love, justice, peace, reconciliation, and life together is designed by God to be. The church is God's show-and-tell for the world to see how God wants us to live as a blended, global, polypluralistic family united with one will, by one Lord, and baptized by one Spirit. – Anon

The cross that is planted at the heart of the history of the world cannot be uprooted. - Jacques Ellul

The Unity in whose loving presence the universe unfolds is inside each person as a call to welcome the stranger, protect animals and the earth, respect the dignity of each person, think new thoughts, and help bring about ecological civilizations. - John Cobb & Farhan A. Shah

If you board the wrong train it is of no use running along the corridors of the train in the other direction. - Dietrich Bonhoeffer

God's justice is restorative rather than punitive; His discipline is merciful rather than punishing; His power is made perfect in weakness; and His grace is sufficient for all. – Anon

Our little [biblical] systems have their day; they have their day and cease to be. They are but broken lights of Thee, and Thou, O God art more than they. - Alfred Lord Tennyson

We can’t control God; God is uncontrollable. God can’t control us; God’s love is uncontrolling! - Thomas Jay Oord

Life in perspective but always in process... as we are relational beings in process to one another, so life events are in process in relation to each event... as God is to Self, is to world, is to us... like Father, like sons and daughters, like events... life in process yet always in perspective. - R.E. Slater

To promote societal transition to sustainable ways of living and a global society founded on a shared ethical framework which includes respect and care for the community of life, ecological integrity, universal human rights, respect for diversity, economic justice, democracy, and a culture of peace. - The Earth Charter Mission Statement

Christian humanism is the belief that human freedom, individual conscience, and unencumbered rational inquiry are compatible with the practice of Christianity or even intrinsic in its doctrine. It represents a philosophical union of Christian faith and classical humanist principles. - Scott Postma

It is never wise to have a self-appointed religious institution determine a nation's moral code. The opportunities for moral compromise and failure are high; the moral codes and creeds assuredly racist, discriminatory, or subjectively and religiously defined; and the pronouncement of inhumanitarian political objectives quite predictable. - R.E. Slater

God's love must both center and define the Christian faith and all religious or human faiths seeking human and ecological balance in worlds of subtraction, harm, tragedy, and evil. - R.E. Slater

In Whitehead’s process ontology, we can think of the experiential ground of reality as an eternal pulse whereby what is objectively public in one moment becomes subjectively prehended in the next, and whereby the subject that emerges from its feelings then perishes into public expression as an object (or “superject”) aiming for novelty. There is a rhythm of Being between object and subject, not an ontological division. This rhythm powers the creative growth of the universe from one occasion of experience to the next. This is the Whiteheadian mantra: “The many become one and are increased by one.” - Matthew Segall

Without Love there is no Truth. And True Truth is always Loving. There is no dichotomy between these terms but only seamless integration. This is the premier centering focus of a Processual Theology of Love. - R.E. Slater


Note: Generally I do not respond to commentary. I may read the comments but wish to reserve my time to write (or write from the comments I read). Instead, I'd like to see our community help one another and in the helping encourage and exhort each of us towards Christian love in Christ Jesus our Lord and Savior. - re slater

Saturday, March 12, 2022

What Neo-Christian "Internationalism" Looks Like

St. Vladimir’s Cathedral in Kyiv

[See You] Next Year in Kyiv?

by Diana Butler Bass
February 23, 2022

When it comes to Russian Orthodoxy,
Kyiv is essentially Jerusalem.

While the secular media tries to guess Vladimir Putin’s motives in Ukraine, one important aspect of the current situation has gone largely ignored: Religion.

I’m no expert in Eastern European history, but my training in church history offers a lens into the events in Ukraine. In effect, the world is witnessing a new version of an old tale — the quest to recreate an imperial Christian state, a neo-medieval “Holy Roman Empire” — uniting political, economic, and spiritual power into an entity to control the earthly and heavenly destiny of European peoples.

The dream gripping some quarters of the West is for a coalition to unify religious conservatives into a kind of supra-national neo-Christendom. The theory is to create a partnership between American evangelicals, traditionalist Catholics in western countries, and Orthodox peoples under the auspices of the Russian Orthodox Church in a common front against three enemies — decadent secularism, a rising China, and Islam — for a glorious rebirth of [post-colonial] moral purity and Christian culture.

In the United States, Trumpist-religion is most often framed as “Christian nationalism.” It is, indeed, that. But it is also more — it is the American partner of this larger quest for Christian internationalism. No one has articulated this more clearly than Steve Bannon, who, despite his legal troubles, remains a significant force as a kind of philosophical apostle in right-wing Christian circles for a neo-Christendom.

There have been a few bumps on the way to this Humpty-Dumpty hope of reassembling a Christian Roman Empire, however. Interestingly enough (and I’ll leave this to future historians to sort out), American evangelicals bought into this neo-medieval project wholesale, having been prepared for far right nationalism by their fondness for racial and gender hierarchies. The most democratic form of Protestantism will evidently sell its soul to keep black people and women in their “place.”

The hardest partner to recruit to neo-Christendom has been the Catholic Church. The election of Pope Francis in 2013 proved a major stumbling block for the emergence of a right-wing global political order. The new Pope eschewed all such schemes in favor of opening up the church to the poor, outcasts, and the marginalized with a social vision that questions capitalism and the destruction of the Earth. Neo-medieval Catholics — often referred to as “trad Caths” — haven’t taken this well and have mounted a decade of resistance to Francis that may well culminate in something like the Avignon schism of the fourteenth century. So far, however, Pope Francis remains in charge.

Until recently, it appeared that Vladimir Putin had successfully co-opted Orthodoxy into this globalist triumvirate, making for a surprising love fest between American evangelicals and the Russian strongman. Just this week, former Secretary of State and stalwart evangelical Mike Pompeo praised Putin. Outside observers might think Putin was firmly in control of the future of Orthodoxy vis-a-vis neo-Christendom.

Except he wasn’t. The Ukrainian Orthodox had other ideas.

And that’s a real problem. Because when it comes to Russian Orthodoxy, Kyiv is essentially Jerusalem.

More than a thousand years ago, in the 980s, the pagan Prince Vladimir of Kyiv consolidated the Rus people of modern-day Belarus, Russia, and Ukraine into a single realm. When his emissaries reported back to him on the glories of Christian Constantinople, Vladimir converted to their religion, brought his people into the Byzantine church through a mass baptism, and married a Christian imperial princess. Under his rule, Kyiv became a prosperous and peaceful city at the heart of a new Christian empire, complete with churches, courts, monasteries, and schools, as well as civic programs to care for the poor. Known as Vladimir the Great, he was eventually canonized as St. Vladimir and his memory is celebrated by Eastern Orthodox Christians, Catholics, Anglicans, and some Lutherans.

In the 1200s, however, Kyiv suffered a number of assaults from rival Rus princes and Mongol invaders. Many Rus people moved north and east to the newer cities of Vladimir and Moscow where, under the Czars, the Russian church eventually grew to be one of the richest, most powerful churches in the Orthodox world. With the shift, an Orthodox tradition founded under the auspices of Constantinople became a church under the authority of a patriarch in Moscow.

This has created tension between Ukraine and Russia for centuries, in some ways brought to a head in the Soviet period, with rival forms of Orthodoxy either choosing to resist Communism or cooperate with Moscow. When the Soviet Union collapsed, Ukraine had several different Orthodox churches, only one of which was in close relationship to Moscow.

In 2018, two of those Ukrainian churches and some of the Moscow-leaning Orthodox parishes joined in a union and created a newly unified Orthodox Church of Ukraine, a fully independent national ecclesial body under no control from Moscow, with its head in the ancient seat of Orthodoxy in Kyiv.

Putin and the Moscow Russian Orthodox church authorities protested. They’ve been claiming the 1,000 years of Kyiv Christianity as its own — basically appropriating Ukraine’s church history — to the point of erecting a gigantic (and controversial) statue of St. Vladimir outside of the Kremlin. Putin [conveniently] wants the weight of tradition on his side, and St. Vladimir validates both his religious and political aspirations. There should be no doubt that Putin sees himself as a kind of Vladimir the Great II, a candidate for sainthood who is restoring the soul of Holy Mother Russian. The Ukrainians, on the other hand, would like to remind the Russians that they were the birthplace of both Orthodoxy and political unity in Eastern Europe.

The St. Vladimir statue outside of the Kremlin. It is BIG.

Further infuriating Putin is the fact that the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople recognized the Orthodox Church of Ukraine as an independent body. While this fight between Moscow and Kyiv is internally significant for Russians and Ukrainians historically, it also has larger global ramifications for the future. Katherine Kelaidis at Religion Dispatches explains:

"On one side of the conflict is the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, the culturally and linguistically Greek cleric, who has historically claimed leadership of [Eastern] Orthodoxy. For the better part of a century, the Patriarch of Constantinople has moved toward the West and arguably many of its values. Today’s incumbent on the Apostolic Throne of St. Andrew speaks the language of human rights, religious freedom, and trust in science. This position arises in no small part from the Patriarchate’s own precarious role as a representative of minority religion in Turkey."

At the same time, the [Russian Orthodox] Patriarch of Moscow, having reclaimed much of his post’s former political influence in a post-Soviet Russia, has taken to spearheading not only the traditionalist Orthodox cause, but acting as support and symbol to religious conservatives around the world.

The conflict in Ukraine is all about religion and what kind of Orthodoxy will shape Eastern Europe and other Orthodox communities around the world (especially in Africa). Religion... this is a crusade, recapturing the Holy Land of Russian Orthodoxy, and defeating the westernized (and decadent) heretics who do not bend the knee to Moscow’s spiritual authority.

If you don’t get that, you don’t get it. Who is going to control the geographical home, the “Jerusalem,” of the Russian church? Moscow? Or Constantinople? And, what does claiming that territory mean for Orthodoxy around the world? Will global Orthodoxy lean toward a more pluralistic and open future, or will it be part of the authoritarian neo-Christendom triumvirate?

We don’t know how this is going to unfold. But — here’s the key point — economic sanctions are unlikely to work if you believe your side is divinely sanctioned. That’s what Putin thinks he’s got: the approval of God.

You just know Putin wants to celebrate Easter — this one or next — in Kyiv.

[edits are mine: re slater]

A Personal Note
The religious cultural background of the regional war between Moscow and Kyiv which Putin seems to be conveniently pursuing under the auspices of religion appears to be motivated by a number of reasons, one of which could be religious.
If it is religious, then what Putin believes is a God-ordained call for "Christian unity" from the paganism of the West (and China in the East) appears to come under the banners of a neo-conservative, post-colonial version of a Christian Imperial Empire otherwise known as Neo-Christian Dominionism or Kingdom Reconstruction as yearned for by such  contemporary conservative Christian illuminaries as Franklin Graham, Jerry Falwell Sr., Norman Geisler, Wayne Grudem, and a host of other Neo-Calvinistic "Christian" types supporting Trump's failed and corrupt American presidency supporting White Christian Nationalism ala White Supremacy.
The real Church of Jesus follows Jesus alone - NOT the unholy, unloving, and ungodly teachings of self-proclaimed false prophets, teachers and leaders. Leaders who have conflated and conflicted the missional church of Jesus Christ from its ministries of love, healing, care, and wholeness both spiritually and physically, psychologically and ecologically. Ministerial missions preaching the work and ministries of Jesus both to the individual as well as to polyplural, multi-ethnic and religious societies.
Sacred societies which are built upon giving families, communities, and a vast array of inter/intrapersonal societal connections with its community members and localities in trade, worship, recreation, and competition. But become secular societies when unloving religious faiths and beliefs are displayed and experienced by unloving acts and deeds by its church goers and societal members.
The fact is, God sees people. People who love and people who don't love. The idea of sacred and secular is one of act and deed not simply in a sect's declaration of what it believes to be sacred or secular. Bankrupt beliefs are anchored in hate, hypocrisy, willful ignorance, and segregated care. All is sacred unless man - especially religious man - makes its secular.
As Jesus' brother James says, "We know one another by our works and not simply by our deeds." And the Apostle John says, "Beloved, walk in love as you have been loved...."
Thus and thus, the current despicable war waged by Putin's "religious form of neo-Christian Russia" which is being cruelly forced upon the peoples of the sovereign state of Ukraine illustrates exactly what a paganized form of Christianity looks like.... It looks like its past historical forms of Christianized purges, crusades, and societal sectarian division. Like a war against all those who don't live up to the conservative "forms" of what a Christian should look like, be, think, or act. This then is what Christian Dominionism looks like post-Trumpianism ala Putin.
R.E. Slater
March 12, 2022 

Processual Consciousness and Integrated, Complex Astrobiological Intelligence

Seeing the Universe as a Cosmic-Connectedness

Processual Consciousness and Integrated,
Complex Astrobiological Intelligence

The Disequilibrium of Entropic Spaces
Speaks to Cosmic Self-Awareness

by R.E. Slater

The What and The Why

The first question I suppose I should answer is how does science continually end up here on a bible blog? Firstly, because it interests me. Secondly, because theology should never rest alone in a vacuum from any stream of life. Which means religion and theology should always be integrated with all material, ethical, moral, aesthetic, and spiritual aspects of our cosmic world.

Further, a major part of Process Philosophy and Theology, if not its entirety, is it's panrelational, panexistential, and panpsychic qualities bourne along inside it's Whiteheadian bones (as in, Alfred North Whitehead, the British mathematician and philosopher).

When Whitehead proposed his organic theory of matter and the universe (The Philosophy of Organism, later to be known as Process Philosophy) he didn't intend for it to continue the Enlightenment/Scientific Era's reductionary outlook upon the nature of scientific cosmology. He intended to end its unnatural formulations and return to Hegel's shortened life's work to extend and uplift it beyond where it ended.

Whitehead did this by acknowledging Einstein's Relativity Theory of the Large and the resultant Quantum Physics Theory of the Small by escalating their separate revelations together into an integrum of cosmological significance beyond their mere disconnected parts.

Scientifically, relativistic quantum gravity is the cosmic glue physicists are trying to use to bring both the Relativity and Quantum theoretical views together. But in Whitehead, his intention was philosophical. As in the areas of metaphysics and ontology and what those would mean for societal ethics.

Whitehead was looking to bring holism into non-holistic thinking. And for today's Whiteheadian Process Theologian - whether Christian, Buddhists, Jewish, or Islamic - such an endeavor is looking for the cosmic significance - and Cosmic Signifier - to the matter and energy lying behind the cosmic whole.

The Significance of the Processual Whole

Hence, Whiteheadian Process Philosophy and its *compending religious auxiliary known as Process Theology (*compendium - a concise but comprehensive summary of a larger work) each require the view of a universe which is in communication with itself. A deeply integrated and relational communication by however its quantum energies and forces are measured. There is within and about the substance of this cosmic whole we call the universe a kind of panpsychic communication (some may describe this as an aural communication) between itself in particular, and outwardly with the entirety of cosmological matter and forces.

In the human species we call this kind of self-awareness as "consciousness". In the material world of science it may describe this communal interaction as vibrational signaling utilizing frequencies of light, sound and plasmic radiation. In the spiritual world of religion one may call it God or a spirituality of some kind. But however we call this transactional activity found throughout the universe, it is structurally connected in communicating within itself, across itself, and outside of its cosmic "environmental" biomes.


  • Colonies of ants and bees communicate to their fellow members across their nests and hives.
  • Living masses of trees seem to know "who" their competing neighbors are - whether beneficial or invasive.
  • Competing entropy systems, whether biological coral reefs - or the mantle of the earth itself - work together to fed off lost energy in the seas and deep within the earth, converting destructive forms of energy into beneficial landscapes inviting more complex entropic systems to become participatory symbiotic hosts and guests.

A processual world, like a processual entropic universe, bears within itself a kind of restorative equilibrium energy by which everything comprehends everything else throughout its "inorganic and organic" spaces. Informing, or communicating, to the other spaces via reactionary entropic cycles of life and death in whatever way we, as humans, might describe these cosmic terms signifying relationship to the experiencing other which are highly aware of their cosmic environments whether as an energy, or as a force, or by some other means of complex communication science might describe as the natural laws of thermodynamics. The point? The universe is not found in its parts and pieces but also in its whole. Its mass. Its entirety as a complex cosmic organism (using the broadest of terms).

Cycles of Processual, Processing, Cosmic Awareness

Human consciousness is not unique nor singular to itself. The universe breathes a kind of "consciousness" within its spaces even as biological spaces do the same as mentioned above.

Human consciousness is but another non-unique expression of a universal "consciousness" or "awareness" of itself. When we look at an ant's intelligence in comparison to a monkey's, a dolphin's, an elephant's, pig, cat, or dog, their consciousness are different in kind to each other even as they are different in kind to our own - or to the cosmic universe we live within.

For science to investigate whether the earth has its own planetary "intelligence" isn't quite the same as asking whether a planetary intelligence is like to our own. As unique and special as the human conscience is it could well be speculated that the earth's planetary intelligence is every bit as connected, integrated, and unique to itself as we are in our own mental, physical, and spiritual capacities.

Moreover, even as dietary regimen, exercise, and spiritual pursuits keep a body's soul in healthy communication with it's complexly integrated environments, so too does the earth's planetary wellbeing have health factors of its own measured in:

  • the volcanic activity of released poisonous gases;
  • the increasing deoxygenation of earth's densely populated forested jungles due to human ingress and destruction across the Canadian, Siberian, African, and Amazonian biotic masses; and,
  • the deadly pollutionary deaths the earth is absorbing into itself measured across its acceding and accretional environmental habitats.

To the degree we, or the earth, remain healthy, indicates the degree to which we better understand how our human-technological imprint on the earth remains healthy or not by how we enable the earth to self-regulate it's own planetary IQ.

Processual Entropy as a Quixotic Amorphous Life-Giver

Remember, entropy is always present within a system turning chaos into occasional results of random wellbeing for entropic states wired to work in this way. In this case, a hot Earth required for its planetary health unique ways to dissipate it's primal heat. Given what it had on hand to use, organic life was able to arise to participate in cooling down the earth lest it boil away into a hot Mercury-like rock.

Though astrophysicists may deny any IQ (Intelligence Quotient) to the Earth's planetary comprehension of itself, Process Thought states the opposite to the science's mechanistic assertion of "matter v mind" reductionism. If the Earth is considered within it's larger cosmological context, the earth's planetary intelligence is everywhere about us. Presently in its disruptive stages to itself due to our disruptive interference to its equilibrium-establishing rhythms and flows.

But Earth's planetary IQ is here and is something we need to attune ourselves to in order to live with the Earth in a more beneficial give-and-take entropic balance of wholeness and completeness. Our species is yet too young and immature to participate with our planet's complexly integrated cosmological IQ. Hopefully we will learn to grow into it and become better participating ecological partners.

Processually Integrated Religions Recognize Evolving Processual Creations

In a Christian context, processual living may be described as learning to live within the flows and rhythms of the Spirit of God. Not only to one another as a human species but to the earth surrounding us.

The Native Americans spoke of these matters in their primal religions even as the Eastern religions of the East do as well. Christianity is but one religion among many which shares a common core to the earth, waters, and sky above.

Christianity's own distinctive lies in its story of God's Incarnation as Jesus, who is acclaimed to be fully God and fully human (not half-and-half like skim milk). And the Christian story speaks particularly to the atonement the Creator God of the universe brought to mankind through Jesus's life, ministry, death, and resurrection.

In this theological matter the other religions lie mute. But when looking around us, these same religions tell the story of life and death, of atonement and redemption. Perhaps not in the same way as the Hebrew-Christian bible overtly declares but in their similarities of theme and construct, wisdom and retribution, purpose and goal.

All acknowledged religions peer into the universe to see life itself built deep down inside its unfolding, driving forces overcoming, and overcomed, by other forces of life and death and life renewed again. The Christian story is not unique or alone in  this cosmic story. In the story of God lies the story of Jesus in His own story of life and death and life renewed again.

In its processual form this same redemptive story of atonement is retold everywhere about us. We only need to look beyond the cycles of tragedy and death, or our own caustic material Westernization, to see it.

R.E. Slater
March 12, 2022

* * * * * * * *

The Iberian Peninsula at night from orbit. (NASA)SPACE

Astrophysicists Say 'Planetary Intelligence' Exists…
But Earth Doesn't Have Any

February 21, 2022

We tend to think of intelligence as something that describes just one individual. But it's possible to describe all kinds of collectives as intelligent, too – whether we're talking about social groups of humans, enclaves of insects, or even the mysterious behavior of slime mold and viruses.

By extension, could intelligence be observed on a much grander scale – perhaps that of an entire planet? In a newly published paper, a team of space scientists explores this tantalizing question, reaching some surprising conclusions about our very own Earth.

"An open question is whether or not intelligence can operate at the planetary scale, and if so, how a transition to planetary-scale intelligence might occur and whether or not it has already occurred or is on our near-term horizon," the team writes.

They note that understanding this question could help us to steer the future of our planet; however, according to their own criteria, it looks like we're not there yet.

"We don't yet have the ability to communally respond in the best interests of the planet," says astrophysicist Adam Frank from the University of Rochester.

"There is intelligence on Earth, but there isn't planetary intelligence."

According to the researchers, the emergence of technological intelligence on a planet – a common reference point in astrobiology research – should perhaps be viewed not as something that happens on a planet but to a planet.

In such an interpretation, the evolution of planetary intelligence would represent the acquisition and application of a collective body of knowledge operating across a complex system of different species at the same time, and in a harmonious way that benefits or sustains the whole biosphere.

Unfortunately – and obviously – humans and Earth are not at that point yet.

In fact, Frank and his co-authors say we've only made it to the third stage of their hypothetical timeline for the development of planetary intelligence.

  • In the first stage, characteristic of a very early Earth, a planet with an 'immature biosphere' develops life, but there are insufficient feedback loops between life and geophysical processes for co-evolution of different kinds of life.
  • In the second stage, the 'mature biosphere' has developed.
  • Next, a planet could become the third stage: an 'immature technosphere', where Earth currently is. In this stage, technological activity has developed on the planet, but it's not yet sustainably integrated with other systems, such as the physical environment.
  • If those tensions can be resolved, however, an immature technosphere stands a chance to develop to the final stage: a 'maturing technosphere', where feedback loops between technological activity and other biogeochemical and biogeophysical states act in sync to ensure maximum stability and productivity of the full system.
  • This idealized state is where Earth should be trying to get to, the researchers argue. "Planets evolve through immature and mature stages, and planetary intelligence is indicative of when you get to a mature planet," says Frank.
"The million-dollar question is figuring out what planetary intelligence looks like and means for us in practice because we don't know how to move to a mature technosphere yet."

According to the researchers, we currently sit on a precipice, where our collective actions clearly have global consequences, but we are not yet in control of those consequences.

If, in tandem with other forces on the planet, we can develop a balance where those consequences become controlled, we might finally evolve – as a planet – to the next level.

"A transition to planetary intelligence, as we described here, would have the hallmark property of intelligence operating at a planetary scale," the researchers write in their paper. "Such planetary intelligence would be capable of steering the future evolution of Earth, acting in concert with planetary systems and guided by a deep understanding of such systems."

The paper was published in the International Journal of Astrobiology.