Cadell Last had an article this week in the Huffington Post that talks about the scientific evolution of humanity with Artificial Intelligence with citations to Teilhard de Chardin. I do not have any great thoughts on the article but it is another example of how Teilhard de Chardin’s vision is continuing to echo today:
In the 21st century, we are walking an important road. Our species is alone on this road and it has one destination: super-intelligence.
The most forward-thinking visionaries of our species were able to get a vague glimpse of this destination in the early 20th century. Paleontologist Pierre Teilhard de Chardincalled this destination Omega Point. Mathematician Stanislaw Ulam called it “singularity”:
One conversation on the ever accelerating progress of technology and changes in the mode of human life, which gives the appearance some essential singularity in the history of the race beyond which human affairs, as we know them, could not continue
For thinkers like Chardin, this vision was spiritual and religious; God using evolution to pull our species closer to our destiny. For others, this vision was a fiercely secular and naturalistic technological utopia designed on scientific principles alone. The rapture for the nerds.
Today the philosophical debates of this vision have become more varied, but also more focused on model building and scientific prediction. The closer we get to our destination, the clearer we can see this world. In the early 20th century Chardin could only generalize about its features. In The Phenomenon of Man he described the Omega Point as “super-personalized” and “infinitely enriched”.