Scientists Propose Idea of Planetary Intelligence

Scientists Propose Idea of Planetary Intelligence

Can planets possess their own intelligence? That’s what University of Rochester astrophysicist Adam Frank and his colleagues, have proposed in a paper published in the International Journal of Astrobiology.

They pulled ideas from the Gaia Hypothesis — that all living organisms on Earth interact with inorganic organisms to regulate the conditions necessary for life, making the planet a self-regulating organism.

They looked at how, “[T]he appearance of technological intelligence may represent a kind of planetary-scale transition, and thus might be seen not as something which happens on a planet but to a planet”

They argue that to understand the evolution of life, we must study the planet as a whole instead of individual species. Their definition of planetary intelligence is “the acquisition and application of collective knowledge, operating at a planetary scale, which is integrated into the function of coupled planetary systems.”

Consider photosynthesis: for the first two billion years, Earth’s atmosphere was mainly molecular nitrogen, carbon dioxide, and some oxygen. The evolution of photosynthesis by bacteria lead to the “great oxygenation event” about two and a half billion years ago. 

The planet itself was changed by bacteria and plants, creating oxygen and making the atmosphere habitable for life. As more life grew, there became complex systems —a feedback loop that grew more life, eventually leading to the Earth we know today. So how can we use this knowledge? 

The researchers say we can use the concept of planetary intelligence to study Earth and exoplanets, our current geological age, the future of human sustainability, and the search for extraterrestrial intelligence. The researchers say there are four stages of planetary evolution:

Stage 1 – Immature biosphere: Earth before it developed its biosphere.

Stage 2 – Mature biosphere:  The period from 2.5 billion to 540 million years ago, characterized by continents, vegetation and photosynthesis, and an ozone layer developing.

Stage 3 – Immature technosphere: Where we are now.

Stage 4 – Mature technosphere: This is the hope for the future where human technology works with the natural biosphere, not against it.

 

By studying where we came from in terms of the planet working as an intelligent being that has evolved to grow life, we can figure out how to fix problems we are facing, in order to have a more sustainable planet in the future.

As Frank told SciTechDaily, “The biosphere figured out how to host life by itself billions of years ago by creating systems for moving around nitrogen and transporting carbon. Now we have to figure out how to have the same kind of self-maintaining characteristics with the technosphere.”

The researchers added that understanding the Earth’s evolution of planetary intelligence could help in the search for extraterrestrial intelligence. It stands to reason that if it worked for earth this would work on other planets. Frank argues the search for techno-signatures from other planets could be the way to find intelligent life, telling SciTechDaily, “…the only technological civilizations we may ever see—the ones we should expect to see—are the ones that didn’t kill themselves, meaning they must have reached the stage of a true planetary intelligence.”

These Near-Death Experiences Describe Direct Experiences With God

These Near-Death Experiences Describe Direct Experiences With God

What do near-death experiences suggest about the ultimate source of reality, spirituality, and what many call “God?” Psychiatrist Raymond Moody explains the answer to this question in his latest book “God Is Bigger Than the Bible.”

Dr. Raymond Moody has spent more than four decades studying the afterlife. In his 1975 book “Life After Life” he first presented his research on the “near-death experience” or NDE, the transcendent experience of death that radically transforms the life of the person who lives to tell about it. In his new book, Dr. Moody presents his thoughts on God, drawn from the accounts of the thousands of people he has interviewed about their near-death experiences.

“You know, when I was a kid I didn’t think about God. I can’t say I was an atheist because I never really thought about God,” Dr. Moody said. “Then I went to college and got interested in these near-death experiences through Plato, and subsequently have heard of thousands of these from people all over the world who have this same kind of experience—many of them have conversations with God. So that is how I came to God, you know God has become just a big part of my life in the last few decades.”

Dr. Moody’s motivation for writing his latest book is to provide readers with an understanding of God, or source, that is entirely outside the realm of organized religion. To Dr. Moody, idealized religion can present a fearsome image of God that has scared many away from developing a personal relationship with the divine.

“Well, before I started hearing of people with near-death experiences, my notion of God was that people had this imaginary figure who was watching their every step with a little book, trying to see if they’re going to stumble or something,” Dr. Moody said. “But when I started hearing these people with near-death experiences it was a whole different take on God. People say that when they had their cardiac arrest or whatever, that they left their bodies and dissolved into this light, almost. People say that whatever kind of love that you have experienced while you’re alive, that is just beyond description. You go through a passageway to this light of complete comfort, peace, and love, you feel sort of wrapped up in it.”

A common component of the NDE is what is known as the “life review.

“People say they’re surrounded by a holographic panorama consisting of everything they’ve ever done, and they witness it from the point of view of the other people they’ve interacted with. And all of this is being experienced in the presence of a being of complete compassion and love, who sees all those things they’ve done there, but there’s no judgment coming from this—that this being is helping you evaluate these things. They say that there are no words but that the thought comes through. The question that comes from this being is ‘how have you learned to love?’ People learn a lot about themselves from these encounters with God,” Dr. Moody said.

Through his research, both with near-death experiencers and the elderly, Dr. Moody has come to an understanding of God as the writer of our life stories.

Read Article

More In Expanded Consciousness

Our unique blend of yoga, meditation, personal transformation, and alternative healing content is designed for those seeking to not just enhance their physical, spiritual, and intellectual capabilities, but to fuse them in the knowledge that the whole is always greater than the sum of its parts.


Use the same account and membership for TV, desktop, and all mobile devices. Plus you can download videos to your device to watch offline later.

Desktop, laptop, tablet, phone devices with Gaia content on screens

Discover what Gaia has to offer.

Testing message will be here