EVOLUTION

Omega point

The Omega Point is a theorized future event in which the entirety of the universe spirals toward a final point of unification. The term was invented by the French Jesuit Catholic priest Pierre Teilhard de Chardin (1881–1955).[1] Teilhard argued that the Omega Point resembles the Christian Logos, namely Christ, who draws all things into himself, who in the words of the Nicene Creed, is "God from God", "Light from Light", "True God from True God", and "through him all things were made".[2] In the Book of Revelation, Christ describes himself thrice as "the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end". Several decades after Teilhard's death, the idea of the Omega Point was expanded upon in the writings of John David Garcia (1971), Paolo Soleri (1981), Frank Tipler (1994), and David Deutsch (1997).[3][4][5]

Etymology

Teilhard de Chardin was a paleontologist and Roman Catholic priest in the Jesuit order. In France in the 1920s, he began incorporating his theories of the universe into lectures that placed Catholicism and evolution in the same conversation. Because of these lectures, he was suspected by the Holy Office of denying the doctrine of original sin. This caused Teilhard to be exiled to China and banned from publication by Church authorities.[6] It was not until one year after his death in 1955 that his writings were published for the world to read. His works were also supported by the writings of a group of Catholic thinkers, which includes Pope Benedict XVI.[6] His book The Phenomenon of Man has been dissected by astrophysicists and cosmologists, and is now viewed as a work positing a theological or philosophical theory that cannot be scientifically proven. Teilhard, who was not a cosmologist, opens his books with the statement:

… if this book is to be properly understood, it must be read not as a work on metaphysics, still less as a sort of theological essay, but purely and simply as a scientific treatise.[7]

Evolution

According to Teilhard, evolution does not end with mankind, and Earth’s biosphere evolved before humans existed. He described evolution as a progression that begins with inanimate matter to a future state of Divine consciousness through Earth’s “hominization”.[8] He also maintained that one-cell organisms develop into metazoans or animals, but some of the members of this classification develop organisms with complex nervous systems. This group has the capability to acquire intelligence. When Homo sapiens inhabited Earth through evolution, a noosphere, the cognitive layer of existence, was created. As evolution continues, the noosphere gains coherence. Teilhard explained that this noosphere can be moved toward or constructed to be the Omega Point or the final evolutionary stage with the help of science.[9] Teilhard refers to this process as “planetization.” Eventually, the noosphere gains total dominance over the biosphere and reaches a point of complete independence from tangential energy forming a metaphysical being, called the Omega Point.[10]

Energy

Energy exists in two basic modes:

  1. “Tangential Energy”: energy that can be measured by physics.
  2. “Radial Energy”: spiritual energy which accumulates into a higher state as time progresses.

Teilhard defines Radial Energy as becoming more concentrated and available as it is a critical element in man’s evolution. The theory applies to all forms of matter, concluding that everything with existence has some sort of life. In regard to Teilhard’s The Phenomenon of ManPeter Medawar wrote, “Teilhard’s radial, spiritual, or psychic energy may be equated to ‘information’ or ‘information content’ in the sense that has been made reasonably precise by communication engineers.”[11]

Formal Properties

Teilhard’s theory is based on four “properties”:

  1. Humans will escape the heat death of the universe. Current scientific understanding is that that intelligence cannot survive heat death.[10] He theorizes that since radial energy is non-compliant with entropy, it escapes the collapses of forces at world’s end.
  2. The Omega Point does not exist within the timeline of the universe, it occurs at the exact edge of the end of time. From that point, all sequences of existence are sucked into its being.
  3. The Omega Point can be understood as a volume shaped like a cone in which each section, taken from the base to its summit, decreases until it diminishes into a final point.
  4. The volume described in the Third Property must be understood as an entity with finite boundaries. Teilhard explains:

… what would have become of humanity, if, by some remote chance, it had been free to spread indefinitely on an unlimited surface, that is to say, left only to the devices of its internal affinities? Something unimaginable. … Perhaps even nothing at all, when we think of the extreme importance of the role played in its development by the forces of compression.[12]

Forces of compression

Teilhard calls the contributing universal energy that generates the Omega Point “forces of compression”. Unlike the scientific definition, which incorporates gravity and mass, Teilhard’s forces of compression are sourced from communication and contact between human beings. This value is limitless and directly correlated with entropy. It suggests that as humans continue to interact, consciousness evolves and grows. For the theory to occur, humans must also be bound to the finite earth. The creation of this boundary forces the world’s convergence upon itself which he theorizes to result in time ending in communion with the Omega Point-God. This portion of Teilhard’s thinking shows his lack of expectation for humans to engage in space travel and transcend the bounds of Earth.[10]

The omega point cosmology

Mathematical physicist Frank Tipler generalized[13] Teilhard’s term Omega Point to describe what he alleges is the ultimate fate of the universe as required by the laws of physics: roughly, Tipler argues that quantum mechanics is inconsistent unless the future of every point in spacetime contains an intelligent observer to collapse the wavefunction and that the only way for this to happen is if the Universe is closed (that is, it will collapse to a single point) and yet contains observers with a “God-like” ability to perform an unbounded series of observations in finite time.[14] Tipler’s conception of the Omega Point is widely regarded as pseudoscience by mainstream science.[15][16][better source needed]

The originator of quantum computing, Oxford’s David Deutsch, wrote about how a universal quantum computer could bring about Tipler’s salvation in his 1997 book, The Fabric of Reality.

theological controversy

Pierre Teilhard de Chardin’s life (1881–1955) was bracketed by the First Vatican Council (1869) and the Second Vatican Council (1965). He was born 20 years after the publication of Charles Darwin‘s On the Origin of Species; soon after, the claims of scientific theories and those of traditional theological teachings became of great interest to the Vatican.[17]

In 1946, Pope Pius XII stated his concern about the theory of evolution, albeit without condemning it:

If such a doctrine were to be spread, what will become of the unchangeable Catholic dogmas, what of the unity and the stability of the Creed?[18]

Teilhard’s theory was a personal attempt in creating a new Christianity in which science and theology coexist[citation needed]. The outcome was that his theory of the Omega Point was not perfectly scientific as examined by physicists, and not perfectly Christian either. By 1962, The Society of Jesus had strayed from Spanish Jesuit Priest Francisco Suarez‘s philosophies on Man in favor of “Teilhardian evolutionary cosmogenesis.” Teilhard’s Christ is the “Cosmic Christ” or the “Omega” of revelation. He is an emanation of God which is made of matter and experienced the nature of evolution by being born into this world and dying. His resurrection from the dead was not to heaven, but to the noosphere, the area of convergence of all spirituality and spiritual beings, where Christ will be waiting at the end of time. When the earth reaches its Omega Point, everything that exists will become one with divinity.[19]

Teilhard reaffirmed the role of the Church in the following letter to Auguste Valensin. It is important to note that he defines evolution as a scientific phenomenon set in motion by God – that science and the divine are interconnected and acting through one another:

I believe in the Church, mediatrix between God and the world[.] … The Church, the reflectively christified portion of the world, the Church, the principal focus of inter-human affinities through super-charity, the Church, the central axis of universal convergence and the precise point of contact between the universe and Omega Point. … The Catholic Church, however, must not simply seek to affirm its primacy and authority but quite simply to present the world with the Universal Christ, Christ in human-cosmic dimension, as the animator of evolution.[20]