Excerpts from Introduction to Third Phase Transition: Solving The Anthropocene Crisis

On the anthropic principle

“The term ‘anthropic principle’ might probably be readily appropriated, without any semantic transfer necessitated. Presently it appears to be no more than a shaky proposal for concept of speculative cosmology. It should therefore be free for forming a scientific concept, taken down to Earth. The anthropic principle should be conceptualised, as the expression of human metabolism re-integrating within the circulating metabolism of the planetary life system, generating the third phase of socio-natural co-evolution. Through a successful third phase transition, the entire earth system becomes dependent on the path taken by human metabolism in this third phase.

Anthropocene as a new geological epoch can only be realised, by simultaneously being a phase transition in human global metabolism and in the earth system’s anthropic re-stabilisation. Therefore, this anthropic principle should be conceptualized as associating in managing the life-sustaining interdependence of humanity and the biogeochemical earth system. The progressive result of this self-organising principle should be conceptualised as Anthropy – a sustainable earth system manifested, monitored, and managed through development of collective human intelligence. This anthropic principle forms the third order approximation to human nature.

This time it is a phase transition that cannot take millions of years, like the first one did, nor thousands of years, as the second one did. It must be completed within decades. There are three great advantages now. First, we are rapidly becoming aware of this window of opportunity and its limited dimension. Second, the technological and social means of generally and sustainably satisfying basic material needs are already at hand. Thirdly, the means of cooperation have been approaching abundance. This makes global association possible. Humanity’s development of needs might then focus on abundantly enriching cooperative relations. This is the essential feature of the human condition. It is also an unconditional requirement for succeeding in the phase transition. The rapidity in the great acceleration of global change could be turned into a planetary asset. If humanity’s concerted effort gets self-mobilised in completing the necessary phase transition, it gets possible.”

In social science, the term ‘principle’ commonly refers to ephemeral and relatively random things, like political opinions and institutions, moral theses, personal beliefs, or judicial arrangements, reflecting contemporarily dominant social interests. However, in reintegrating humanity into the circular metabolism of living nature, which requires scientific integration, social sciences can no longer do without scientific principles.

The general principle of the cooperative species – social self-improvement of its inherited survival skill – lies in optimising its own right of association. Having to proceed from such first- and second-order approximations, that are not possible to express with any singular or simple mathematical precision, does not imply that we are not dealing with scientific principles, only applying those with a different and more suitable kind of scientific reduction.

Humanity presently facing the global impact of its evolving associationism, provides basis for a further approximation to human nature, which by its very determination prepares for scientific integration. The global life system and human society converge towards one and the same organising principle. It all boils down to the third order approximation to human nature – the scientific principle of our time. The anthropic principle constitutes the scientific standard of the third phase transition.”

“Disciplining global information technology to preservation of the evolutionary result in Planet Earth’s life system in general, and to the generalised association of humanity as its independent variable in particular, can be the only meaningful definition of contemporary human intelligence. It would express the anthropic principle as collective intelligence in the earth system.”

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