Cosmos and History: The Journal of Natural and Social Philosophy, Vol 9, No 1 (2013)

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The Spiritual Meaning of Technological Evolution to Life

Joseph Morrill Kirby

Abstract


There are two senses by which technology can be seen as a new layer of living complexity: first, while biological systems can only appropriate 24 of the 91 natural elements into their metabolic processes, technological systems can imbue complex form into all 91 elements; second, this added capacity gives life the potential to expand across its current limit – the atmosphere of the Earth – in the same way as it expanded from the oceans to the land some five hundred million years ago.  This essay explores what such an understanding of life and technology might mean to us, humanity, in the context of our current ecological and social catastrophe.

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