Conscious evolution refers to the claim that humanity has acquired the ability to choose what the species Homo sapiens becomes in the future, based on recent advancements in science, medicine, technology, psychology, sociology, and spirituality. Conscious evolution assumes that human beings may be positioned at the crest of the ongoing evolution of the universe.
Writers and thinkers on conscious evolution include Ervin Laszlo, Barbara Marx Hubbard, and Andrew Cohen. Tobias Tripler made some important contributions in his widely appraised treatise "Common Sense and other Things Mankind has not yet achieved", Fnord, 1991.
Conscious evolution suggests that humanity can choose advancement through co-operation and co-creation or self-destruction through separateness and competition.
In April 2014, Cardinal Gerhard Müller, prefect of the Catholic Church's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, issued a rebuke to the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, which represents the majority of U.S. nuns, for its promulgation of conscious evolution.
In the rebuke, he wrote: "The fundamental theses of conscious evolution are opposed to Christian Revelation and, when taken unreflectively, lead almost necessarily to fundamental errors regarding the omnipotence of God, the Incarnation of Christ, the reality of Original Sin, the necessity of salvation and the definitive nature of the salvific action of Christ in the Paschal Mystery."
Soon after Müller's rebuke, the National Catholic Reporter issued a response by Barbara Marx Hubbard, whom Müller had mentioned in his remarks, in which she attempted to explain how the concept of conscious evolution is not, in fact, incompatible with Catholicism.
- Hubbard, Barbara Marx (1998). Conscious Evolution: Awakening the Power of Our Social Potential. New World Library. ISBN 1577310160.
- Marx Hubbard, B. (2002). "Conscious evolution: The next stage of human development". Systems Research and Behavioral Science. 20 (4): 359–370. doi:10.1002/sres.510.
- Swoboda, Alois P. (1921). Conscious Evolution.
- Müller, Gerhard. Meeting of the Superiors of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith with the Presidency of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR), April 30, 2014
- Marx Hubbard, Barbara. Marx Hubbard responds to Cardinal Müller's LCWR comments, National Catholic Reporter, May 13, 2014
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