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The Biosphere in the Cosmic Medium

Life is a geological force. And so is technology. The blueprint and historical precursor to the technosphere concept is Vladimir Vernadsky’s holistic delineation of the biosphere. The following excerpt from his seminal book The Biosphere (1926) serves to apprehend the originality and daring proposition of such a grand scheme of entangling living and non-living matter.

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Vladimir Vernadsky


Vladimir Ivanovich Vernadsky (12 March 1863 – 6 January 1945) was a Russian/Ukrainian mineralogist and geochemist who is considered one of the founders of geochemistry, biogeochemistry, and ofradiogeology. He was founder of the Ukrainian Academy of Sciences (now National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine). His ideas of concerning the noosphere were an important contribution to Russian cosmism. He is most noted for his 1926 book The Biosphere in which he inadvertently worked to popularize Eduard Suess’ 1885 term biosphere by hypothesizing that life is the geological force that shapes the Earth. In 1943 he was awarded the Stalin Prize.