Introduction

Vladimir Ivanovich Vernadsky (1863-1945) (Figure 1), the great Russian scientist and thinker, the founder of modern concept of the biosphere has shown that during all geological epochs on Earth, the life was developing as interconnected group of organisms (as he calls it 'living matter') that provided and provides the continuous flow of elements in biogenic turnover of matter and energy on the surface of our planet. This could be easily called scientific revolution at that time. Indeed, Thomas Kuhl points out that scientific revolutions occur when someone creates a new perspective, a model used for understanding reality. Only after introduction of such an idea, great progress, that was previously impossible, could be made, opening new ways of thinking. In recent years it becomes even clearer that all the works of Vernadsky were devoted to the further development of scientific thought as a planetary phenomenon. The

Figure 1 Vladimir Ivanovich Vernadsky.

y Deceased.

significance of his ideas could be compared to the teachings of great philosophers of Ancient Greece, Roman Empire and Eastern world, of the Renaissance; the developers of the basics of mathematics and physics, such as I. Newton; the creators of system thinking about the origin and functioning of life on Earth, C. Linnaeus, G. Buffon, J.-B. Lamarck, C. Darwin, A. Humbolt, G. Mendel, etc.; as well as famous Russian scientists, M. V. Lomonosov, D. I. Mendeleev, I. M. Sechenov, I. N. Mechnikov, V. V. Dokuchaev, and others. As A. E. Fersman, Vernadsky's devoted pupil and successor in the area of development of geochemistry wrote about his teacher: ''His general ideas will be studied and elaborated during centuries and one will discover new pages in his works which will serve as the source for new searches. Many scientists will learn his creative thought, which is acute, stubborn and articulated, always genial, but sometimes poorly understood. As for young generations, he always will be a teacher in science and a striking example of a fruitfully lived life.''

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