The System of Axioms

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What kind of empirical generalizations lies at the base of Vernadsky's biosphere? In this case we will call this system of axioms 'Vernadsky's biosphere'; however, these axioms will be presented in slightly more formal way than in Vernadsky's original work.

1. During all geological periods on Earth, living organisms have never been created directly from inorganic matter. This is the homogeneity axiom. Note that in mathematics the operators that transform a zero into zero are called homogeneous, too. There is the analog of this axiom in biology, called the Redi's law ('life comes only from life').

2. The existing facts cannot answer the question about the origin oflife on Earth. To get an answer, we must go beyond the framework of the EGM and use different speculations. There is only one way to resolve this contradiction, namely, to postulate the following: whatever the prebio-sphere history of the Earth was, the evolution of the biosphere during all geological periods must give the contemporary biosphere as a result. This is the ergodicity axiom. It postulates that to a large degree the process of the biosphere's evolution is deterministic and stable in respect to the initial periods of its history.

3. There were no lifeless geological epochs. This means that the contemporary living matter is genetically connected with living matter of all the previous epochs. It is natural to call this axiom the continuity axiom. The following empirical generalizations are, actually, a form of conservation law. On the other hand, since they generalize some equilibrium properties of the biosphere, it is natural to call them: the axioms of stationary state.

4. The chemical composition of living matter was, on average, the same as it is now.

5. The amount of living matter, on average, was the same for all geological time. These generalizations of Vernadsky cause a lot of objections at the present time. However, there are not enough new facts to formulate new empirical generalizations. Therefore it is quite possible to consider the changes of the total amount of living matter, observed in different geological epochs, as fluctuations around some constant average level. (The same can be said also about the chemical composition of living matter and the terrestrial crust.) And, lastly, here are generalizations that determine the principles of functioning for biosphere mechanisms.

6. The energy which is being stored and emitted by living organisms is the solar energy. With the help of organisms this energy is controlling the chemical processes on the Earth (in particular, the global biogeochemical cycles).

7. Vegetation plays the main role in the assimilation and allocation of the solar energy. If we agree with the axiom about the constancy of the total amount of living matter during the whole lifetime of the biosphere, then we have to assume that its evolution only followed the path of the structural complication ofliving matter, either by increasing the number of species (there are 3106 species on Earth), or by complicating the structure of biological communities.

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Global warming is a huge problem which will significantly affect every country in the world. Many people all over the world are trying to do whatever they can to help combat the effects of global warming. One of the ways that people can fight global warming is to reduce their dependence on non-renewable energy sources like oil and petroleum based products.

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