October 16th, 2011 • 2:25 PM
Vernadsky: Fitter than Darwin

By Meghan Rouillard

Last night, some of us did a review of the translation I’ve been working on by Vernadsky, “The Evolution of Species and Living Matter” which was the basis for the video, “A Vernadskian Law of Evolution”. Some quotes from this were featured in the video. To further whet your appetite, before the full thing gets posted at some point, here are some further excerpts from the translation:

“...We consider, from the point of view of physical chemistry, the organisms as autonomous fields where determined atoms in determined amounts are reunited... Each organism on its own, or all organisms taken together, continually creates, by respiration, nutrition, internal metabolism, and reproduction, a biogenic current of atoms, which constructs and maintains living matter.

"The biogenic migration of chemical elements in the biosphere tends towards its most complete manifestation.

"The mass of living matter must, evidently, at the time of the maximum biogenic migration in the biosphere, reach the ultimate limits, that is, if there exist such limits. The invariability of this mass seems to indicate that the biogenic migration of this form has more or less reached the limits since the earliest geological epochs. This is not the case for the biogenic migration of elements which is related to the technology of life. Here we notice a brusque jump to our psychozoic geological epoch.

"But the biogenic migration, in that which concerns its geochemical action, not only depends on the quantity of atoms caught by it at every moment in the biosphere, but also on the rapidity of their movement, the number of atoms passing through living matter in a unit of time, or of the displacement, in this same unit of time, provoked by an intervention of a technological order by living matter within the ambient environment.

"The creation resulting from this evolution of new living forms, adapts itself to new forms of existence, augments the ubiquity of life, and enlarges its domain. Life penetrates, thus, the regions of the biosphere where it had not earlier had access.

"The process of evolution not only enlarged the domain of life, it intensified and accelerated the biogenic migration. The formation of the vertebrate skeleton, without a doubt, modified and augmented the migration of atoms of fluorine, in concentrating them, and the skeleton of aquatic invertebrates did the same for the migration of atoms of calcium.

"The evolution of species, leading to the creation of new stable, living forms, must to move in the direction of an increasing of the biogenic migration of atoms in the biosphere.

"Even if the evolution of species happened randomly, accidentally, outside of the influence of the ambient environment, that is to say, the mechanism of the biosphere, a species which was accidentally created would, however, not have been able to survive and to enter into the whirlpool of the planet; at the same time, only the species which were sufficiently stable, and susceptible of augmenting the biogenic migration of the biosphere, would have survived.”

This sure would make Darwin blush, or maybe something worse. But maybe we should have some pity on him, after all, he admitted that his own work destroyed his powers of creativity! From Darwin's Autobiography, written in 1876, when he was 67 years old, 6 years before his death (pg 26):

“I have said that in one respect my mind has changed during the last twenty or thirty years. Up to the age of thirty, or beyond it, poetry of many kinds, such as the works of Milton, Gray, Byron, Wordsworth, Coleridge, and Shelley, gave me great pleasure, and even as a schoolboy I took intense delight in Shakespeare, especially in the historical plays. I have also said that formerly pictures gave me considerable, and music very great delight. But now for many years I cannot endure to read a line of poetry: I have tried lately to read Shakespeare, and found it so intolerably dull that it nauseated me. I have also almost lost my taste for pictures or music. Music generally sets me thinking too energetically on what I have been at work on, instead of giving me pleasure. I retain some taste for fine scenery, but it does not cause me the exquisite delight which it formerly did. … My mind seems to have become a kind of machine for grinding general laws out of large collections of facts, but why this should have caused the atrophy of that part of the brain alone, on which the higher tastes depend, I cannot conceive. A man with a mind more highly organised or better constituted than mine, would not, I suppose, have thus suffered; and if I had to live my life again, I would have made a rule to read some poetry and listen to some music at least once every week; for perhaps the parts of my brain now atrophied would thus have been kept active through use. The loss of these tastes is a loss of happiness, and may possibly be injurious to the intellect, and more probably to the moral character, by enfeebling the emotional part of our nature.”

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The Basement Project began in 2006 as a core team of individuals tasked with the study of Kepler's New Astronomy, laying the scientific foundations for an expanded study of the LaRouche-Riemann Science of Physical Economics. Now, that team has expanded both in number, and in areas of research, probing various elements and aspects of the Science of Physical Economy, and delivering in depth reports, videos, and writings for the shaping of economic policy.