The End of Closed System Geopolitics and the Rise of Open System Development- Vernadsky’s Law for the 21st Century
It has become popular today among the scientific community, to proclaim as a matter of fact, that the universe is ultimately governed by death and decay on the large scale and randomness on the microscale.
While it is rare that this chilling popular theory is explicitly stated in such direct terms as I lay out, the very idea of Big Bang Cosmology so prevalent among modern scientists demands that death be the dominant feature of reality. This theory postulates that since there is much much more non-living material in the universe than there is living material, and since all of this only arose from a cold infinite ocean of nothingness 13.7 billion years ago, that we will once again return to that ‘natural’ state of equilibrium at some point in the distant future. Not only this, but the Big Bang theory also forces us to presume certain other absurdities as unquestionable… such as the belief that the universe itself being bounded in time, must also be bounded in space with external physical limits outside of which nothingness embraces us from all sides. If this were true, then how could nothing create something, let alone contain “something”?
By imposing such boundaries in space and time onto the universe and implying that all energy which currently exists in the universe was created ex nihilo at a starting “moment”, then it also means that we are destined for an ultimate heat death as the closed system called “the universe” winds down into states of increased boredom, statistical predictability, chaos and ultimately… Death.
Well, let us treat that question with a higher question: Who ever proved that entropy and the 2nd law of thermodynamics is something which can be put onto the entire universe? Who ever proved that random genetic mutations on the very small cause the appearance of macro changes in evolutionary time?
When we start looking at transcendental concepts like LIFE, MIND, or MORALITY contained in the scientific work and life of the great Russian biogeochemist Vladimir Ivanovich Vernadsky, we tend to find that entropy breaks down in the most devastating manner.
The Biosphere as a State of Anti-Entropy
Let’s start with Vernadsky’s approach to life.
Rather than seeing any evidence that living matter began at low entropy in a closed system within the pre-Cambrian epoch 500 million years ago and moved via randomized mutations into states of increasing heat death/high entropy (aka: diminishing potentials for change)… we see just the opposite to be the case.
Observations show us that life has evolved from relatively boring single celled organisms to ever more differentiated and complex systems of self organization both creating and consuming ever higher states of energy to perform work. Not only that but one of the most embarrassing aspects of the Darwinian effort to interpret evolution of life in slow gradualist terms, is that the theory simply cannot account for the obvious states of non-linear leaps from lower to higher states of life emerging from non-life, and from unconscious life to conscious life and from conscious life to self-conscious thinking life. And while cynics look only at the periodic mass extinctions scattered across the fossil records, where entire systems of life were wiped out, the true scientist observes that a higher process of creation of new systems is at play always moving towards expressing ever greater degrees of freedom of action and complexity towards the expression of human life.
The great Russian biogeochemist Vladimir Vernadsky (1863-1945) noted in his famous 1926 book The Biosphere that the biosphere (the thin envelop over the face of the globe which shapes and is shaped by living matter) was not a closed system defined by entropy as Darwinians assumed, but rather an open system shaped by the intersection of cosmic radiation and internal radiations emanating from within the earth stating:
“The biosphere may be regarded as a region of transformers that convert cosmic radiations into active energy in electrical, chemical, mechanical, thermal, and other forms. Radiations from all stars enter the biosphere, but we catch and perceive only an insignificant part of the total. The existence of radiation originating in the most distant regions of the cosmos cannot be doubted. Stars and nebulae are constantly emitting specific radiations, and everything suggests that the penetrating radiation discovered in the upper regions of the atmosphere by Hess originates beyond the limits of the solar system, perhaps in the Milky Way, in nebulae, or in stars …The importance of this will not be clear for some time, but this penetrating cosmic radiation determines the character and mechanism of the biosphere.”
In a later essay titled the Evolution of Species and Living Matter (1928), Vernadsky proves that the biosphere is not only cosmic in nature, but a singular process directed by flow of creative disequilibrium towards ever higher states of anti-entropy and creation… not death, homogenization or decay. Vernadsky writes “the creation resulting from the 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.”
Zeroing in on the mechanism driving this growth which he described in detail as the increased biogenic migration of atoms through the biosphere, Vernadsky stated: “we see how, in the course of geological epochs, new forms of life appear. Their occurrence leads… to an acceleration of atomic current through living matter, and also provokes, within atoms, new manifestations, unknown of until now, along with the appearance of new modes of displacement”.
This increased current/flow of matter through the biosphere’s system becomes enshrined as Vernadsky’s second biogeochemical principle which also defines the creation of new stable ecosystems which greater powers of transmitting atoms than previous extinct systems:
“This biogeochemical principle which I will call the second biogeochemical principle can be formulated thus: The evolution of species, leading to the creation of new, stable, living forms, must move in the direction of an increasing of the biogenic migration of atoms in the biosphere…”
For anyone confused by this idea, simply consider the different metabolic patterns of reptiles compared with the newer forms of life characterized by mammals. While mammals require more food input for their survival, their bodily power of converting food into energy is magnitudes greater than more primitive reptiles while mammals also have greater freedom of mobility, heat regulation and even emotional expression compared to their cold blooded brethren.
Vernadksy boldly takes aim at the random mutation theory of Darwinian evolution by asserting that the evidence of directionality in the flow of living matter towards ever greater degrees of complexity implies a higher law of a creative nature.
“[This second biogeochemical principle] indicates, in my opinion, with an infallible logic, the existence of a determined direction, in the sense of how the processes of evolution must necessarily take place…. All theories of evolution must take into consideration the existence of this determined direction of the process of evolution, which, with the subsequent developments in science, will be able to be numerically evaluated. It seems impossible to me, for several reasons, to speak of evolutionary theories without taking into account the fundamental question of the existence of a determined direction, invariable in the processes of evolution, in the course of all the geological epochs. Taken together, the annals of paleontology do not show the character of a chaotic upheaval, sometimes in one direction, sometimes in another, but of phenomena, for which the development is carried out in a determined manner, always in the same direction, in that of the increasing of consciousness, of thought, and of the creation of forms augmenting the action of life on the ambient environment.”
When humanity appeared onto the scene, a new phenomenon began expressing itself in a form which the great Russian academician Vladimir Vernadsky (1863-1945) described as the Noosphere (as opposed to the lithosphere and biosphere). Vernadsky understood this new geological force to be driven by human creative reason, and devoted his life to teaching the world that the law of humanity must accord with the law of nature stating:
“The noösphere is a new geological phenomenon on our planet. In it, for the first time, man becomes a large-scale geological force. He can, and must, rebuild the province of his life by his work and thought, rebuild it radically in comparison with the past. Wider and wider creative possibilities open before him. It may be that the generation of our grandchildren will approach their blossoming”.
In Vernadsky’s mind, neither the noosphere, nor the biosphere obeyed a law of mathematical equilibrium or statis, but was rather governed by an asymmetrical harmony and progress from lower to higher states of organization. It was only by coming to understand the principles of nature that mankind became morally and intellectually fit to improve upon nature by turning deserts green, harnessing the power of the atom or applying scientific progress to health and agriculture. Some of his most important insights were published in his Scientific Thought as a Planetary Phenomena (1938), Evolution of Species and Living Matter (1928) Some Words About the Noosphere (1943), and The Transition of the Biosphere to the Noosphere (1938).
Despite the lasting contributions made by Vernadsky to human knowledge, here we sit, 76 years after the end of WW2 tolerating an unscientific policy of mass decarbonization which threatens to radically undermine civilization for countless generations.
At a certain point in evolutionary history, a new phenomenon appeared which forever altered these biospheric mechanisms: The creative, reasoning power of humanity. Vernadsky described it as “the noosphere” for the Greek word for “mind” and likened it to a cosmological force saying: “The noosphere is the last of many stages in the evolution of the biosphere in geological history. The course of this evolution only begins to become clear to us through a study of some of the aspects of the biosphere’s geological past.”
After introducing this phenomenon, not as a negligible process outside of nature, but as an integral part of nature and the universe, Vernadsky raises a paradox: “Here a new riddle has arisen before us. Thought is not a form of energy. How then can it change material processes?”
Without answering this philosophical paradox directly, Vernadksy describes the effect of a bending of physical space time which is a function of creative thought’s application to scientific and technological progress saying:
“As for the coming of the noösphere, we see around us at every step the empirical results of that “incomprehensible” process. That mineralogical rarity, native iron, is now being produced by the billions of tons. Native aluminum, which never before existed on our planet, is now produced in any quantity. The same is true with regard to the countless number of artificial chemical combinations (biogenic “cultural” minerals) newly created on our planet. The number of such artificial minerals is constantly increasing. All of the strategic raw materials belong here. Chemically, the face of our planet, the biosphere, is being sharply changed by man, consciously, and even more so, unconsciously. The aerial envelope of the land as well as all its natural waters are changed both physically and chemically by man.”
Matthew Ehret is the Editor-in-Chief of the Canadian Patriot Review , a BRI Expert on Tactical talk, and Senior Fellow at the American University in Moscow. He is author of the‘Untold History of Canada’ book series and in 2019 he co-founded the Montreal-based Rising Tide Foundation . Consider helping this process by making a donation to the RTF or becoming a Patreon supporter to the Canadian Patriot Review