by Meghan Rouillard
Last week I not only had the opportunity to attend and to do a poster presentation at the 2012 NASA Astrobiology Conference in Atlanta, I had the opportunity of bringing a special guest with me– his name is Vladimir Vernadsky.
To my surprise, the man who developed the field of biogeochemistry, the concept of the Biosphere in the Cosmos, the Noosphere–all of which which seem so important for a field such as astrobiology, was virtually totally unknown to the participants at this conference. Astrobiologists also represent probably the only community of scientists for whom Alexander Oparin is practically a household name. Oparin, who, unlike Vernadsky, was totally endorsed by the Soviet regime since his ideas meshed so well with dialectical materialism, attempted to develop a purely chemical theory of evolution in his 1924 book, “The Origin of Life.”
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