We live in a critical epoch of the history of humanity. I am not speaking of the political and social upheaval which takes place before our eyes and appears to be just the beginning. Much more serious and profound events are unfolding in the domain of human thought.
The foundations of our conceptions on the universe, on nature—the unique entity—on everything, of which one heard so much in the eighteenth and first half of the nineteenth centuries, is transforming before our very eyes with an extraordinary speed rare in the history of thought.
We are studying a very small space—but inseparably linked to an immensity of the cosmos—in establishing laws and regularities in the history of the chemical elements of our planet. Profound analogies—and even more than analogies—exist within.
— Vladimir Vernadsky in his text _La Géochimie_ (“Geochemistry“) (1924). Cited by Paul R. Samson, David Pitt, in _The Biosphere and Noosphere Reader: Global environment, society, and change_, (Psychology Press, 1999), ISBN: 0415166446, ISBN: 9780415166447, p. 26.