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bi·o·sphere (bī'ə-sfîr') n.

1. The part of the earth and its atmosphere in which living organisms exist or that is capable of supporting life. 2. The living organisms and their environment composing the biosphere.

The biosphere includes all living organisms and all organic matter that has not yet decomposed. The biosphere is envisioned as a hierarchical structure known as the food chain whereby all life is dependent upon the primary producers,(ie. photosynthetic types).

The term "biosphere" was coined by geologist Eduard Suess in 1875, in his book "Die Entstehung Der Alpen (The Origin of the Alps) and popularized by Russian scientist Vladimir Vernadsky in his 1929 book, "The Biosphere". Vernadsky is also the originator of the term noosphere, later developed by Teilhard de Chardin.

Buckminster Fuller used the term "Spaceship Earth". His book Operating manual for Spaceship Earth was published in 1963. Bucky thought a vast majority believed (wrongly) in the Malthusian concept that the Earth did not have sufficient "life support" for everybody - but predicted a possible "new and-lasting epoch of physical success for all" once we begin to design with the whole planet in mind.

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