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consequently, man was not forced to build up perceptual ideas about how nature works. The history of Hono sapiens followed the evolutionary pattern: self-oontrol is not desirable in the field of reproduction since it oould beoome an obstacle whenever ecological niches turn up which invite oolonization. So Hbno sapiens left his ecosysternal environment some 10,000 years ago without proper security measures against his rapidly developing ability to clear his path of obstacles, kill pest and nutrition oompetitors, and beoome a paragon of exp::>nential growth. '!be only built-in measure is his rising oonsciousness


In order to direct man's "dualistic vitality" not into doubling steps of reproduction but into aChieving new forms of integration with the ecosystemal environment, pressure of selection confronts him with population densities and the degenerating effect of the industrial system for the ecosystem. At this point General Systems Research could show that this integration, i.e., alleviation of problems, ,will lead us back to the soil. In the future, there will be not one field of research, be it the Sciences or the Arts, which could afford to exclude the soil from its referential system. It woulld, otherwise, degenerate into nothing nore than an auxiliary science. Soil as a regional component carries the potential for regulation and improvement. Therefore it is so important. Global phenomena, e.g., world climate, represent dangers, but their specific interactions with each region show a spectrum of regional phenomena, from destruction to beneficial effects. Basically, the thin layer of soil represents a lebvel for exchange and buffering which is much nore important for the ecological balance than is acknowledged yet. Therefore a realistic assessment for soil potential and soil value for the ecosystem as well as the global phenomena, e.g., world climate, will be necessary. Soil was the lifegiving element for the blooming human population, but the ignorance of man as to its efficiency to preserve existence on the globe has caused a vacuum which should now be filled quickly by Systems Sciences. Life developed in the ocean nore than three billion years ago. ,Water was not scarce, nutrients were available in solution just as in hydroponics. Terrestrial biotopes had to be conquered step by step some hundred million years ago. '!be carbon forests were situated in swamps. In places where humidity remained constant, vegetation pushed on into terrestrial regions, but nowhere did it cover large expanses. Terrestrial land then mainly consisted of rock and stone rubble which was not able to hold humidity for longer periods: organic material as well as links for building up longevity-soils were not yet to be found. The mineral masses of the terrestrial biotopes represented a challenge for the exponential growth of microorganisms, plants and animals. The step-by-step colonization was successful and reached its height twenty million years ago when grass was covering large continental expanses. Colonization of terrestrial biotopes and the build-up of soils was the existential challenge of the past three hundred million years. Fbr our century the nost important challenge is the acknowledgement that soil is the basis for our present and future existence and a factor for climate phenomena which are dangerously speeding up. x x x My personal knowledge as to the problematique of soil has benefited greatly from the works of high ranking scientists in the USSR, the German Republic, Hungary and the USA. These scientists, as well as many others, have supplied the groundwork for further research and action which has to be accomplished before the turn of the millenium! a cooperative comprehension instead of knowledge-accumulation by elites. The latter, part of our ecological fiasco, could be afforded only on the basis of ecosystems in full swing. OUr time is one of rapidly degenerating ecosystems. As far as the eminently important soil problematique is concerned, not only experts are needed, whose achievements and limits are evident. Further approach into questions of soil will preferably be done by those who are not only



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p51 Missing Links Graefe  

his ecosysternal environment some 10,000 years ago without proper security measures against his rapidly developing ability to clear his path...