MOTHER EARTH - MOTHER NATURE
Ecology BIOSPHERE - Homeostasis HEALTH
Ceres, Demeter, ...
"Earth Day" or "Nature Day" is symbolically represented by a plethora of ancient female deities. In "De rerum natura" by Titus Lucretius Carus, a Roman poet (99 BC - 55 BC) it is stated that Nature (Earth) is the mother of all living. This notion is consonant with the attributes represented by Ceres (cereal, cerebrum), Demeter (probably refers to domestic or household), Isis, Rhea (flow of matter or Rheology), Gea or Gaia (earth), Diana of Ephesus or Artemis, Dea, Dia (divine nature), Mater, Matter, and Pachamama (Mother Earth) among other deities representing fertility, maternity, nurturing, love, and prosperity.
Many would agree with me that current human generations celebrate Earth or Nature Day without awareness of connections to the contributions by Vladimir Vernadsky (1863-1945) and his followers, among them Theodosius Dobzhansky (1900-1975). Both developed concepts of Earth now widely accepted. Vernadsky stressed that our planet consists of a three-layered sphere: an inert Geosphere (of cosmic origin), a thin envelope of living matter (biota) named Biosphere, and a third invisible layer, wonderful and terrible named "Noosphere" (actions prompted by human brains and behavior), represented by creations such as language, philosophy, ethics, and destruction of the Biosphere by wars, greed and pollution, in particular by ionizing radiation (atomic bombs and release of radioactive nuclides).
Vernadsky defined Ecology as an inter-disciplinary science integrating, among others, astronomy, geophysics, meteorology, bio-geography, evolution, genetics that shape and sustain human existence. The central element in Biosphere (Ecology) is "Homeostasis", the process to maintaining its stability thus of living organisms including humans. In a medical perspective, "normal" or "Health" is homeostasis.
Earth Day is a celebration in gratitude to Mother Earth. However, as Pope Francis in his "Laudato si" encyclica urges all of us not only to hear the pleas of the poor but to also hear the laments of the wounded earth by unrestrained human "progress".
"Cosmic evolution transcended itself when it produced life. Biologic evolution transcended itself when it produced man ... Man controls what man will do ... the course of the future ... the evolution (and extinction) of every species ..."
T. Dobzhansky in The Biology of Ultimate Concern (1967)