Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Urban Midwestern USA
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Interesting theory about the earth being an interactive organism whose different parts work to maintain a homeostasis that's conducive to life (my non-scientific and probably inaccurate paraphrase ).
I'm so glad I looked into this -- because the only thing I'd heard about Gaia previously, was that it was a "religion" that teaches that humans are a blight on the earth.
Gaia isn't actually a religion, it's a hypothesis -- and its proponents don't seem to claim any awareness or planning on the part of Gaia (or Earth). Which brings me back, of course, to why I believe in God as Creator.
I'd love to hear everyone's thoughts.
|In this classic work that continues to inspire its many readers, James Lovelock deftly explains his idea that life on earth functions as a single organism. Written for the non-scientist, Gaia is a journey through time and space in search of evidence with which to support a new and radically different model of our planet. In contrast to conventional belief that living matter is passive in the face of threats to its existence, the book explores the hypothesis that the earth's living matter-air, ocean, and land surfaces-forms a complex system that has the capacity to keep the Earth a fit place for life.|
Especially interesting is the Daisyworld computer simulation (I haven't seen it, just read about it in the Widepedia article), where the planet (like ours) revolves around a sun that's getting increasingly hotter. The planet has black and white daisies, and the simulation shows how the daisies work to keep a homeostasis that's conducive to life.
When black daisies predominate, they absorb the sun's heat and the planet gets hotter -- when white daisies increase, they reflect/repel the sun's heat and the planet gets cooler. When grey daisies are added, they help the planet to acheive an even better homeostasis.
This compares to the way that life on earth (both plant and animal life) interacts with the whole range of other elements that make up earth, to create the temperatuture/balance that's most conducive to continued life.
That book sounds interesting, Imogen. Have you studied Gaia? I'd love to hear your thoughts!