The Gaia Hypothesis A Living Planetary Organism

The notion of a living Earth is hardly a “new” perspective; ancient
human history and archeological evidence suggests that most primitive
incorporated at least some general beliefs in a conscious “Mother Earth”.
paying homage to or praying to this entity is a theme central to many
Both the ancient Greeks and early Christians believed in a conscious
St. Thomas Aquinas, to a lesser degree (Sagan).In fact, the etiology of
based on the word Ge (or Gaia), the name of the Earth goddess of the
(OceansOn-line).Likewise, interpreting weather phenomena as a purported
communication between man and his gods and the practice of sacrificial
triggered by weather or seasonal changes is evident, in myriad variations,
early theistic philosophical perspectives.
Even the more modern or scientific notion that the Earth is, in many
living organism rather than an inanimate biosphere merely supporting
biological life is not entirely new.Renowned eighteenth century geologist
considered the Earth to be a super organism of some sort almost two hundred
before James Lovejoy and the biologist Lynn Margulis reintroduced the
more scientific form in the 1960’s and 70’s.Writing shortly before James
description of a living planet, Lewis Thomas, a physician and contemporary
wrote The Lives of a Cell, a series of essays in which he expressed the
“Viewed from the distance of the moon, the astonishing thing
the earth, catching the breath, is that it is alive.The photographs
the dry, pounded surface of the moon in the foreground, dry as an old
bone. Aloft, floating free beneath the moist, gleaming, membrane of
blue sky, is the rising earth, the only exuberant thing in this part
cosmos.If you could look long enough, you would see the swirling of
great drifts of white cloud, covering and uncovering the half-hidden
masses of land.If you had b…

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