The Gaia Hypothesis: Nice But Unlikely

By Vexen Crabtree 2017

#environmentalism #life #pantheism #religion

The Gaia Hypothesis is the idea that the Earth's biosphere itself is a complex, conscious, self-regulating living being1. It was named by James Lovelock in the 1980s. Lovelock, born 1919, was a British scientist who specialized in atmospheric chemistry and an environmental theorist. The concept of "emergent properties" and our Human (all-too-biological) biases may mean that we are poorly equipped to understand, or perceive, life-forms such as Gaia2. After all, if all the paint daubs of a painting were sentient, they would never be able to perceive themselves as part of a greater living picture. Lovelock writes that the way many parts of the Earth's ecosystem are self-regulating and balanced is so intriguing that it seemed to behave in the same way as a single organism3.

"The Gaia Hypothesis of James Lovelock" by Vexen Crabtree (2015)