The Gaia Hypothesis: Nice But Unlikely

By Vexen Crabtree 2017

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#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)

Current edition: 2017 Mar 30
http://www.humanreligions.info/gaia_nah.html
Parent page: Anti-Religion Quotes and Graphics

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References: (What's this?)

Heywood, Andrew
(2003) Political Ideologies. Paperback book. 3rd edition. Originally published 1992. Current version published by Palgrave MacMillan.

Hutton, Ronald
(1999) The Triumph of the Moon: A History of Modern Pagan Witchcraft. Paperback book. 2001 edition. Published by Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK.

Footnotes

  1. Heywood (2003) p275.^
  2. "Consciousness as an Emergent Property" by Vexen Crabtree (2016)^
  3. Hutton (1999) p352.^

© 2017 Vexen Crabtree. All rights reserved.