Gaia Theory — Resources

The basic, scientific papers by James Lovelock, Lynn Margulis and others are posted on Lovelock’s Website.

GAIA — FROM HYPOTHESIS TO THEORY

When the Gaia theory was first proposed, many biologists objected to the model on the grounds that Gaia appeared to operate as a “remote intelligence.” Also, that current thinking on evolutionary mechanisms, of which Natural Selection was dominant, had no place for a regulatory mechanism with an unselfish motive — to promote life. To answer those objections, Lovelock worked with Andrew Watson and Stephan Harding to create a mathematical model known as Daisyworld. For a non-technical version see the Daisyworld animation.

In October 2006 a scientific conference was organized to bring together distinguished scientists and to discuss the status of the Gaia Theory.

OTHER “GAIAN APPROCHES”

The Gaia Theory has changed the way that both scientists and laypeople view the Earth and the Earth’s living systems. The Deep Ecology movement of the Norwegian philosopher Arne Naess, emphasizes that we, individual human beings are part of our  environment. It’s not a case of us creating or destroying it. We are our environment. Nature, not only living systems but also rocks and soil are all viewed as animated. Proponents are the philosopher David Abram (The Spell of the Sensuous) also emphasize that our relationship with nature is one of participation. Stephan Harding (Animate Earth) focuses on nature as animate. Not only the biosphere, but down to the rocks, and further on the molecular level. .

GAIA IN MUSIC

Nathan Currier composed the oratorio Gaian Variations  with a libretto based on the scientific view of Gaia. Click here for his Gaia Presentation.

The contemporary composer Paul Winter also presented his view of the Earth as a living organism in his jazz mass, Missa Gaia.

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