- Gaia and Chaos: How Things Are Connected
DOI link for - Gaia and Chaos: How Things Are Connected
- Gaia and Chaos: How Things Are Connected book
Formulated in 1965 by the independent British biologist James E. Lovelock and elaborated by Lynn Margulis, distinguished biology professor at the University of Massachusetts, it proposes that certain kinds of life on the planet grow, change, and die in ways that lead to the persistence of other life forms. In some circles, this has been interpreted as meaning that life on Earth forms a single, complex continuum, one ecosystem throughout time and space. The Earth, according to this view, can thus be considered as a single organism and its various components as cells in that organism. The name is taken from the Greek Earth goddess Gaea. Although Lovelock intended his rst book to be taken as a scientic treatise, there was a considerable amount of mysticism and spiritual signicance attached to it by segments of the public, and this tended to turn serious scientists away from the theory for a long time. As information accumulated about the role of rain forests in consuming CO2, and producing O2, and of the role of wetlands in purifying water, and of ocean phenomena such as El Nino in affecting climate, the idea of Earth as an integrated biosystem gained credibility. This was strengthened as it became evident that human disruption of components of it, such as the ozone layer, could have serious consequences for life on Earth.