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Christine98 Profile
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"Gaia Is A Tough B i t c h"


"Margulis was also a champion of the Gaia hypothesis, an idea developed in the 1970s by the free lance British atmospheric chemist James E. Lovelock. The Gaia hypothesis states that the atmosphere and surface sediments of the planet Earth form a self- regulating physiological system — Earth's surface is alive. The strong version of the hypothesis, which has been widely criticized by the biological establishment, holds that the earth itself is a self-regulating organism; Margulis subscribed to a weaker version, seeing the planet as an integrated self- regulating ecosystem. She was criticized for succumbing to what George Williams called the "God-is good" syndrome, as evidenced by her adoption of metaphors of symbiosis in nature. She was, in turn, an outspoken critic of mainstream evolutionary biologists for what she saw as a failure to adequately consider the importance of chemistry and microbiology in evolution."

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Last edited by Christine98, Jan/9/2012, 10:25 am
Jan/9/2012, 10:21 am Link to this post Send Email to Christine98   Send PM to Christine98
 
Terreson Profile
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Re: "Gaia Is A Tough B i t c h"


Good stuff, Chris. Thank you. I deliberately keep from fully subscribing to Lovelock's hypothosis. That said I find it attractive, even plausable. Without the hard, evidenciary measurements we simply can't say for sure. There is another hypothosis in biology and genetics I find attractive, but one also mostly rejected in biology. It is called the hypothosis for formative causation. It holds that nature comes into being through a process called morphogenetic fields of influence. It runs end play around the genetic hard wiring of geneticists that is supposed to account for all of nature's phenotypes and mutations. Nature brings herself into being morphogentically, shape changing, through field resonance. Also attractive. Also not enough evidence.

What I don't understand about Gaia's critics is that they tend to overlook the fact that all systems in nature tend to be centroversive. They are self-regulating, the purpose of which is to maintain internal balance. The same can be found in social orders as well. Is not the US military self-regulating, ensuring its own balance and maintenance? List goes on.

In nature there are countless examples of superorganisms. Honey bees I know. Colonies are not just an aggregate of individual bees of different castes. A colony is a superorganism, centroversive, whose purpose is self-regulation. Change or remove any constitutional part of a colony and the colony will immediately repair the situation. Nothing controversial here. Biologists, in fact, view honey bee colonies as superorganisms.

Self-regulating eco-system or self-regulating organism. I sometimes play around, certainly in my poetry, willing to posit that Gaia's is not only an organism but one with her own intelligence.

Not enough proof to support the hypothosis. And still no single refutation. Just skepticism. A good thing.

Tere
Jan/9/2012, 3:49 pm Link to this post Send Email to Terreson   Send PM to Terreson
 
Christine98 Profile
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Re: "Gaia Is A Tough B i t c h"


The bee colony example is very helpful, I needed an example: "Biologists, in fact, view honey bee colonies as superorganisms."

Thanks Tere,

Chris
Jan/10/2012, 12:05 pm Link to this post Send Email to Christine98   Send PM to Christine98
 
Terreson Profile
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You are welcome, Chris. The bee colony example helps me too. Simple, comprehensible, concrete. I think it is true to say that the biologist, E.O. Wilson, has recently done work on what makes for a superorganism, something he finds, again I think, through out the insect world. Anyway, for me at least, it is not such a great leap to think of Gaia herself as constituting a superorganism.

Tere
Jan/10/2012, 1:12 pm Link to this post Send Email to Terreson   Send PM to Terreson
 


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