The basic tenant of the Gaia theory is that life makes life possible on Earth. In other words, without the presence
of biological entities on Earth, life in the form as we know it would not exist. J.E. Lovelock argues in his work,
Gaia: A New Look At Life on Earth, that the atmosphere of our planet is highly improbable based its chemical composition.
Certain gases, like oxygen should be much rarer (less than 1% instead of 21% of atmospheric content); while other
common gases should be present. The carbon dioxide content should be 98%, making the planet an unbearable 600°F.
These conditions probably existed 3.5 billion years ago, but as life appeared, life altered these conditions. Carbon
dioxide disappeared from the atmosphere as it was extracted by life as is lived and died (oil and peat deposits).
Whether this lends credence to a supernatural being
is an unanswerable debate.
In The Future of Life E.O. Wilson describes the two versions of the Gaia theory:
The strong version holds that the biosphere is a true superorganism, with each species in it optimized to stabilize the environment and benefit from balance in the entire system, like cells of the body or workers of an ant colony . . . The strong version, however, is generally rejected by biologists, including Lovelock himself, as a working principle. The weak version, on the other hand, which holds that some species exercise widespread and even global influence, is well substantiated. Its acceptance has stimulared important new programs of research.
Wilson, E.O. The Future of Life. 2002. New York: Alfred Knopf. 11-12.
Continued: Saving rainforests
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