Gaia

Discussion in 'Earth Science' started by Tristan, Jan 12, 2002.

  1. Tristan Leave your World Behind Valued Senior Member

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    Well? do you believe in that theory? The Gaia theory of course. For those of you who dont know its the theory that the earth is a living oraganism. (I think)

    Any experts? Please talk about it here

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  3. Avatar smoking revolver Valued Senior Member

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    non-expert

    well I do not agree the Gaia theory[I must admit I have not much evidence on this, because I firstly need to think of all charecteristics a living organism would have, but for now there is more weight on non-Gaia theory].

    But I agree tht earth is smth like a chain of dependent living organisms and if you damage some parts of the chain too much or even destroy some, then astalavista baby!

    The major threats we could do is-
    1. destroying the feeding chain of organisms.
    2. cut out all vegetation--no air to breathe]
    3. make some kind of genetical virii tht destroys all living forms
    4. make a really big teutonic power plant[could blow up half of earth if not careful]
    5. shoot from ZEUS gun

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    [you'll understand if you have seen Final Fantasy-The Spirits Within]

    there may be some more, but can't think of any right now.
    3am here
    Bye!
     
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  5. Gaia Science? I say yes

    I think you are right to dismiss
    but I do not think that this is really what gaia theory is.

    Dr James Lovelock & Dr. Lynn Margulis are scientists who came up with the theory see Link

    I think that this is a good explanation of the scientific theory of gaia.

    The theory is often misunderstood because of the unfortunate mystical connotations of the name GAIA.

    As I understand it, it is about the interaction of living and non-living systems that provide feedback loops into the systems reinforcing, maintaining and stabilising those systems.

    I hope no one would disagree with the suggestion that the Earth has an atmosphere because life evolved on Earth and that further forms of life evolved on Earth to take advantage of the composition of the atmosphere that was brought about by the initial evolution of life. Also that the continuing existence of life on Earth maintains the atmosphere in the state that it is in, and has been in for millions of years.

    This is not to say that it could not all go horribly wrong if enough stress is put on it!

    Just look ar Mars! No life - No atmosphere! (not much anyway).
     
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  7. odin Registered Senior Member

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    Gaia Science

    I think you will find that this came from a si fi series written for British TV back in the 60s or 70s

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  8. Pondpoet Registered Member

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    It may be true that the surface of the Earth and its atmosphere work together, feed off each other so to speak. However, to say that the entire Earth, all 7 million miles, is a living organism is just over the top. Such a high percentage of the Earth is simply molten rock held together by gravity (and likewise, I do think gravity is one of the major factors in sustaining an atmosphere, not life.) that we cannot say that it is all living.

    If you lay in the grass and just touch the earth, you'll know that it goes further than a complex organism; underneath it all is rock-hard stability. I have no doubt that by the time 'Gaia' is spoiled, we will have an idea how to fix it.
     
  9. Pondpoet Registered Member

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    And just so you know, Hallucigenia, I love Scotland. If Gaia was dying I wouldn't trade Scotland for the potion.
     
  10. Yogamojo Here's lookin' at you...? Registered Senior Member

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    ¿Gaia? Maybe...

    Whether the Earth is conscious or not is up for grabs. Wiccans will say "yes" and most scientists will say "no". All living organisms depend on the cycles perpetuated by the planet (water cycle, nitrogen cycle, etc...) and so share a kind of symbiotic relationship with it. ¿Does this mean that it is living? In contrast, do any non-living entities belong to symbiotic relationships? None of which I am aware, but then I'm not sure that anyone is qualified to answer this question accurately...
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2002
  11. wet1 Wanderer Registered Senior Member

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    Gaia?

    The subject has been touched on before but only briefly. I guess that there is first the matter of definition. That goes a long ways towards how the subject is addressed.

    If you were talking a living, breathing, conscious, entity then I would say no. There are a couple of scientists who have put forth the idea that such might be possible but they have been laughed off as crackpots. It was some years ago that I read their theory so I can not give you a set of links over it.

    If you are talking a collective of life, one that in some form nutures life and keeps it going, then I am on the fence on this one. Part of me says yes, that exists, but not to our benefit. We are a result not favored or in anyway placed above any other life form. I say this because if you look, you find that "contamination" of life in all the nooks and crannies of the earth. From places we would not believe life could exist to places where we know it does as a common happenstance.
    In the earth, in the hot places where no oxygen is and the heat is unbearable to us, to the depths of the sea where light does not reach, to the depths of caves and caverns where to us there should be no life, life is found. So in that sense, yes, there is a collective of life. Is that Gaia that you speak of?
     
  12. Yogamojo Here's lookin' at you...? Registered Senior Member

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    We are a massive symbiote...

    Not only are our existences "convenient" to one another, they are absolutely necessary. A failure in any of the natural processes, cycles, the food-chain is detrimental to all of the other constituents. If the Earth were not doing her job (evaporating enough water to keep sea level and provide precipitation, recycling nitrogen and other gasses, re-infusing the air with life-giving oxygen, decomposing dead matter so that living matter can propagate) every living creature would be in trouble. This is very much like a large-scale version of what occurs inside of any respirating, metabolizing creature.

    As for the Gaian mind, who can say? I have never had a conversation with her in terms of a spoken language, so whether she is self-aware or not remains shrouded behind the mists of her rivers and glens. ¿Does she decide the weather and plan natural disasters, dream about the other planets & stars? ¿Could any of us understand her ancient wisdom if this were true?

    We are members of a symbiote, but how does one determine the consciousness of all of the rest? I don't think we speak her language, and that is why we continue to poison her. We had all better hope she harbors no need for vengeance...
     
  13. Tristan Leave your World Behind Valued Senior Member

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    Hmm I often thought of our solar system as an atom in someone elses universe. Interesting thought. All I know is that when we thought we knew the truth, when we thought we knew everything, we were proven wrong.

    "The Earth is clearly flat" No it isn't
    "Gods do everything, That explains tornados, ect, ect" Are you sure. Im not.

    "The sun is the center of the universe" Nope. Wrong again.
    "The Earth is the center of the universe" Keep on trying.
    "The oceans clearly have monsters of Power" True but they arent monsters that destroy ships. Whales and sharks and kinda freaky looking and HUGE. But who knows? We've only explored like 5% of the ocean

    And so my point is that this is mearly a hypothesis that even under the scrutiny of all the world scientists, might actually be true. Do you think anyone liked galielos ideas? He was condemed by the churches. Now hes a hero.

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  14. Avatar smoking revolver Valued Senior Member

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    Now's your chance to be a hero Tristan

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    >serious<

    And I agree with your statements, who knows what will we discover tomorrow.

    See ya!
     
  15. Yogamojo Here's lookin' at you...? Registered Senior Member

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    Quite possibly...

    It is amazing how little we know about our own planet for all of the research, study and gnosis our race undergoes. This planet could well be alive, I hope she's not pissed if/when she wakes!
     
  16. Congrats Bartok Fiend Registered Senior Member

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    She isn't alive. We're all alive and we personify her. However, the perception of life is beautuful enough.
     
  17. Mr. G reality.sys Valued Senior Member

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    It's even more amazing that Gaiaists can extrapolate from so little knowledge of our planet so much knowledge of our planet.

    Truly amazing.
     
  18. Tristan Leave your World Behind Valued Senior Member

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    It's even more amazing that astronmers/phsysists can extrapolate from so little knowledge of our universe, so much knowledge of our universe.
     
  19. Yogamojo Here's lookin' at you...? Registered Senior Member

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    Quite true...

    I agree, Tristan and Mr. G. For with knowledge "any" is "much". And as Daevid Allen of Gong sang, "The more you know, the more you know you don't know...".

    By the mass of knowledge we have garnered about our planet and the universe we must also realize that there are niagaras yet to discover.

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  20. Ok so it looks that some people are of the opinion that we don't know much about "Life the Universe and Evrything" but to get back to the point of the thread........

    Gaia theory.

    Pondpoet - see the link in my original post. The analogy between a giant redwood tree and the Earth, a redwood being 99% dead matter yet it is undoubtedly alive.

    I still don't think the Earth is a living organism, but certainly it is part of a living system.

    My point about the atmosphere is that the composition of the atmosphere i.e. the proportions of oxygen and carbon dioxide are kept near the current levels by life, which is to say out of balance with the physical processes of gravity, heat from the sun and volcanic activity etc. In the absence of life the composition of the atmosphere would be "in balance" with the physical processes such as gravity, heat from the sun and volcanic activity, like the thin Mars atmosphere.

    Yogamojo - the Earth and it's living and non living systems, I think, do belong to symbiotic relationships, or maybe "within" symbiotic relationships.

    wet1 - I believe that life is common througout the Universe and that you would find that "contamination" of life in many nooks and crannies all over the Universe. I dont rule out Mars, but because of the composition of the Mars atmosphere I think it will be hard to find nooks and crannies.
     
  21. Bebelina Feminazi Messiah Valued Senior Member

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    Yeeesss.....

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    The Earth is a living organism, with a conscience, a soul, a body and even parasites.

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    I just didn´t know that a whole theory( the Gaian one you are talking about) had evolved around that thought.

     
  22. Congrats Bartok Fiend Registered Senior Member

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    HI, Bebelina.

    I think the Earth is collectivley alive, collectively conscious, and collectively has a soul. However, that is all symbolic. The Earth doesn't actually think like a living organsim. It holds important symbolism, but it isn't neccessarily true.

    :bugeye: While I do think the beliefs espoused by the Gaians are important to understanding our own common human goal, we have to realise that they can get us no further by actually physically believing in them. We can reap the benefits of the Gaian theory while still staying level-headed.
     
  23. spacecat27 Registered Member

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    The earth does seem to be self-regulating, over long periods of (geologic) time- but that does not necessarily make it a concious or living being. After all, every little chemical reaction eventually balances out, and for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction..... that's just the way the universe works.
     

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