Gaia: A New Look at Life on Earth
The Gaia hypothesis, first put forth in the mid-1960s, and published in book form in 1975, has had a radical effect on scientific views of evolution and the environment. Fiercely debated by biologists, chemists, and cyberneticists, it has been the subject of numerous conferences and a BBC special which aired on public TV's "Nova" series. Green Peace and other environmental groups have embraced the theory, and Isaac Asimov incorporated it into two his science fiction novels. Now, James Lovelock provides a new preface to his his seminal work, confronting his critics, and, addressing the current advances in science and technology, demonstrates how his predictions have already begun to be fulfilled.
According to the Gaia hypothesis, the environment does not coincidentally support life on earth; rather the two interact much the way a bird and its nest interact. "The Earth's living matter," writes Lovelock, "air, oceans, and land surface form a complex system which can be seen as a single organism and which has the capacity to keep our planet a fit place for life." This revolutionary book offers the clearest explanation of the interaction of life and the environment.
In the beginning
The recognition of Gaia
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abundance acid activity aeons ago algae ammonia anaerobic animals atmo atmosphere atoms biological biosphere CALIFORNIA capacity carbon dioxide cell cent chapter chemical chemical equilibrium chemistry complex compounds concentration continental shelves control system creatures cybernetic systems cycle dimethyl sulphide Earth Earth's surface ecology ecosystems effect electric elements energy entropy environment environmental equilibrium ERSITY example fire fossil fuel Gaia hypothesis Gaia's Gaian gases global half aeons heat human hydrogen increase industrial inorganic iodine ions land LIBRARY lifeless Lynn Margulis Mars methane methyl chloride methyl iodide micro-organisms million molecules natural nitrate nitrogen nitrous oxide nuclear numbers oceans optimum organisms oven oxygen ozone layer photosynthesis planet planetary poisonous pollution possible potential present problem production quantities regions regulation rocks salinity salt SAN DIEGO scientific scientists silica sodium sodium chloride space species stratosphere substances sulphur temperature tion tropical ultra-violet UNIVERSITY water vapour