22. Gaia Hypothesis

22. Gaia Hypothesis - Prof. Turner The Earth Transformed...

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Prof. Turner The Earth Transformed 11.27.07 I) Gaia Hypothesis 1) The Origins a James Lovelock and Lynn Margulis b Lovelock: Why is earth so different? 2) Paradox? a Sun increasingly radiates more heat. b Yet, earth tends towards stable temperature within its flux; all fluxes +/- countered by opposite flux c Unique and self-regulating? (i) Earth appears to be a planet transfigured and transformed by a self- evolving and self-regulating living system. In view of the nature of this activity, Earth seems to qualify as a living being in its own right. (ii) GAIA from Greek goddess who drew the living world forth from Chaos GAIA = “a biological cybernetic system with homeostatic tendencies” 3) Deconstructing GAIA a “A biological cybernetic system with homeostatic tendencies” (i) “Biological” = life (ii) “Cybernetic system” Information, control, knowledge, feedback A system dependant on the process of negative feedback (iii) “Homeostatic” [homeostasis] = self-regulating towards stability b GAIA = a self-regulating life support system that is dependant on negative feedback c Crucial Point: ‘life’ is self-optimizing 4) “Gaia: A New Look at Life on Earth”
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22. Gaia Hypothesis - Prof. Turner The Earth Transformed...

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