environment - what is Gaia? notes for environmental ethics with OCR at a2

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  • Created by: Cara
  • Created on: 04-06-12 20:21

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What is Gaia?
The theory of Gaia was developed by James Lovelock, an expert scientist who claimed he could see
the whole picture because he was not limited by a particular discipline (biology, chemistry, physics).
The theory of Gaia states that the Earth us a self-regulating organism that can adapt to continue
existence. Gaia's suggestion that the Earth is `alive' is similar to the Australian aboriginal's belief in
Dreamtime. However, this concept of an Earth that is conscious of its own environment and sustains
itself has been met with scepticism among other scientists as they did not accept the notion of the
environment being capable of `conscious thought'. However, Lovelock was not suggesting this. Gaia
meant that the self-regulating nature of the planet would ensure the continuation of some form of
life. However, this did not necessarily mean humans. Therefore, Gaia disregards any superiority of
humans in comparison to animals and plants. The name `Gaia' comes from the Greek goddess, Gaia,
of the Earth as she was said to be a part of it. Lovelock believed that everything was Gaia as it was a
living systems that sustained itself.


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