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Scientists Debate Gaia: The Next Century

Stephen H. Schneider, James R. Miller, Eileen Crist, and Penelope J. Boston

Abstract

This is a multidisciplinary reexamination of the Gaia hypothesis, which was introduced by James Lovelock and Lynn Margulis in the early 1970s. The Gaia hypothesis holds that Earth’s physical and biological processes are linked to form a complex, self-regulating system, and that life has affected this system over time. Until a few decades ago, most of the earth sciences viewed the planet through disciplinary lenses: biology, chemistry, geology, atmospheric, and ocean studies. The Gaia hypothesis, on the other hand, takes a very broad interdisciplinary approach. Its most controversial aspect sug ... More

Keywords: Gaia hypothesis, James Lovelock, Lynn Margulis, biological processes, self-regulating system, chemical environment, conditions for life, New Age philosophy, interdisciplinary scientific theory, Earth System Science

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2004 Print ISBN-13: 9780262194983
Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: August 2013 DOI:10.7551/mitpress/9780262194983.001.0001

Authors

Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Stephen H. Schneider, editor

James R. Miller, editor

Eileen Crist, editor

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Contents

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Reflections on Gaia

James Lovelock

Gaia by Any Other Name

Lynn Margulis

I Principles and Processes

1 Clarifying Gaia

Timothy M. Lenton

4 Gaia

Eric D. Schneider

6 Homeostatic Gaia

David M. Wilkinson

II Earth History And Cycles

7 Phosphorus, a Servant Faithful to Gaia? Biosphere Remediation Rather Than Regulation

Karl B. Föllmi, Federica Tamburini, Rachel Hosein, Bas van de Schootbrugge, Kaspar Arn, and Claire Rambeau

9 A New Biogeochemical Earth System Model for the Phanerozoic Eon

Noam M. Bergman, Timothy Lenton, and Andrew J. Watson

10 Gaia and Glaciation

Mark A. S. McMenamin

11 Does Life Drive Disequilibrium in the Biosphere?

David W. Schwartzman, and Tyler Volk

12 Biotic Plunder

Toby Tyrrell

III Philosophy, History, and Human Dimensions of Gaia

16 Gaia and Complexity

Lee F. Klinger

IV Quantifying Data

20 Daisyworld Homeostasis and the Earth System

S. L. Weber, and J. M. Robinson

23 Gaia in the Machine

Keith L. Downing

24 On Causality and Ice Age Deglaciations

Alexandre Casanovas, and Vicent Gómez

V Life Forms and Gaia: Microbes to Extraterrestrials

27 Extraterrestrial Gaias

Siegfried Franck, Werner von Bloh, Christine Bounama, and Hans-Joachim Schellnhuber

28 The Tinto River, an Extreme Gaian Environment

Felipe Gómez, David Fernández-Remolar, Elena González-Toril, and Ricardo Amils