Gaia as a unifying description of life on Earth is the main topic of this wiki. James Lovelock's Gaia hypothesis states that Earth and its biosphere can usefully be considered as a single biological organism.
The Gaia metaphor describes planet Earth as a single living organism and each human being as something akin to a cell in her body (see also humans in relation to Gaia). The metaphor may go further down the road of personification of Gaia in order to tap into our visceral empathy for other living beings, especially the more similar they are to us or to those we love.
In Greek mythology, Gaia was the primordial mother Goddess who gave birth to the Earth and most of the other major gods. In modern times, for many, she has come to represent the living Earth in a spiritual as well as a scientific sense. Many neo-pagans worship her, either as an actual goddess or as a personification of the biosphere.
Main article: Geophysiology
James Lovelock's Gaia Hypothesis begins from the premise that life, in addition to adapting to its environment, reshapes that environment to be more hospitable to life. Having done so, for example by thickening Earth's early atmosphere to trap more of the Sun's heat, life then establishes a homeostatic feedback to keep global environmental parameters like temperature within a fairly narrow hospitable range. Thus, as the Sun's temperature has increased over the past four billion years, life has gradually reduced atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations to compensate.
This page is a stub, you can help by expanding it.