Denise and Lindsay's Iris

Denise and Lindsay's Iris
Photo by J Hulse

Sunday, December 4, 2011

THE GAIA PRINCIPLE (or Enough About You)

(Click on the Title for a music video "We're All Connected)  By Bill Nye, the Science Guy.)

OK.  Following are some philosophical ruminations.  These may be a bit esoteric and heady for some of you dirt-diggers.  But someone has to think about these things!!

The Gaia hypothesis, also known as Gaia theory or Gaia principle, proposes that all organisms and their inorganic surroundings on Earth are closely integrated to form a single and self-regulating complex system, maintaining the conditions for life on the planet.

"The scientific investigation of the Gaia hypothesis focuses on observing how the biosphere and the evolution of life forms contribute to the stability of global temperature, ocean salinity, oxygen in the atmosphere and other factors of habitability in a preferred homeostasis. The Gaia hypothesis was formulated by the chemist James Lovelock and co-developed by the microbiologist Lynn Margulis in the 1970s.  Initially received with hostility by the scientific community, it is now studied in the disciplines of geo-physiology and Earth system science, and some of its principles have been adopted in fields like biogeochemistry and systems ecology. This ecological hypothesis has also inspired analogies and various interpretations in social sciences, politics, and religion under a vague philosophy and movement."
                                           From Wikipedia

The Earth is not a "life-support" system, not a passive vessel that carries its organic cargo.  But the Earth was first, itself derived from ancient star dust. The Earth and its eco-systems are the essential life-giving source of organic life-forms.  I'm pointing out here  that the Earth is above us in the overall scheme of things. The Earth is the "whole" and we are just a "part".  It is incumbent upon us, therefore, to replace our people-centeredness (homo-centrism) with Earth-centeredness (eco-centrism). We must define progress as whatever is conducive to sustainable participation in Earth's ecosystems.  It is incumbent upon us, then, to consider our actions in the garden.  “ What am I  doing to maintain the balance of nature?  What am I  doing that will help, rather than hurt the Earth?  What will be my legacy?”

So, I want to leave you with this Chinese proverb to sum it all up.

Man who eats too many prunes gets good run for his money. 


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