Gaia hypothesis


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Gai·a hypothesis

 (gī′ə)
n.
1. A hypothesis stating that Earth's biota constitute a single interconnected system that affects or determines the physical and chemical conditions within the biosphere, including such conditions as global temperatures, the composition of the atmosphere, and the salinity of seawater.
2. Any of various related hypotheses stating that this system is self-regulating, as through feedback loops, or that it constitutes a living organism, in either case acting to maintain stable conditions that are optimal for the continuation of life.

[After Gaia, used by British scientist and environmentalist James Lovelock (born 1919) to refer to the totality of Earth's biota as a superorganism.]

Gaia hypothesis

(ˈɡaɪə) or

Gaia theory

n
(Biology) the theory that the earth and everything on it constitutes a single self-regulating living entity

Gai′a hypoth`esis

(ˈgeɪ ə)
n.
a model of the earth as a self-regulating organism, advanced as an alternative to a mechanistic model.
[1970–75; < Greek gaîa earth; see Gaea]

Gaia hypothesis

A theory that the biosphere acts as a selfsustaining, self-regulating organism. British scientist James Lovelock named it after a Greek Earth goddess.
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References in periodicals archive ?
James Lovelock has long espoused this position with his Gaia hypothesis.
The Gaia hypothesis offered a coherent vision of the whole living world that echoed all our wisdom traditions and renewed the human sense of wonder.
His theory, The Gaia hypothesis, has been at the same time influential and controversial.
During the late 1980s, I discovered the Gaia Hypothesis (later Gaia Theory) at a number of environmental education conferences.
Tyrrell concludes that the Gaia hypothesis is not tenable, and that relying upon it may lead to complacency as a result of expecting ecological self-healing that does not in fact occur.
He names the people who pioneered the practical implementation of the concept and describes the ensuing upheavals, the debate on the Limits to Growth after 1972, the Stockholm Conference on the Environment, the reports submitted by the Brandt and Brundtland Commissions, the Gaia Hypothesis, newly coined terms like biodiversity, ecological footprint, renewable resources -and,of course, the 'Spirit of Rio' and the international agreements and conventions inspired by it.
As environmentalist Jim Lovelock, the author of the Gaia hypothesis, put it: "We cannot have both our crops and a steady comfortable climate.
Best known for her work on the origins of eukaryotic cells, symbiogenesis as a force in evolution, and the Gaia hypothesis, Lynn Margulis was a scientist whose lively spirit and frank opinions left behind an enduring legacy that's well worth remembering.
Her strong influence has been critical for development in three major arenas: the prevalence of symbiosis as a driving force in evolution of eukaryotes, the central role of the microbial world in the dynamics of the past and present biosphere, and the recognition that the earth is a self-regulating system, that is, the Gaia hypothesis.
views about evolutionary biology, (14) the Gaia hypothesis, (15) and
According to the Gaia hypothesis of James Lovelock and Lynn Margulis (yes, the same one who understood mitochondria ), the planetary system and its innumerable intertwined subsystems has not only been evolving, but also more or less successfully regulating itself to the continued advantage of life.
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.