Gaia and the Earth-System Theory

The theory of Lovelock, which describes the Earth as a self-regulated system, represents the paradigm that governs the society of the 21st century and the way individuals approach life and scientific data. Considering the variety of religious beliefs that people conduct their life according to and the increasing need of finding a common ground for cooperation and mutual understanding, the theory of Lovelock has the main goal of bringing unity towards people among the world. Thus, the accent is no longer put in the differences between different systems of beliefs, but on the similarities that may be found between them and that can create a path between individuals of different cultures in a globalized society.

The name “Gaia” is illustrative for the main idea sustained by the theory. By using a term from the Ancient mythology, Lovelock legitimizes the movement and brings into evidence past references of it. Hence, it is not a new idea that the Earth represents a self-regulated unity, which has its own principles of functioning. The novelty of this theory relates only to the fact that Lovelock does not represent this self-governing entity through a visual representation that people can correlate with things that they know. The psychologists hold that people need a visual representation of a particular entity in order to understand it better and to feel more familiar in relation to it. Still, the Earth is a well-known concept that people feel attached to it due to the fact that it belongs to their system of knowledge. Even if it represents an abstract element, individuals see perceptions of earth as an entity in their daily existence. Likewise, life on Earth is supported by the interaction between atmosphere, hydrosphere, pedosphere and biosphere. The atmosphere consists in the air veil formed from oxidized and reduced components (oxygen and nitrogen) that surrounds the Earth and protects it both from the solar heat and the sky corpus that can hit it. The concept of hydrosphere relates to the totality of water, among which two thirds is liquid. As everybody knows, liquid water makes possible life on Earth and when scientists develop a research regarding life on other planets, they also explore the percent of liquid water that exists there. The third system that the Earth is characterized by represents the pedosphere. Likewise, the rocks that form the structure of the Earth are involved into a continuous cycle of renewal and disintegration, which led to a mixture of rock types. From the dense mantle-derived peridotites to the less dense ocean basalts and the light weight crust of diorite and granite, different types of rocks create the differentiation between geographical structures that were built among million years of evolution: mountains, fields, hills, isles, volcanoes. Named also the life veil, the biotic habitat includes the totality of life on Earth and the life cycle of survival .As each animal has a certain role in the ecosystem and its existence is correlated with the one of the other living organisms, natural disasters occur in order to keep the harmony between the main elements of the Earth.  Or, at least, this is the way the system should work. But, as human beings are an integrative part of the Earth, they also have an essential role in keeping the equilibrium. Considering this hypothesis, individuals have as main responsibility the protection of the world they live in.

 

Following the fact that they idea of Lovelock is a paradigm, the veracity and validity of it consist in fundamental points of analysis that its supporters have to look for. A main method of an      alysing the validity of a theory represents the criteria of infallibility developed by Popper. According to Popper, one paradigm is valid for a certain period of time and, after that it is replaced by another theory if different discoveries contradict it. As the basis of Gaia theory center on the geocentric paradigm of Copernicus, which assumes that the Earth has a circular continuous orbit around the Sun and one around its own axis, it is expected that the validity of this theory cannot be contested in the scientific world. Even if there are opponents that hold that life on Earth is too complex to be regulated by certain mechanisms because this would involve too much planning, it is clear that the interaction between atmosphere, hydrosphere, pedosphere and biosphere made possible and preserve life on Earth. Therefore, it is our own responsibility as inhabitants of this planet to act for preserving the harmony between the main spheres. The fight against pollution and world together, together with the continuous quest for friendly-environment sources of energy and campaigns for raising the awareness of global issues humanity has to deal with constitute major points of interest of ourselves as inhabitants of this planet.

In a nutshell, people should not forget that they are a part of this entity called the Earth and as a constitutive part of it, they have the responsibility to act in such a way that to keep the existent harmony that governs the world. Gaia movement came to provide solutions to the main issues humanity confronts with and to incite people to act for protecting the world they live in.

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