Pub. date: 2006 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412952453 | Print ISBN: 9780761930297 | Online ISBN: 9781412952453| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Developed by James Lovelock in his 1979 work, Gaia: A New Look at Life on Earth , the Gaia hypothesis offers an understanding of the earth as a living thing, capable of change and transgression. Lovelock named his theory Gaia after the Greek goddess responsible for drawing the living world forth from chaos. The Gaia hypothesis suggests that the Earth, or Gaia, is more complex and mystical than anything imaginable. The enormity of the planetary system is something that we can never fully understand and we should acknowledge that when conducting planetary scientific research. The hypothesis also includes an explanation of life systems that exist on Earth. Gaia is not just the biota or the biosphere, but the conjunction of these systems. Gaia as the living planet refers to all parts of the earth: the Because ...