Chapter 14

Gaia and Chaos

How Things Are Connected

Life itself is a religious experience.

James Lovelock

When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the universe.

John Muir (1911)

Gaia Hypothesis

Formulated in 1965 by the independent British biologist James E. Lovelock and elaborated by Lynn Margulis, distinguished biology professor at the University of Massachusetts, it proposes that certain kinds of life on the planet grow, change, and die in ways that lead to the persistence of other life forms. In some circles, this has been interpreted as meaning that life on Earth forms a single, complex continuum, one ecosystem throughout time and space. The Earth, according to this view, can thus be considered ...

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