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The Evolutionary or Teleological or Strong Gaia theory

Teleological Gaia asserts that the atmosphere is kept in homeostasis, not just by the biosphere, but by and for the biosphere.

"the Earth's atmosphere is more than merely anomalous; it appears to be a contrivance specifically constituted for a set of purposes"
(Lovelock and Margulis 1974).

Optimizing Gaia asserts that the biota manipulate their physical environment for the purpose of creating biologically favorable, or even optimal, conditions for themselves.

" is unlikely that chance alone accounts for the fact that temperature, pH and the presence of compounds of nutrient elements have been, for immense periods, just those optimal for surface life. Rather, ... energy is expended by the biota to actively maintain these optima"
(Lovelock and Margulis 1974)
exerpted from external linkThe Debate over the Gaia Hypothesis

Omega Gaia - an interpretation of Teilhard de Chardin's evolutionary metaphysics - the Earth as evolving through stages of geosphere, biosphere, and noosphere, culminating in the Omega Point.

The general gathering together in which, by correlated actions of the without and the within of the earth, the totality of thinking units and thinking forces are engaged - the aggregation in a single block of a mankind whose fragments weld together and interpenetrate before our eyes in spite of (indeed in proportion to) their efforts to separate - all this becomes intelligible from top to bottom as soon as we perceive it as the natural culmination of a cosmic process of organisation which has never varied since those remote ages when our planet was young."
Teilhard de Chardin, Le Phenomene Humain
excerpted from external linkThe Gaia Hypothesis - Background Work of Others towards the Gaia Hypothesis

Gaia, Evolution, and Quantum Physics

"Strong forms of Gaia and self-defining systems are found to share an interdisciplinary worldview where biological forms embody a source of novelty at the behavioral (functional) level that can be causally active in both ecology and evolution. This worldview requires...a basis for non-deterministic innovation at the organism and system level. A strong theoretical foundation may be found in quantum physics, in the principle of observership, and recent confirmation that quantum correlation can be magnified to macroscopic scale within suitable structures. "

external linkToward a Special and General Theory of Autevolution - John Jay Kineman

Web links Links Web links

web page Gaia, Our Living, Awakening Earth

on-line bookToward a Special and General Theory of Autevolution - John Jay Kineman - attempts to establish both a worldview context for autevolution (as a strong basis for Gaia), and an epistemological framework for evaluating paradigms. - very technical.

The Weak Gaia hypothesis (non-homeostatic - Reductionist )
The standard Gaia Hypothesis
(homeostasis) - e.g. "daisyworld"
The Strong Gaia theory
you are here!
The Eco-Pagan and Eco-Pantheist position
(sentient - Goddess Earth)
The Esoteric position
(hierarchies of consciousness)

parent nodeVarious Interpretations of Gaia

internal link Living in Harmony with Gaia - Holism and Ecological Spirituality

internal link Gaia and Consciousness - a metaphysical interpretation


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content by M.Alan Kazlev
page uploaded 3 July 1999, last modified 19 August 2004