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    I read that if symbiosis is true, both the Gaia hypothesis and Evolution can be true. I'm not sure how though? Is the process of natural selection and adaptation of species a sign the Earth is self regulating?

    Another question I'm a bit confused by.. is Gaia just the creator or are they more than that?
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    Are we talking about the Gaia Hypothesis according to Lovelock the scientist, or are we talking about it according somebody else (viz. an ecotheologist)?

    Lovelock certainly didn't think that his hypothesis proved or necessitated that there is a creator, 'Gaia', only that the ecosystems that make up the word constitute a self-regulatory complex system that maintains the conditions necessary to support life. Subsequent thinkers might endorse such a thing, but they'd likely be pantheists or neo-pagans over and above scientists: Lovelock did not consider this hypothesis to be a religious thing.

    The idea is that 'Gaia' in this context is not itself an organism, but the catch-all name for all of the interacting ecosystems on earth. I guess you might want to call it an emergent property that results from all the interacting ecosystems. The name is, of course, shared by the Greek goddess that personified the earth, but that's just because Lovelock thought it apt.

    As far as I know, Lovelock tried to argue that ecosystems have an evolutionary cybernetic 'feedback' systems that evolve according to natural selection - this'd work if organisms that worked to better their immediate surroundings did better in terms of survival etc. than organisms that do not. I think that idea was discredited a long time ago, maybe by Dawkins. I don't know much on the details of the science (I'm a philosopher!), it's been a long, long time since I read any of this stuff (and I wasn't that interested in it when I did!).
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    (Original post by gjd800)
    Are we talking about the Gaia Hypothesis according to Lovelock the scientist, or are we talking about it according somebody else (viz. an ecotheologist)?

    Lovelock certainly didn't think that his hypothesis proved or necessitated that there is a creator, 'Gaia', only that the ecosystems that make up the word constitute a self-regulatory complex system that maintains the conditions necessary to support life. Subsequent thinkers might endorse such a thing, but they'd likely be pantheists or neo-pagans over and above scientists: Lovelock did not consider this hypothesis to be a religious thing.

    The idea is that 'Gaia' in this context is not itself an organism, but the catch-all name for all of the interacting ecosystems on earth. I guess you might want to call it an emergent property that results from all the interacting ecosystems. The name is, of course, shared by the Greek goddess that personified the earth, but that's just because Lovelock thought it apt.

    As far as I know, Lovelock tried to argue that ecosystems have an evolutionary cybernetic 'feedback' systems that evolve according to natural selection - this'd work if organisms that worked to better their immediate surroundings did better in terms of survival etc. than organisms that do not. I think that idea was discredited a long time ago, maybe by Dawkins. I don't know much on the details of the science (I'm a philosopher!), it's been a long, long time since I read any of this stuff (and I wasn't that interested in it when I did!).
    Interesting indeed. If Lovelock essentially agrees evolution is true, why would Dawkins try and challenge him?
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    (Original post by dont know it)
    Interesting indeed. If Lovelock essentially agrees evolution is true, why would Dawkins try and challenge him?
    They disagree on the mechanics of how it would work in this particular instance, not that it is an actual process, broadly construed.

    From what I remember of it (there's probably a paper you can get hold of on pdf) Dawkins challenges the idea that evolution can work in the way that Lovelock would have it work in order to fit into his wider view. The argument seemed to be over an organism having a type of evolutionary foresight or planning (the argument is that this would need to be the case for an ecosystem to build a feedback system of this type), which there is apparently scant to no evidence to support. I think SJ Gould also attacked the hypothesis on similar grounds. It isn't held in much regard by the wider scientific community.
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    (Original post by gjd800)
    They disagree on the mechanics of how it would work in this particular instance, not that it is an actual process, broadly construed.

    From what I remember of it (there's probably a paper you can get hold of on pdf) Dawkins challenges the idea that evolution can work in the way that Lovelock would have it work in order to fit into his wider view. The argument seemed to be over an organism having a type of evolutionary foresight or planning (the argument is that this would need to be the case for an ecosystem to build a feedback system of this type), which there is apparently scant to no evidence to support. I think SJ Gould also attacked the hypothesis on similar grounds. It isn't held in much regard by the wider scientific community.
    Oh right I see, thanks for such a great answer!
 
 
 
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