Life as a stabiliser: the Gaia hypothesis revisited

Catalpast

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In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
2 And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.
3 And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.


Genesis 1 King James Version (KJV)


In the beginning
Back in nineteen fifty-five...
No one knew what they was gonna do
But Tchaikovsky had the news...
He said
Let there be sound
There was sound
Let there be light



AC/DC
 


silverharp

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The planet has survived multiple extinction level events and the lifeforms adapted completely to their new reality relatively quickly.

The planet is the only known place where life exists and does so in an incredibly varied manner, with some lifeforms resistant to radiation, extreme heat and cold and even vacuum (for weeks in some cases).

The planet hosts organisms that can generate temperatures as hot as the surface of the sun or eat rocks or survive pressures that would crush a human body to a pulp.

It may not have a Phd but the Earth seems to be getting on just fine all the same.
exactly which is why I doubt the planet "cares" either even if it could. Humans could detonate every nuclear weapon today and the planet would be just fine in planet terms.
 

statsman

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Given Prof. Lovelock's own recent conclusions, in things like The Revenge of Gaia, I'm not at all sure that the word "delighted" quite covers my own reaction!
Well, we're fúcked, so we may as well enjoy what we can in the time we have left.
 

roc_

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exactly which is why I doubt the planet "cares" either even if it could. Humans could detonate every nuclear weapon today and the planet would be just fine in planet terms.
The theory is not the planet "cares". It is that it self-regulates to ensure it's own survival.
No doubt the planet can recover quickly and well from nuclear fall-out. Just look to say how well Chernobyl recovered after only 30 years - https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/04/23/wildlife-returns-to-radioactive-wasteland-of-chernobyl/.
However, the destruction of ecosystems is much more catastrophic in planetary terms - such as we do when we sterilise vast tracts of land for wind turbines or 'green walkways', or forestry operations, or motorways... and/or most human activities involving concrete, heavy machinery, and so on.
There may be a cause to wonder whether in fact the planet is acting to counter the human activity destroying its ecosystems, say by taking the CO2 from energy expended to power said machinery and production of concrete to raise temperatures to a level that will begin to reduce this human activity.
The theory is not giving the planet emotions like it 'cares'. Merely that there is an exceedingly complex system, a 'life-system', that self-regulates to ensure it's own survival.
 

The OD

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exactly which is why I doubt the planet "cares" either even if it could. Humans could detonate every nuclear weapon today and the planet would be just fine in planet terms.
It would, eventually, yes. Life would find a way to exist. It might take thousands or even millions of years, but it would happen.
 

Trainwreck

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The theory is not the planet "cares". It is that it self-regulates to ensure it's own survival.
Even more dispassionately, it is just a chaotic natural system. Like many chaotic natural systems, it exhibits strange attractors.
 

The OD

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Well, we're fúcked, so we may as well enjoy what we can in the time we have left.
We all also fúcked at the cosmic level too.

Deep time sounds seriously boring, not even any matter to play with and as for the weather, dark and cold. Very, very cold.

:|
 

fifilawe

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Is the thread title in faulty English or in some weird scientific code? How can we have a proper discussion when we don't have a title for it?
this is common practice in today's academia,scientific community, club membership.People from a certain "club/organisation/forum/group" etc have a "target audience" and only wish to communicate with them.Hence if you're "outside the club" you are not wanted and your opinion is not asked for or appreciated.That's why OP are thus constructed by "Club insiders" for other club members.
 

statsman

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The theory is not the planet "cares". It is that it self-regulates to ensure it's own survival.
No doubt the planet can recover quickly and well from nuclear fall-out. Just look to say how well Chernobyl recovered after only 30 years - https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/04/23/wildlife-returns-to-radioactive-wasteland-of-chernobyl/.
However, the destruction of ecosystems is much more catastrophic in planetary terms - such as we do when we sterilise vast tracts of land for wind turbines or 'green walkways', or forestry operations, or motorways... and/or most human activities involving concrete, heavy machinery, and so on.
There may be a cause to wonder whether in fact the planet is acting to counter the human activity destroying its ecosystems, say by taking the CO2 from energy expended to power said machinery and production of concrete to raise temperatures to a level that will begin to reduce this human activity.
The theory is not giving the planet emotions like it 'cares'. Merely that there is an exceedingly complex system, a 'life-system', that self-regulates to ensure it's own survival.
Yes, very important to remove the anthropomorphic element from the discussion. The system doesn't 'care' and it isn't 'designed' to do anything. It is, and in its being, it evolves a system of self-regulating balances that serve to ensure continuity and preservation.
 

statsman

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this is common practice in today's academia,scientific community, club membership.People from a certain "club/organisation/forum/group" etc have a "target audience" and only wish to communicate with them.Hence if you're "outside the club" you are not wanted and your opinion is not asked for or appreciated.That's why OP are thus constructed by "Club insiders" for other club members.
It was a typo, a mod is going to fix it. Now take that hat off, it's hot outside and you'll baste your brain.
 

Socratus O' Pericles

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Well, we're fúcked, so we may as well enjoy what we can in the time we have left.
The Earth may be ************************************ but the Mars to Stay people think we'll just move there.

[video=youtube;hTMrlHHVx8A]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hTMrlHHVx8A[/video]
 

silverharp

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The theory is not the planet "cares". It is that it self-regulates to ensure it's own survival.
No doubt the planet can recover quickly and well from nuclear fall-out. Just look to say how well Chernobyl recovered after only 30 years - https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/04/23/wildlife-returns-to-radioactive-wasteland-of-chernobyl/.
However, the destruction of ecosystems is much more catastrophic in planetary terms - such as we do when we sterilise vast tracts of land for wind turbines or 'green walkways', or forestry operations, or motorways... and/or most human activities involving concrete, heavy machinery, and so on.
There may be a cause to wonder whether in fact the planet is acting to counter the human activity destroying its ecosystems, say by taking the CO2 from energy expended to power said machinery and production of concrete to raise temperatures to a level that will begin to reduce this human activity.
The theory is not giving the planet emotions like it 'cares'. Merely that there is an exceedingly complex system, a 'life-system', that self-regulates to ensure it's own survival.
I'd think you would need to separate life from the planet, anything with genes has a trait they should replicate or pass on in some manner. A giant rock does nothing to "protect itself", all you could say about Mars is that it reacts to the energy from the Sun , it does nothing above and beyond.
 

statsman

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Thanks to petaljam for fixing the typo.
 

statsman

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The Earth may be ************************************ but the Mars to Stay people think we'll just move there.

[video=youtube;hTMrlHHVx8A]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hTMrlHHVx8A[/video]
[video=youtube;Z4Sl-Zi83zw]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z4Sl-Zi83zw[/video]
 

stopdoingstuff

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The Gaia hypothesis, brainchild of scientist and inventor James Lovelock, and microbiologist Lynn Margulis, has often been dismissed as a bit of 1960s hippie-dippy nonsense. What they proposed was 'all organisms and their inorganic surroundings on Earth are closely integrated to form a single and self-regulating complex system, maintaining the conditions for life on the planet.'

Now two scientists, James Dyke and Tim Lenton, together with a group of colleagues have published research that they belive points to the hypothesis being valid:

https://theconversation.com/scientists-finally-have-an-explanation-for-the-gaia-puzzle-99153


Interestingly, they dismiss the 'statistical improbability' argument:



They also warn against human exceptionalism:



As a long-time admired of Lovelock and Margulis, I'm delighted to see this work published.
Science is stupid.
 

Mitsui2

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The planet has survived multiple extinction level events and the lifeforms adapted completely to their new reality relatively quickly.

The planet is the only known place where life exists and does so in an incredibly varied manner, with some lifeforms resistant to radiation, extreme heat and cold and even vacuum (for weeks in some cases).

The planet hosts organisms that can generate temperatures as hot as the surface of the sun or eat rocks or survive pressures that would crush a human body to a pulp.

It may not have a Phd but the Earth seems to be getting on just fine all the same.
I think the trouble is that humans have (understandably, I guess) difficulty distinguishing between the welfare of the planet and the welfare of their own species... indeed, we have a good deal of trouble identifying even what constitutes the welfare of our species.
 

Socratus O' Pericles

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Dawkins holds that the planet as a whole is not a unit of selection, therefore Gaia cannot arise from evolution.The Extended Phenotype: The Long Reach of the Gene covers this at some length. But there is a lot of counter-argument which leads into anthropic arguments, strong and weak, and to the idea that there are no coincidences.
 

Mitsui2

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this is common practice in today's academia,scientific community, club membership.People from a certain "club/organisation/forum/group" etc have a "target audience" and only wish to communicate with them.Hence if you're "outside the club" you are not wanted and your opinion is not asked for or appreciated.That's why OP are thus constructed by "Club insiders" for other club members.
Or (as statsman seems to have done) you ask the mods to correct the error in the title.

But why bother noting reality when you can have fun feeling put-upon, eh? :D
 


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