Life as a stabiliser: the Gaia hypothesis revisited


Well-known member
Feb 25, 2011
This is not an approach Lovelock ever advocated.

He thought that attempting to model and simulate even climate systems on their own is not of much real use, while perhaps interesting academically.

He pointed out that you can never model all actual factors of such a complex system, there will always be simplifications and simplifying assumptions in there somewhere. You can never "actually know all the relevant facts" as you put it.

As I highlighted above, Lovelock acknowledges that we are dealing with a system that is (a) so complex as to be indescribable, (b) so complex as to be not deterministic but probabilistic, (c) any system that reaches this level of complexity becomes inherently self-organising.

One reason many 'professional climate scientists' attack him is because they are so invested in their computer models, which Lovelock points out are very impressive, but essentially nonsense in dealing with these types of systems. (With the amount of money involved in this type of research this conflict gets very political).

The entire earth system is many times more complex than the afore mentioned attempt to isolate the 'climate system', of course.

The approaches advocated by Lovelock for working in this problem area are based on techniques and approaches that were developed within cybernetics.
We can't even definitively know which facts are and are not relevant.

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