Piero Scaruffi(Copyright © 2013 Piero Scaruffi | Legal restrictions )
These are excerpts and elaborations from my book "The Nature of Consciousness"
Gaia and the Noosphere
The biosphere as a whole is autopoietic as it maintains itself through a careful balance of elements. Life (the sum of all living beings) can counter cosmological forces and make sure that the Earth continues to be a feasible habitat for life. Living beings use the chemicals available in the air and on the surface of the Earth and produce other chemicals that are released in the air and on the surface of the Earth. They do so at the rate that keeps the air and the surface of the Earth in balance with whatever cosmological forces operate on the Earth. To paraphrase the US biologist Lynn Margulis, life "is" the surface of the Earth.
It is not surprising that, in 1926, the Russian geologist Vladimir Vernadsky ranked living matter as the most powerful of geological forces (he even described how life opposes gravity's vertical pull by growing, running, swimming and even flying).
It is not surprising that the British biologist James Lovelock views the entire surface of the Earth, including "inanimate" matter, as a living being (which he named "Gaia").
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