Piero Scaruffi(Copyright © 2013 Piero Scaruffi | Legal restrictions )
These are excerpts and elaborations from my book "The Nature of Consciousness"
Gaia is an idea that originated by the joint work of the British chemist James Lovelock and Lynn Margulis. Lovelock views the entire surface of the Earth, including "inanimate" matter, as a living being (which in 1979 he named "Gaia"), an idea to which the Austrian physicist Fritjof Capra also subscribes. Lovelock and Margulis argued that the rules of life work at both the organism level and at the ecosystem level, and eventually at the level of the entire planet. There is a gigantic cycle that involves the actions and structure of all matter and eventually yields "life" on this planet. The environment (volcanoes, rocks, sea water, sun, rain) is part of life. At the same time life creates the environment that it needs. Life creates the conditions for its own existence.
Capra put it in mathematical form: feedback loops link together living and nonliving matter. The entire planet is a self-organizing network, just like an ecosystem, just like a living system. Living systems are networks interacting with other networks. Organisms are networks of cells. Ecosystems are networks of organisms. Biological systems at all levels are networks. The "web of life" consists of networks.
Murchie, Margulis, Capra and Lovelock view the world as an integrated whole.
The Russian geologist Vladimir Vernadsky even thought that the Earth is developing its own mind, the "noosphere", the aggregation of the cognitive activity of all its living matter.
Back to the beginning of the chapter "Altruism" | Back to the index of all chapters