He is very confident that the workings of evolution underpin his thesis but it is hard to see how. First, most life forms, whether snails or mushrooms, pass on life to their offspring without thinking about it. But humans invent things that are not human — and not alive — explicitly by thinking about it and working out every detail. The continuity Lovelock assumes depends on the assumption that there is no meaningful distinction between mental and physical activity.
But that can’t be correct. For one thing, mental activity — the source of our technology — enables humans to make or mar the environment beyond any other species. If we had no technology, we would have about as much environmental impact as chimpanzees. So it’s just not the same thing.
Second, it’s unclear why Lovelock thinks cyborgs would be so much more intelligent than humans. The general trajectory of AI has not gone that way.News, “Pioneer environmentalist: Cyborgs will rule the planet” at Mind Matters News (July 31, 2022)
Takehome: Lovelock is hard to classify. He has boundless faith in both Gaia and AI — in almost anything, it would seem, except humans.
You may also wish to read: Astronomer: ET is more likely to be AI than to be a life form. Royal astronomer Lord Martin Rees explains that, apart from other issues, AI would last much longer in the hostile galactic environment. But if the extraterrestrials are AI, they may simply reiterate indefinitely the programs they were designed to execute long ago — we must hope, friendly ones.