From David Grinspoon at Nautilus:
the truth is, despite its widespread moniker, Gaia is not really a hypothesis. It’s a perspective, an approach from within which to pursue the science of life on a planet, a living planet, which is not the same as a planet with life on it—that’s really the point, simple but profound. Because life is not a minor afterthought on an already functioning Earth, but an integral part of the planet’s evolution and behavior. Over the last few decades, the Gaians have pretty much won the battle. The opposition never actually surrendered or admitted defeat, but mainstream earth science has dropped its disciplinary shields and joined forces with chemistry, climatology, theoretical biology, and several other “ ologies” and renamed itself “earth system science.”
The Gaia approach, prompted by the space-age comparison of Earth with its apparently lifeless neighbors, has led to a deepening realization of how thoroughly altered our planet is by its inhabitants. When we compare the life story of Earth to that of its siblings, we see that very early on in its development, as soon as the sterilizing impact rain subsided so that life could get a toehold, Earth started down a different path. Ever since that juncture, life and Earth have been co-evolving in a continuing dance.
Okay, but then…
Now, very recently, out of this biologically altered Earth, another kind of change has suddenly emerged and is rewriting the rules of planetary evolution. On the nightside of Earth, the lights are switching on, indicating that something new is happening and someone new is home. Has another gateway opened? Could the planet be at a new branching point? More.
Advice: You might get places faster if you see off the hippies and reschedule the interpretive dance. Also, you will need to deal eventually with design in nature.
See also: Pope Francis’ adviser is a science pantheist?
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