TESSA ABBIATTI– GRZEXP.com Staff
Is the Earth a living thing? Or is the Earth just a big chunk of rock with a sustainable atmosphere? Today the truth will be found by investigating the Gaia hypothesis.
The Gaia hypothesis was formulated by the chemist James Lovelock and co-developed by the microbiologist, Lynn Margulis, in the 1970s. Initially received with hostility by the scientific community, it is now studied in the disciplines of geophysiology and Earth system science, and some of its principles have been adopted in fields like biogeochemistry. This ecological hypothesis has also inspired analogies and various interpretations in social sciences, politics, and religion under a vague philosophy and movement.
The scientific investigation of the Gaia hypothesis focuses on observing how the biosphere and the evolution of life forms contribute to the stability of global temperature, ocean salinity, oxygen in the atmosphere and other factors of habitability in a preferred homeostasis. In other words, the Gaia hypothesis focuses on how the evolution of life forms contribute to the stability of our Earth. Saying, the Earth needs living things to be a sustainable place for us to live.
The Gaia hypothesis states that every non-living thing is made from or tied to a living thing. For example, the desk you may or may not be sitting on right now. Think of where it came from; a tree. A once living organism that was cut down and made into a desk. This helps proves that every non-living thing is made from or tied to a living thing. This applies for almost all non living or inanimate objects.
The Gaia hypothesis says that the world is a living thing depending on your definition of alive. You could think of a living thing as a human or just as an organism that is suitable for another organism to live on it. If you think about a living thing as a human, then the Earth is not alive. But if you think of a living thing as an organism that is suitable for another organism to live, then the Earth is alive.
In conclusion, the Gaia Hypothesis shows us that the Earth is only living depending on your perception. The Earth is only alive depending on your definition of a living thing.
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