Definition of Gaia

Throughout history humans have sensed that the Earth they live on was special.   Earth has often been personified as a deity, in particular a goddess. In many cultures the mother goddess is also portrayed as a fertility deity.  The Greeks understood the great beauty of this world and called her Gaia, the Goddess.

Cosmology – Philosophic Origins

Creation myths in many religions recall a story involving the creation of the Earth by a supernatural deity or deities.  The Judeo/ Christian/Islam religions identify the Creation Stories of Genesis as the origin of this World with an all-powerful God who created a formless fluid realm of darkness and water.  Then Light was created to separate day and night.  Then land was created to separate the waters and air was created to separate wetness in the water and dryness above.  Next, various kinds of plants and trees were created to populate the land. God created two great lighted orbs, the Sun for the day and the Moon for the night.  Then, fish were created to populate the waters.  Next the birds were created to populate the sky.  Then God created all livestock and the wild animals to fill the land and live on the plants.  All of these creatures were created by God and deemed good.  Thereafter God’s made his/her final creation, Mankind, a creature created in God’s image that was to have both man and woman (Adam & Eve).

God gave to Mankind rule and dominion over all Life that was created.  All the plants were to be the food for both Mankind and Animals, but Man was not given permission to eat animals or birds or fish.  Most of all Man was not given permission to steal, destroy or pollute the firmament, the land or the waters which it separates.  This is God’s Law according to the holy scriptures of our culture.

Gaia’s Nearby Relationships

The Greeks, led by Aristotle explored astronomical relations of the heavenly bodies.  They favored an Earth-centered system due to gravity returning all objects to the surface.  It was the Egyptian, Ptolemy in 100AD, who created a Geo-Centric Design of the Universe that most closely predicted the paths of the planets. Later, in the 16th century a new idea was proposed by the Polish astronomer, Nicolai Copernicus, that the Sun, not the Earth, was the center of the Solar System. Such a model is called aheliocentric system.

Under the Greek astronomic system Gaia had a family of other brother and sister planets.  These included:  Hermes (Mercury), Aphrodite (Venus), Ares (Mars), Zeus (Jupiter), Cronus (Saturn) and Poseidon (Neptune).

Modern Gaian Definitions

One of the greatest scientists of our time is Dr. James Lovelock; an atmospheric physicist who first solved the problem of CFC’s creating a hole in the Ozone Layer and how to reverse the damage.  Later while working with NASA on the Mars Lander Program, he observed space images of the Earth and noticed that the Earth responded atypically for an inanimate object.  The Earth’s Bio-sphere tends to react uniquely to preserve environmental patterns that support life therein.

From his observations Lovelock defined Gaia as:

“A complex entity involving the Earth’s biosphere, atmosphere, oceans, and soil; the totality constituting a feedback or cybernetic system which seeks an optimal physical and chemical environment for life on this planet.”

With his initial hypothesis, Lovelock claimed the existence of a global control system of surface temperature, atmosphere composition and ocean salinity. His arguments were:

  • The global surface temperature of the Earth has remained constant, despite an increase in the energy provided by the Sun
  • Atmospheric composition remains constant, even though it should be unstable
  • Ocean salinity is constant

The Gaia Theory today is a spectrum of hypotheses, ranging from the undeniable to the radical.

At one end is the undeniable statement that the organisms on the Earth have radically altered its composition. A stronger position is that the Earth’s biosphere effectively acts as if it is a self-organizing system which works in such a way as to keep its systems in some kind of equilibrium that is conducive to life. Biologists usually view this activity as an undirected emergent property of the ecosystem; as each individual species pursues its own self-interest, their combined actions tend to have counterbalancing effects on environmental change. Opponents of this view sometimes point to examples of life’s actions in the past that have resulted in dramatic change rather than stable equilibrium, such as the conversion of the Earth’s atmosphere from a reducing environment to an oxygen-rich one; however, proponents will point out that precisely the atmospheric composition changes created a much more suitable environment to life.

An even stronger claim is that all life forms are part of a single planetary being, called Gaia. In this view, the atmosphere, the seas, the terrestrial crust would be the result of interventions carried out by Gaia, through the coevolving diversity of living organisms. While such a view of the Earth as a unit does not match the generally accepted biological criteria for life itself (Gaia does not reproduce, for instance), many scientists would be comfortable characterizing the earth as a single “system”.

The most extreme form of Gaia theory is that the entire Earth is a single unified organism; in this view the Earth’s biosphere is consciously manipulating the climate in order to make conditions more conducive to life. Scientists contend that there is no evidence at all to support this last point of view, and it has come about because many people do not understand the concept of homeostasis. Many non-scientists instinctively see homeostasis as an activity that requires conscious control, although this is not so.

Much more speculative versions of Gaia, including all versions in which it is held that the Earth is actually conscious or part of some universe-wide evolution, are currently held to be outside the bounds of science.
Since life started on Earth, the energy provided by the Sun has increased by 25%; however the surface temperature of the planet has remained constant when measured on a global scale. Furthermore, he argued, the atmospheric composition of the Earth is constant. The Earth’s atmosphere consists of 79% nitrogen, 20.7% oxygen and 0.03% carbon dioxide. This composition should be unstable, according to Lovelock, and its stability can only have been maintained with removal or production by living organisms.

Ocean salinity has been constant at about 3.4% for a very long time. Salinity stability is important as most cells require a rather constant salinity degree and do not tolerate many values above 5%. Salinity is partially controlled by evaporation processes, which mostly take place in lagoons. The only significant natural source of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) is volcanic activity, while the only significant removal is through the weathering of some rocks.

Coauthor of the original Gaia Hypothesis, “Lynn Margulies, tells us that Earth is not homeostatic but homeorhetic: that is, the composition of Earth’s atmosphere, hydrosphere and lithosphere are regulated around ‘set points’ as in homeostasis, but those set points change with time… Gaia is just symbiosis as seen from space.” – From Greenpeace

A system in homeostasis tends to move towards constant values for its parameters, whereas a system in homeorhesis will always exhibit similar dynamic behavior, without necessarily converging to a constant state. There is strong evidence that plants are selected for the microclimate effects which they can have locally to themselves, and good evidence that these patterns also exist on some wider scales, with symbiotic relationships existing for larger scale climate modification.

Gaia’s Look and Function

Gaia exists as Spheroid, a head with no body. Imagine having an itch on your head, but no fingers, hands or arms in which to scratch it. Imagine being Stephen Hawkins with no physical movement, yet there is the will to survive.

Instead, this eternal being learns to use her head, both literally and figuratively.  Gaia “stirs surface life” with movement, changes in temperature and water.

  1. INTERNALLY REGULATING MECHANISMS
    1. These activities support adjustments of the Gaia Spheroid
      1. Heat Release from Tectonic Plate Movement – Earthquakes & Volcanoes
      2. El Nino/La Nina Heat Cycling originating in the Indonesia Archipelago
      3. Moon Impact and Toppling Effect to Balance Rotation
      4. Ocean Current temperature and salinity mixing
      5. Rotation to balance Solar exposure and moderate gravity
  2. LIFE SUPPORTING ACTIVITIES
    1. These activities support species population growth
      1. Daily Rotation to insure equalization of solar radiation
      2. Annual Tilt to create 4 seasons of change.
      3. Atmosphere to retain Solar radiation (greenhouse effect)
      4. Atmosphere to stabilize daytime to nighttime temperature
      5. Water vapor transport system from clouds
      6. Water surface transport system with rivers and aquifers
      7. Cloud locomotion from wind
      8. Wind control from Pressure variations
      9. Continental Temperature variations from wind and clouds
      10. Transcontinental Temperature variation from ocean currents
      11. Ice storage (glaciers ice sheets) to stabilize heat and provide water storage release
  3. LIFE EVOLVING ACTIVITES
    1. These activities drastically alter species populations
      1. Planned Environmental Extremes Cycles (Global Warming & Ice Ages)
      2. Changes in Water Supply – Droughts and Floods
      3. Unplanned Extremes – Extra Terrestrial Interaction
  4. ACCIDENTAL ACTIVITIES AFFECTING GAIA
    1. These activities are not controlled by Gaia
      1. Asteroid and Large Meteor Impacts
      2. Solar Flares and Cosmic Ray Exposure
      3. Human Activities resulting in Life Threatening Disruptions
        1. Air pollution
        2. Water pollution
        3. Soil pollution
        4. Nuclear Radiation
        5. Mass Destruction of Other Life Forms
  5. GAIAN ACTIVITIES UNEXPLAINED BY SCIENTISTS
    1. These activities are possibly directed by a Gaian Consciousness (Mother Earth)
      1. Where when earthquakes occur
      2. Why volcanic frequency and intensity changes
      3. Frequency and Intensity of El Nino/ La Nina Anomalies
      4. Magnetic Surface Pattern fluctuations
      5. Location of movement of Jet Stream patterns
      6. Intensity of Jet Stream pressures
      7. Why extreme pressure formation (hurricanes, typhoons, cyclones) occur and their velocities and intensities
      8. Specific Cloud Movement and Rainfall Patterns
      9. Why periodic cycles of temperature extremes occur (Ice Ages)

Evolution of Life in Gaian System

An Ecosphere is the global ecosystem of a planet. It is also used to describe the part of the atmosphere of any planet where life could potentially exist.

biosphere is that part of a planet’s terrestrial system— including air, land and water— in which life develops, and which life processes in turn transform. It is the collective creation of a variety of organisms and species which form the diversity of the ecosystem. From the broadest geo-physiological point of view, the biosphere is the global ecological system integrating all living beings and their relationships, with their interaction with the elements of the lithosphere (rocks), the hydrosphere (water), and the atmosphere (air).

The noosphere (also referred to as Nousphere) can be seen as the “sphere of human thought” being derived from the Greek ‘nous’ meaning ‘mind’ in the style of ‘atmosphere’ and ‘biosphere’. Just as the biosphere is composed of all the organisms on Earth and their interactions, the noosphere is composed of all the interacting minds and memes on Earth. The noosphere is the third in a succession of phases of development of the earth, the emergence of human cognition fundamentally transforms the biosphere.

The word is also sometimes used to refer to a trans-human consciousness arising from all these interactions which is referred to as the Omega Point, and consider the goal of history.

Omega Point is a term that describes a hypothetical cosmological scenario in the far future of the Universe. According to the Omega Point Theory, as the Universe comes to an end in a Big Crunch, the computational capacity of the Universe is capable of increasing at a sufficient rate that this computation rate is accelerating exponentially faster than time runs out.

The implication of this theory for present day humans is that this ultimate cosmic computer will essentially be able to resurrect everyone who has ever lived, by recreating all possible quantum brain states within the master simulation. From the perspective of the inhabitant, the Omega Point represents an infinite duration afterlife, which could take any imaginable form due to its virtual nature. Tipler identifies this asymptotic state of infinite information capacity with God. In this sense he is attempting to scientifically validate heaven or the ancient Vedic Samkhya Rishe Akashic Record.