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Gaia: A New Look at Life on Earthby James Lovelock
Synopses & Reviews
The Gaia hypothesis, first put forth in the mid-1960s, and published in book form in 1975, has had a radical effect on scientific views of evolution and the environment. Fiercely debated by biologists, chemists, and cyberneticists, it has been the subject of numerous conferences and a BBC special which aired on public TV's "Nova" series. Green Peace and other environmental groups have embraced the theory, and Isaac Asimov incorporated it into two his science fiction novels. Now, James Lovelock provides a new preface to his his seminal work, confronting his critics, and, addressing the current advances in science and technology, demonstrates how his predictions have already begun to be fulfilled.
According to the Gaia hypothesis, the environment does not coincidentally support life on earth; rather the two interact much the way a bird and its nest interact. "The Earth's living matter," writes Lovelock, "air, oceans, and land surface form a complex system which can be seen as a single organism and which has the capacity to keep our planet a fit place for life." This revolutionary book offers the clearest explanation of the interaction of life and the environment.
Written for non-scientists, Gaia is a journey through time and space in search of evidence with which to support a new and radically different model of our planet.
In this classic work that continues to inspire its many readers, James Lovelock deftly explains his idea that life on earth functions as a single organism. Written for the non-scientist, Gaia is a journey through time and space in search of evidence with which to support a new and radically different model of our planet. In contrast to conventional belief that living matter is passive in the face of threats to its existence, the book explores the hypothesis that the earth's living matter-air, ocean, and land surfaces-forms a complex system that has the capacity to keep the Earth a fit place for life.
Since Gaia was first published, many of Jim Lovelock's predictions have come true, and his theory has become a hotly argued topic in scientific circles. Here, in a new Preface, Lovelock outlines his present state of the debate.
Includes bibliographical references (p. -148).
About the Author
James Lovelock is an independent scientist, inventor, and author. He was elected Fellow of the Royal Society in 1974 and in 1990 was awarded the first Amsterdam Prize for the Environment by the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences. One of his inventions is the electron capture detector, which was important in the development of environmental awareness. It revealed for the first time the ubiquitous distribution of pesticide residues. He co-operated with NASA and some of his inventions were adopted in their programme of planetary exploration.
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