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The Gaia Hypothesis - Essay Example

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The terrestrial combination of organism and environment has unraveled mysteries that baffled scientists for centuries. Attempts are being made by scientists to decode age-old questions of how these huge expanses of greenery, mudflats, deserts, forest regions, and marine life have thrived and survived, or have been shifted due to elementary, weathering or disastrous acts of nature.
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The Gaia Hypothesis
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Download file to see previous pages Founded and formulated in the 1960s by Dr James Lovelock while on a NASA project to detect any sign of life on the planet Mars, the Gaia hypothesis has created strong pro and anti lobbies.
The pro-gaian discipline is euphoric in the belief that 'optimising gaian' principles could lead to 'enhancing environmental conditions to such an extent that they are optimal for life.' [Alex Kleidon, p3]. The anti-gaian detractors, on the other hand, are dismissive on the premise that the whole hypothesis is at best, an entertaining story. Their argument is weakened due to their inability or unwillingness to prove their point through research.
In his treatise, 'The Gaia Hypothesis: Fact, Theory and Wishful Thinking,' James W Kirchner states, 'Biologically mediated feedbacks are not intrinsically homeostatic. Many of the biological mechanisms that affect global climate are destabilizing, and it is likely that the net effect of biological feedbacks will be to amplify, not dampen, global warming.' [Kirchner J W, p1]
The natural tendency of the micro and macro organisms to manage any threat to the homogeneity of a region in relation to its environment is limited to its ability to survive and adept to its surrounding. Could it be of improvement or transformation as well Seen logically, it is not possible to conclusively determine the capability of the biota to rise to the occasion of performing an enhanced role of preparing to interact with a greater force when required to do so in a hostile environment.
Within a limited time span, in a changing environ, is it possible for teleological mechanisms hidden somewhere in nature to perform an offensive, defensive, or catalytic role on behalf of the biota Discoveries in microbiology, bio-ecology, and biota inspire awe and reverence. But these are not sufficient to draw conclusions on theories that require scientific testing and approvals.
Perhaps the logic lies in the argument that 'it is one thing to say that we benefit from the environmental services that our ecosystem provides, and entirely another to say that our environment is in any sense tailored to our needs.' [Kirchen J W, p8]
Other variables
The forms of life in a given environment is best suited to recycle its own form due to several other factors, viz. climatic conditions peculiar to the region, its actions and reactions to the vagaries of nature, and taken to extremes, it does appear capable to rebound with much greater vigour. However, it is inconceivable by any stretch of imagination, that the biota and its environment hold secret codes to ensure a perennial survival or a revolutionary transformation mutually beneficial to each other in the face of annihilating circumstances. There isn't any evidence to show that organisms have the inherent capability to alter the environment for their own benefit.
Can organisms alter the environment
The temptation to draw such a conclusion is inevitable given the fact that the Gaia hypothesis has used terminologies ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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