Gaia (12-18) Yes or No?


In Greek mythology, Gaia is the ancestral mother of all life: the primal Mother Earth goddess.

gaia-picture
Gaia image by Josephine Wall (the presence of Gaia)

The Gaia hypothesis was co-developed by a notable chemist, James Lovelock and the microbiologist Lynn Margulis in the 1970s.

The Gaia hypothesis argues that the organic and inorganic components of Planet Earth have ​evolved together as a single living, self-regulating system.

It suggests that this living system automatically controls global temperature, atmospheric content, ocean salinity, and ​other factors, that maintains its own existence and life on our planet. In a phrase, “Life maintains conditions ​suitable for its own survival.”

In this respect, the living system of Earth can be thought to be similar to the workings of an individual organism that regulates body temperature, ​blood salinity, etc.

Your task.

Read the following stories. They present you with ideas and evidence that support the Gaia Hypothesis. When you have read them write a comment about your thoughts on this page or on your own website. If you do it on your own website please let me know your URL so that I can reply to your thoughts.

The Stories

As a guideline to the stories this is a crude timeline of Earth’s history from 4,500 million (4.5 Billion) years ago until today.

The Stories

Story One – The atmosphere

The atmosphere of the Earth has over the last million years maintained an Oxygen level of 20.3-21%. The lower percentage was determined by analysing ice cores extracted in the Antarctic and Greenland which were formed over 800,000 years ago.

Oxygen is recognised as a very reactive gas, it will react with Nitrogen and Methane over time. There has always been lots of Nitrogen and small amounts of Methane in the atmosphere.

Question?

So why hasn’t this reactive Oxygen(O2) disappeared as Nitrous Oxide (N2O) and Carbon Dioxide (CO2)are formed? If you look at the atmosphere of Mars it has very little Oxygen (O2), lots of Nitrous Oxide (N2O) and lots of CO2.

Also

If you increase the percentage of O2 to 25% and light a match it would start a fire that you would have difficulty extinguishing. Reduce the level to 12% and life as we know it, would very difficult (12% is the O2 level on our tallest mountains). How has the planet maintained these levels over a million years?

CO2 levels are rising. There is evidence that this started soon after the industrial revolution in Britain in the 18th Century and has continued to do so in subsequent centuries. There is possible evidence that this rise will cause a ‘greening’ of the environment as CO2 becomes more available for the Earth’s plant life. We know that plant life breathes in CO2 and exhales O2.

There is also evidence that the oceans provide a ‘sink’ for CO2 where they form carbonates. So do we have to worry about the increasing amounts of CO2 in the atmosphere?

CO2 is also a ‘greenhouse’ gas. Greenhouse gases absorb and retain the Sun’s energy

An interesting story. Go back millions of years and we have the first living things beginning to populate the land. Fossil evidence indicated these were mosses. They had no challengers, there were no animals, no other plants. They spread, and they spread.  There were so many of them that the CO2 levels in the atmosphere were destroyed … no greenhouse effect, the Earth’s heat escaped. The result was the Earth’s first ice age. Almost all the mosses died. Other living entities that breathed in O2 and exhaled CO2 occupied the land. 

Trees like the moss in the above story are a major sink for CO2, plant life ‘breathes in’ CO2, uses it to grow and exhales O2. Deforestation would therefore have a negative impact on the environment. Eventually when trees die the carbon they are made of becomes CO2. Growing a lawn does not necessarily have a negative CO2 effect …any idea why?

So are the above phenomena just feedback loops or are they a deliberate intervention by a living planet?

Story Two – The temperature

The average temperature of the Earth has been maintained between 10 and 200C for billions of years while the Sun’s output has increased 10-20% over the same period. With 2017 coming to its end it has been noted by NASA that this has been the hottest year on modern records.

In the above graph the average  ie the 0.0 line is 14.6 0 C

However there have been in the last 650,000 years seven cycles of glacial advance and retreat, with the abrupt end of the last ice age about 7,000 years ago marking the beginning of the modern climate era — and of human civilization. Life has survived all of these external disturbances. Look at this latest NASA video

Where can the heat hide? The main reservoir for any excess heat are the Earth’s oceans. The oceans are also a major source of cloud formation. 

 

 

Clouds are sometimes underestimated in terms of thinking about global warming, however clouds are  a tremendously important part of our environment.They can support the greenhouse effect – probably more so than CO2. But they can also counteract global warming by the way in which they move water around and act as reflective shields of the Sun’s energy.

Recent hurricane activity in the Pacific (September 2016, 2017) was caused by water movement. Incredible amounts of water, from the warm oceans of the equator, evaporated into the atmosphere, forming clouds, this process leads to the cooling of the ocean and a greatly disturbed very energetic atmosphere  as the evaporated water vapour condenses to water which then distributes its energy over the nearby environment in the form of a hurricane.  Gaston Harvey and Irma being the latest. There is also a lot of absorption of CO2 in the disturbed sea.

Clouds can also be formed by other means, organic vapours released by organisms such as trees, and livestock appear to play a far more important role in cloud formation than has been suspected.

It could be argued that hurricanes and associated weather conditions are a way in which Gaia is trying to negate the effects of global warming or again are they just feedback loops?

Story Three – Salinity

Somehow the salinity (salt content) of Earth’s oceans has been maintained over the last 300 million years. How do we know this? The building blocks of living things, the cells that they and we are made of, cannot survive beyond levels of 6% salt content. However life has survived. There is also evidence from ice samples ( the ones in Antarctica go back to ice created almost 1 million years ago) that salinity levels have remained the same.

We know that the salinity of the blood of whales, mice, humans and most fish, whether dwelling in the sea, on land or in fresh water are the same. So how have the oceans maintained a constant salinity level while millions of tonnes of salts are dumped in them all year round, via rivers, earthquakes, and other natural events?

There is sometimes a complacency in our views on the nature of our oceans. They support the growth of a greater biomass (animals and plant life) than that of the land based environments. There are therefore some thoughts that the biomass contributes in some way to maintaining salinity levels by incorporating salt in their skeletal structures which then become part of the sediment of our oceans.

There are also ideas on ocean ‘cracks’ recirculating sea water and removing excess salt. Another model is CO2  absorption in sea water which reacts with excess salt and deposits insoluble carbonates.

Story Four – Plankton

There are suggestions that increased heat, leads to increased plankton growth then greater production of a compound called Dimethyl Sulphide as the plankton decompose leading to greater sulphur dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere which leads to greater cloud formation  and then leading to greater sunlight reflection. Thus a cooling effect on the oceans.

The final analysis.

Life was first thought to have emerged on planet Earth about 4 billion years ago. Since that time life in it’s variety of forms has continued to survive and evolve, despite dramatic changes in the environment of our planet. At times some forms of life have been extinguished  (dinosaurs are one of many examples – there is one surviving, living, dinosaur that we probably see every day – any idea?) but other forms of life have survived and new ones have developed.  The argument for Gaia is that it is the ‘living’ planet that has provided the conditions for this survival. An alternative argument is that by some lucky event the planet has an environment that can adapt itself to changing circumstances via a variety of feedback loops. But why didn’t that occur on Mars?

Do you think that a living, life supporting, Gaia which reacts to changing environment so life is preserved is a realistic possibility?

Maybe you are a bit like me. I’m sceptical. That is why it’s presented as a Hypothesis. However do we know everything about how the world works? The following research made me think again.

An interesting storythere has been recent research that shows that plants can communicate with each other. They are thought to do this via a fungal network. While mushrooms might be the most familiar part of a fungus, most of their bodies are made up of a mass of thin threads, known as a mycelium. We now know that these threads act as a kind of underground internet, linking the roots of different plants. That tree in your garden is probably hooked up to a bush several metres away, thanks to mycelia. So maybe the planet is more ‘living’ than we think.

If the above can happen maybe Gaia does exist?

Or do you still think that what happens to the the atmosphere, temperature, salinity and other environmental features mentioned in the stories is just the result of a series of feedback loops?

What is a hypothesis?

Thank you for reading. I hope that it has provoked some thinking. It provoked my thinking. I welcome comments.

IMPORTANT NOTE. 

For those who are making comments. If you give your blogs URL I will reply on your blog. If not I will reply on this blog. 

 

 

78 thoughts on “Gaia (12-18) Yes or No?

  1. This is a very, very interesting blog. The Gaia Hypothesis is a fascinating subject. You have put many supporting details that help prove this theory. I wonder why things on mars have not happened like earth, do you have a theory?

    Here is my blog “URL”
    http://bradenpgms24.edublogs.org/

  2. Thanks for your comment Braden. And thanks for your interesting question. I can honestly say that it had not crossed my mind. On thinking about it I would imagine that on Mars life was not formed in that initial period period of Mars’s existence. It took a few million years for it to happen on Earth when by some amazing chance the chemistry worked and a living microorganism was created.

  3. Dear Farmer,

    I have heard that there was traces of water on Mars. Do you think Gaia was originally with Mars? This was an excellently made post, that almost convinced me on the theory until I thought about it. What are Gaia’s limitations? Is it all knowing? Is Gaia a physical form or is it the “spirit” of the Earth? Those are the questions I have for this theory. All in all, this was a great post.
    Sincerely,
    SeanH

    • Sean
      I like your thinking. My thoughts are that within the cauldron of chemicals that were around at the beginning of Earth and Mars 4.5 billion years ago that the cauldron that was Earth’s produced the chemical structure that was ‘life’. On Mars this didn’t happen. ‘Life’ seem to be linked to the Gaia hypothesis, no ‘life’ no Gaia. However it is a hypothesis so it has yet to be proven. Is it a set of feedback loops? Maybe, but how were they developed. They did not happen on Mars. I am sceptical but that is what science is all about.

  4. Hello Mike!

    The Gaia Hypotheses is a very interesting one. My theory on why the air has changed on Mars and not on earth is because of the position of the Sun. As we are closer to the sun, it gives the plants a more preferable environment. And with the vast amounts of plants that we have, the CO2 and the O2 levels stay balanced. So my answer to the theory is NO. In my opinion, we have everything happen and maintained because of our relative position to the sun. That is the thing that keeps balance, not Gaia

    Here is a link to my blog: msmey92d.edublogs.org

    • msmey (Meyer)

      Great website. Fascinated to learn about your science lessons, As an ex science teacher-no comment. To the Gaia idea – a very, very interesting theory about the closeness to the Sun. Not something that I can immediately challenge. Although ……the framework for Gaia is that it is ‘life’ and it’s determination to maintain it (maybe you could think of it as Nature). Maybe on Mars the temperature of the chemical cauldron at it’s birth was not as hot as that of Earth so the chemistry that enabled life to form was not available on Mars. We know that life formed on Earth about 4.5 billion years ago and it and maybe Gaia evolved from that. On Mars this did not happen. Other questions also arise … how can the Sun control the carbon dioxide levels?

      Overall an excellent challenge please do not hesitate to return the challenge.

      Mike

  5. I like science like the experiments you do are my personal favorite thing in science. Whats your top 3 things in science that you like to do in science.

    • Ryan
      Wow, my top three things? Firstly my background is in Chemistry and Physics so I like tackling problems that are linked to those two areas of study. Secondly I like trying to help young pupils answer there own question about the world around them, thus my sciencemaster.co.uk site. Lot’s of questions are Biology linked so I have had to read and research a lot of biology so that I can help pupils answer those questions. Thirdly I like reading Science Fiction.
      Mike

    • Layla
      “I usually don’t care much about science” How dare you :-). Science is all about admitting your ignorance. Think about that. You have a question about the world around you, you admit you do not know why something happens, you go and observe and investigate to see if you can find and answer. Sorry I preach. I’m very glad you found the thoughts on Gaia stimulating. Many thanks
      Mike

  6. Mike, I’d never think of Gaia Hypothesis. I’ve never heard about it in my life until now and by what you’ve written on your blog. My only question is where did you get this information? There’s so much that I might have an information overload

    • Tyis
      Thanks for your comment. I read about Lovelock and Gaia in the 70’s and have been following it ever since. I thought the recent investigation on plants talking to each other could be used to support the hypothesis. I must admit that I still remain to be convinced. It may just be a set of simple feedback loops that cause the Gaia phenomenon. However if that is the case why didn’t it also happen on Mars? Lot’s of questions …but that is what science is all about.

  7. Good Afternoon,

    This was very interesting, makes me question a lot of things I learnt so far in physics.

    Thank you for taking your time in writing this,

    Joaquin

    • Thanks for the comment Joaquin. I am interested in your reference to Physics as I think the Gaia Hypothesis encompasses all the sciences. Note that I use the word hypothesis …..any thoughts on that.

  8. Hey Mike,
    I found this post about the theory of Gaia very interesting. At the same time, I loved the format you used on this post; it’s the first time I saw a post formatted like this on edublogs. Moreover, the information you shared was quite descriptive and I learned a lot through these theories.

    One question I have for you is: WHere did you get the inspiration to research this theory?

    Sincerely, Tahiry

    • Tahiryisd21

      Many thanks for the comments. I suppose Tahiry my inspiration comes from a curiosity. Why does this happen? What is causing it? How does it happen? That is what science is all about questioning and in an essence showing your ignorance and being determined to find out. My inspiration came from reading, and questioning, the writings of Lovelock, in the 70’s. I am still questioning it because it is a hypothesis. Thanks again for the comments.

      Mike

    • Thanks for your comment Karl. I enjoyed making the presentation. It helped me sort out my own ideas. I still need convincing that Gaia exists …. that what science is all about the continued search for evidence to support observations.
      Mike

  9. Hey Mike

    I Like science. I mean not really, I like what we do in science like the experiments, which are most of the times fun, but I hate science in general. What do you like about science?

    • Yvannzabakiza

      An interesting comment. I like science because it helps me to think about the questions I ask about the world around me. It makes sense ….I remember as a 15 yr old suddenly realising that you could treat a chemical equation somewhat like a mathematical one. Chemical equations then made sense to me and I went on to completing a degree in chemistry and teaching it to others. Sorting out the equations also generally helped me understand the other science problems that I faced. It is argued that Science is about admitting your ignorance, asking a question and then trying to find answer to that question. Many thanks for your comment.

  10. Hi Mike,
    Your blog tells a lot about Gaia and about two weeks ago I was arguing with my brother on if dinosaurs have ever lived. I used to think it was a joke and story our parents tell us. But no my brother proved me wrong. Nice blog.
    Ruqayya.

    • Rukayya
      I have something for you to tell your brother – dinosaurs are still alive and living with us – the asteroid that hit the Earth and destroyed the dinosaurs only destroyed the land based dinosaurs, not the flying ones. Our birds are the descendants of dinosaurs. Science is about admitting your ignorance, you don’t know why something happens, you investigate it, you observe it, you experiment with it, you find the answer to your question. Many thanks for your comment.

      Mike

  11. Hi Mike,
    I am not very enthusiastic when it comes to science, especially Physics. Even though I had a lot of trouble understanding this theory, I find it very interesting. The most interesting part to me was about the talking plants. Do you know how we discovered that plants could communicate? I really loved reading about life on earth, as my favorite branch of science is Biology.
    Regards, Tristan

    • Trisp
      What – not enthusiastic about science . How dare you:-) The talking plants was truly fascinating. They found out by depriving some plants in the network of nutrients and found out that the other plants were providing their excess to the deprived plants. Science is about admitting your ignorance. You have a question about the world around you. You ask it, and then try to answer it by investigating possible answers. That is the same in Physics , Chemistry and Biology. I with my background in Chemistry and Physics are finding that answering questions on Biology on sciencemaster.co.uk is a very interesting challenging task. Thanks for the comment Trisp.

    • EvanG
      Thanks for the comment. I started learning about it in the 70’s. Yes that long ago. Lovelock’s idea has since developed but is still a hypothesis. Do you know what a hypothesis is?. I enjoyed prparing the site and I am pleased that it interested you.
      Mike

  12. Greetings,

    Very insightful blog post. Thanks to you, I am now going to research more about this Gaia theory, although you covered a lot of it. Thanks!

    • Julien
      Thanks for the comment. Great that you are going to do your own research. Remember that it is a hypothesis not a theory.
      Mike

  13. Dear Mike,

    I found your post great, I really like science things like this. I’ll admit that at first, I found your post a bit confusing but after reading through it a bit I found it quite interesting. I am a firm believer that living organisms such as plants, algae, and animals directly manipulate the world and inorganic substances such as gasses. So yes, I’m a firm believer in Gaia. Yet I also feel that as we humans manipulate the inorganic substances such as oils in the ground and carbon we are tampering and changing the atmosphere. This still falls in Gaia, as we organic substances are manipulating the inorganic things. So yes, for me gaia exists.

    Thank you

    Joshua

    • Joshua
      Many thanks for your excellent comment. I agree with you, to a certain extent. The natural world most definitely manipulates the organic and inorganic environment that it lives in.The trouble comes from one species that manipulates that environment with no consideration of the impact of that manipulation. I am obviously talking about homo sapiens. Gaia is still a hypothesis …it is not proven, however you can see how the natural world reacts to the warming seas. The storms that result could well be an attempt to cool them (the seas). It could however be a simple feedback loop. We just need a little bit more evidence to turn the hypothesis into a theory.

      Mike

  14. Hey mike,
    I found the theory of gaia interesting and I also found your blog very organized. How much time do you spend making it that nice.

    • Alfouisd
      Many thanks for your comments. Remember it is not a theory…yet. It is not completely proven so we call it a hypothesis (a developing idea). Yes a lot of time was spent organising it and it was worthwhile because people like you found it interesting. Thanks again.

      Mike

  15. Hey Mike,
    I like your theory on Gaia and have been thinking about it for a while. I am not really a science person so this has given me a change to use a part of my brain that I don’t usually. It seems like you put a lot of time and effort into this and I really liked how you separated your post by age group.
    Cheers,
    Nate

    • Nate
      Thanks for the comment. I’m pleased that you are using a part of your brain that I am familiar with. Science is about admitting your ignorance. Why is the sky blue? Is it blue at night? maybe it is something to do with sunlight? Is the sunlight just white light? Why is the blue of sunlight scattered? Science is about working through your ignorance. Enough of that…..I have worked with 6-18 yr olds so I have some possible ideas on different presentations. Might be wrong but that again is working through my ignorance. Thanks again for your comment.

      Mike

  16. Dear Mike,
    You have an extremely interesting article that deals with the beginning of life. Also partly tying it with mythology is really cool. I have a question to ask you. Do you think the earth’s first ice age was a defense mechanism?
    Sincerely,
    Christian
    http://christianisd21.edublogs.org/

    • Christian
      A great comment, many thanks. I think the link to mythology is very weak. Yes to your next question. From fossil evidence it seems to be that the mosses, the first land based living thing overtook the land. In doing so they consumed so much Carbon Dioxide that the greenhouse effect was virtually eliminated. This led to the first ice age and the destruction of almost all the mosses. Animals and other plants then had space to move onto the land.

  17. A very interesting concept but how could someone prove it? On the notion of global warming,how would one stop it?

    Continue thinking
    -Nolan Tabor

    • Nolan
      Prove it? Maybe sometime in the future. That of course is why it is labelled as a hypothesis. Global warming can probably not be stopped at the present time because we are still pushing a lot of greenhouse gases into our atmosphere. (greenhouse gases include water vapour, carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, ozone and chlorofluoride). The worst possible scenario would be more powerful storms caused by the rise in the sea temperature. It could be argued that this is Gaia’s way of tackling the problem. Sorry to be so pessimistic.

      Mike

  18. Dear Mike,

    I find your blog post really is really nice. The Gaia Hypothesis is an interesting subject! Even though I have a preference in Biology, this post captivated me!
    Keep it up!

    Ines Ladjal

    • Ines
      Thank you for your comment. I do believe the Gaia Hypothesis is just as much embedded in Biology as it is in Physics and Chemistry. Photosynthesis, Algae growth,Greenhouse gases are all biologically based problems….in the last instance one can talk about the amount of methane Gas that is produced by cattle. Never mind ..it is a science problem as well as a human problem. Somehow we must tackle it. Again many thanks for the comment.

      Mike

  19. Hi Mike,
    This is a really good blog and is really interesting to me. My hypothesis is there is a Gaia is real and is not. Like you said, this might be a feedback loop thing, but then some of these things might not happen. Same with if Gaia is real. So perhaps both happen. I really like nature and now I want to know if I could communicate with plants (though I’m highly skeptical.) Do you have a hypothesis about this? I would love to know. Good post. Please visit my blog sometime: http://nzgar.edublogs.org/
    From,
    Noah.

    • Noah
      Thanks for the comment. Somebody who posted in reply to my blog brought up the Mars situation. One of Lovelocks hypothesis was that initially the atmosphere on Mars 4.5 billion years ago was probably similar to that of Earth. The creation of life on Earth stopped the elements/molecules of the Earth atmosphere going to equilibrium. On Mars there was no life so chemical equilibrium continued. I personally think that maybe Gaia does exist but we must not ‘humanize’ it. Maybe the best way of describing it is by saying it is ‘Nature’ . A great blog by the way, the Parthenon is a great reminder of what is possible.

  20. Hello Mike,

    Sorry I haven’t been able to respond, but think of it this way. You asked, “how can the sun control O2 levels?” Well, if you say Gaia exists (I’m trying to make a point here), wouldn’t the sun control Gaia? I mean, the sun is a ball of energy, enabling these things to happen. With no energy, there would be nothing for “Gaia” to feed off of. Which is why is say that ultimately say that it is the sun, not Gaia.

    Max Meyer.

    • Max,
      A very interesting challenge. Let us consider the arguments – as a starting point the Sun has to be a permanent feature in the Gaia model. It is also a permanent feature of all life on Earth. Maybe it was the Sun that helped create life on the Earth 4.5 billion years ago, although it might have been the nature of the chemical cauldron that existed as the planet began to cool down. Once life ( maybe the DNA structure) was constructed the process of evolution began. The expansion of the mosses (first plants) was part of this evolution. However the evidence shows that the mosses failed because they destroyed the greenhouse carbon dioxide layer. It was however the Sun that gave them the photosynthetic capability to do this.
      And so on.
      My personal question is why didn’t the same thing happen on Mars. Maybe in the early stages of the planet’s development why didn’t the same thing happen?
      The real question is why, how did life develop in its crudest form 4.5 billion years ago? We know it did and maybe nowadays we call it Nature.

      Max , many thanks for the question.

      Mike

  21. Good Afternoon Mike,
    I really enjoyed reading your post and learning some cool new things. The part where you said about the theory of plants being able to communicate has me very curious. I really like science and especially enjoy science projects, what do you enjoy most in science?
    -Matthew.
    https://mbauldree92d.edublogs.org/wp-admin/edit.php
    (If you want to check out any of my blogs here’s a link too)

    • Thank you for your comment Matthew. The plant communication thing is fantastic. Researchers found that if they removed certain resources (food, water etc) from one tree in the network of communicating trees/plants the other trees/plants in the network tried to alleviate the loss. Remarkable. To me it seems like something out of a science fiction novel, but it happens. I enjoy the practical aspects of science more than any other aspect. Science is about questioning , admitting your ignorance and finding out answers to the question.

      mike

  22. Dear mike,
    I am doing a post on how can geckos be related to plants. Do you have any thoughts or brief information?

    Thank you,

    Ines Ladjal

  23. Hey Mike, my name is Ian. I really your theory about the Gaia. I also liked reading about the science behind it. I also liked all the charts and graphs you have about global warming they are very interesting. I also like the part about plants maybe being able to communicate. That is very cool. Can u look at my blog http://imson92d.edublogs.org/?

    – Ian

    • Ian,
      You had a Greek day. That could be a very Gaia day (Gaia is a Greek Goddess). Thanks for the comment. How were the charts and graphs interesting? Plant’s communicating is a very recent discovery and maybe, maybe it could add to the evidence of Gaia. The hypothesis might turn into a theory. What do you think?
      Mike

  24. Hi Farmer,

    I really like what you’re doing with your site!

    You most certainly have put a lot of time and effort into this blog post!

    Thank You
    Teo

  25. Hey Farmer,

    I am hmstayne, but I do think science is cool and I do think that the gaia is real.

    Thank you for the good education.

    Sincerely,
    hmstayne

    • hmstayne
      Many thanks for the reply. I’m pleased that you think science is cool, I think it is ‘hot’. So you think Gaia is real, maybe you might be right, I am not certain. This is why I have presented Gaia as a hypothesis and not a theory. There is little evidence for a ‘physical’ thing. Maybe it is a little like our understanding of ‘Nature’. Surely Nature has done all that Gaia has done in the last thousands of years. But what is ‘Nature’? This is what science is all about. We are constantly asking questions and trying to solve them about the world around us. Science is about admitting our ignorance.

  26. hey mike,

    Nature is all around you it helps keep us alive..

    I hope you find a way to show that the gaia is real.

    Sincerely,
    hmstayne

  27. What’s up Science Master,
    I do think something is real if there is a scientific explanation to it how could you deny it? I like how you took time to do this it must’ve taken a lot of time and effort.

    Shoots, hmsaaron

    Check Out My Blog!

    • Aaron
      Many thanks for your comment.I can deny it because it is a hypothesis (an idea) it has not been properly proven – there are still small doubts. Thats the way science moves forward. Other scientist will be trying to prove or disprove the Gaia hypothesis. What we get from this effort is valuable information that might eventually save our environment.
      Mike

  28. Hey Science Master,

    I really do think that the Gaia is real because honestly, something had to take care of the earth before humans came along. Nowadays a lot of forests are getting cut down to make houses or for firewood. There was an article saying that we would have to plant over 10 trillion trees to get the earth back to the way it was because of global warming.

    Sincerely,
    Breydon

    • Breydon
      When you say ‘something had to take care of the Earth before homo sapien came along’ are you absolutely sure that is what you meant? I would like to suggest that since humans came along our main aim is to destroy the Earth.Gaia could be fighting a losing battle or as Lovelock once suggested, if we are not careful Gaia will destroy us and let some other species take over. How could it do this …maybe through starvation, hurricanes, tornadoes, heat waves ….. there is an endless array of problems that Gaia could create. Just a thought.
      Mike

  29. Hey Mike,

    This Gaia Hypothesis and the stories that you have here in this post is sure interesting, keep up the hard work!

    From,
    Tyler

  30. Hi Mike,
    I think Gaia can be real, there’s a scientific explanation for it so how could I just blow it off. The hypothesis is really interesting though, keep up the good work!

    Sincerely,
    Mari

    • Mari
      Glad you added hypothesis to your comment. There seems to be a lot going on in keeping life going on our planet. Sometimes I think it is just a collection of feedback loops, however that seems to be a bit of a simple answer to a complex situation. Hopefully the hypothesis will become a theory in the future.
      Mike

  31. Hey, Mike

    I’d like for you to know that this post was great! It was educational, inclusive, and very well made. As for if Gaia is real, I’m not sure. I think more substantial evidence is needed. Earth though, is an extremely complex system and it sometimes it can look a little too perfectly made to be real without something like Gaia. One question that caught my eye was why mars was not gifted life like Earth was. The truth is, mars used to be watery, but it was not likely to stay that way. This is because the atmosphere was blown away. Mars has only half Earth’s diameter and 38% its gravity, making it easy for upper layers of the atmosphere to have boiled away into the vacuum of space and been blasted out by meteor hits.

    Thanks for posting,
    Hunter
    http://hmshunter.edublogs.org/

    • Hunter
      Many thanks for the comment. I couldn’t have written a better one my self. Your Mars input was really interesting and something that I hadn’t really thought about. My thoughts were that Mars was maybe unlucky and the chemistry of the initial birth didn’t form a living structure which could then over the next 4.5 billion years evolve. many thanks again.
      Mike

  32. Hey, Mike –

    This blog post was great! I am not a “Science Fanatic” but, it was just as interesting to read about. I still wonder how and why PLANTS can communicate with each other. It’s very cool! I like how you ask questions at the end of your topic. This is because I have the same questions. Very interesting, and great job!

    Thanks,
    Mason

    Check out My blog: http://mwcar92d.edublogs.org

    • Mason
      Many thanks for the comments. I’m glad you enjoyed the site. researches have found that when they deliberately withhold nutrients from one plant the other plants actually ‘send’ some of their nutrients to the plant that has been deprived. I would imagine that the fungi network would enable that to happen ….it’s very much like a fine root structure not a piece of wire. Remember that it is the Gaia Hypothesis and not the Gaia Theory.
      Mike

    • Nook,
      Many thanks for your comments. I was also learned something else …french fries do not come from France. I nice but slightly ‘dark site’. I am also pleased that you used the word hypothesis. I think there is a lot of possibility in the idea of Gaia BUT it is not yet proven so it stays as an hypothesis. Again thanks for the comment.
      Mike

  33. Skyler
    Many thanks for your comment. I liked your blog – nice way in which you set out the tasks. Unfortunately Week 6 was not completed so I couldn’t add my comment there. Remember that the Gaia is a hypothesis(idea) not a proven theory. For example it could just be a fortunate set of feedback loops.

    Thanks again for the comment.

    Mike

  34. Hello,
    I would like to leave my opinion on the Gaia. But I am sort of split between that Gaia is not real and that Gaia is real because some of the evidence was super convincing.
    From,
    hmsPikachu9000_32BoBPeepachuEverett

  35. hmsPikachu9000_32BoBPeepachuEverett

    Thank you for your comment.
    I have every sympathy for you. I met the Gaia hypothesis in the 1970’s, was impressed and believed in it. There was then the thoughts that maybe it is just a series of arbitrary feedback loops. But then, what about the Mars situation. The planet was formed about the same time as the Earth. There were probably similar chemical cauldrons. On Earth the chemistry came together and ‘life’ in the form of some DNA was created. On Mars this maybe did not happen so there are therefore no DNA and no feedback loops. I was impressed by the research on plants communicating with each other BUT is that evidence of Gaia.
    From a science perspective we still need proof. I will therefore, up to the proof point, always refer to it as an hypothesis.

    Long answer.
    Thanks for the comment.
    Mike

  36. I think that our earth is ‘living’ like it has its own soul. I believe the earth is trying to heal its self like when the bomb dropped in Hiroshima it was believed that for the next 75 years nothing would grow there, but surprisingly nature pushed through and started healing its self (http://www.pcf.city.hiroshima.jp/kids/KPSH_E/hiroshima_e/sadako_e/subcontents_e/12yomigaeru_1_e.html).

    Mars must have life, but ever since we have discovered it, it seems to me a dead planet not suitable for living, then why are we finding many things that resemble things on earth? Maybe there was life before we discovered it. A Russian boy tells us about how he was a martian and how mars had a nuclear war and the whole planet got destroyed, now they are living underground(I sound insane) but he also has a whole new viewpoint of solar system and how we could time travel if we could check the ear of sphinx (still sounding insane)..Maybe species on earth did not transform, maybe we all are aliens and come here to expand our territory. But all of these could just be superstitions
    (https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/4867116/russian-boy-born-on-mars-boriska-kipriyanovich/)

    • Shivani-dar
      I would like to believe you, but I would need you to explain what you mean by soul. It is a very emotive word. I then come across the phrase ‘the Earth is trying to heal itself’ and I am 100% behind you. Gaia is about the Earth trying to heal itself so life will continue. What we have not yet got is evidence that it is not just a set of simple feedback loops that is controlling this situation. Until then it is a hypothesis and not a theory.

      Mars might have life. There is evidence of water and within that there might be life. I have my doubts that they will find it. 4.5 billion years ago the Earth and Mars were formed. It is likely that both had similar surface structures. Cauldrons of chemical quagmires of hot elements with lots of water. On one planet, Earth, the magic chemistry occurred and a DNA like structure was formed. This forms the origin of life. Every living thing has within it a DNA formulation.This did not happen on Mars. if you take the atmosphere of Earth and let the chemistry take place (as it would in a sealed bottle) you end up with almost an exact copy of the atmosphere of Mars.On Mars the magic chemistry did not occur.

      I like your story, however there is, as far as I know no evidence of a nuclear war on Mars,it would have shown up in the analysis of the roamers that have landed there.

      I then rest my case. I am also an avid science fiction reader. Have you read ‘Children of Time’ by Adrian Tchaikovsky. You would enjoy it.
      Mike

  37. I am not very good at physics and I don’t know a lot of physics. But your theory opened my spectrum on physics and made ask myself questions. I even searched up your theory on google to see if I could learn more things about it. It is a nice theory that really opens doors to different views on certain controversial topics.

    Thank You,

    F-P

    • F.P
      Many thanks for the comment. Here is an interesting thought ….developments in science happen via admissions of ignorance.You don’t know about something (Why is the sky blue?, Why is grass green?) so you try to find the answer,probably by asking further questions (Is the sky always blue?), again admitting your ignorance. You comment that you are not good at physics – is an admission of ignorance, great…..so why? What questions did ask yourself?
      A correction…Gaia is a hypothesis and not a theory. To become a theory it has to be proven. Gaia, for example, could be a nice set of feedback loops. I personally don’t think that is the case, however we still don’t really know the reason why they seem to occur to protect life.

      Mike

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