Gaia (8-12) Yes or No?

Some time ago a well known scientist (James Lovelock) suggested that the Earth (our planet) was special. He claimed that the Earth itself was a living thing and had control over its environment. He gave the Earth the name Gaia (a Greek name for the goddess of the Earth) and suggested that the planet’s objective was to support life on it, at all cost.

 

Permission has been given to use all the images in the above presentation.

I hope you enjoyed this brief discussion. I am a partial believer. The Gaia Hypothesis is not proven but it maybe in the future. Who would have thought five years ago that it could be proven that trees communicate with each other.

IMPORTANT NOTE. 

For those who are making comments. If you give your blogs URL I will reply on your blog. If I don’t have that URL I will reply on this site.

Do you want to ask further questions then why not ask the Science Master. You can find him at www.sciencemaster.co.uk

93 thoughts on “Gaia (8-12) Yes or No?

  1. Dear Mike,

    I saw the name Gaia on your blog and I was attracted straight away! At first I thought “Oh he’s just using the Greek way of Earth”. Apparently you are trying to prove Gaia is real or not real. Just so you know, I am a person who loves Greek myths and I do believe Gaia is real! I believe she is just hiding, preventing us from discover her faster.

    I liked that experiment you put in. I may try it in the future. It seems very interesting. I actually agree that if there is to much carbon dioxide, there should be more greenery. What I’m confused about is why we don’t have a lot of greenery. Is it because we keep killing the greenery? Or is it just taking a long time for the greenery to appear? I hope you will continue on Gaia!

    Blog URL: http://krazykem.weebly.com

    Have a wonderful day!

    • Kait
      You may be right. Gaia is a hypothesis, not a theory. We need more evidence of he/she/it to confirm the existence of Gaia. My thinking is that as life does not exist (could be disproved) on Mars we have some evidence that ‘life’ is an important feature of our existence. My background ,however, suggests that I should challenge this. Gaia could be just a series of feedback loops.
      Your thoughts on carbon dioxide are illuminative. We (homo sapiens) were once hunters and gatherers and respected the green environment. We have now destroyed, are destroying, it in an amazing way. A bit like mosses did it in the opposite direction. More carbon dioxide and no way to use it.
      Many thanks for your comments.

      Mike

    • Mason G
      Many thanks fro your comment. Yes , you are right, more experiments. This is the way in which you can find answers to your questions. Look at sciencemaster.co.uk where I really try to include experiments.
      Mike

    • Parth. I must admit I discovered the Lovelock’s Gaia hypothesis in the 1970’s. 40 years ago! There was no Internet then, I read about it in a science magazine. Note that I still call it a hypothesis. In science a hypothesis is an unproven idea. There is lots of evidence that suggests that Gaia exists but there is still something missing. I don’t know what it is, I am therefore expressing my ignorance ..but that is a good science approach. “I do not know” “I will therefore investigate” Is what science is all about.

      I got interested in science when I was living in London,UK and I was aged 11 and I suddenly noticed that on some days there were a lot of seagulls on the field outside of my mum and dad’s council house. On other days they were not there. Why? That was my admission of ignorance. What do you think was the answer? How will you investigate this question? Thanks for the question Parth.

    • Bryson. Many thanks for your question. The Gaia hypothesis is interesting because it keeps us questioning. I like the idea that science is about admitting you ignorance. This leads to you trying to find out answers to your question. This is very much associated with the Gaia hypothesis. We don’t know whether it is true or not. We have to continue to investigate. I am quite old now and have admitted my ignorance many, many times and enjoyed investigating my questions …I enjoy being a science person. Maybe you will be as you get older.

    • Brandon
      Great blog but fancy having a shark as your favourite animal. They are elegant, I was diving once in Egypt and we came across a ‘shark cleaning pool’ We quietly watched these small sharks enter the underwater pool and other fish swam up to them and cleaned of all the pests that were attached to them. When the cleaning fish had finished they just swam off. My favourite science is experimental science and thanks for the comment.
      Mike

  2. Wow great job on your blog! I love science and I love to lean more about it. I defiantly learned something from your blog. I have a question though, what is your favorite thing to learn about in science and why?

    • Clara
      Many thanks for your comments. I love science and have been asking questions most of my life. I however came across a recent comment that really ‘hit’ me. An author Yuval Harari suggested that science moves on because people are willing to admit their ignorance. Think about that. Why does that happen? Lets try and find out why? To me that is the essence of science. I do not know why but I will try to find out by observing, investigating and analysing.
      Have a look at sciencemaster.co.uk.

  3. Dear Mike,
    I really liked how you used a discussion between 2-3 people because everyone has a different opinion for instance some people thought the Earth was round and some people thought the Earth was flat and at a certain point you just fall off into space or something like that. IN your case you had an discussion about how the Earth has oxygen and that some people disagree and think we breathe carbon dioxide and the plants and animals use all the good oxygen. Thank you so much I really like your discussion.

    Sincerely,
    Kristi

    • Kristi
      Many thanks for your comment. Your comment about the round Earth rings all sorts of bells. The development of science knowledge is led by a question that admits ignorance of some aspect of some observation of the world around us. Is the world flat? If it is how can we prove it, how could this statement be disproved. THAT IS WHAT SCIENCE IS ALL ABOUT – admitting ignorance of the world around us. To move on in science we then investigate these questions. That is what I hoped the Gaia hypothesis would promote. Have a look at sciencemaster.co.uk to help in the finding of possible answer to your questions. I wonder who he is?

  4. Dear Science Master, I think that this blog is very well done because it has so many different features that make it unique. I think that the Earth is a living thing because it is the only planet that can support life and have clear oxygen. What was your favorite part of making this blog? – Josue

  5. Dear Mike,
    I think this post is really creative. As soon as I saw the tittle I was ready to read this right away. So I read through it and the word you used (Gaia) It really was a word that I never have head before. So I read the whole thing and found out, and agreed with the earth is a living thing. Sadly, I did not do the experiment, I was in class. What gave you the idea of making this?

    Sincerely.
    Bryan

  6. Dear Mike
    I think that Gaia is real. My evidence to support my answer is that Earth or Gaia gave us oxygen unlike any other planet. And plus If you look at Earth like a shark we are the fish that swim with the shark. Algae and other stuff grow on the shark and the fish eat it. On Earth we have land that is supported by the Earth so we can use it to grow food.Then we eat the food that we have grown on the Earth.
    I hope you can understand my explanation . And here is a link to my blog https://goo.gl/H8mxzb
    sincerely
    Joscef

    • Ethan,
      Many thanks for your comment. I liked your blog, very lively.
      Have you made a decision? I have always called it the Gaia Hypothesis. A hypothesis in science is ‘an idea’. Ideas need to be proved when that happens the idea becomes a theory. In building my presentation I thought that the evidence of plants ‘talking’ to each other was another piece of evidence in moving the Gaia hypothesis towards a theory. But how do we do this? Their are more questions that need to ne investigated.
      Mike

  7. Dear Mike,
    I really liked the way you made “comic characters” discuss about whether Gaia is real or not. I am also a partial believer in Gaia because nobody knows what kind of good or evil is in this place we call Earth. I wonder if Gaia were real then is all the years of studying about weather, orbit, and climate change a LIE?
    Thank You,
    JulianV

    • Julian,
      What a question. Let me first consider the idea of ‘good or evil’. I would suggest that if Gaia does exist it, from the evidence, follow universal rules linked to the continued existence of life on our planet. Interestingly it does not distinguish between the different forms of life. It might be that we, homo sapiens, could destroy our environment but that which we have destroyed might be the ideal environment for another life form.
      The idea (and it is still a hypothesis) of Gaia is that it supports life and we are only a small part of life on our planet.
      Climate study is valid and our weather is, through prediction changing, as the Earth gets warmer. Wether this is a Gaia effect is however debatable.
      Thanks for the stimulating question.

      Mike

  8. Dear Mike,
    I like how you put a picture of the Earth and space. I also like how you did arguments with 3 people. I think that it was really interesting how you also put comics with it. What was your favorite part about this blog?

    Sincerely,
    Jazmin

    • Jazmin
      I created the ‘comic’ idea for my other site sciencemaster.co.uk. My experimental group (age 6 to 12) seemed to like it. One of the problems about science is that when you are seeking answers there can be opposing ideas. Why is the sky blue and not green? How can I investigate this. Lots of questions , lots of searches for the answer. To me that makes science interesting.

      Mike

  9. Dear Mike,
    Hi! I am Abbie S. I really liked your blog. I hope you keep making blogs like this because they are interesting.
    Sincerely,
    Abbie

    • Abbie S
      Many thanks for your comment. You could continue your contact by asking the sciencemaster.co.uk your questions that maybe you do not want to ask in class. Thanks again for your comment
      Mike.

  10. To Mike,

    I thought about the second scenario and thought about the carbon dioxide. I highly agree that if carbon dioxide is in the air, that it is the “oxygen” for plants. However, what if there was to much carbon dioxide in the air, would plants be able to hold this much carbon dioxide? Perhaps it would be so much that the oxygen rate drastically rises? Do you think that would be good or bad?

    Thank you for listening,
    Stephen.R

    • Stephen
      Many thanks for the interesting comment and an interesting question. Plants have quite a quick reproduction and growing rate. I suspect that more carbon dioxide would create more ‘greening’. However that might be the case for wild and jungle environments but not so for the agricultural areas so Gaia might have a problem. It needs thinking about. Maybe ask the science master at sciencemaster.co.uk …..I would have had more time to think of it.

      Mike

    • Bronson,
      Great website, like the title page image. War at sea. I first started to love science at about 11 – I lived in a council house in London opposite a playing field. I was interested in why on some days lots of seagulls spent time on the field. I compared the number of gulls to the weather on the coast. Bad weather more seagulls on the field. Question answered. Science is about admitting your ignorance and investigating possible answers to the questions that arise. Many thanks for the comment Bronson

      Mike

  11. Very good job at presenting this in an appealing way. I have always liked science ever since elementary. How did you start your career and passion for teaching science? What college did you go to to get your degree? What else did you minor in, did you take any other majors?

    If you have time, come check out my blog: http://carlocgms24.edublogs.org/

    • Carlo
      Many thanks for your comments (I like your website wolf and all). Let’s now tackle your questions. There is something about me on my sciencemaster.co.uk site. I am based in the UK but at the moment on an adventure in Spain. I think my passion for science really began when at the age of 15 I suddenly realised that if you treated a chemical equation like a mathematical equation I could write my own equations. I then at 18 went to Leicester University and stayed there to do a Chemistry degree (minors Mathematics and Physics) and then a PhD. Research, however bored me…lots of time doing nothing then sudden discoveries and then lots of time doing nothing again. So I decided to teach and you then have no time to do nothing. I personally think that kids between the ages of 6 and 12 ask the most difficult and the best scientific questions.

      Mike.

  12. Dear Mike,
    I tried you experiment and it worked! I don’t believe in gods and that because I have no religion, but I respect your opinion. I believe everything was created by nature and evolution.

    Sincerely,
    Ricky C

    • Ricky
      A very interesting comment. Thank you. The relationship between Gaia and religion is only in the name. Gaia is a hypothesis, to describe some strange feedback loops in the world in which we live. Scientist are still far from proving of the existence of the Gaia phenomenon …… maybe Gaia is Nature. I’m pleased that you tried the experiment.
      Mike

  13. Dear Mike,
    I find this post very interesting and I’ve always liked science. But I have a few quick questions. What made this topic so appealing to you and why? Also, do you think that something like Gaia could also be on other planets? Finally, who was James Lovelock? Thanks!

    Sincerely,
    Noah

    My blog site:
    http://noahlgms24.edublogs.org/

    • Noah
      What a lot of questions. Many thanks for them. Science is all about trying to find answers to questions about the world around us. James Lovelock (I think there is a link to him on the site – I will have to check) ..he is an independent scientist who developed the Gaia hypothesis in the 70’s. Note the use of the word hypothesis , it still has to be proven. Gaia on other planets? Maybe not. Gaia and life seem to coexist if there is no life there is no Gaia. Look at Mars …the atmosphere is similar to what the Earth’s atmosphere would be if no life existed. Thanks for the comment …. any more questions ask sciencemaster.co.uk.

      Mike

    • Maverick
      Many thanks for your comment. I will go back and add recognition of the photographs. I use the cartoon characters that I use in my website sciencemaster.co.uk for which I have copyright permission. Your site was very ‘orange’ I liked it. What do you think of Gaia?

      Mike

  14. Hi Mike,
    I think your blog post is really interesting! The experiment you suggested seems like something that would be exciting to do, I think I’m going to try it! What made you think of doing a post on Gaia? Your post is very informational, you did a great job! Check out my blog below!
    http://techkidisabella.edublogs.org/

    Sincerely,
    Isabella

  15. Dear Mike, i love how you used Greek mythology to prove your facts (this is what one of my classmates said named Julian V.)
    Sincerely, Gavin P.
    You can check my blog out here: goo.gl/ybJScX

  16. Dear Mike,

    I really liked how you had many people in the discussion. I believe it was a great way to show your scientific argument.

    Sincerely,
    Avaniya

    • Avaniya
      Many thanks for your comment. I tried that approach with several classes of pupils aged 6-12 in a primary school in Aston, Birmingham Uk. It resulted in the sciencemaster.co.uk site which is a place to answer your science questions. Do you understand why I used the word hypothesis to describe the Gaia idea?
      Again thanks for the comment.
      Mike

  17. Dear Mike,
    Hey! Its Enrique you don’t know me but I love science. At first I didn’t know what Gaia meant, but when I read your blog I know now what it means. I think that it might be in the future. I mean I don’t think it’s real now, but it maybe in the future. I also like the way you made it into a comic book.

    • Enrique,
      Many thanks for your comments. Yes maybe in the future there will be further research which will answer the question about ‘is Gaia real’ and turn it from a hypothesis into a theory. The comic book idea was developed from my site sciencemaster.co.uk. Many thanks for the comment.

    • Great blog Payson, you obviously have a food/cooking interest. I think your criticism of the comic presentation is fair. It is something that I tried a couple of years ago in a primary school in Aston, Birmingham, UK. I have since continued it on my blog sciencemaster.co.uk for the 7-13 age range. For this Gaia presentation I have a different presentation for 12-18 …have you looked at that. many thanks for the comment.

      Mike

    • A ‘dark’ website Tyler but interesting. I have been interested in asking questions about the world around me since I was about 10 or 11 years old. Science is about asking questions and admitting ‘I don’t know’ BUT ‘i will try to find out’. I will observe and investigate, look for patterns, analyse, hypothesise. All sounds grand but really it is just doing science. Don’t be afraid of asking questions, however ‘silly’ you might think they are. Have a look at sciencemaster.co.uk. Thanks for the comment Tyler.

    • Sophiamgms
      Many thanks for your nice comments. You are so right. I have a great passion for science and I have been teaching it for lots of years. See sciencemaster.co.uk to see how it is continuing in my retirement. I am also happy to receive any criticism of my approaches. It will help me learn.
      Mike

  18. Dear Mike,
    Hi! Im Itzy you might not know me at all but I really enjoyed reading this ‘comic’. I just love science its one of my favorite subjects. At first I didn’t know what Gaia meant but now I do! I really hope that that word comes in the future because if it doesn’t then that’s bad. Have you ever made anything like this before? And did you come up with that word or did you learn it from somewhere?
    You should check out my website at: goo.gl/xDt4gJcontent

    • Sorry Itzy, I could not visit your website at goo.gl/xDt4gJcontent. Gaia came from the research by an independent scientist, James Lovelock. I think you will find a link to some information about him on the site. The Gaia hypothesis was based upon his thoughts. Note that it is a hypothesis – do you know what that means? Whether it is a hypothesis or a theory it is an important set of ideas that need to be considered in the future ….in my view. Thank you very much for your comment.

      Mike

  19. Dear Mike,
    I looovvveee science. My favorite experiment was in 5th grade, we got a plastic cup and vinegar in it. Then we got a a balloon and put baking soda powder in it, and then we put the rim of the balloon and put it on the rim of the cup and when the teacher said go we flipped the balloon over. What happened was the baking powder came in contact with the vinegar and pushed pressure upward causing the balloon to expand. Here is the URL to my blog post. —> goo.gl/sXGEjc
    Sincerely a boy from Fairfield, CA,
    Joshua.C

    • Joshua.C
      Wow, what an experiment. I am also sorry that the leaf and boiled water experiment did not work . Have you had an opportunity of trying it again? Science is about asking questions about the world around you …goto my website sciencmaster.co.uk and ask your questions. I might give you some more experiments to have a go at.
      Mike

  20. I like how you added so much question, and how you made it as if I were reading it in a book. I also like how you added the earth in the background with people debating about if Gaia is real or not.

    • Techkidmegham
      Many thanks for your comment. I used a drawing program called Pixelmator to create the images on the page.The images of the pupils involved came from a a Science cartoon book and they gave me permission to use them. Do you think Gaia is real …I almost do but not quite yet …I think I need further evidence but I am impressed by the the idea.

    • Aidan
      Excellent. Thanks for the comment. Remember that it is the Gaia hypothesis and that the word ‘hypothesis’ has a special meaning. Find out why and let me know.
      Mike

    • Wyatt
      Thank you for your comments. One of the arguments is that Gaia has been around since life on Earth began so that was 4.5 billion years ago. If this is the case then Gaia has certainly seen the different populations of all the animals grow. I do not think Gaia is responsible for you growing. I was inspired 50 yrs ago when I first read about the Gaia hypothesis. Slowly evidence has been accumulating in favour of Gaia but it is still a hypothesis (an idea – not a theory). Again thanks for your comments.

      Mike

    • Drew,
      I assume you are Drew and the HMS is a link to your school. Many thanks for the comment and the link to you blog. Pleased to see the post about Gaia. Well done. You might like to visit my site sciencemaster.co.uk where you can see my attempts at answering science questions. There is even a question about ‘slime’ which I and my team answered. Thanks again Drew, great comment.
      Mike

    • Sarah
      Many thanks for your comment. It was an interesting task to build the site so I am pleased you learnt so many things. The Gaia hypothesis is now about 50 years old , I first read about it in the 70’s. Note that it is a hypothesis(an idea) and not a theory. People are still seeking proof of it’s existence. Liked your blog -obviously a Taylor Swift fan. Enjoy your science.

      Mike

    • Norika
      Many thanks for the comment. I am glad you learnt something new. Science is all about asking questions. That way you find things out about the world around you …because after asking the question you try to find the answer. Got a question the go to sciencemaster.co.uk and see where the idea for the presentation of Gaia came from. Fancy not liking homework …you’ve got a clever Mom.
      Mike

    • Keldon

      Many thanks for the comment. I’m very pleased that you liked my post, I enjoyed constructing it. Did you understand all the detail? I’ve known about the Gaia hypothesis for about 50 years (I know, a long time) so it’s great that you found it interesting. Thanks again for your comment.
      Mike

  21. Hi, this is hmsdavid great job on the post but one question how does James Love Lock know if the earth really exists, or does he have any evidence?

    • David
      Thanks for the interesting comment. James Lovelock is an important independent scientist (he was invited by NASA to be an independent scientist on the panel that investigated the Challenger Space Shuttle disaster). He was interested in why certain things remained almost constant over millions of years (oxygen, temperature, salt levels in seawater and other things) all things that were essential for life to exist on the planet. So he thought that there was some mechanism that basically kept life alive at all cost …so he came up with the Gaia hypothesis(idea). It’s called a hypothesis because it is not yet proven. Hope this answers your question David.

      Mike

    • Ethan
      Many thanks for your comment. The Earth is most certainly a living entity but who looks after it. This is where the idea of Gaia comes from. Remember it is a hypothesis(idea) and not a Theory ….to become a theory it needs to be proven without doubt.
      Mike

    • Isabelle158

      Many thanks for your comment. Astronomy is obviously your passion. There are lots of unanswered questions about the planets and space. Why did life start on Earth and not Mars? Is there life in the rest of the universe? Does Gaia really exist or is it just a series of feedback loops? They go on, and on. Science is all about asking questions and then trying to find answers to those questions. Keep asking.
      Mike

  22. Hi Mike,
    Great blog! I learned many things about the Earth I’ve never known about. I believe everything you said about the Earth. Keep it up!

    hmskylen

    • Kylen
      Many thanks for your comment. I believe it as well HOWEVER I am not yet convinced that it is Gaia who is maintaining the equilibriums. It could be a simple feedback loop. If that is the case then why didn’t the feedback loops operate on Mars? This is why I refer to Gaia as a hypothesis (idea) and not a theory.

    • Emily
      Many thanks for your comment. I LOVE experiments as well. Science is all about admitting your ignorance. The world is full of questions that you need answers to, and the way to find those answers is by experiment. Yes I did make up the project, I came across the Gaia hypothesis in the 70’s (I am old) and have been following it’s development since then. It is still a hypothesis (an idea) but a very interesting idea.
      Mike

  23. Dear Mike
    I love experiments it’s one of my favortive subjects. But no, I don’t think that Gaia exsits. What’s your favortive subject?

    Nabeeha

    • Nabeeha
      I love experiments as well. It is the way in which you can find answers to your questions. Gaia is a hypothesis (it’s an idea), all theories in science start as an hypothesis. The idea then has to be proved , by lots of evidence, then it becomes a theory. I am not sure about Gaia but I think the evidence so far is interesting. My favourite subject is experimental science – that is the way we can investigate and find answers to the questions we have. Thank you for your comment.
      Mike

    • Thanks for your comment. Gaia is a topic that has been around since the 70’s. An important feature of it is that it will preserve life on the planet at all costs. But life does not necessarily mean human life. Think about that.

  24. Hi,
    This is an interesting topic, the earth a living thing, wow. I think this could be possible, but here are some questions I have:
    1. What would Gaia think about, and do about wars
    2. What if Gaia turned on a specific species (ie. Humans)
    3. What if Gaia controls, not just helps plants, and Gaia decided to give plants arms, legs, and brains (like animals) and fought a war
    From,
    Connor

    • Wow Connor,
      What a list. Firstly I don’t think Gaia would turn on a particular species. If it has difficulty maintaining those aspect of the environment that support life it will try to negate the effect that is threatening life. That might be by creating incredible hurricanes, to cool the seas. It might be fires that cannot be put out to lower the oxygen level. All of this will probably have a greater effect on humanity than on other species of life. Fish would survive, maybe birds (our only living dinosaur). Whatever …they will have another 4.4 billion years to live on the Earth. Life will survive, homo sapiens might not.

      Mike

  25. Bella
    Many thanks for your nice comment. remember Gaia is a hypothesis ( it’s an idea and not fully proven). If it was fully proven we would call it a theory. If you or your friends have any ‘science’ questions you could go to sciencemaster.co.uk

    Mike

    • Shohtoro
      Thanks for the comment and a nice ‘Supreme’ web blog. I like the latest theme…unplug. I think i need to do that.
      Mike

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