Who is Gaia..?
Gaia is the Earth Goddess in Greek mytholgy!
In many ancient religions, people have worshiped the Earth as a deity, and as the Great Mother. `Gaia’ of Greek mythologies, and `Pooma-devi’ of Hindu myths are just some example (In tamil language, `Poomi’ means Earth). Until the 1970’s, seeing the Earth as a deity ha sonly been confined to the spiritual realms, or rather, it did not reach the scientific realms. But then came the `Gaia Hypothesis’ and the eventual `Gaian Theory’ from James Lovelock and within a short span (40 years), it has changed how even the scientists see the Earth- more as a self-regulating entity!
Until 1975 the hypothesis was almost totally ignored. An article in the New Scientist of February 15, 1975, and a popular book length version of the hypothesis, published in 1979 as The Quest for Gaia, began to attract scientific and critical attention. It was then attacked by many mainstream biologists. Championed by certain environmentalists and climate scientists, it was vociferously rejected by many others, both within scientific circles and outside them. [*extract from wikipedia.org]
There have been many major conferences and symposiums since then, on the subject of this theory. In 1985, symposium `Is The Earth A Living Organism?’ was held at the University of Massachusetts, USA, and in 1988 a major conference at San Diego.
So what of Gaian Evolution? Global warming & new ice ages, extinction of human life, the long night of a hundred thousand years and dawn – of new species?? If Gaia is sentient, the question arises- What of the other planets? Where would Gaian sentience evolve to? Gaia Galaxia- as explored by the famous scientist and writer Isaac Asimov in his epic Foundation & Empire novels?
This is an extract from the article “ Gaia: Greek Goddess to Galactic Collective!” that appeared in Issue#1 of our Magazine in June 2011 (written by Mani Navasothy)