Definitions for gaia hypothesisˈgeɪ ə

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Random House Webster's College Dictionary

Gai′a hypoth`esisˈgeɪ ə(n.)

  1. a model of the earth as a self-regulating organism, advanced as an alternative to a mechanistic model.

    Category: Holism

Origin of Gaia hypothesis:

1970–75; < Gk gaîa earth; see Gaea

Freebase

  1. Gaia hypothesis

    The Gaia hypothesis, also known as Gaia theory or Gaia principle, proposes that organisms interact with their inorganic surroundings on Earth to form a self-regulating, complex system that contributes to maintaining the conditions for life on the planet. Topics of interest include how the biosphere and the evolution of life forms affect the stability of global temperature, ocean salinity, oxygen in the atmosphere and other environmental variables that affect the habitability of Earth. The hypothesis was formulated by the scientist James Lovelock and co-developed by the microbiologist Lynn Margulis in the 1970s. While early versions of the hypothesis were criticized for being teleological and contradicting principles of natural selection, later refinements have resulted in ideas highlighted by the Gaia Hypothesis being used in disciplines such as geophysiology, Earth system science, biogeochemistry, systems ecology, and climate science. In 2006, the Geological Society of London awarded Lovelock the Wollaston Medal largely for his work on the Gaia theory.

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