May 14, 2012

Opening Your Mind Finale - The Gaia Hypothesis

When I was younger I watched this movie called Osmosis Jones. Pretty good kids movie, and an honestly original movie concept. It stars a main human character (Bill Murray) and the rest of the movie was a cartoon version of what was going on inside his body after he gets sick and the cells in his body have to fight back. You can actually watch it for free on youtube- but here's an overview so you can get a basic idea.

I vaguely remember scouring the internet in my early teens looking for "Are my cells people?" results. Never turned up much.

It wasn't until I turned 19 that I actually googled the correct questions: Where does life begin, and where does it end? And if some living things are known for their size- where do those limits begin and end? Are they infinite? And furthermore, who can accurately answer any one of those questions, no one. As humans it is common knowledge that life can range in size, from whales to bacteria and viruses, life’s sizes can be pretty astonishing. Very few people correctly know to what scale that actuality is, for instance what the largest living thing or the smallest living thing is to date. Some argue that the Pando Tree System is the largest, or the Humongous Fungus, or General Sherman's Tree, or the Blue Whale, or the Great Barrier Reef. The smallest being a list twice as long. It always falls on what you're actually measuring, or more accurately when you think you should stop.

By definition an ORGANISM is defined as:
1. a form of life composed of mutually interdependent parts that maintain various vital processes.
2. a form of life considered as an entity; an animal, plant, fungus, protistan, or moneran.

Theoretically speaking if you can have something that's living be so small you can't see it with your own eyes, isn't it the least bit plausible that something could be so big we couldn't see it either? And if it fits the qualifications of being a living thing, should a size beyond our own comprehension be excluded simply because we can not fathom it?

Earth as a whole is a living creature, a group of systems working together to maintain stability. Her name is Gaia, after the Greek Goddess of Earth- and she was named by a very interesting man. She regulates massive amounts of systems continuously, and you can see many examples of it if you take the time to look at things a little closer, or rather larger than your current size perception.


The Comparisons


Now before I completely discredit myself..
The Gaia Hypothesis - Is Earth Alive?

So is she a living being? The Gaia hypothesis stipulates that all living organisms as well as their organic and inorganic environments are all part of a much larger, single, self-regulating system- all working to maintain the conditions of habitability for life on Planet Earth. Dr. James Lovelock proposed that because Earth's biosphere, atmosphere, hydrosphere and pedosphere were all working together that the aim was for a self-regulating system- all working at a continuity plan for life on Earth. The vast majority of the processes that go on on the surface of the Earth are all very important to maintain life on this planet. Interactions with living life forms, notably microorganism with inorganic compounds in the Earth, are a wonderful example of this. Processes such as these create a world wide system that controls and regulates Earth's temperatures, air composition, and sea salt levels.

Much like the cells in our bodies that are working tirelessly to continue our own life, the organisms and living things on Earth are all working towards one goal. Trekking on- the ability to experience living, for as long as it is possible. A question like "Is Earth alive?" isn't really the main problem or reason why theories like this are largely overlooked by the scientific community. It's the harder questions, the ones deeply affected by religion, dogma, and previously proven 'facts' that allow theories like this one to go unnoticed. (Always good to note that even once a hypothesis is deemed a scientific fact, the science of the world is always advancing and for every 'fact' that there is in science there are thousands of people working daily to prove it wrong. I.E. Einstein's Theory Of Relativity) For once you ask yourself "Is Earth Alive?", you have to ask yourself- "Is Earth Conscious?", "Are we a negative or a positive here?", and "If all of the life that we really accurately know exists, exists here on Earth, are we searching in the wrong directions?". Should we be looking down, instead of up?

The above video is Part 1 of 6, the remaining parts can be found here.

xoxo disaster girl


  1. earth itself is a living thing and producing hydrocarbons like all other living things. these hydrocarbons has both deep and biotic origin and not fossil fuel.we have sufficient evidence for both origin of hydrocarbons from beneath the crust(bark) of earth.

  2. "isn't it the least bit plausible that something could be so big we couldn't see it either?" GREAT POST DISASTER GIRL!