Scientists Debate Gaia: The Next Century

Overview

Scientists Debate Gaia is a multidisciplinary reexamination of the Gaia hypothesis,
which was introduced by James Lovelock and Lynn Margulis in the early 1970s. The Gaia hypothesis holds that Earth's physical and biological processes are linked to form a complex, self-regulating system and that life has affected this system over time. Until a few decades ago, most of the earth sciences viewed the planet through disciplinary lenses: biology, chemistry, geology, atmospheric and ...

See more details below
Hardcover
$42.88
BN.com price
(Save 14%)$50.00 List Price
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (6) from $24.52   
  • New (2) from $40.75   
  • Used (4) from $24.52   
Sending request ...

Overview

Scientists Debate Gaia is a multidisciplinary reexamination of the Gaia hypothesis,
which was introduced by James Lovelock and Lynn Margulis in the early 1970s. The Gaia hypothesis holds that Earth's physical and biological processes are linked to form a complex, self-regulating system and that life has affected this system over time. Until a few decades ago, most of the earth sciences viewed the planet through disciplinary lenses: biology, chemistry, geology, atmospheric and ocean studies. The Gaia hypothesis, on the other hand, takes a very broad interdisciplinary approach. Its most controversial aspect suggests that life actively participates in shaping the physical and chemical environment on which it depends in a way that optimizes the conditions for life. Despite intial dismissal of the Gaian approach as New Age philosophy, it has today been incorporated into mainstream interdisciplinary scientific theory, as seen in its strong influence on the field of Earth System Science. Scientists Debate Gaia provides a fascinating, multi-faceted examination of Gaia as science and addresses significant criticism of, and changes in, the hypothesis since its introduction.In the book, 53 contributors explore the scientific,
philosophical, and theoretical foundations of Gaia. They address such topics as the compatibility of natural selection and Gaian processes, Gaia and the "thermodynamics of life," the role of computer models in Gaian science (from James Lovelock's famous but controversial "Daisyworld" to more sophisticated models that use the techniques of artificial life), pre-Socratic precedents for the idea of a "Living Earth," and the climate of the Amazon Basin as a Gaian system.

The MIT Press

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"As Lovelock neatly argues in his own essay, even in her finery Gaia was never any more fanciful than her archfoe, the selfish gene. This volume amply shows how she has earned her place in conventional science." Fred Pearce New Scientist

The MIT Press

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780262194983
  • Publisher: MIT Press
  • Publication date: 9/1/2004
  • Pages: 400
  • Product dimensions: 8.50 (w) x 11.00 (h) x 0.68 (d)

Meet the Author

Stephen H. Schneider was Melvin and Joan Lane Professor for Interdisciplinary Environmental
Studies and Professor of Biology at Stanford University. He was also Coordinating Lead Author of the
IPCC's working group on Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability, from 1997 to 2001, and, with his
IPCC colleagues, was awarded a joint Nobel Prize in 2007. He was the author or editor of many books,
including Science as a Contact Sport: Inside the Battle to Save Earth's Climate
and Scientists Debate Gaia: The Next Century (MIT Press, 2004).

James R. Miller is Professor of Earth System Science in the Department of Marine and Coastal
Studies at Rutgers University.

Eileen Crist is Associate Professor of Science and Technology Studies in the Center for
Interdisciplinary Studies at Virginia Tech, the author of Images of Animals:
Anthropomorphism and the Animal Mind,
and the coeditor of Scientists Debate
Gaia
(MIT Press, 2004).

Dr. Penelope J. Boston is Director of the Cave and Karst Studies Program at New Mexico
Institute of Mining and Technology and Associate Professor of Earth and Environmental
Studies.

Lynn Margulis, Distinguished Professor of Botany at the University of Massachusetts at
Amherst, is the modern originator of the symbiotic theory of cell evolution. Once considered heresy,
her ideas are now part of the microbiological revolution.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Foreword
Reflections on Gaia 1
Gaia by any other name 7
1 Clarifying Gaia : regulation with or without natural selection 15
2 Gaia is life in a wasteworld of byproducts 27
3 Models and geophysical hypotheses 37
4 Gaia : toward a thermodynamics of life 45
5 Gaia, extended organisms, and emergent homeostasis 57
6 Homeostatic Gaia : an ecologist's perspective on the possibility of regulation 71
7 Phosphorus, a servant faithful to Gaia? : biosphere remediation rather than regulation 79
8 Self-regulation of ocean composition by the biosphere 93
9 A new biogeochemical earth system model for the phanerozoic eon 101
10 Gaia and glaciation : lipalian (vendian) environmental crisis 115
11 Does life drive disequilibrium in the biosphere? 129
12 Biotic plunder : control of the environment by biological exhaustion of resources 137
13 Gaia : the living earth - 2,500 years of precedents in natural science and philosophy 151
14 Concerned with trifles? : a geophysiological reading of Charles Darwin's last book 161
15 Gradient reduction theory : thermodynamics and the purpose of life 173
16 Gaia and complexity 187
17 Gaia and observer self-selection 201
18 Taming Gaia : the history of the Dutch lowlands as an analogy to global change 211
19 Gaia and the human species 223
20 Daisyworld homeostasis and the earth system 231
21 Salvaging the Daisyworld parable under the dynamic area fraction framework 241
22 Food web complexity enhances ecological and climatic stability in a Gaian ecosystem model 255
23 Gaia in the machine : the artificial life approach 267
24 On causality and ice age deglaciations 281
25 Amazonian biogeography as a test for Gaia 291
26 Modeling feedbacks between water and vegetation in the North African climate system 297
27 Extraterrestrial Gaias 309
28 The Tinto River, an extreme Gaian environment 321
29 Climate and the Amazon - a Gaian system? 335
30 On the co-evolution of life and its environment 343
31 Stability and instability in ecological systems : Gaia theory and evolutionary biology 353
App Studying Gaia : the NASA Planetary Biology Internship (PBI) program 363
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)