James Lovelock

A Quote by J. E. Lovelock on gaia, william golding, goddess, chaos, earth, system, and regulate

May I remind you why I call the Earth Gaia? It came about in the 1960s when the author William Golding, who subsequently won the Nobel and many other prizes, was near neighbor and friend. We both lived in the village of Bowerchalke, twelve miles southwest of Salisbury in southern England. We would often talk on scientific topics on walks around the village or in the village pub, the Bell Inn. In 1968 or 1969, during a walk, I tried out my hypothesis on him; he was receptive because, unlike most literary figures, he had taken physics while at Oxford as an undergraduate and fully understood the science of my argument. He grew enthusiastic and said, "If you are intending to come out with a large idea like that, I suggest that you give it a proper name: I propose 'Gaia.'" I was pleased with his suggestion - it was a word, not an acronym, and even then I saw the Earth as in certain ways alive, at least to the extent that it appeared to regulate its own climate and chemistry. Few scientists are familiar with the classics, and are unaware that Gaia is sometimes given the alternate name 'Ge.' Ge, of course, is the prefix of the sciences of geology, geophysics and geochemistry. To Golding, Gaia, the goddess who brought order out of chaos, was the appropriate title for a hypothesis about an Earth system that regulate its climate and chemistry so as to sustain habitability.

James Lovelock

Source: The Vanishing Face of Gaia - A Final Warning

Contributed by: Meenakshi

A Quote by J. E. Lovelock on gaia, earth, living system, and planet

There is nothing unusual in the idea of life on Earth interacting with the air, sea and rocks, but it took a view from outside to glimpse the possibility that this combination might consist of a single giant living system and one with the capacity to keep the Earth always at a state most favorable for the life upon it.

An entity comprising a whole planet and with a powerful capacity to regulate the climate needs a name to match. It was the novelist William Golding who proposed the name Gaia. Gladly we accepted his suggestion and Gaia is also the name of the hypothesis of science which postulates that the climate and the composition of the Earth always are close to an optimum for whatever life inhabits it.

James Lovelock

Source: What is Gaia?

Contributed by: Meenakshi

A Quote by J. E. Lovelock on gaia, earth, animal, mistake, and extinct

We are the intelligent elite among animal life on earth and whatever our mistakes, [Earth] needs us. This may seem an odd statement after all that I have said about the way 20th century humans became almost a planetary disease organism. But it has taken [Earth] 2.5 billion years to evolve an animal that can think and communicate its thoughts. If we become extinct she has little chance of evolving another.

James Lovelock

Source: James Lovelock (The Vanishing Face of Gaia: A Final Warning

Contributed by: Meenakshi

A Quote by J. E. Lovelock on living, matter, earth, whales, viruses, oaks, algae, atmosphere, single living entity, and gaia

The entire range of living matter on Earth from whales to viruses and from oaks to algae could be regarded as constituting a single living entity capable of maintaining the Earth's atmosphere to suit its overall needs and endowed with faculties and powers far beyond those of its constituent parts.

James Lovelock

Source: James Lovelock, Gaia: A New Look at Life on Earth

Contributed by: Meenakshi

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