Is this Gaia? (28 Jun, 2019)

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Is this Gaia? (28 Jun, 2019)

Postby aardvark_admin » Fri Jun 28, 2019 8:07 am

This column is archived at: https://aardvark.co.nz/daily/2019/0628.shtml

Is there really such a thing as Gaia?

Does planet earth have in-built mechanisms to maintain the balance of life in the ecosphere?

Have we done enough to upset Gaia that it must now role out its own weapons of mass-destruction inorder to restore that balance?

Or is this just a load of air-fairy, tree-hugging, sandal-wearing, tofu-muching, hippy nonsense?
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Re: Is this Gaia? (28 Jun, 2019)

Postby phill » Fri Jun 28, 2019 10:26 am

gaia, evolution, adaptation
different names for probably the same thing
when a host develops new defences the guest has to change to survive
when a guest develops new defences the host has to change to survive ( cue yin and yang pic )

the worst case defence to species obliteration was always geographical isolation
so even if a pathogen became 100% lethal and contagious the species in a different location would still survive .. humans no longer enjoy this defence

for sure we are a damaging plague on the planet and that needs to change
but no one is going to like the correction when it comes

we are directly responsible for the 6th great extinction
many many thousands of species have already been eradicated .. we keep forgetting we are just one more of those

of course we could always change and become responsible and respectful for what we do
but as everyone knows ... a dollar is something real you can touch and enjoy .. a healthy planet is just a thing we imagined
Last edited by phill on Fri Jun 28, 2019 12:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.
( ,,,,,,,, ....... A E I O U use em sparingly theres probably not enough )

i might live and eat in a sewer .. but hey look how many of these shiney things i have got
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Re: Is this Gaia? (28 Jun, 2019)

Postby goosemoose » Fri Jun 28, 2019 12:29 pm

If nothing else it's a good metaphor for whats happening or about happen.
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Re: Is this Gaia? (28 Jun, 2019)

Postby Perry » Fri Jun 28, 2019 10:25 pm

Crapping in one's own nest seems to be what's going on.
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Re: Is this Gaia? (28 Jun, 2019)

Postby roygbiv » Sat Jun 29, 2019 9:24 am

What about this old chestnut from Agent Smith in the film 'The Matrix'

"I'd like to share a revelation that I've had during my time here. It came to me when I tried to classify your species and I realized that you're not actually mammals. Every mammal on this planet instinctively develops a natural equilibrium with the surrounding environment but you humans do not. You move to an area and you multiply and multiply until every natural resource is consumed and the only way you can survive is to spread to another area. There is another organism on this planet that follows the same pattern. Do you know what it is? A virus. Human beings are a disease, a cancer of this planet. You're a plague and we are the cure."

An element of truth perhaps - disturbing ?
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Re: Is this Gaia? (28 Jun, 2019)

Postby Muscular Jam » Sun Jun 30, 2019 10:34 am

aardvark_admin wrote:Does planet earth have in-built mechanisms to maintain the balance of life in the ecosphere?
It certainly gives the appearance of it. As a techie I'm sure you understand the difference between negative feedback and positive feedback. We had assumed that habitable Earth was an example of negative feedback, and that despite occasional hiccups things would naturally settle back to 'normal'. Yet the more we study the more positive feedback mechanisms we discover, where the ecosphere seems balanced on a razor's edge that is itself balanced on a thread. So why are we still here, and also how much longer can we expect to be here?

aardvark_admin wrote:Is there really such a thing as Gaia?
That life itself performs a negative feedback damping effect on fluctuations was an interesting hypothesis. Unfortunately it has not proved useful as it now turns out many of the systems involved are inorganic, and processes started millions of years before they were needed. For example the removal of CO2 by silicate weathering in the Himalayas required the Indian Plate to start moving well before it collided with the Eurasian Plate. (see The Case for a Gaian Bottleneck: The Biology of Habitability) If there is an intelligence behind the existence and survival of Earth's ecosphere as you put it, that intelligence would need to be able to manipulate inorganic material at the Solar system level at least, and to know what was needed billions of years in advance. So the Gaia hypothesis fails because it is too small and limited.

aardvark_admin wrote:As a species we need not fear eradication however. Balance requires control, not elimination.
I strongly disagree, that idea went out in the 1800s. Even a cursory glance at the fossil record reveals that extinction is overwhelming. It is estimated that over 99.9% of all species that ever lived are extinct.

aardvark_admin wrote:Or is this just a load of air-fairy, tree-hugging, sandal-wearing, tofu-muching, hippy nonsense?
The original hypothesis Atmospheric homeostasis by and for the biosphere wasn't. But that is perhaps a good description of your column, or as the old Goon Show would put it, "Great malleable lumps of steaming thun!"
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Re: Is this Gaia? (28 Jun, 2019)

Postby Kiwiiano » Sun Jun 30, 2019 3:48 pm

I think MJ pretty well said it. The planet is what it is. Shit happens sometimes, like cometary impacts, super volcanoes, plate tectonics, ice ages, mountain ranges or even continents may come and go etc. Species may run out of lee-way and become extinct, niches may disappear or appear and life will adapt. There’s no plan involved, no mechanism, just opportunities missed or taken.
Homo sapiens is a plague upon the land, we’ve already wiped out thousands if not millions of species and are well on the way to rendering the planet hostile to civilisation if not to our species. Even if it’s the latter, life will go on until the sun bloats to its red giant phase, then it really is over, Rover.
~ Kiwiiano
“I'm right 98% of the time, so who gives a damn about the other 3%?"
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Re: Is this Gaia? (28 Jun, 2019)

Postby phill » Sun Jun 30, 2019 5:36 pm

to clarify my remarks
i considered in this instance "the planet "to be just the biosphere
the planet is just a drifting rock doing what drifting rocks do

i also watched a tom hanks movie last night ( inferno ) on pretty much this thing
was i wrong considering hanks the bad guy
cause i would root IRL for the virus spreaders

Famous symbologist on a trail of clues tied to the great Dante himself. When Langdon wakes up in an Italian hospital with amnesia, he teams up with Sienna Brooks, a doctor he hopes will help him recover his memories. Together, they race across Europe and against the clock to stop a madman from unleashing a global virus that would wipe out half of the world's population
from IMDB

to be fair if i was in a position to destroy the virus .. i would
but it would also haunt me forever
( ,,,,,,,, ....... A E I O U use em sparingly theres probably not enough )

i might live and eat in a sewer .. but hey look how many of these shiney things i have got
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