Friday, April 25, 2008

Gaia—Science of a Goddess

Gaia in classical Greek mythology is the source.In the beginning was chaos and from this chaos arose Gaia.And she produced of her own body and self Uranus.And from her union with Uranus arose creation.While the meaning of myths remains ambiguous,the deities become a part of the collective folklore and customs.So thousands of years later,Gaia is still associated with the earth and depending upon the etymological version followed,is the grandmother earth or earth goddess of the very earth itself.Nearly all cultures have some version or the other of a goddess who is the personification of earth.From the Celtic - Iris Danu to the Sumerian Tiamat and the Hindu Adya Shakti, with the sole exception of the Egyptian mythology,earth is always a feminine power.In the 1960s,while working for NASA Dr.James Lovelock formulated and put forward the Gaia Hypothesis.According to this the whole planet and all its organisms were a part of the self regulating mechanism of Gaia.From phytoplanktons on the surface of the sea to the colour of the daisy,the Gaia Hypothesis sees all earth systems- biological,chemical, human- as interlocked and interdependent.Till recently, the balance was being maintained,whereby Gaia could self regulate.Thus excessive carbon dioxide emission was balanced by greater algae bloom,which absorbed excess carbon dioxide and locked it onto the ocean floor.

But finally,human activities now threaten to strain Gaia's self regulation capacity to a critical threshold,triggering an abrupt change,which will make the earth far less hospitable for wide spread human habitation.

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