The theory, put forward by James Lovelock, that living matter on the earth collectively defines and regulates the material conditions necessary for the continuance of life. The planet, or rather the biosphere, is thus likened to a vast self-regulating organism.
- This outlook is rooted in the Gaia hypothesis - that the world is best seen as a single organism, of which we are just part.
- Dr Lynn Margulis, who developed the Gaia hypothesis with James Lovelock and who is probably the premier biologist in the world, came up with the endosymbiotic theory of evolution.
- His most famous idea is the Gaia hypothesis, which holds that living organisms and non-life together form a coupled system in which life creates conditions that favour it.
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