The GAIA hypothesis: true or false?

A few days ago this article was published:

Perhaps a little explanation about the GAIA hypothesis: Lovelock presented this theory back in 1972. He believes that the dynamic forces of life on this planet are so dominant that they have a regulating influence on the oceans and the atmosphere. So life hasn’t adapted itself to the changing environment, but instead life itself has regulated the environment in such a way that it remains within the comfortable range which is necessary to produce life. Life controls the environment to make life possible, because the chemical and physical circumstances which are necessary to harbour life are very tight. One example is the average temperature on Earth. This parameter has always remained within the same range as the one during which life originated about 3.5 billion years ago, despite the fact that the sun has produced 30% more heat and light since the origin of life.
Lovelock illustrated the self-regulating system with the famous model of Daisyworld, a hypothetical planet which is only inhabited by white and black daisies. If the temperature should rise in Daisyworld, the black daisies will absorb too much light so their amount decreases dramatically. On the other hand, an increase in temperature will cause more white daisies to grow. Because of this increase in white daises, more light will be reflected back into space. This in return will cause a decrease of the average temperature of Daisyworld, again causing an increase in black daisies, and so on… So temperature on Daisyworld gets regulated by a feedback mechanism. Later simulations also introduced some animals, and they found out that the more animals lived on Daisyworld, the more temperature was regulated. Thus one might suggest that Earth with its enormous biodiversity works as a véry stable temperature regulator.

What do you all think about this theory and the prophecy of Lovelock? Is it possible? If not, where did he go wrong?

Post your thoughts :content:

I never thought about it before but it does make sence to me.
Lotsa people are scared of the world cooling itself to where we can not live,But all life(well most of it anyways) produce alot of heat,and many people think that the world is getting colder,but together we regulate the heat so we can live on.
So that threoy sounds right to me.

Think abuot this:

If you put a butterfly onto a tree branch for its whole life (which is not too long) and ask it if the tree is alive, it might say, “No, i have been here my wholel life and it has not moved once, so it must be dead.” Well, we live on the earth for our whole lives and it doesnt really do much. We really don’t konw alot about the inside of the planet and how it works either. There are also micro-organisms that live on your face, no matter how clean and starile you are. Strange, huh?

Nice analogy Keith! The fact that the general speed of Gaia’s mechanisms is pretty slow probably has to do with the fact that natural systems are constantly striving to a natural equilibrium, though they never reach it. This ongoing battle - chaos, entropy against living order - has immediate effects on molecular and cellular levels. But the higher the level, the longer it takes before the cumulative effects of the individual components have its effect on the whole. On the planetary level it takes ages.
However, when a sudden change occurs in the Gaian system, these mechanisms can be accelerated, and the process of restoring the natural balance may happen almost as fast as the initial distortion of the balance. The faster mankind destroys Gaia’s natural wealth, the faster and the graver Gaia will strike back. At any rate, on the long term it won’t be us who will win this battle.