Margulis, Autopoiesis, Gaia

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Clarke opens with a biographical account of his own earlyencounters with the Gaia concept - and a skepticism he shared withthe evolutionary thinker Lynn Margulis, Gaia's second author afterthe British scientist James Lovelock. Neither an organism nor asingle cell, and not really an organic or vitalistic entity, Gaiais better understood, according to Margulis, as "an emergentproperty of interaction among organisms, the spherical planet onwhich they reside, and an energy source, the sun." The move awayfrom metaphors and New Age vitalisms tethers Gaia theory moretightly to the sciences. Margulis’s work brings Gaia in line withthe autopoietic systems theory of Humberto Maturana and FranciscoVarela introduced in the 1970s.<br>This essay is drawn from a preliminary version of severalsections from Clarke’s forthcoming book presently entitled<i>Partial Earth: Lynn Margulis, Systems Theory, and the Evolutionof Gaia</i> (Fall 2020) and appears here by permission of theUniversity of Minnesota Pr
Original languageEnglish
JournalElectronic Book Review
StatePublished - Jul 7 2019


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