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Gaia

Subject: Religion

In Greek mythology, the Earth personified as a goddess, daughter of Chaos. She was the mother and wife of Uranus (Heaven); their offspring included the Titans and the Cyclops. ...

Gaia

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World Encyclopedia

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2004
Subject:
Encyclopedias
Length:
25 words

... ( Gaea ) In Greek mythology, mother goddess of the Earth. Wife (and in some legends, mother) of Uranus , she bore the Titans and the Cyclopes...

Gaia

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The Oxford Companion to World Mythology

...there dating at least from 4000 b.c.e. By 1400 b.c.e. , Gaia seems to have been the central focus of that worship. It was not until the eighth century b.c.e. that the Gaia cult was replaced by that of the patriarchal god Apollo, a replacement symbolized by the god's killing of the goddess's natural companion and protector, the serpent Pytho. In recent years Gaia's name has been identified with an ecological scientific theory known as the Gaia hypothesis...

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A Dictionary of Astronomy (3 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2018

...centre. In addition, Gaia is expected to discover large numbers of asteroids, extrasolar planets, brown dwarfs, variable stars, and supernovae. Gaia is a successor to ESA’s Hipparcos mission. It is stationed at the L 2 Lagrangian point of the Sun–Earth system, 1.5 million km from the Earth in the direction away from the Sun. The name originated as an acronym of Global Astrometric Interferometer for Astrophysics. Although Gaia is no longer an interferometer, the name has been retained. http://sci.esa.int/gaia/ ESA mission...

Gaia

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Margaret Howatson

Dictionary Plus Classical Studies

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2017
Subject:
Classical studies
Length:
36 words

...Gaia ( Ge ) In Greek mythology, the personification of the earth, the offspring of Chaos (‘the Void’), and both mother and wife of Ouranos (Latin Uranus, ‘Heaven’). Their offspring include the Titans and the Cyclopes. Margaret Howatson...

Gaia,

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Christiane Sourvinou-Inwood

The Oxford Classical Dictionary (4 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2012
Subject:
Classical studies, History
Length:
381 words

...episode in Attic art is the representation of the birth of Erichthonius , where Gaia is shown as a woman emerging from the ground, handing the baby Erichthonius to Athena. The story that Gaia was the original owner of the Delphic oracle seems not to be a reflection of cult history, but a myth. The earliest evidence for a cult of Gaia at Delphi is early 5th cent. bc . At Olympia , Pausanias (3) tells us (5. 14. 10) the sanctuary of Gaia (Gaion) had an ash altar of Gaia and it was said that in earlier times there had been an oracle of Gē there. M. B....

Gaia

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A Dictionary of Space Exploration (3 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2018

...Gaia A European Space Agency observatory launched on 10 December 2013 to measure some 1 billion stars and provide detailed three-dimensional pictures of their distribution and motions. The measurements are precise to a few millionths of a second of arc. The data is providing, among other results, information about the evolution and formation of stars in our galaxy, the distribution of dark matter, and the categorization of rapid evolutionary stellar phases. It is estimated that Gaia will have discovered some 20,000 Jupiter -mass exoplanets by the time it...

Gaia

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Anne PRIMAVESI

Berkshire Encyclopedia of Sustainability

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2016
Subject:
Science and technology, Social sciences
Length:
1,261 words

...James . (1991). Gaia, the practical science of planetary medicine . London: Gaia Books. Lovelock, James . (1995). Gaia: A new look at life on Earth (rev. ed.). Oxford, U.K.: Oxford University Press. Lovelock, James . (1995). The ages of Gaia: A biography of our living Earth (2nd ed.). Oxford, U.K.: Oxford University Press. Lovelock, James . (2003, December 18). The living earth. Nature , 426, 769–770. Lovelock, James , (2009). The vanishing face of Gaia . London: Allen Lane. Primavesi, Anne . (2000). Sacred Gaia: Holistic theology and...

Gaia

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A Dictionary of Human Geography

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2013
Subject:
Social sciences, Human Geography
Length:
126 words

... The name given by atmospheric chemist James Lovelock to describe his proposition that the Earth was a single superorganism that achieved a homeostatic or steady state conducive to life through various complicated feedback mechanisms. In his initial hypothesis ( 1975 ), which drew in part on early observations of other planets in the solar system, the planet evolved to support life and could not survive without it. Lynn Margulis, a US microbiologist, added important components to the idea. Dismissed at first as either absurd or an example of circular...

Gaia

Gaia  

A Dictionary of Creation Myths

... Gaia (Gaea or Ge) is Mother Earth. She is the oldest of the Greek deities, and in some of the Greek creation myths she is the primary creatrix. She was born of chaos itself, and it was she who brought forth Uranus (the heavens) to be her mate. The following is the Homeric Hymn to Earth. The mother of us all, the oldest of all, hard, splendid as rock Whatever there is that is of the land it is she who nourishes it, it is the Earth that I sing Whoever you are, howsoever you come across her sacred ground you of the sea, you that fly, it is she who nourishes...

Gaia

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Oxford Dictionary of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (2 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2008
Subject:
Science and technology, Life Sciences
Length:
71 words

... a theory of the role of biota in the maintenance of a climatic homeostasis, proposed by British biochemist James Lovelock ( 1919–  ) in 1979 . The basic concept is that all of the living organisms that inhabit the earth can be regarded as a single vast organism capable of manipulating the atmosphere, geosphere, and hydrosphere to suit its needs. Lovelock named this organism Gaia, after the Greek goddess of the...

Gaia

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Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase & Fable (19 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2013

... or Ge (Greek gē , ‘earth’) The Greek goddess of the earth, who gave birth to the sky, mountains and sea. By uranus she brought forth the titans , the cyclops and other giants and according to some legends she was the mother of the eumenides . Gaia hypothesis, The The theory that the earth is not a collection of independent mechanisms but a single living organism in which everything interacts to regulate the survival and stability of the whole. The hypothesis was put forward in 1969 by the British scientist James Lovelock ( b.1919 ) and at the...

Gaia

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The Oxford Companion to Classical Literature (3 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2011
Subject:
Literature, Classical studies
Length:
139 words

... ( Gē ) In Greek myth, the Earth, a primordial goddess, the daughter of Chaos , the mother and wife of Uranus , Heaven; their offspring included the Titans and the Cyclopĕs . On the advice of Gaia, Cronus, the youngest of the Titans, castrated his father; fertilized by the blood, Gaia became the mother of the Giants and the Furies. Later she bore Typhon to her son Tartarus . Her cult can be traced in many places in Greece, but for the most part it was superseded in classical times by that of later gods; at Delphi she seems to have been thought of as...

Gaia

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The Encyclopedia of Religion and Nature

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2010
Subject:
Religion, Social sciences
Length:
1,262 words

... Gaia (“Earth”) is the name of a Greek goddess also called Ge, from whose name words like “geology” and “geography” are derived. The ninth-century B.C.E. Homeric Hymn calls Gaia “mother of all, eldest of all beings,” while the Theogony of eighth-century B.C.E. Greek poet Hesiod describes the simultaneous birth of Eros (“love … breaks the limbs' strength”) and “broad-breasted” Gaia, “immovable foundation of all things forever.” Gaia immediately began to reproduce, “without any sweet act of love,” her children, including the mountains and seas. Her...

Gaia

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The Oxford Companion to the Earth

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2003

...illustrated by the fact that new organisms are capable of surviving in salinities greater than 6 per cent. In 1981 , W. Ford Doolittle published an important critique of Gaia theory in which he wondered ‘how does Gaia know if she is too cold or too hot, and how does she instruct the biosphere to behave accordingly? From his perspective, Doolittle was uncomfortable with the idea that Gaia seemed to require a teleological capacity for foresight and planning in the biota. Strenuous efforts were now required to understand mechanisms by which the planet might...

Gaia Principle

Gaia Principle  

A Dictionary of Creation Myths

... Principle The Gaia principle is a scientific hypothesis developed by British scientist James Lovelock and American scientist Lynn Margulis . It takes its name from the Greek earth goddess Gaia and suggests that the earth can best be seen as a powerful, self‐regulating, living and, in a biological sense, conscious organism. For Lovelock, Gaia (our earth) is a biological “control system” in which humans will play a part only as long as they are useful. There will come a time when Gaia will “eat” her children in what the physicists call “heat death.” As...

Gaia hypothesis

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A Dictionary of Public Health (2 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2018

...for the Gaia hypothesis. In Greek myths, Gaia was the daughter of Chaos and the mother of Uranus. The concept of sustainable development implicitly acknowledges the Gaia hypothesis. ...

Gaia hypothesis

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The Oxford Companion to the History of Modern Science

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Subject:
Science and technology, History of Science
Length:
483 words

...on Gaia , in 1991 were landmarks in this process. The Gaia hypothesis continues to cause debate. Is it more than a description of what is and has been? Is it more than metaphorical? Is it testable or falsifiable? Or, as a theory, like plate tectonics or evolution , can Gaia be accepted by scientists as paradigmatic? Moreover, because it refers to the earth as a living organism, the Gaia hypothesis leads to discussion of the grand question, What is life? James Lovelock , The Ages of Gaia. A Biography of Our Living Earth (1988). Tyler Volk , Gaia's...

Gaia hypothesis

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The Oxford Companion to World Mythology

...human—can be considered something like a cell. In this model the overall unity, earth (Gaia), is essentially a living organism, a cybernetic system that adjusts according to its thermodynamic needs. The human race, though perhaps the consciousness organ of Gaia, is not necessary for her survival and could be dispensed with by Gaia if humans become more of a detriment than an advantage to her existence. Here such conditions as the “greenhouse effect” come into play. The Gaia hypothesis, whether true or not, is helpful in reminding us that there is more to life...

Gaia hypothesis

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A Dictionary of Geography (5 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2015

... hypothesis J. Lovelock ( 1988 ) argues that planet Earth— atmosphere , ecosphere, geosphere, and hydrosphere —is a single ecosystem/organism, regulating itself by feedback between its abiotic and biotic components. Lovelock stresses the overriding importance of Gaia, rather than any individual species. Kleidon (2002) Climatic Change 52, 3 concludes that life on Earth tends to enhance carbon uptake. Gaia tends to equilibrium, but human agency seems to be overriding its regulatory mechanism. ‘We have spread thousands of toxic chemicals worldwide,...

Gaia hypothesis

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A Dictionary of Zoology (4 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2014
Subject:
Science and technology, Life Sciences
Length:
55 words

... hypothesis The hypothesis, formulated by James E. Lovelock and Lynn Margulis , that the presence of living organisms on a planet leads to major modifications of the physical and chemical conditions pertaining on the planet, and that subsequent to the establishment of life the climate and major biogeochemical cycles are mediated by living organisms themselves. ...

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