What They Said: Lynn Margulis

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“The Gaia [theory] is not, as many claim, that ‘the Earth is a single organism.’ Yet the Earth, in the biological sense, has a body sustained by complex physiological processes. Life is a planetary-level phenomenon and Earth’s surface has been alive for at least 3,000 million years. To me, the human move to take responsibility for the living Earth is laughable – the rhetoric of the powerless. The planet takes care of us, not we of it. Our self-inflated moral imperative to guide a wayward Earth or heal our sick planet is evidence of our immense capacity for self-delusion. Rather, we need to protect us from ourselves …. We need honesty. We need to be freed from our species-specific arrogance. No evidence exists that we are “chosen”, the unique species for which all the others were made. Nor are we the most important one because we are so numerous, powerful, and dangerous. Our tenacious illusion of special dispensation belies our true status as upright mammalian weeds…. Less a single live entity than a huge set of interacting ecosystems, the Earth as Gaian regulatory physiology transcends all individual organisms. Humans are not the center of life, nor is any other single species. Humans are not even central to life. We are a recent, rapidly growing part of a single huge ecosystem at Earth’s surface.”
— Lynn Margulis, Symbiotic Planet: A New Look at Evolution (1998)


Posted on Facebook by Lynn’s eldest son, Dorion Sagan, who wrote this piece for The Truth Barrier this year.

7 thoughts on “What They Said: Lynn Margulis”

    1. We are NOT “the most self aware species so far.” We are merely self-idolizing.

      We ARE from outer space. EVERYTHING we are, is. EVERYTHING the earth is, is.

      The earth’s “thoughts” are NOT our thoughts. We connive. We deceive. We formulate and implement atrocious barbarities, perversions, depravities, degeneracies, delusions, and dishonest excuses for all of the above. The earth does no such thing. The earth thinks no such thoughts.

      The earth is innocent.

      We are not.

      We are the demons who, collectively, aspire to violently seize possession of “her” soul, each and every minute of each and every day.

      Self-blinded fantasy is the only possible origin of a narrative which portrays the thoughts of “earth herself” as being equal with the pathological psyche of the most anti-earth species ever to accidentally (and unfortunately) establish a presence in “her” garden.

  1. Real truth from a great mind. Puny we are, indeed, yet that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t have fun every chance we get. For me, aging is accompanied by an increasing joy in living, my cynicism tempered by wry amusement at our colossal folly in many of our actions, and in thinking we are more than a mere collection of molecules, though capable of exceptional creativity. Dust to dust!

  2. Truth for th’ ages. A metaphor for lone life, family, politic and congregative efforts. Sermon. (Funny I was a chef at Toronto’s first vegan resto on Baldwin Street called ‘Gaia’s Garden’ back in 88. It was run by well meaning but crazed PC women who could not work in tandem because everything was about her and her and her and so on… ha. Relevance always Farber. 😉

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