“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.