13. Does the Gaia Hypothesis Bring Myth Back to the World?
Robert A. Segal [+]
University of Aberdeen
In the last chapter Segal takes the case of the Gaia hypothesis: the treatment of the earth as a god. “Gaia” is the ancient Greek name for the god of the earth, found above all in the Greek creation myth, the Theogony. Gaia is today worshiped by some pagans. But Gaia need not be worshiped to qualify as a god. James Lovelock, author of Gaia and other books, argues that the earth regulates itself to preserve itself--as if it were a thinking entity and therefore equivalent to a god. Lovelock is not referring to the responsibility of humans to save the earth. He is referring to the ability of the earth to save itself. Segal asks whether Lovelock, who is a scientist, manages to bring myth back to the world—not at odds with science but as part of science.