Gaea is the goddess of earth (nature) in mythology. It is a cosmic existence more than a goddess. It is believed that all other gods and generations of Titans came from Gaea ,which makes Gaea the first god. She has given birth to Uranos( the Heavens) without a spouse. And she has given her greatness to the Heavens so that he can span and cover himself. Gaea is the main principle existing in all sources of main elements. According to principle of giving birth by herself, she created the sky, oceans and mountain.
“Ancient Greeks had called newly created earth Khaos, especially when it didn’t have its obvious physical shape yet. Khaos is used to describe a huge complexity. And in ancient Greeks, the first status of the world had been seen as complex and chaotic. Legendary gods have given an order to those intact and chaotic earth.”
“ Firstly , the chaos existed and spanned emptiness and darkness which haven’t taken any shape. Afterwards, Gaea, basis of everything, has come out of chaos. And then Eros that combines and attracts everything to himself has come out. After that, Erebos(darkness), the light of upper layer(Aither) and the light of earth (Hemera) have come out”
Gaea that has come out after Khaos has drawn out from herself first the sky(Uranos) and then Pontos( the sea) that has waves in harmony. The water is the indication of rebirth and has given birth to twelve Titans, six of which are male and others are female (okeanos, koios, krios, hyperion, iapetos, kronos, theia, rhea, mnemosyne, phebe, tethys, themis).
As known well, holy offspring will emerge due to combination of holy heaven(masculine) and holy earth (feminine). Uranos as a sky god takes over the governing of universe as a result of marriage with Gaea. Then Uranos becomes sterilized by his own son Kronos,and therefore sky and earth get separated symbolically. Like Uranos, Kronos aspires to destroy his offspring. Beside that Gaea has made Uranos subverted, she has also helped Zeus subvert Kronos whom she had enthroned. Both has been subverted since they adopted an oppressive regime. Gaea has finally given birth to Thypon with Tartaros. Gaea symbolizes the earth and all other gods are considered to be derived by Gaea.
“In time, role of Gaea in mythology has changed. Cosmic Mother Earth is replaced by Kybele and Demeter , goddess of soil and abundance, who play a clear role in religion. By so, Gaea has entered philosophical area by either uniting with personal and humanoid goddess or as cosmic element.”
The hypothesis of Gaea is a kind of ecological theory that claims that biosphere and physical compounds of terrestrial globe such as atmosphere, kriosphere and hydrosphere form a unity by coming together in a complex mutual interaction system. In this hypothesis, it is predicted that climatic and bio-geochemical conditions and processes in the earth tend to improve and develop in the same direction in the frame of this mutual interaction system. The hypothesis was at the beginning suggested by James Lovelock as a feedback hypothesis that discusses the globe. The name chosen by Lovelock for his theory is grounded on goddess Gaea that symbolizes the earth in Greek myth. It is understood as behavior and appearance of earth as a single organism.
This hypothesis was firstly formulized as a side-product of an independent research done by Lovelock in the name of NASA on life detecting methods on Mars.He has published the hypothesis in 1970s. And upon popularity gained , he published in 1979 the book called “ Gaea: A new perspective at life in the World.
Lovelock has tried first to explain the coexistence of chemicals containing oxygen and fixed value of concentration of methane in atmosphere of world. Lovelock has claimed that searching for such situations in other planets was secure and practical method to find life. Lovelock has formulized that many different processes run in the same direction in this system regulated by itself and shape all balances. This theory was proved by several scientific experiments. and provided with some useful predictions. That’s why the hypothesis is known as Gaea theory.
Microbiologist Dr. Lnn Margulis has become the most important assistant of Lovelock to develop the hypothesis as a theory as of 1971. The hypothesis was ignored till 1975. An article was published in a popular scientific journal called New Scientist on 15 February 1975. And a book of detailed description of hypothesis named “A quest for Gaea” has been published in 1979. After all those publications, the hypothesis has drawn all the scientific and critical attention. Just afterwards, some critics by biologists have raised.
The Hypothesis of Lovelock
Lovelock defines Gaea as a complicated existence that contains biosphere, atmosphere, oceans and earth of the World. Gaea has aimed to create the most suitable physical and chemical conditions for a life on this planet. Lovelock expresses that the hypothesis tries to transform the conditions on the planet into more hospitable ones.
Blamed as being so theological by critics, Gaea admits that atmosphere is held in a homeostasis status by and for biomass.
Lovelock claims that life on earth provides cybernetic control and that homeostatic feedback system is run by biota in a way that is not conscious and automatically so that global heat and chemical structure are stabilized.
Arguments of the thesis are as follows:
“ The surface heat of the world is kept fixed although the energy provided by Sun has increased.”
“The compound of atmosphere is fixed whilst it s supposed to be variable.”
“Salinity rate of oceans is constant.”
The energy of Sun has increased by %25-30 since the life has ever started . As opposed to his, surface heat of the planet has stayed unusually constant. Moreover, it points out that the compound of atmosphere of the World has stayed fixed