Section 9: The Mother Earth
The reason why humans are facing the predicament of global warming, climate change, and species extinction can be attributed to our perception of the environment we live in as "nature." We view everything as self-evident and take it for granted, lacking gratitude and appreciation.
The universe is not made up of hot or cold substances but rather the great spirit of the creator, a wise whole in which every part has spirituality and depends on each other for survival. Humans are only a part of this great wisdom.
However, our scientific development has led to the fragmentation of nature, and the belief that humans can conquer nature and that the earth exists for us, with all things at our disposal.
Dr. James Lovelock, a British scholar born in 1919 who lived for over a century, proposed the "Mother Earth hypothesis," also known as the "Gaia theory," when he was fifty. He believed that the Earth is a living organism with self-healing capabilities, capable of eliminating unfavorable factors that affect ecological balance on its own.
According to Lovelock's theory, the earth is a huge living system, and all living things, such as human organs that maintain the health of the body, work together to maintain the ecological health of the earth. Whether plants, animals, or humans, if any imbalance occurs, the earth will find a way to recover on its own.
Traditional beliefs assumed that various organisms evolved after a suitable environment had emerged. Organisms had to adapt to the environment, and the evolution of organisms and the earth were independent of each other.
However, the Gaia hypothesis argues that life and the earth evolve together. The comfortable atmosphere, land, and ocean environments we enjoy today are the result of joint efforts.
Looking back at the early history of the earth, life was accidentally born in the ocean and developed into forms dominated by blue-green algae. Blue-green algae, through photosynthesis, absorbed carbon dioxide, which was necessary for all simple life on earth at the time, and released oxygen for billions of years.
To the organisms of the past, oxygen was considered a poisonous gas. However, as oxygen began to fill the atmosphere and form an ozone layer, it blocked harmful ultraviolet radiation from the sun and made the Earth more suitable for aerobic life. Eventually, surviving organisms adapted to the oxygen environment, leading to the Cambrian explosion and the evolution of the Earth as we know it today.
Meanwhile, our neighboring planets Venus and Mars remain barren and are characterized by high concentrations of carbon dioxide.
While the notion that "the Earth is alive" was initially mocked and criticized by traditional science, today, fifty years later, many ecology textbooks not only include the Gaia hypothesis but also refer to it as the Gaia theory.
According to this theory, humans are just one component of the Earth's ecosystem and have co-evolved alongside other species. With the wisdom we have been bestowed upon by the Creator, it is hoped that humans can make a meaningful contribution to the ecology.
Unfortunately, in the past century, the vicious cycle of human technological advancement and increasing desires has made the Earth increasingly inhospitable. This cycle has disrupted the ecological balance that has been established over billions of years and caused the extinction of many species that have an equal right to survival as we do.
The human body contains many types of bacteria, and our immune system allows beneficial bacteria to thrive in the colon because they are beneficial to us. However, harmful bacteria are eliminated.
According to the Gaia theory, if humans behave like harmful bacteria to the Earth, the Earth will eradicate us mercilessly.