Saturday, February 27, 2010

We Come at the Age's Most Uncertain Hour

Belle to J, 30 August 2008
... On other subjects, I was paging through some books and magazines today and came across some intriguing ideas. One was an article about how there are now contagious cancers - cancer has evolved to transmit itself as a contagion from like hosts, like a parasite. What a chilling thought. (This was a David Quammen article in a recent Harpers.) Another was, again, Quammen - D has been urging him on me - in his collection of essays, The Flight of the Iguana. Quammen, a science journalist writes about the hypothesis of someone named J.E. Lovelock, that Gaia - planet Earth itself - is a single great animate being, with the ability to regulate itself in such a way as to support life, including human life. . Lovelock's hypothesis is overly rosy, in Quammen's view. Lovelock seems to think that all the degradations that humans inflict on the material world, even to the point of nuclear holocaust, Gaia can over time repair. I like Quammen's conclusion, "But the question that nags me is this. When humanity's earthly misbehavior has progressed to the point where even our farts [earlier he discusses methane gas] can't redeem us, won't Gaia simply cure herself of Homo sapiens?”

I just found it intriguing to muse on that, with Gaia being a possible example of "Mind" (as is - of course - God), that is not human mind.

title line from Paul Simon's American Tune, which played on WKZE as I worked on this post

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