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The Gaia hypothesis, proposed by James Lovelock in the 1960s, purports that the Earth functions as one large single living superorganism. Lovelock developed this hypothesis while working for the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) as part of a mission to look for life on Mars. According to Lovelock, the Earth maintains and regulates its biosphere in what he calls a “preferred homeostasis.” The hypothesis itself is described in Lovelock's book Gaia: A New Look at Life on Earth. Lovelock treats the hypothesis as a scientific theory and not simply an environmental philosophy.

The name Gaia is a reference to the Greek goddess of Earth. According to Lovelock, scientists have to invent many different theories to explain how the many processes in nature result in ...

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