Sense 1 was coined by the British scientist, environmentalist, and futurist James Lovelock (born 1919) in his book Gaia: A New Look at Life on Earth (1979), at the suggestion of the British novelist, playwright, and poet William Golding (1911–1993): see the quotation.
- (Received Pronunciation, General American) IPA(key): /ˈɡaɪə/, /ˈɡeɪə/
Audio (GA) (file)
- Rhymes: -aɪə, -eɪə
- (ecology) The ecosystem of the Earth regarded as a self-regulating organism. [from 20th c.]
- 1979, J[ames] E[phraim] Lovelock, “Introductory”, in Gaia: A New Look at Life on Earth, Oxford: Oxford University Press, →ISBN, pages 1 and 11:
- [page 1] As I write, two Viking spacecraft are circling our fellow planet Mars, awaiting landfall instructions from the Earth. Their mission is to search for life, or evidence of life, now or long ago. This book is also about a search for life, and the quest for Gaia is an attempt to find the largest living creature on Earth. […] [I]f Gaia does exist, then we may find ourselves and all other living things to be parts and partners of a vast being who in her entirety has the power to maintain our planet as a fit and comfortable habitat for life. […] [page 11] We have since defined Gaia as a complex entity involving the Earth's biosphere, atmosphere, oceans, and soil; the totality constituting a feedback or cybernetic system which seeks an optimal physical and chemical environment for life on this planet.
- 1983, David Hoffmann, “The Holistic Approach”, in The Holistic Herbal: A Herbal Celebrating the Wholeness of Life, Findhorn, Moray, Scotland: Findhorn, →ISBN; Holistic Herbal: A Safe and Practical Guide to Making and Using Herbal Remedies, 3rd edition, London: Thorsons, HarperCollins Publishers, 2002, →ISBN, page 13:
- In fact Planet Earth can be seen as an active participant in the creation of its own story, a living being now given the name Gaia, a name from Greek mythology for the goddess of earth. […] The very ability to perceive of the earth as living, as Gaia, is an indication of the expansion of consciousness that humanity as a whole is experiencing.
- 1988, Lynn Margulis, “Jim Lovelock’s Gaia”, in Peter Bunyard and Edward Goldsmith, editors, Gaia, the Thesis, the Mechanisms and the Implications: Proceedings of the First Annual Camelford Conference on the Implications of the Gaia Hypothesis, held on 21–24th October 1987 in Cornwall, Camelford, Cornwall: Wadebridge Ecological Centre, →ISBN, page 50:
- Having recognised the Gaian phenomenon I would like to explain where I think Gaia comes from and ask for how long this Gaia phenomenon has persisted on the surface of the Earth. And then I would like to raise some of the objections to the Gaia hypothesis. To my knowledge the Gaia hypothesis has never been discussed in polite scientific society by sympathetic scientists; this is an all time first.
- (Greek mythology) Alternative form of .
- 1858, W[illiam] E[wart] Gladstone, “Ilios. The Trojans Compared and Contrasted with the Greeks.”, in Studies on Homer and the Homeric Age. [...] In Three Volumes, volume III, Oxford: At the University Press, OCLC 813305724, page 153:
- While investigating the Greek mythology, we have found reason to suppose that Juno, Ceres, and Gaia are but three different forms of the same original tradition of a divine feminine: of whom Ceres is the Pelasgian copy, Juno the vivid and powerful Hellenic development, and Gaia the original skeleton, retaining nothing of the old character, but having acquired the function of gaol-keeper for perjurors when sent to the other world.
|Inflection of Gaia (Kotus type 12/kulkija, no gradation)|
Feminine form of Gāius.
- A feminine praenomen.