Making Evolutionary Sense of Gaia.


Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. Electronic address: [Email]


The Gaia hypothesis in a strong and frequently criticized form assumes that global homeostatic mechanisms have evolved by natural selection favoring the maintenance of conditions suitable for life. Traditional neoDarwinists hold this to be impossible in theory. But the hypothesis does make sense if one treats the clade that comprises the biological component of Gaia as an individual and allows differential persistence - as well as differential reproduction - to be an outcome of evolution by natural selection. Recent developments in theoretical and experimental evolutionary biology may justify both maneuvers.


Gaia hypothesis,clade selection,differential persistence,evolution,

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