By Anton Markos
The central point of the Gaia theory lies in the realization that it is life that has maintained the planetary thermostat and chemostat over 3.5 eons of evolution. The whole globe can be viewed as a self-evolving entity. Bacteria play a principal role in this formative process. This line of thinking should answer several principal questions: Is the biosphere simply a set of essential- selfish individuals, each testing its fitness? Is memory in the biosphere confined to genes? Is the composition of ecosystems and their behavior only kind of dynamic equilibrium? Or is there a huge amount of epigenetic information that enables organisms to interpret properly their situation and behave accordingly? I state that the information flow, rather than pure thermodynamics plus natural selection, enables living beings not only to "read" their environment, interpret their situation and behave accordingly to this understanding, but also to establish geophysiology, to become part of Gaia. This flow comprises genes as well as signals, both diffusible as well as permanent. From an analogy with the situation in the multicellular organism I suggest three types of information mediators inside the body of Gaia:
With a shared gene pool, intricate ultrastructure and quickly diffusible signals it is, on my opinion, legitimate to consider Gaia as a superorganism with an "ontogeny" that is identical to its evolution.