While the science has already confirmed that about 4 billion years ago there was some form of life on Earth, no one can state when exactly it emerged on our planet. But the most significant aspect is not the appearance of life on Earth, but the fact that life somehow managed to thrive and pass over the so many obstacles that occurred during the time, such as asteroids collisions, extreme climate change, and intense volcanic activity. Now, a group of researchers came up with a new study on Gaia Hypothesis.
The Gaia Hypothesis, formulated in the 60s by James Lovelock, and microbiologist Lynn Margulis, states that the Earth stabilized, regarding atmosphere and climate, thanks to the interactions between the primordial life forms and the planet’s crust and waters. Accordingly, because of this stabilization life on Earth was able to thrive.
Although modern science assessed that life is a potent force on our planet and could change the evolution of the Earth, Gaia Hypothesis is still pretty controversial.
A new study tried to explain the Gaia Hypothesis
While some researchers believe in the hypothesis, many others think differently. According to them, the perfect conditions for life forms to thrive on Earth are pure luck and one big coincidence. The Earth is orbiting the Sun within the habitable zone where are the perfect temperatures for liquid water to exist and life to thrive.
However, a recent study shed more light on Gaia Hypothesis and how could life on Earth managed to survive for billions of years and dozens of catastrophic events that happened during the time. Accordingly, there is the “sequential selection” which is a very straightforward concept, at first glance.
So, when life emerged on Earth, its simple presence triggered several alterations in the environmental conditions which led to a chain of events that stabilized the conditions on our planet. Given the significant biodiversity, it is much more likely than previously thought for life forms and environmental conditions to organize into self-regulating states which can be very useful in preserving life on Earth.
Pushing this system to the extreme and the Earth would “reset” itself, and the best example in this regard is the Great Oxygenation Event caused by massive photosynthesis and which wiped out the majority of the species. The same could happen with the humans if we keep on being reckless regarding the climate change. The “sequential selection” mechanism would wipe out the threat, but the life would be preserved and would flourish once again.