Read the short article on NPR
“Tim’s own work is a masterful display of the power of modeling to elucidate the coupling of life with the environment. Firmly based on data, he claims that we should look at Earth as a living thing, just as James Lovelock, his mentor, has argued in the Gaia Hypothesis.
At CERN, Tim told us that “you can pick up Earth’s breathing from the CO2 captured by detectors spread around the planet, a rhythm that moves with night and day.” What a staggeringly beautiful revelation.
Life regulates the stability of the atmosphere so that it can survive. It’s not a purposeful directive, but one that resulted from millions of years of interactions between life and Earth’s atmosphere; one cannot be seen without the other. Life and Earth are one.
I couldn’t think of a more fitting scientific topic to be discussed in this most revered cathedral of reductionism.
It all starts with electrons, quarks and the Higgs boson. But even if all living entities are assemblies of such particles, life is much more than its parts. New laws are needed to describe how matter interacts to become ever more complex; from molecules to cells to organisms to minds, all coupled to their environment.”