Academic journal article The American Biology Teacher

GAIA: The Living Planet

Academic journal article The American Biology Teacher

GAIA: The Living Planet

Article excerpt

GAIA: The Living Planet (1990; Bullfrog Films, www.bullfrogfilms.com; 45 minutes)

We are taught that there are inferences, hypotheses, theories, and laws in the sciences. In this 45-minute video, we are introduced to James Lovelock, originator of a theory to explore physics, chemistry, biology, and earth science. Against a background of panoramic photography and a well-chosen musical score, Angelika Lizius and Detlef Jungjohann, producers of this 45-minute DVD, investigate a theory that has experienced more than 40 years of controversy. Since the 1960s, Lovelock, now in his 90s, has implored us to recognize that our earth is "one single living organism" and to "be nice to our earth." He does an admirable job defending his theory, providing models, observations, data, historical perspectives and some pretty awesome and ingenious devices he has developed to support his theoretical work. The most notable device is the electron capture detector, an instrument that has made it possible to detect atmospheric chlorofluorocarbons, and ultimately assisted in knowledge of the ozone layer's depletion in our stratosphere.

Above all, Lovelock makes connections for the viewers. …

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