Jul 26 2013

EARTHDANCE: Living Systems in Evolution

Published by under Book Reviews

By Elizabet Sahtouris. © 2000
Elizabet Sahtouris is a Greek-American scientist, author and lecturer whose field is evolutionary biology.
Reviewed by Ian Crumpton

“We used to believe that we were put here to do whatever we wanted to with our planet – that we were in charge. Now we see that we are natural creatures which evolved within a great Earthlife system. Whatever we do that is not good for life, the rest of the system will try to undo or balance in any way it can. That is why we must learn Gaia’s dance and follow its rhythms and harmonies in our own lives.”
So writes Elizabet Sahtouris as she concludes the fourth chapter of her book – a book which explores the implications of James Lovelock and Lynn Margulis’s Gaia Theory, a theory which proposes that organisms interact with their inorganic surroundings on Earth to form a self-regulating, complex system that contributes to maintaining the conditions for life on the planet.
As Lovelock himself points out in the foreword, this maturing theory is now spurring a great deal of scientific research into the geophysiology of our living planet, as well as philosophical and religious ideas of what it means to our species to be part of a living planet. Here, the metaphor of dance to represent the improvisation, evolution and myriad patterns that result from a few simple steps. A strength of the book is its treatment of those earliest steps, and the aeons of time through which primitive organisms reigned supreme. “We really should talk about co-evolution” she writes,
“…to remind ourselves that no species can or does evolve by itself, but that all must co-operate by adapting to, or negotiating with, the others’ steps in the dance of life. Thus they reach mutual consistency with one another and with the rest of their surround.”(Ch.7, Evidence of Evolution).
There is careful treatment of the development of human understanding of our world:
When we look at human history to see what a peoples’ world-view was in a different time and a different place, we see that world-views have evolved along with visible aspects of culture, and that there is a very powerful relationship between the world-views people hold, and the kind of society they construct…”
Had the more biological approach of the Greek Anaximander prevailed, rather than the more atomistic and mechanical views of Plato Aristotle, and the like, scientific investigation and cultural history would have taken a radically different course. Mounting evidence set out here leads her to the conclusion that we must learn quickly to fit our lifestyles harmoniously into the rest of nature. For that reason, Elizabet gives considerable coverage to examining indigenous peoples who never saw themselves as anything but an integral part of nature, with immense knowledge of nature, and consciously choosing not to develop technological or consumerist societies.
Much evidence is produced to show how our cultural blinkers influence our understanding of the natural world:
“Not long after the theory of evolution became known, the Russian Revolution produced a new “social mechanism” known as communism, which was heralded as being based on co-operation rather than on competition. Russian scientist rewrote the theory of evolution accordingly, to show that co-operation in nature produced more fit natural creatures than did evolution!”(Ch.14)
Today, many scientists still believe in the Aristotlean/Newtonian mechanical world-view. But many others note the mounting evidence for an alive and integrated natural order. They see life as self-creating in a dynamically alive universe, rather than winding down entropically in a mechanical one. They also begin to see that life can create its own meaning and purpose. (Ch.14).
There are many memorable passages herein, all showing our species as being in a stage of profligate youthfulness, but on the cusp of a rapid maturing:
“We also saw that species living now can exist only because the earth spent billions of years burying atmospheric carbon in forests and underground. We noted that cutting and burning these forests and fossil fuels reverses the planet’s system for keeping atmospheric conditions and climate conducive to species health. It is not a sustainable way to live. It is the way of an immature species that gobbles up all available resources, like the weeds that take over land along our highways or in abandoned fields, where we have destroyed mature ecosystems.”(Ch.20)
There is documentation relating to the inefficiency of modern industrial-scale agribusiness, the damage it does to the environment, the dangers of pesticides, the piracy of patenting plants, and the dangers of genetic engineering. In the face of all this, the demand for organic food is rocketing. Bio-regionalism emphasises local production, and is consistent with grass-roots democratic and self-sufficiency movements which are cropping up everywhere, nurturing more viable systems as the old ones decay. Another positive development, Elizabet claims, is the internet, unwittingly adopting the design and operating principles of living systems to create a viable living system to generate, process, sort and distribute material on a planetary scale.
But in the end, Sahtouris concludes,
“The more we learn about nature, including human nature, the more we can see that our living parent planet and our whole living cosmos are far more beautiful and awesome in the reality of their self-creation than is any myth we made as we struggled to develop our knowledge. At last our scientific and religious quests can merge in the recognition that conscious, sacred, and self-creating nature, both Gaian and cosmic, is our physical and spiritual source, the wellspring of our ancient inspiration to love, and the experienced guide we have always sought – the guide we need more than ever now that we stand on the brink of maturity.” (Ch.21)
The book is a clear summary of a deep transformation now under way in our world-view, our science, and our sense of the spiritual. It points out the damage we are doing, but looks with hope to the revolution now under way: a revolution in our understanding and behaviour that will undoubtedly dwarf those wrought by Copernicus and Charles Darwin.
The book concludes with a very comprehensive bibliography – in itself a further indication of the evolutionary leap our science, culture, and religion are now taking, as so many top scientists and scholars take up the theme.
(Reviewer’s note: I have been unable to cite page references to the quotations in this review as I only have an e-book version, where pages are not fixed or numbered. – I.S.C.)

442 responses so far

442 Responses to “EARTHDANCE: Living Systems in Evolution”

  1. shubhamranachd  Gurgaon call girlson 03 Feb 2024 at 5:19 am

    Gurgaon call girls

  2. shubhamranachd  Noida call girlson 03 Feb 2024 at 5:19 am

    Noida call girls

  3. servicepunecallgirl  callgirlservicepuneon 03 Feb 2024 at 9:12 pm

    Decan Escort service

  4. thenthbit12  thenthbiton 06 Feb 2024 at 12:34 am

    E-commerce Development Services

    Transform your online business with The Nth Bit Labs’ cutting-edge E-commerce development services. Our expertise in CMS and E-commerce development empowers you to customize and manage your website effortlessly. Specializing in Magento and WordPress, we ensure a seamless customer journey on your platform.

    From intuitive design to robust functionality, our services are tailored to elevate your E-commerce experience. With The Nth Bit Labs as your partner, unleash the full potential of your online store and stay ahead in the competitive digital landscape. Experience unparalleled excellence in E-commerce development and take your business to new heights. At The Nth Bit Labs, our E-commerce development services prioritize customization and user experience to maximize your online store’s success.

    E-commerce Development Services

  5. searchmodifiers19  searchmodifierson 07 Feb 2024 at 7:28 pm

    In today’s digital age, a company’s online reputation is just as important as its physical reputation. With the rise of social media and online review platforms, customers have more power than ever to shape a company’s image. This is where online reputation management (ORM) services come in. These services help businesses monitor and improve their online presence, and there are many companies in Delhi that specialize in this area. In this article, we will discuss the importance of ORM and the top online reputation management companies in Delhi.

  6. corteizclothing547  Corteizon 08 Feb 2024 at 5:26 am

    Corteiz Clothing as a CRTZ RTW Official Website at the sale price in UK. Get Amazing Corteiz Hoodie Shirts & Cargos… Big Discount With Free shipping.

  7. corteizcorteiz306  Bonnet Corteizon 09 Feb 2024 at 6:18 pm

    Bonnet Corteiz à prix soldé. Corteiz est une marque britannique de streetware. Corteiz Bonnet à 40% de réduction. Expédition rapide en france.

  8. chromheartclothing12  Chrome Hearts T-Shirton 09 Feb 2024 at 7:26 pm

    Chrome Hearts T-Shirt, Limited Stock All Colors are Available in our Chrome Hearts Clothing Official store Come Fast and Order Now Free Shipping


  9. sahil.trippybug  wedding venues in GT Karnal Roadon 12 Feb 2024 at 5:33 pm

    Wedding Venues In GT Karnal Road Book Farmhouses, Banquet Halls, Hotels for Party places at GT Karnal Road Ever thought of enjoying a multi-theme Wedding Functie destination? If non while being at just one destination? If no then you must not have visited Farmhouses.

  10. poojakashid758  Riyaon 18 Feb 2024 at 4:07 am

    Great Article!!! Checkout this comprehensive UPSC Ancient History notes

  11. chakhnagram92  Best mocktails Greater Noidaon 19 Feb 2024 at 11:18 pm

    Savor the Authentic Flavor: Indulge in the Tandoori roll in Greater Noida. Our aromatic and flavorful biryani is a culinary delight, crafted with premium ingredients and traditional spices. Each bite offers a symphony of flavors, from tender chicken pieces to fragrant basmati rice, infused with the essence of saffron and spices. Prepared with care and expertise, our chicken biryani is a true gastronomic experience that will tantalize your taste buds and leave you craving for more. Experience the epitome of biryani perfection with our renowned dish, conveniently located near Greater Noida for your dining pleasure.

  12. sssamc  Santan Palon 20 Feb 2024 at 1:58 am

    Meta Education is leading BAMS admission consultant for India, ensuring seamless enrollment with expertise Best college for BAMS in UP and personalized guidance. Your trusted pathway to medical success

  13. devidconnelly  Leaving cardson 21 Feb 2024 at 5:37 pm

    Bid farewell with heartfelt sentiments using our leaving cards. Whether it’s a colleague, friend, or loved one embarking on a new journey, our collection offers thoughtful designs to convey your best wishes and fond memories.

  14. sinhvienvodoi30  cameragiareon 24 Feb 2024 at 4:33 pm

    Công ty Camera An Thành Phát cam kết mang đến giải pháp an ninh tốt nhất với giá trị đáng kinh ngạc. Với các dòng sản phẩm camera gia re ezviz, Dahua, Kbvision, vantech, hikvision, imou, chúng tôi đặt lợi ích của khách hàng lên hàng đầu.

  15. sinhvienvodoi32  cameravanphongon 24 Feb 2024 at 4:36 pm

    Với kinh nghiệm lâu năm trong lĩnh vực lắp đặt camera văn phòng, An Thành Phát tự hào là địa chỉ cung cấp dịch vụ lắp camera quan sát văn phòng và chất lượng tại Việt Nam. Chúng tôi là đối tác uy tín của các thương hiệu hàng đầu như Dahua, KBVision. Để được tư vấn và hỗ trợ, quý khách hàng vui lòng liên hệ ngay với An Thành Phát.

  16. sinhvienvodoi33  cameracuahangon 24 Feb 2024 at 4:38 pm

    Chào mừng đến với Lắp Camera cửa hàng shop – địa chỉ mua sắm thời trang với giá cả phải chăng! Công ty An Thành Phát chuyên cung cấp giải pháp camera cửa hàng giá rẻ thương hiệu Ezviz, cam kết mang đến sự thuận lợi và an toàn cho bạn. Hãy đến và trải nghiệm ngay hôm nay!

  17. sinhvienvodoi36  cameranhaxuongon 24 Feb 2024 at 4:40 pm

    An Thành Phát, xưởng sản xuất camera giá rẻ, đã thành công trong việc lắp camera nhà xưởng giá rẻ. Với sản phẩm chính hãng Vantech, chúng tôi cam kết cung cấp giải pháp an ninh toàn diện và chất lượng. Hãy đến với chúng tôi để trải nghiệm dịch vụ chuyên nghiệp và uy tín nhất.

  18. essentialclothing42  Essential T-Shirton 26 Feb 2024 at 6:43 pm

    Shop original Essentials Clothing for mens and women. Get up to 20% off online from Essential Clothings store. Essentials Hoodie for sale.


  19. rhonwen.lewsley  Vapi Escortson 26 Feb 2024 at 7:54 pm

    Thanks for sharing this information. I like your blog post very much. You have shared an informative and interesting blog post with people.

  20. clubmasti628  Bangalore Escorts Serviceson 26 Feb 2024 at 9:15 pm

    My body is a masterpiece, with a hot and sizzling figure that will leave you mesmerized. My big, round ass and perky tits are just some of my many assets that will drive you crazy. And when it comes to my wet, as a VIP female I am not afraid to say that it is my greatest weapon in bed. I want you to lick it and taste my arousal as I moan and my voice ignites the flames of emotions in you. I can’t wait any longer, I want to strip tease you, seduce and lure you in my bed. The anticipation is killing me as I am so horny for you.

  21. mayaoberoi0  Udaipur Escort Serviceon 01 Mar 2024 at 11:52 pm

    The best escort services are provided at Udaipur Escort. In Udaipur Escort, you can get 24 hours of actual services, and Udaipur Escort models are so lovely and hot-looking.

  22. rk3414685  Wedding Venues at Chattarpuron 06 Mar 2024 at 9:59 pm

    Best Wedding Venues in Chattarpur and MG Road. List of Farmhouses in Chattarpur, Banquet Halls, Hotels for Party places in Chattarpur and MG Road Ever thought of enjoying a multi-theme Wedding Function while being at just one destination? If no then you must not have visited Chattarpur & MG Road Farmhouses.

  23. jayatikaur  Chandigarh escort serviceon 07 Mar 2024 at 8:41 pm

    Chandigarh escort service

  24. jayatikaur  Jaipur escort serviceon 07 Mar 2024 at 8:41 pm

    Jaipur escort service

  25. jayatikaur  escorts in Bangaloreon 07 Mar 2024 at 8:41 pm

    escorts in Bangalore

  26. jayatikaur  Delhi call girlson 07 Mar 2024 at 8:42 pm

    Delhi call girls

  27. bhumikamalhotra44  Call Girls in Goaon 07 Mar 2024 at 11:58 pm

    Your blog is too much amazing. I have found with ease what I was looking. Moreover, the content quality is awesome.

  28. elizastone8501  random number generator wheelon 08 Mar 2024 at 9:22 pm

    Say goodbye to biased selections with our wheel number generator. Whether you’re picking winners, organizing teams, or making random choices, our tool ensures fairness and transparency by generating random numbers with a spin.

  29. messyrelationss  Messy Relationson 10 Mar 2024 at 4:47 am

    Like their male counterparts, narcissistic females often have an insatiable need for admiration and validation from their partners. They may constantly seek praise, attention, and reassurance, becoming upset or resentful if how to identify a female narcissist their needs are not met to their satisfaction. This can create an imbalance in the relationship, with the narcissistic partner dominating the spotlight and leaving little room for the needs and desires of their partner.

  30. media.de5150  5150mediaon 12 Mar 2024 at 8:52 pm

    web design in Düsseldorf, Stefan Leimbach is the driving force behind 5150media®, leading the team since 2006. With 20+ years in media, he’s shaped the company’s success. From small businesses to big companies, 5150media® helps with web design in Düsseldorf,and marketing, making them stand out globally. Kudos to Stefan and the 5150media® team!

  31. deltavistaworld  deltavistaworldon 12 Mar 2024 at 10:32 pm

    Hello everyone! I’m genuinely enthusiastic about regularly reading the posts on this weblog. The content is consistently packed with valuable information and enjoyable material. Don’t forget to visit my website at deltavistaworld for more!

  32. schlusseldienstdusseldorf201  schlusseldienstdusseldorfon 13 Mar 2024 at 12:09 am

    Der Blog war, wenn ich es so ausdrücken darf, äußerst relevant – endlich etwas, das mir geholfen hat. Vielen Dank! Besuchen Sie gerne meine Website; sie wurde entwickelt, um Ihre Blogging-Erfahrung zu unterstützen Schlüsseldienstund zu verbessern, besonders wenn Sie nach Schlüsseldienstleistungen suchen

  33. adultadhdcentre  adultadhdcentreon 13 Mar 2024 at 12:59 am

    Great article. I’m dealing as well with a few of these worries. Please welcome to visit my websiteAdhd Assessment Ottawa

  34. gurcanpartners01  Gurcanpartnerson 13 Mar 2024 at 11:54 pm

    Great blog! I am reading your article, this excellent are your interesting International Law Firms services, please check my site and click this link: https://gurcanpartners.com/

  35. nilavida85  کاشی هفت رنگon 15 Mar 2024 at 8:23 pm

    صنایع کاشی سنتی خشت آذین فام یکی از بزرگ‌ترین مراکز تولید کاشی سنتی و کاشی مسجد در خاورمیانه می‌باشد که با دارا بودن پرسنلی مجرب ، کارگاهها و امکانات تولیدی کافی و با الهام از نقوش و هنر کاشی سازی ایران و جهان و با خلق و تولید کاشی های زیبا و مقاوم در این زمینه توانسته است بخش بزرگی از بازار داخلی و خارجی را در اختیار بگیرد و نظر اکثر مشتریان را به خود جلب کند، در صفحه اول وب سایت این شرکت متن زیبایی به شرح زیر آمده که نشان از اراده و عشق و علاقه آنان در جهت احیا هنر کاشی سنتی ایرانی دارد:
    ما برآنیم تا بار دیگر همانند روزگارانی نه چندان دور نقوش درهم تنیده کاشی های ایرانی را آذین بخش خشت بنای خانه هایمان کنیم تا درهرسحرگاهان با تابش خورشید بر رنگارنگ شاخ و برگهای متصل اسلیمی یادآور فرهنگ، هنر، اصالت و تداوم تاریخ کهن این سرزمین برای فرزندانمان باشد، ما را در این را یاور باشید.

  36. nilavida85  ابزارهای خانکشیon 15 Mar 2024 at 8:30 pm

    با توجه به امکانات ماشین آلات و کوره های عملیات حرارتی شرکت آداکو میتواند ابزارهای خانکشی را در چهار تیپ فشاری ( PUSH BROACHING TOOLS ) و کششی (PULL BROACHING TOOLS ) و چرخشی(ROTARY BROACHING TOOLS) و تخت(FLAT BROACHING TOOLS) از قطر 10mm تا قطر 130mm و تا طول 1600mm تولید نماید جنس تمامی ابزار های تولیدی اینشرکت از فولادهای 1.3243(M35) و 1.3343(M2) و 1.3255(T4) و1.3355(T1) و سختی آنها 65-HRC 62 میباشند

  37. nazipccc  خوشخواب ارومیهon 16 Mar 2024 at 5:56 pm

    شرکت بازرگانی کنگرلو بزرگترین شرکت پخش و توزیع تشک های شرکت های بزرگ از جمله خوشخواب، رویال، ویستر و پلی تاب، کلاسیک، ایران خواب، پائیزان، یونیک، پرنیان در منطقه شمال غرب کشور می باشد. این شرکت با بهره گیری از کادر مجرب و داشتن مجموعه‌ای گسترده از محصولات شرکت‌های معتبر، به عنوان یکی از بزرگترین شرکت‌های تولید و پخش تشک خواب در منطقه شمال غرب کشور شناخته می‌شود.

  38. zoeymarie987  Congratulations on your new jobon 19 Mar 2024 at 10:27 pm

    Congratulations on your new job This is a fantastic achievement that reflects your skills, expertise, and commitment. Wishing you all the best as you step into this new role and make your mark!

  39. searchmodifiers19  Search Modifierson 20 Mar 2024 at 9:06 pm

    Search Modifiers is a leading online reputation management company in India, dedicated to enhancing and safeguarding your digital presence. With tailored strategies, we monitor, analyze, and cultivate positive online perceptions for individuals and businesses. Our expert team employs cutting-edge techniques to mitigate negative feedback and amplify positive sentiments across various digital platforms. Trust Search Modifiers to fortify your online reputation, ensuring credibility and trustworthiness in the competitive digital landscape of India.

  40. aashish.underpinservices  watchpartyon 23 Mar 2024 at 5:43 pm

    A watch party extension is a software add-on or feature that enables users to watch and chat about online videos or streaming content simultaneously with friends, often integrated into platforms like Netflix or Amazon Prime. Turn any night into a cinematic experience with our Watch Party Extension. Share the joy of movies, together, wherever you are.

  41. devidconnelly  Team nameson 23 Mar 2024 at 9:10 pm

    Looking for some laughs? Explore hilarious Funny team names ideas at sendwishonline.com! Whether you’re gaming, competing, or just having fun, these clever suggestions will keep your team in stitches. Don’t miss out on the fun – visit now!

  42. nazipc.cc  کوکونات کلاژنon 25 Mar 2024 at 1:31 pm

    مکمل کوکونات و کلاژن مای ویتامینز با ترکیبی از کلاژن و روغن نارگیل و ویتامین سی، موجب افزایش شادابی، طراوت و جوانی پوست شما خواهد شد. مکمل مای‌ویتامینز دارای فرمولاسیونی غنی شده از کلاژن می‌باشد که موجب کلاژن‌سازی پوست و جوان‌سازی آن می‌شود و از پیری پوستی جلوگیری می‌نماید و پوستی باطراوت زیبا و نرم برایتان به ارمغان می‌آورد.

  43. itbelet010  Letitbeon 27 Mar 2024 at 10:35 pm

    Thanks For sharing this Informative Post, Checkout this if looking for Bond Cleaning service

  44. yevalesaurabh5  syevale111on 29 Mar 2024 at 12:22 am

    SOC Training in Pune

  45. oliverse454  EJRR WiFi Extender Setupon 01 Apr 2024 at 8:53 pm

    Experience the convenience and performance of WiwaFifa WiFi Extender Setup . Say goodbye to WiFi dead zones and hello to uninterrupted connectivity. Let us help you stay connected effortlessly.

  46. a08554886  Netgear mesh extenderon 01 Apr 2024 at 9:37 pm

    A Netgear mesh extender enhances Wi-Fi coverage by connecting to your existing router, creating a seamless network. It improves signal strength and eliminates dead zones for better connectivity throughout your home.
    Netgear mesh extender

  47. gloriajennifer735  Netgear Extender Shows One WiFi Nameon 01 Apr 2024 at 10:07 pm

    Frustration arises when your Netgear 5GHz network, particularly the Netgear 5GHz Not Working problem, starts acting up. Understanding the complexities of the Netgear 5GHz SSID and troubleshooting these issues is crucial for a seamless online experience.

  48. abc  Jacobon 02 Apr 2024 at 10:07 pm

    It has been so long to visit your site but i must say the way you are providing your data is so amazing. Same as it i also have a blog called Hiranandani Hospital Kidney. You can visit this site and check my work if you are interested.

  49. vishakhasingh2295  Vishakha Singhon 03 Apr 2024 at 7:38 pm

    Java finds applications in diverse fields such as web development, mobile app development (Android), enterprise software, big data processing, and scientific computing. Its versatility and widespread adoption make it a lucrative career option. With its strong community support, extensive libraries, and platform independence, mastering Java opens doors to rewarding opportunities in software development across industries.

    Java Classes in Pune

  50. abc  jacobon 03 Apr 2024 at 9:50 pm

    I must say the way you are providing your data is so amazing and informative. I have same kind of blog on which you can have a look to know about Hiranandani Hospital Kidney Hospital.

Comments RSS

Leave a Reply