TED Conversations

Asha de Vos

Marine Biologist, The University of California Santa Cruz


This conversation is closed.

Everything on this earth is so closely intertwined that when we drive a species to extinction, we are spelling our own demise.

As a biologist I study webs of things and this is something I strongly believe in. We think that just because something is not an immediate part of our day to day life, its destruction will have no impact on us as humans - but I don't think thats correct. I am keen to have lots of input on this idea and examples and thoughts :)


Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • thumb
    Apr 22 2012: This is a brief synopsis of James Lovelock's Gaia hypothesis, from Wiki:

    "The Gaia hypothesis, also known as Gaia theory or Gaia principle, proposes that all organisms and their inorganic surroundings on Earth are closely integrated to form a single and self-regulating complex system, maintaining the conditions for life on the planet."

    I have always thought it plausible that the kind of relationships and 'webs' you study, Asha, and the Gaia hypothesis are very likely to point to the interrelated nature and symbiotic relationships between things, on a global scale.

    Our own body and mind rely on complex internal and external relationships. The theory that our planet does too, seems very convincing to me.
    • thumb
      Apr 23 2012: Thanks for the quote Allan--
      I agree. While its hard for us to find a direct link between the demise of a particular species of ant and ourselves, it exists. The world is way more complex than we like to think...in some ways I think we find it convenient to think its not all connected. That way destruction doesn't leave us with a sense of guilt.

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.