According to classical Greek cosmology, in the beginning there was only Khaos – the black fullness of empty space – from Khaos emerged Gaia – the mother of all. She created the first gods of the Greek pantheon and then mated with Uranos – the god of the sky – to give birth to the 12 Titans. Gaia is the personification of life’s fertility to give birth to more life.
In modern times, the atmospheric chemist and instrument engineer James Lovelock – while working on the Mars Mission at NASA and studying the compositions of gases on all the planets in our solar system – had the insight that the reason why Earth is the only planet with its atmosphere in extreme chemical disequilibrium, may have to do with the very presence of life itself.
Lovelock postulated that life itself had created the conditions conducive for more life to evolve. While on a walk with his friend William Golding, the author and Nobel laureate, Lovelock was persuaded that such a critically significant scientific thesis needed a better name than ‘Bio-Universal-Systems-Tendency’ and followed Golding’s advice to name his hypothesis after the Greek goddess Gaia.