Maria Miranda quoting James Lovelock:
"The critics took their science earnestly and to
association with myth and storytelling made it bad science... the
force of their objections slowed the natural development of Gaia
theory. Until 1995 it was nearly impossible for a scientist anywhere
to publish a paper on Gaia, unless to disprove or disparage it: now
at last it is a candidate theory awaiting approval"
Actually, Gaia is bad science because it is teleological rather than
causal, and bears pretty much no relation to experimental research.
James Lovelock is a poser. But that's OK; he puts on a reasonably
This is very depressing, but the good news is that
scientist appear to accept Gaia theory and apply it to their
research, BUT they still reject the name Gaia and have renamed it
Earth System Science or Geophysiology. what a booring and
uninspiring lot they are.
But the physical scientists have freer reign with language than anyone
else. Researchers in the Humanities deal in dull agglutinative words
like "intertextuality", "metanarrative", and
Physical scientists call chemicals, "buckminsterfullerenes"; extinct
reptiles, "taniwhasaurus"; hummingbirds, "sappho"; fruit fly genes,
"kakapo" and "moa". Of course many scientists are tasteless morons,
and there are dozens of species named after Tolkien characters.
Anyway, science, as in what scientists do at work, is not particularly
concerned with mythology, in the sense of explanatory shared
narrative. It is much too concerned with details. It does, though,
form part of the substrate upon which mythology is built. Science has
an effect on contemporary mythology similar to that which, say,
navigation, fishing, and weaving technology had on old Polynesian
mythology, or that animal husbandry had on biblical mythology. It is
a source of ideas and imagery, but not the thing itself. UFO stories,
myths of genetic predestination, Gaia, etc, draw on science, but are
not it. Science is really just another mundane collection of methods,
traditions, and modes of practice. To say it is mythology is to
mythologise it, which we ought not do.