Natural selection, Gaia, and inadvertent by-products: A reply to Lenton and Wilkinson's response

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Lenton and Wilkinson (2003), in response to me (Volk, 2002), have offered a number of important ideas for a Gaia theory of 'regulatory feedbacks' between life and the global environment. After what are generally positive comments on a selection of their concepts, I focus my reply on one specific point of disagreement. Contrary to the claim of Lenton and Wilkinson, nitrogen fixation is merely another example of how a by-product affects the shared environment among organisms. For Gaia theory to properly incorporate evolution by natural selection, we must distinguish between life's products and by-products. Because organisms evolve in environments altered by these by-products, I continue to support the idea that feedback loops in the biosphere contain segments based solely upon by-products of organisms' metabolisms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)13-19
Number of pages7
JournalClimatic Change
Volume58
Issue number1-2
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2003

Fingerprint

natural selection
Byproducts
Gaia theory
Nitrogen fixation
Feedback
nitrogen fixation
Metabolism
biosphere
metabolism
by-product
organism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atmospheric Science
  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Global and Planetary Change

Cite this

Natural selection, Gaia, and inadvertent by-products : A reply to Lenton and Wilkinson's response. / Volk, Tyler.

In: Climatic Change, Vol. 58, No. 1-2, 05.2003, p. 13-19.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{166b0bec243f4af4a86886057f367214,
title = "Natural selection, Gaia, and inadvertent by-products: A reply to Lenton and Wilkinson's response",
abstract = "Lenton and Wilkinson (2003), in response to me (Volk, 2002), have offered a number of important ideas for a Gaia theory of 'regulatory feedbacks' between life and the global environment. After what are generally positive comments on a selection of their concepts, I focus my reply on one specific point of disagreement. Contrary to the claim of Lenton and Wilkinson, nitrogen fixation is merely another example of how a by-product affects the shared environment among organisms. For Gaia theory to properly incorporate evolution by natural selection, we must distinguish between life's products and by-products. Because organisms evolve in environments altered by these by-products, I continue to support the idea that feedback loops in the biosphere contain segments based solely upon by-products of organisms' metabolisms.",
author = "Tyler Volk",
year = "2003",
month = "5",
doi = "10.1023/A:1023463510624",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "58",
pages = "13--19",
journal = "Climatic Change",
issn = "0165-0009",
publisher = "Springer Netherlands",
number = "1-2",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Natural selection, Gaia, and inadvertent by-products

T2 - A reply to Lenton and Wilkinson's response

AU - Volk, Tyler

PY - 2003/5

Y1 - 2003/5

N2 - Lenton and Wilkinson (2003), in response to me (Volk, 2002), have offered a number of important ideas for a Gaia theory of 'regulatory feedbacks' between life and the global environment. After what are generally positive comments on a selection of their concepts, I focus my reply on one specific point of disagreement. Contrary to the claim of Lenton and Wilkinson, nitrogen fixation is merely another example of how a by-product affects the shared environment among organisms. For Gaia theory to properly incorporate evolution by natural selection, we must distinguish between life's products and by-products. Because organisms evolve in environments altered by these by-products, I continue to support the idea that feedback loops in the biosphere contain segments based solely upon by-products of organisms' metabolisms.

AB - Lenton and Wilkinson (2003), in response to me (Volk, 2002), have offered a number of important ideas for a Gaia theory of 'regulatory feedbacks' between life and the global environment. After what are generally positive comments on a selection of their concepts, I focus my reply on one specific point of disagreement. Contrary to the claim of Lenton and Wilkinson, nitrogen fixation is merely another example of how a by-product affects the shared environment among organisms. For Gaia theory to properly incorporate evolution by natural selection, we must distinguish between life's products and by-products. Because organisms evolve in environments altered by these by-products, I continue to support the idea that feedback loops in the biosphere contain segments based solely upon by-products of organisms' metabolisms.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=0037837265&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=0037837265&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1023/A:1023463510624

DO - 10.1023/A:1023463510624

M3 - Article

AN - SCOPUS:0037837265

VL - 58

SP - 13

EP - 19

JO - Climatic Change

JF - Climatic Change

SN - 0165-0009

IS - 1-2

ER -