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Animate Earth: Science, Intuition, And Gaia Paperback – September 15, 2006


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Chelsea Green; First Edition edition (September 15, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1933392290
  • ISBN-13: 978-1933392295
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #431,098 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Electronic Book Review-
"Animate Earth is important because Harding walks its swaying rhetorical tightrope with grace and poise to spare, at many moments with moving poetic force, and brings the narrative to his destination, the mutual enhancement of vital scientific ideas and crucial ethical recognitions. The success of his discursive gamble (above and beyond Lovelock's Gaia gambit, which he has absorbed and transformed) is all the more important because, with global ecological disaster closer than anyone had thought up till the end of the last millennium, it seems beside the point to quibble about pedagogical methodology and ontological niceties. Yes, in order to diagram the sort of holism involved in "holistic science," Harding elicits the "mandala" of Jungian wholeness, with its compass points of thinking, sensing, feeling, and intuition. This is not science; it is another serviceable heuristic device, and Harding's discussion does not commit one to the further armatures of Jungian archetypalism. Rather, it prompts one to admit that there may be something to be said for the vision of a culture in better psychological balance."

Midwest Book Review-
"Author Stephen Harding's doctorate in ecology from Oxford and his interest in holistic science creates a satisfying blend of modern science and new age ideas, so add in a dose of history of how older ideas of an 'animate earth' can be explained through a blend of modern science and spirituality and you have a powerful set if ideas indeed. GAIA theory, scientific insights and a focus on a living earth make for wonderful, revealing reading in his new book. Animate Earth is a very strongly recommended for the non-specialist general reader with an interest in science and metaphysics."

"This is a wonderful and beautiful book, a teacher's treasure." --James Lovelock, author of The Revenge of Gaia

"The conception of the Earth as a living, self-organising system, known today as Gaia theory, is an ancient idea and yet one of the most radical and far-reaching scientific theories of the 20th century. In this remarkable book, Stephan Harding, who has worked closely with James Lovelock, tells the story in a way that is scientifically sophisticated, yet easy to understand and captivating. Harding writes about Gaia with great passion, and he eloquently discusses the theory's philosophical, social and political implications. I recommend Animate Earth to everyone concerned about the fate of our planet."--Fritjof Capra, author of The Hidden Connections, The Web of Life, and The Tao of Physics

"For depth of understanding of Earth functioning and our human role in the process, Stephan Harding's Animate Earth is the finest of recent studies. It should be read, meditated on, and adopted as a guide to our human course of action if we would avoid the disaster of an ecological collapse of life on Earth." --Thomas Berry, author of The Great Work

"This book offers a brilliant new approach at once rigorous, experiential, and intuitive to the most up-to-date research within planetary ecology."--David Abram, author of The Spell of the Sensuous



"Animate Earth represents systems science at its best...gives a whole new dimension to what 'environment-friendly' really means." -- Jonathon Porritt

From the Publisher

"For depth of understanding of Earth functioning and our human role in the process, Stephan Harding's Animate Earth is the finest of recent studies. It should be read, meditated on, and adopted as a guide to our human course of action if we would avoid the disaster of an ecological collapse of life on Earth." --Thomas Berry, author of The Great Work

"Animate Earth represents systems science at its best. . . gives a whole new dimension to what `environment-friendly' really means." --Jonathon Porritt

"This is a wonderful and beautiful book, a teacher's treasure." --James Lovelock, author of The Revenge of Gaia

"This book offers a brilliant new approach - at once rigorous, experiential, and intuitive--to the most up-to-date research within planetary ecology." --David Abram, author of The Spell of the Sensuous

"The conception of the Earth as a living, self-organising system, known today as Gaia theory, is an ancient idea and yet one of the most radical and far-reaching scientific theories of the 20th century. In this remarkable book, Stephan Harding, who has worked closely with James Lovelock, tells the story in a way that is scientifically sophisticated, yet easy to understand and captivating. Harding writes about Gaia with great passion, and he eloquently discusses the theory's philosophical, social and political implications. I recommend Animate Earth to everyone concerned about the fate of our planet." --Fritjof Capra, author of The Hidden Connections, The Web of Life, and The Tao of Physics


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Customer Reviews

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I wish it was required reading in schools.
Anonymous
GAIA theory, scientific insights and a focus on a living earth make for wonderful, revealing reading in his new book.
Midwest Book Review
And, importantly, the book is wonderfully accessible to most readers.
avakian

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

34 of 35 people found the following review helpful By David Abram on November 20, 2006
Format: Paperback
This book offers a brilliant new approach - at once rigorous, experiential, and intuitive - to the most up-to-date research within planetary ecology. Harding is a close associate of James Lovelock, the polymathic scientist who formulated the Gaia hypothesis - the theory that the chemical composition of the earth's atmosphere, its temperature, the salinity of its oceans, and a host of other variables are continually monitored and modulated by all the earth's organic constituents acting collectively, as a vast planetary metabolism. Originally considered an utterly radical hypothesis when first proposed in the 1970s, Lovelock's insight early on attracted the active support and research interest of one of the most far-seeing American biologists, the audacious microbial biologist Lynn Margulis, and has since, as their evidence mounted, garnered more and more respect from the scientific community. Today most of the theory's tenets have been integrated within the standard account of planetary ecology.

Harding - the staff scientist at Schumacher College - brings a new, deeply participatory approach to the articulation of whole earth science, employing a nuanced sense of philosophy and the history of ideas in order to demonstrate the transformative, paradigm-shattering power of Gaian theory. Throughout his lucid presentation of recent and ongoing empirical research, Harding strives to show the relevance of these remarkable discoveries to our most personal experience of the world immediately around us.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Richard S. Jones on April 30, 2006
Format: Paperback
In my view this is the most important book I have ever read - and I have read many. It is a seminal work, as was Silent Spring by Rachel Carson. Every scientist, every science student and every person who calls him or herself an environmentalist should make it their duty to read this work. It is extraordinarily well researched and profound. Your whole attitude to science, to nature and to life itself will inevitably be changed after reading it, unless you have a totally closed mind. Time is running out for the human race as we blindly destroy our own life support systems. Animate Earth points the way to securing the future of life on earth.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By David Abram on April 25, 2006
Format: Paperback
This book offers a brilliant new approach - at once rigorous, experiential, and intuitive - to the most up-to-date research within planetary ecology. Harding is a close associate of James Lovelock, the polymathic scientist who formulated the Gaia hypothesis - the theory that the chemical composition of the earth's atmosphere, its temperature, the salinity of its oceans, and a host of other variables are continually monitored and modulated by all the earth's organic constituents acting collectively, as a vast planetary metabolism. Originally considered an utterly radical hypothesis when first proposed in the 1970s, Lovelock's insight early on attracted the active support and research interest of one of the most far-seeing American biologists, the audacious microbial biologist Lynn Margulis, and has since, as their evidence mounted, garnered more and more respect from the scientific community. Today most of the theory's tenets have been integrated within the standard account of planetary ecology.

Harding - the staff scientist at Schumacher College - brings a new, deeply participatory approach to the articulation of whole earth science, employing a nuanced sense of philosophy and the history of ideas in order to demonstrate the transformative, paradigm-shattering power of Gaian theory. Throughout his lucid presentation of recent and ongoing empirical research, Harding strives to show the relevance of these remarkable discoveries to our most personal experience of the world immediately around us.
Read more ›
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on November 4, 2006
Format: Paperback
Author Stephen Harding's doctorate in ecology from Oxford and his interest in holistic science creates a satisfying blend of modern science and new age ideas, so add in a dose of history of how older ideas of an 'animate earth' can be explained through a blend of modern science and spirituality and you have a powerful set if ideas indeed. GAIA theory, scientific insights and a focus on a living earth make for wonderful, revealing reading in his new book. "Animate Earth" is a very strongly recommended for the non-specialist general reader with an interest in science and metaphysics.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By avakian on January 30, 2009
Format: Paperback
Stephan Harding's Animate Earth is thoroughly refreshing, motivating, rigorous, profound, fun, and well written. Harding has articulated so clearly another way of looking at and being in the world by holding to the rigors of science but expanding its boundaries to an animistic world-view. I can think of no clearer introduction to Gaia theory. Harding has a fluid mix of the hard-core science of it (he's worked with James Lovelock) and Gaia theory's implications for a fuller experience of the living earth. I will be using this book as a text in my college junior/senior-level complex systems course. And, importantly, the book is wonderfully accessible to most readers.
Perhaps Harding's work will touch most deeply those young scientists (or those of any age, really) who find themselves struggling to rectify the differences between their sensorial experiences of nature and their analytic, scientific studies of it--how the former are entirely invigorating while the latter often less so. Harding is honest with his own experiences and points a way to holistic science where this schism can finally disappear.
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