1 of 4 – EcoSex @ U Conn – Anderlini’s Gaia – Student Responses: Michael’s Take
The EcoSex course at U Conn is in process. It’s a great experience. We are reading amazing books. Thinking out of the box and across disciplines. Students are sending their responses in, with discussion questions. In class, we connect the dots: a holograph of what we’ve read together, the “required readings.” Multiple perspectives and good synergy. Here, we offer a glimpse. Serena Anderlini-D’Onofrio’s Gaia and the New Politics of Love was one of three cultural theorybooks. We got four responses: from Michael, Alissa, John, and Alexandra.
In the book’s initial discussion of the Gaia hypothesis, a comparison is made to Galileo’s discovery of the heliocentric solar system and the discovery’s role in helping to reshape the dogma of the scientific community. I found this comparison, particularly with the references to the works of Thomas Kuhn and Ludwik Fleck very interesting because I think this is certainly a problem that science has never really been able to avoid. I think there’s evidence of this within every generation, as seen with Einstein’s rejection of quantum mechanics because of his belief that the universe couldn’t be so random.
In addition to the scientific community’s ability to become rooted in dogma, I think an additional problem has a risen vis-à-vis how the proliferation of modern media has encouraged such bad behavior among scientists. While such paradigm shifts are often generational, there is now also an element that every discovery is amplified and given significance beyond its actual findings. This makes it that much harder to shift the paradigm because public perception and its bias has been added to the field in addition to the biases of the scientists themselves.
I also found the discussion of abortion rights and the religion’s role interesting. As a supporter of abortion I had always thought of it in the manner described in the book as supporting the principle but simultaneously wanting to avoid it happening still. I had never really thought about why this might be problematic in a different way from a fundamentally pro-life perspective and am glad this was raised by the book.
Does the use of Gaia Theory as a philosophy behind changing human society necessitate the acknowledgement that human-centric thinking as being top of the ‘food chain’ must be abandoned?
Let “nature” be your teacher in the arts of love. Education is the heart of democracy, education to love. Come back for more wonders: Students Responses to appear every Tuesday. Book Reports to be scheduled soon, every other Thursday. Check out our summer offerings: Ecosexuality in Portland, OR, July 17-21. Info and Registration here!
Serena Anderlini-D’Onofrio, PhD
Gilf Gaia Extraordinaire
Author of Gaia,Eros, and many other books about love Professor of Humanities