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Thread: Martian Canals to Gaia: a tenous connection?

  1. #1 Martian Canals to Gaia: a tenous connection? 
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    Dec 2010
    I'm trying to piece together a historical research project on the impact of the Martian Canals debate on the field of ecology, more specifically Lovelock's Gaian model of the biosphere.
    Is it overly fanciful to think that A. Russell Wallace's paper ('Is Mars Habitable?', written to refute P. Lowell's claims that Mars was inhabited by intelligent lifeforms) went on to inspire the Gaia Theory via the field of astrobiology?
    I would hate to start an essay that ultimately makes no sense, so some outsider perspective would be useful.

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  3. #2  
    Forum Bachelors Degree
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    Aug 2010
    I thought it was Lovelock's work at NASA searching for Martian life by looking at the Martian atmosphere and comparing it with what would be expected if life had existed that inspired Gaia theory.
    Lovelock's written quite a few books, i'm sure the answer is buried in one somewhere.

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  4. #3  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope skeptic's Avatar
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    Nov 2008
    New Zealand
    There are no martian canals. They were an optical illusion due to poor optics in the first astronomical telescopes used to study Mars. Modern telescopes show clearly that canalc do not exist.

    Lovelock was not influenced by that piece of nonsense, but by principles of terrestrial ecology.
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