(background: We humans will probably end up transporting critical Gaian mass to other worlds which we wish to populate. As in the experiment Biosphere 2, a minimal necessary quantity and complexity of Gaian material will serve to perpetually renew the resources humans need to survive with. It will be cheaper, in the end, to bring the seed mass with us which will sustainably regenerate the food, air, and water we need; carried further, we may 'green' Mars and other worlds...)
The Sporing of Gaia?
Gaia Theory is sometimes accompanied by what may be considered anthropocentric assumptions about the role of the human species - that we are destined to be the brain tissue or nervous system of the encompassing Planetary Being, or that the human species represents the emergence of Gaia into a higher dimension of self awareness, consciousness or spirituality, and that that alone is somehow Gaia's intent in us.
But Gaia Theory suggests another role for us: that we are in a way, the organ of reproduction...
Assuming that Earth Gaia is not the first of its kind, and, following the analogy of flowering plants (or any other Gaian organism-) in which reproduction to new lifespace strategies are major aspects of the organism's life, even it's apparent primary goal. Example: flowers and the complex interspecies strategies they have developed to assure relocation of seed and continuity and spread of the species.
If Gaian Earth is not relying on the haphazard possibility of bio-spores being lofted from the upper atmosphere into space, carried on solar winds, comets or interstellar dust clouds to a new location, if there is a dedicated and inventive strategy analogous to the strategies of flowering plants, then we must ask, how would Gaia handle the challenge of relocating a critical seed mass of itself, across interplanetary and interstellar space, to the right host environment, and work to ensure it's success?
Fact: The only species of Gaia that has developed the ability to purposely leave the planetosphere, cross space, and be present on other celestial bodies is the human species.
To be in that position, the human species had to have the following characteristics:
1. The ability to perceive the actual celestial context of the home planet - unlike the dolphin, which is also intelligent, but which [presumably] cannot see beyond the ocean atmosphere it lives in.
2. An ongoing development of self awareness, engendering a diversity of psychic growth dynamics such as:
3-An innate curiosity and drive to go beyond their circumstances- to explore, expand, travel, to know the unknown, etc- this would have to be in the character of the species.
4- A psychic growth dynamic which causes it to build a cumulative culture of tools as extensions of the individual and group's abilities and powers, and therefore have the inclination and the ability to develop science and then industrial technology to enable its desire to explore to come to action, and to yield action which will afford the possibility of direct and ensured transport of the seed to a secure destination.
The dynamic of exterior exploration and conquest might have been paired with the dynamic of expansion of power differently in a culture or species which expanded its powers directly: telepathy rather than telephone, teletransport rather than airliners, natural engineering rather than extractive-industrial, memory and recall rather than record keeping, even chi quong rather than guns; more to the point: as the Mayans are rumored to have done, we might have explored other worlds 'astrally'- in which case we would never have been in a position to transport a self sustaining amount of Gaian material and the engineering to implant it on a 'barren' world.
Each species is especially well equipped in implantation engineering to guarantee its continuation.. if Gaia is also, then perhaps we, and our machines, as well as the strange minds which have given rise to them, are the implantation engineering of Gaia.
One will notice that all of these characteristics are at the root of why the human species tends to consider itself specially graced, specially destined, more important than all other species, so unique, even, as to think of itself as the crown of "god's creation", or indeed, as the Mind frontier of a "Global Brain"..
And yet, if we follow the logic of the reproduction of Gaia, we see that she would need to produce precisely such a species with these characteristics, solely to guarantee relocation and reproductive success.
Again: all of the traits which cause us to imagine that we are in a special class, that we are higher than the 'animals' which lack self awareness [?], the veritable intersection of an exterior divine ray with the dark dullness of matter... all of these traits are to be expected in the biota charged with the secure transport of a critical Gaian seed mass to a secure offworld site and its successful implantation there.
When we do meet other species of interstellar adventurers, they are going to be the explorer-transplanter species of their planets- sharing the required core traits of explorers-ability to perceive thru their planet's atmosphere to clear outer space, ability to construct techno-industrial strategies, tension in consciousness development, between precocious toolmaking and a fugitive, and culturally unstable, wisdom and intelligence..
They will be the species from their planet suited to see out, get out, take out.
The requirements of our development as techno industrial transplanters have left us also in danger of destroying ourselves, or failing, and dying before completing the job of transplant. We should probably pause and take stock, and be prepared to change our direction, for our sake and Gaia's. P.S.Hillman