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James Lovelock

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Atmospheric Scientist

James Lovelock, founder of the Gaia theory, was interviewed by Lawrence E. Joseph in the August 17, 2000 edition of Salon Magazine.

LEJ: [E.O. Wilson] has called for a spiritualization of the environmental movement. He says we need to invest some of the passion now reserved for traditional religion into caring for our environment.

JL: I agree wholeheartedly. I am a great admirer of his. I especially like Wilson's characterization of human beings as unfortunate tribal carnivores that have acquired intelligence.

LEJ: But Wilson is an atheist. So isn't he saying, in essence, "Here's what everyone else should believe?"

JL: I'm a scientist, not a theologian. I don't know if there is a God or not. Religion requires certainty. Revere and respect Gaia. Have trust in Gaia. But not faith.