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Mod 7

All Lives Belong to the Biosphere


Note: This last week of the course will be devoted to the biosphere, the whole of life and its physical surround. The biosphere is enormously complex, and we are just beginning to grasp its properties and processes.

To date, this course has focused in each mod on a supposedly separate Principle of Ecology. These categories are analytic, or reductionist, of necessity because ecology is so complex and because our understanding of it is quite limited. You know, of course, that any such divisions of a living whole are not real, but are conveniences to help us think. But there is a cost to our habit of analysis: we are good at taking things apart, but we are not very skilled at putting them back together.

The opposite of analysis is synthesis, putting together. One goal of this course is that you will achieve a synthesis, a holistic view of the biosphere. One way to do this is to consciously try to think in large-scale wholes, which is difficult for everyone not culturally attuned to this habit of mind.

I hope that spending this week immersing yourself in the biosphere will help you toward this holistic and synergetic way of perceiving Nature, or the Biosphere, (or Gaia, if you are so inclined.) I have found it useful to present on separate pages several aspects of the biosphere, even though such analytic separations may seem contradictory. But I am engaged in helping you learn, and I think, so far, that this is the most effective way to present to you

the Biosphere, the Whole that is



Concept Stream:

Read in How Does Life Work?

Biosphere Introduction
Biosphere as Process
Biosphere as Place
Biosphere as an Expression of Spirit
Biosphere Community

SuperKingdom Bacteria or Monera or Procaryotes
SuperKingdom Eucaryotes
Kingdom Protists Protozoa
Kingdom Protists Algae

Kindom Plants What's New?
Kingdom Plants: Groups

Kingdom Plants: Dispersal
Kingdom Plants: Defense
Kingdom Fungi
Kingdom Animals

Note: this is an enormous lot of material. At least read the introductory pages. I hope you will come back to the Biosphere/Community pages after the course formally ends.

Do make sure you read Biosphere as an Expression of Spirit. These are Art pages.
Do try to grasp how the biosphere all fits together to make a Whole; this will require the participation of your intuitions.

Project Stream

Mod 7:
Journal of Everyday Earth:
Post in your Journal one final reflection, a short paper, roughly two pages equivalent in which I want you to respond to the course and your intersection with it.

Look back at you as learner experiencing new people dealing with new material--more or less new, depending on your level of knowledge.

The paper should include your impressions of how Earth's generative power and its mirror face in human creativity can/will/may aid the teaching of earth education in schools, or with groups to whom you might present.

Process Stream:

Learning Activities: There are four activities under Biosphere:

Sound Play
A Moment of Wholeness (recommended to do)
The Connections Game
Come into Animal Presence
Earth Quilt

Read all, and do one.

Post your result in your Journal.