Post-Darwin evolutionists have traditionally split into two major camps. The first camp's most prominent spokespersons were the English sociologist Herbert Spencer, who's theory of evolution gave us the phrase "survival of the fittest"[1] and the American social Darwinist William Graham Sumner. It was Spencer's confidence in the inevitability of progress represented by industrialism that provided the justification for nineteenth century robber barons and the underpinnings for twentieth century Thacherism and Reaganism.[2] The opposing camp was represented in the U. S. by the pragmatists William James and John Dewey who countered with ideas of "collectivism."[3] One argument appeals to biology and determinism, the other to social formation and interrelatedness. The Gaia hypothesis brings biology to the side arguing for cooperation and symbiosis.

In Earth2 both evolutionary camps are still at war. The struggle for the planet is waged most urgently over Uly. Reilly, the Council's agent, insists that Julia harvest Uly's pineal gland. Julia gives in and sedates Devon, the camp guard and Uly. She then sets up an operating table under a tree some distance away to perform the operation. Julia describes her procedure into her recording gear as she goes. She begins to make the incision when she hears the whale-like song of the Terrians. She looks up and sees a Terrian standing there holding out a red glowing object toward her.

Julia: "Alien life form now present. Further verifying the boy's tie to the species. Unsure whether species has indication of the procedure."

[She turns back to her task. ]

Julia: "Boy's energy output at the pineal gland increased tenfold."

[She starts to perform the harvest procedure and looks up again when she hears a sound. The Terrian morphs into a wavy image of Alonzo. ]

Julia: "Alonzo?"

[Alonzo's image is holding a heart in his hand.]

Alonzo: "It's his heart. He'll die. If you harvest this boy we all die. He's a link."

Julia: "A Link to what?"

Alonzo: "Humanity's survival . He's the first in a long line of evolutionary changes. And without these changes we will perish."

Julia: "The Terrians are providing these changes?"

Alonzo: "The Terrians are witnessing them the same way they did their own kind millions of years ago. What you're about to do poses the greatest threat to our own survival as a species."

The evolutionary theme is also featured in the episode "After the Thaw" in which the colonists discover an ancient Terrian frozen in a block of ice. At Julia's insistence they haul the carcass back to camp so she can study it. She reports that it is 300,000 years old and unlike modern Terrians, this one has a spinal column, multiple vertebrae and residual muscle tissue. Even more remarkable, the cell structure has much more in common with humans than today's Terrians which have a more plant-like composition. Yale asks if this means that humans will evolve in similar ways. The question goes unanswered but later we learn from an elder of the penal colonists who live underground with Terrians, that eons ago the Terrians were much more individuated and were subject to passion, rage, emotions . The one in the ice block contains the sum of all those primordial aspects. The frozen Terrain's bestial energy escapes when Danziger tries to incinerate it. Alonzo has to enter the dream plane and slay the monster.

Earth 2: A Gaian Hypothesis homepage