There is an emerging viewpoint that sees all life on Earth as a single superorganism. Life on this planet has been evolving for billions of years, and that process is still going on to this day. Though evolution is not a conscious process, conscious beings have a certain kind of influence over the outcome. Human beings have a great amount of control over their environment and the paths of other beings. And while their role in the evolution of Gaia is only a small fraction of the entire process, it is one of the most important.
As Carl Sagan once said, if you wish to make an apple pie from scratch you must first invent the universe. In order for Gaia to evolve, countless other lifeforms must play their part. Had microorganisms not filled the sky with air, our ancestors would never have had the energy to climb out of the water. Had our ape ancestors not climbed down from the trees, we may never have freed our hands to engage in the things that made our brains swell. Now plants and animals are locked in a permanent symbiosis of breathing in each other’s exhalations, a fact that many people fail to realize while they’re walking around in an ocean of breathable air.
More recently, our species has devised a system of communicating with exponentially-increasing speed, accuracy, and reach. The development of the Internet is one of the last great steps in the evolution of a self-actualizing Gaia, and it is possible that we may be witnessing such an event. This story will attempt to re-live the significant steps that have led to where we are now and speculate on the possibility of Gaian evolution.