The Medea hypothesis was formulated by paleontologist Peter Ward and has provoked series of debates in the scientific community after it was officially presented.
According to the scientist, humans and other superorganisms on Earth carry in them the seeds of their own self-destruction and it's only a matter of time before humanity becomes the cause and the victim of another mass extinction.
The Medea hypothesis is nearly the exact opposite of the Gaia hypothesis, formulated by chemist James Lovelock and microbiologist Lynn Margulis, according to which the planet we inhabit is a living, breathing and self-regulating being that aims to preserve life.
The name of the darker hypothesis was not chosen accidentally. Just like the authors of the Gaia hypothesis named it after the ancient Greek Mother Goddess, Ward also chose a name from ancient Greek mythology. The paleontologist picked Medea for the name of his hypothesis.
Medea was a priestess of Hecate and daughter of the Oceanid Eidyia and Aeëtes, King of Colchis. The young Medea fell madly in love with Jason who had arrived on the island of Colchis in search of the Golden Fleece and she helped him overcome the difficult tasks.
During her married life with Jason, she was portrayed as a woman exceptionally cruel to her enemies and jealous of her husband. And when Jason left her for another, she had no second thoughts about killing her rival with a poison dress and then murdering her 2 sons to get revenge on her unfaithful husband.
Peter Ward believes that our Earth is Medea and that she would have no reservations about killing us - her offspring. Ward is adamant that even though human beings do not want to become extinct as a species under any circumstances, the Earth will make sure it does happen. Dying is deeply embedded in human biology so that the planet guarantees that we don't cause a permanent imbalance.
The paleontologist is absolutely sure that humans will turn into an incurable plague for the planet and they will inevitably do something that will guarantee their doom.
As support for his hypothesis he points to the 5 mass extinctions on Earth from the dawn of its existence, most of which he believes were caused by complex multicellular organisms.
He postulates that the ice age was caused by plants who had spread to such a degree that they began consuming excessively high amounts of carbon dioxide. This led to global cooling and consequently the dying off of the majority of these plants.
Further proof of the truth of the Medea hypothesis is the fact that during the last few decades the number of vertebrate animals has decreased drastically. This leads to an increase in rodent populations and other vermin that carry disease and infections dangerous to human health.