There is a proposal by cosmologist Fred Hoyle who in 1983 published The intelligent Universe in which he argued that life was ubiquitous in the Universe and that intelligence controlled the evolution of that Universe from within, this intelligence being part of the Universe and not separated from it. Life has not originated on the Earth but has settled on it from the outside. The Earth may be viewed as a kind of mounting platform on which more elaborate life forms are obtained from more elementary ones. Hoyle emphatically states that he is not a Christian and does not think he will ever become one. He believes, like the Greeks, that there is an ultimate, discoverable order in the universe.
James Lovelock's view of an intelligent planet Earth is 'Gaia' a living being evolved as a satellite of the sun, or it may have evolved together with the solar system as a whole or it may have evolved with the cosmos as a whole. It may be that the distinction between the above alternatives is somewhat too sharp. At any rate Gaia is directly influenced by the solar system and receives inputs from the cosmos, some of which may not even be known to us.  According to the Gaia thesis, the biosphere together with its atmospheric environment form a single entity or natural system. This system is the product of organic forces that are highly coordinated by the system itself. Gaia has, in effect, created herself, not in a random manner, what is more, but in a goal-directed manner since the system is highly stable and is capable of maintaining its stability in the face of internal and external challenges. It is, in fact, a cybernetic system and for this to be possible, Gaia must display considerable order, indeed, she must be seen as a vast cooperative enterprise, very much as nature was seen by the Natural Theologists.
If we accept the Gala Thesis, in which the Earth is seen to be a planetary system with certain self-regulating features that are controlled by the combined activities of the biota, such as surface temperature, climate, oxidation state and acidity, then such acceptance must profoundly affect our view of Evolution. Life, as Jim Lovelock has pointed out, is essentially social, and it is the colligative properties of such associations of life that characterise planetary self-regulation. And because of the profound influence that life has had on its surroundings it becomes inconceivable to divorce life from the environment itself.
Such a view of the world of living things is, needless to say, totally incompatible with neo- Darwinism. Indeed an evolutionary theory that would be consistent with this view of the world would be the very negation of neo-Darwinism.
If Gaia is a single natural system that has created herself in a coordinated and goal- directed way, then Gaia is clearly the unit of evolution, not the individual living thing as neo-Darwinists insist.
Gaia is not just a contemporaneous organization of living things. She is a spatio- temporal system. Now it is difficult for us to grasp the notion of a spatio-temporal system, as our language makes a clear distinction between things and processes and our thinking is clearly influenced by our language. It is nevertheless essential that we realize that all living things have a temporal as well as a spatial component. They exist in time just as much as in space. This means that Gaia is not only a thing but also a process, and what is that process, one might ask, if it is not evolution?
If this is so, then the Gaian process, i.e. evolution, must display the same fundamental structure that does Gaia when seen as a spatial thing. If the latter is a biological, social and ecological structure, then the former cannot possibly be but a mere physical and mechanical one as the neo-Darwinists tell us; it must clearly also be seen in biological, social and ecological terms.
But what part of the temporal process involved must be seen as evolving? We assume that it must be the contemporaneous process, the one occurring before our eyes? But how do we justify this assumption? I suggest that the total process is involved, stretching back into the mists of time. The reason for suggesting this is that the information passed on from generation to generation of living things must reflect the experience of the total- spatio-temporal system involved and not just of part of it.
This information appears to be organized hierarchically, the most general information, that which reflects the longest experience being particularly non-plastic, the more particular information, that which reflects the more recent experience being very much more plastic, and hence more easily adaptable to short-term environmental contingencies. This arrangement is clearly that which best assures the continuity or the stability of the total-spatio-temporal Gaian system. If this is so, this means, among other things, that evolution is a long term strategy not just a set of ad hoc adaptations.
If Gaia creates herself, then the living world must be seen as dynamic and creative not as passive and robot-like.