myddelton / collective / tags / evolution

Tagged with “evolution” (5) activity chart

  1. Science & the Search for Meaning: What is Life?

    Scientists can now explain virtually every stage of the evolutionary process. But there’s a basic question that still mystifies even the best scientists: How did life first begin on Earth? Or to put in another way, how did non-life somehow turn into life? And can we say the Earth itself is alive? In this hour of To the Best of Our Knowledge we’ll talk with James Lovelock about his Gaia theory, and explore the question, What is Life?

    SEGMENT 1:

    This hour explores some of the fundamental mysteries of life - from how it first started on Earth to the possibility of supremely intelligent life on other planets and why technology is evolving like life itself. We begin with a rare recording of Nobel Prize winning physicist Edwin Schrodinger and comments on his book "What Is Life?" from Nobel Prize winning biologists James Watson and Harold Varmus. We also hear from Ken Miller, co-author of the most widely used biology textbook in American high schools, and Craig Venter, widely regarded as one of science’s leading innovators. Venter, who’s come as close as anyone has to creating life in a test tube, tells Steve Paulson what drives him. And we hear from some ordinary people about what they think life is.

    SEGMENT 2:

    University of Wisconsin geochemist Nita Sahai talks with Anne Strainchamps about how life might have begun on Earth. On the other hand, maybe the Earth itself is alive. That’s the remarkable idea behind the Gaia hypothesis. James Lovelock came up with it in the 1960s and at first no one would take him seriously. Lovelock, now in his nineties and one of our most celebrated scientists, tells Steve Paulson where the Gaia theory came from and how it’s evolved.

    SEGMENT 3:

    Kevin Kelly is one of the founders of Wired magazine. He’s also the author of a provocative book called "What Technology Wants." Kelly tells Jim Fleming that the sum total of our technology - what he calls "the technicum" - is taking on the properties of life itself. And anthropologist Tom Boellstorff takes us on a tour through the virtual world of Second Life. Astro-biologist Paul Davies chairs the SETI Post-Detection Task Group and is the author of "The Eerie Silence: Renewing Our Search for Alien Intelligence." He tells Steve Paulson that alien intelligence might be stranger than anything Hollywood has dreamt up.

    http://www.wpr.org/book/101121a.cfm

    —Huffduffed by boxman 2 years ago

  2. Matt Ridley: Deep Optimism

    Everything’s going to Hell in a handbasket! Or is it?

    Not according to Matt Ridley. Ridley takes a long-term view of humanity’s past to project a deeply optimistic view of our future. This program was recorded in collaboration with the Long Now Foundation, on March 22, 2011.

    This program contains visual aids. A complete video version is available at: http://fora.tv/2011/03/22/Matt_Ridley_Deep_Optimism

    Via trade and other cultural activities, "ideas have sex," and that drives human history in the direction of inconstant but accumulative improvement over time. The criers of havoc keep being proved wrong. A fundamental optimism about human affairs is deeply rational and can be reliably conjured with.

    Trained at Oxford as a zoologist and an editor at The Economist for eight years, Matt Ridley’s newest book is The Rational Optimist: How Prosperity Evolves. His earlier works include Francis Crick; Nature via Nurture; Genome; and The Origins of Virtue.

    Matt Ridley’s books have sold over 800,000 copies, been translated into 27 languages and been short-listed for six literary prizes. In 2004 he won the National Academies Book Award from the US National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine for Nature via Nurture.

    He is married to the neuroscientist Professor Anya Hurlbert. They have two children and live at Blagdon near Newcastle upon Tyne.

    —Huffduffed by boxman 2 years ago

  3. Signing, Singing, Speaking: How Language Evolved : NPR

    Humans evolved a brain with an extraordinary knack for language, but just how and when we began using language is still largely a mystery. Early human communication may have been in sign language or song, and scientists are studying other animals to learn how human language evolved.

    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=129155123

    —Huffduffed by boxman 3 years ago

  4. How Prosperity Evolves

    With our economy a shambles and our environment threatened, is there any reason to be optimistic about the future? Matt Ridley says there’s scientific proof to say we should be.

    —Huffduffed by boxman 3 years ago

  5. NYPL: Adam Gopnik with Steven Pinker - How Far Can Darwin Take Us?

    Adam Gopnik, author of Angels & Ages, A Short Book About Darwin, Lincoln and Modern Life and Steven Pinker, author of The Blank Slate and many other works, will discuss a fundamental question: How far can Darwin take us as a guide to why we are the way we are?

    Both outspoken appreciators of Darwin, Adam Gopnik and Steven Pinker will compare their visions—perhaps complementary, perhaps contrasting—of what Darwin’s legacy is on the two hundredth anniversary of his birth.

    http://www.nypl.org/research/chss/pep/pepdesc.cfm?id=5219

    —Huffduffed by boxman 4 years ago