About 3.5 billion years ago, natural processes gave rise to life on planet Earth. We will explore a possible mechanism for this abiogenesis. Subsequent cataclysms spurred evolution and profoundly changed the planet. Once, life itself caused a near-fatal and poisonous change to its own environment. Now our species is poised to change the nature of the biosphere once again via human-induced climate change. Earth’s wondrous menagerie of living beings has been remarkably resilient to profound disruption in the past, and life will certainly persist. But will our species and civilizations be able to survive the global change we are inducing?
Scott Thompson serves on the board of the Humanists of West Suburban Chicagoland. His love of science has energized a lifelong quest to learn about the cosmos’ wonders. With engaging style and accessible descriptions, Scott loves sharing these wonders. He recently completed an extremely well-reviewed two-year series of public lectures (“Quest”) covering topics like: the big bang, relativity, abiogenesis and economics. They can be viewed on YouTube. Scott has a B.S. in physics with graduate studies in history, physics and political science. He is currently completing a book covering the first season’s lectures.