Inevitable Life?

From Santa Fe Institute Events Wiki

2007 Public Lectures

D. Eric Smith is Professor at the Santa Fe Institute and senior member of SFI’s Frontiers in Integrative Biological Research (FIBR) program supported by the National Science Foundation.

Discussant: David Krakauer, Professor, Santa Fe Institute

Perhaps the most fundamental question of biology is why life exists on earth at all. How -- and more importantly why -- did it emerge, and how has it managed to persist for almost four billion years in the face of constant shocks and perturbations? Many researchers have supposed that the emergence of life hinged on a sequence of improbable events, at the same time as they have taken for granted the ability of life on earth to persist indefinitely and to “freeze in” the consequences of early accidents. Smith argues that there is ample evidence for a different interpretation: the emergence of life was an inevitable outcome of geochemistry on the early earth, and the same forces responsible for emergence have continued to support the persistence of life ever since. Metabolism, in particular, preserves the oldest regularities of incipient life, and through these we can partly retrace the progression from the geological to the living world.

Wednesday, April 18 at 7:30 pm

James A. Little Theater

New Mexico School for the Deaf

1060 Cerrillos Road, Santa Fe.