life

Tag archives for life

Discovery, by nature, has a ripple effect. When one thing is found to be plausible, testable, or true, a suite of potential other truths and plausibilities tend to follow suit. This is the nature of inductive reasoning, the foundation of the scientific method, and the reason why science–as a human project–is generational. We discover something…

The Book of Exogenesis

The Book of Exogenesis: In the beginning was the word, and the word was a meteorite… Earlier this month, a report, based on NASA studies of meteorites found on Earth, suggested that some building blocks of DNA may have been formed in space. As it turns out, DNA components have been found on meteorites before,…

The Shadow Biosphere

Let’s define alien. Definition number one: unfamiliar. By that description alone, a good 99% of life on this planet is alien. Breathing water, living nestled in thermal vents, stalking prey on the veldt, growing out of the Earth and eating sunlight, without eyes, without legs, with extra legs, color-blind, carapaced, marsupial, with exoskeletons, with jelly…

Synthetic Life Lives

What do these three quotations have in common? Hint: it lives in a petri dish. “To live, to err, to fall, to triumph, and to recreate life out of life.” — James Joyce “What I cannot build, I cannot understand.” — Richard Feynman “See things not as they are, but as they might be.” —…

Universe Event in NYC Tomorrow

I’m flying out to New York City on Sunday to participate in the very exciting BRAINWAVE series at the Rubin Museum of Art. BRAINWAVE, which is in its third year, brings thinkers from different disciplines to sit down with scientists to wrap their (and our) minds around the things that matter. Past pairings include Composer…

The Evolution of Life in 60 Seconds

The Evolution of Life in 60 Seconds is an experiment in scale: by condensing 4.6 billion years of history into a minute, the video serves as a self-contained timepiece. Like a specialized clock, it gives a sense of perspective. Every event – from the formation of the Earth, to the Cambrian Explosion, to the evolution of mice…

Something From Nothing

Science, as a discipline, is driven by the desire to understand everything. The immensity of such a project necessitates that science be undertaken not by one group of men and women in one time, but all men and women for all time. However, the final goal always eludes us: to understand this, we must first…