May 17, 2016 1:52 pm

Revisiting “Cosmic Queries: Human Impact on Earth with Dr. Funkyspoon” – now extended with more surprising insights

Astrobiologist Dr. David Grinspoon and Astrophysicist Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson

The last time astrobiologist Dr. David Grinspoon hosted an episode of StarTalk, it was “Cosmic Queries: Human Impact on Earth with Dr. FunkySpoon.” The next time our fan-favorite astrobiologist takes the driver’s seat, it will be as one of the hosts of StarTalk All-Stars, our new podcast which will be airing on Tuesdays starting this June.

In the meantime, this Friday we’re revisiting that episode of Cosmic Queries, extended with 13 minutes of Dr. F skyping in to chat with his comic co-host, Chuck Nice. And the new content promises to be just as filled with surprises – and controversial points of view – as the rest of that classic episode.

For instance, last time Dr. FunkySpoon told Chuck that there might be an upside to fracking-induced earthquakes. This week, David tells Chuck about the “twisted gift of global warming,” which may be a tragedy in the near term but could turn out to be empowering in the long run.

That’s the thing about Dr. FunkySpoon. He’s always coming up with an interesting take on something that other people just accept at face value. And it’s why we love him. Who else would ever compare the devastating impact wrought by humanity on our fellow inhabitants of planet Earth with that of cyanobacteria, which evolved photosynthesis 2.2 billion years ago, flooding earth’s atmosphere with oxygen and thereby wiping out most of the species extant at the time. As David put it, “We’re not the first species to come along and, in the quest for an energy source, screw up the planet.” The difference, as David puts it, is that we’re now aware of our role on the Earth and we can take steps to change our behavior. In other words, we may be slime, but we’re smart slime.

And that’s mostly what the extra content we’ve added to this episode is about: the idea that humanity has to evolve from being homo sapiens to being terra sapiens.

If you’ve never heard “Cosmic Queries: Human Impact on Earth with Dr. Funkyspoon,” now’s your chance to catch up on that classic episode. And even if you have, if you enjoy David’s interesting take on all things astrobiological, you’re going to love what we’ve added to the show.

Please join us this Friday at 7 pm EDT on our website, as well as on iTunes Podcasts, Stitcher, TuneIn, SoundCloud and now, on Google Play Music.

That’s it for now. Keep Looking Up!
–Jeffrey Simons

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