Cosmic Evolution, with David Grinspoon

Gaia, or just a big blue marble? Credit: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Image by Reto Stöckli (land surface, shallow water, clouds). Enhancements by Robert Simmon.
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About This Episode

“We are atoms in the molecules of culture.” So says Dr. FunkySpoon poetically in this episode of StarTalk All-Stars. Join us as we explore cosmic evolution and what unites the narratives of the universe, with astrobiologist and host David Grinspoon, a.k.a. Dr. FunkySpoon, comic co-host Chuck Nice, and Tyler Volk, NYU biologist and author of Quarks to Culture: How We Came to Be. You’ll hear about Tyler’s book, which explores the interconnectivity of all things. Explore “combo genesis” or “creating things by combining things,” and how that factors into the evolutionary timeline. Investigate symbiogenesis – the important collision of prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells – and how it set human evolution in motion. Ponder the Gaia hypothesis, which states that all organisms and their inorganic surroundings on Earth are closely integrated to form a single and self-regulating complex system, maintaining the conditions for life on the planet. Find out how humans have impacted cosmic evolution during their time on Earth, aka the Anthropocene age. All that, plus, you’ll learn about Tyler’s predictions on the future of the geopolitical state, the difference between government and governance, and why thinking like Carl Sagan can provide us with hope for the future.

NOTE: All-Access subscribers can watch or listen to this entire episode commercial-free here: Cosmic Evolution, with David Grinspoon.

In This Episode

  • Host

    David Grinspoon

    David Grinspoon
    All-Stars Host, Astrobiologist; Senior Scientist, Planetary Science Institute
  • Co-Host

    Chuck Nice

    Chuck Nice
  • Guest

    Tyler Volk

    Tyler Volk
    Biologist at NYU and author of Quarks to Culture: How We Came to Be

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