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New Meetup: From the Big Bang to Broadway: How Things Evolve

From: Mike
Sent on: Monday, September 27, 2010 10:03 PM
Announcing a new Meetup for The San Antonio Science Caf?!

What: From the Big Bang to Broadway: How Things Evolve

When: Monday, October 11,[masked]:30 PM

Where: Trinity University Laurie Auditorium
One Trinity Place
San Antonio , TX 78212

Robert M. Hazen, senior staff scientist at the Carnegie Institution?s Geophysical Laboratory and Clarence Robinson Professor of Earth Science at George Mason University, will discuss ?From the Big Bang to Broadway: How Things Evolve? at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 11, in Laurie Auditorium, as part of the Trinity University Distinguished Scientists Lecture Series. The lecture is free and open to the public.

Evolution, the natural process by which systems under selective pressure become more complex, has long been a lightning rod for anti-science rhetoric. Such attacks are usually reserved for discussions of biological (Darwinian) evolution by natural selection, but evolving systems also operate in many other natural and human contexts, including the formation of chemical elements in stars following the Big Bang, diversification of minerals on Earth-like planets, prebiotic synthesis and the origin of life, development of languages, and progress in material culture and the arts. Each of these complex systems evolves through selective mechanisms, and each system displays such similar characteristics as diversification into niches (radiation), episodic periods of innovation (punctuation), and the loss and replacement of previous species (extinction). However, these systems differ from each other in fundamental respects, notably in the degree to which their species demonstrate mutability, heritability, and lateral transfer of traits. Comparisons among these disparate evolving systems point to general principles of emergent complexity, and underscore the power and plausibility of biological evolution.

Hazen received a B.S. and S.M. in geology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1971), and a doctorate at Harvard University in earth science (1975). He is author of 350 scientific articles and 20 books, including Genesis: The Scientific Quest for Life?s Origin. The past president of the Mineralogical Society of America, Hazen?s recent research focuses on the role of minerals in the origin of life, the co-evolution of the geo- and biospheres, and the development of complex systems. He is also principal investigator of the Deep Carbon Observatory, a 10-year project to study the chemical and biological roles of carbon in Earth?s interior. Hazen is active in presenting science to nonscientists through writing, radio, TV, public lectures, and video courses. In addition, he is a professional trumpeter and is a member of the National Gallery Orchestra and the National Philharmonic.

We had a few members who found it difficult to identify the group during the last meetup, which is just unacceptable. I'm going to add more identifying information for this one. Most people are able to find us just fine, but if you are new, I recommend looking at the photos of those who RSVP. Regardless, I'm planning to buy an embarrassing name tag just to make it that much easier ;)

See ya there!

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