3 of 7 – A Life of Science: Lynn Margulis Opens the Gaian Era

Dear Earthlings:
two more snapshots this week.  Astrobiology: the science that studies the life of astral bodies.  Oh my!  These are big questions for yours truly.  I’m an earth sign and my imagination doesn’t travel that far in space.  But yes, if Gaia, the third planet, has a “life,” a “biography,” so must other astral bodies too.  Lynn Margulis made contributions in this area too.  

Lynn Rothschild explains what Astrobiology asks: where do we come from? Where are we going? Are we alone? In a cosmic way. Rothschild was inspired by Lynn Margulis who understood how important astrobiology would be for the future.  Now we know that stars have planets too.  The search for “intelligent life” continues. 



Penelope Boston speaks of extant life, extinct life, and everything in between. Could extinct life, as in rocks, Mars, become extant again?   Is extinction an interlude, as in the tale of Rick Van Winkle?  Microbes exist in rocks and on Mars too!  Finally yours truly gets what astrobiology is.  It could be compared to the genre of science fiction if it were literature.  “Yes,” says Penelope, “when I teach astrobiology I often ask students to read a science fiction novel and evaluate how plausible it is from a technical, scientific point of view.” 
Evolution only makes sense in the context of astrobiology, or is it vice versa?  And in any event, is it fair to define life as what feels like life if you are a human?  Again, you hit the big question when around Lynn Margulis.   
Dear Earthlings:

Education is the heart of democracy.  And that includes education to love.  It comes in many forms.  Including learning about Lynn Margulis, the role of collaboration in evolution, and Gaia theory. 

Did you enjoy the post?  Let us know!  Yours truly appreciates your attention.  The comments box is open.

Come back!  And stay tuned for more wonders.

Namaste,
 
Serena Anderlini-D’Onofrio, PhD
Gilf Gaia Extraordinaire
Author of Gaia, Eros, and many other books about love
Professor of Humanities

University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez

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serenagaia • April 26, 2012


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