Origin & Evolution of Life: September 2007

Speaker: Norman Pace (University of Colorado, Boulder), Date/Time: Monday, September 24, 2007 11AM PDT

Abstract: Life anywhere in the universe is likely to be based on carbon and to have a basic biochemistry similar to our own. The fundamental demands of life anywhere thus are the same: to capture energy in order to transform organic chemistry into more of self. In order to accomplish these tasks and thrive, terrestrial life has penetrated all permissible thermodynamic and physical niches offered by planet Earth. Consequently, it is likely that terrestrial life offers models for life in almost any habitable niche in the Universe. Knowledge of terrestrial diversity thus informs us about possible life anywhere.