March 18, 2010

Speaker: Robert Hazen
Evolution has long been a lightning rod for anti-science rhetoric. Such attacks are usually reserved for discussions of Darwinian evolution by natural selection, but evolving systems also operate in many other contexts, including the formation of chemical elements in stars following the Big Bang, diversification of minerals on Earth-like planets, development of languages, and more. Although each of these complex systems evolves through selective mechanisms, they fundamentally differ from each other. Comparisons point to general principles of emergent complexity, and underscore the power and plausibility of biological evolution.

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