The Emergence of Life

Moderator: Dorothy Rosenthal
Role of participants: The moderator will provide a list of possible topics. Participants will select a topic, report on their topic and lead a discussion of the topic.
Number of participants (including the moderators): 16-18
Time: Mondays, 1:30–3:30 pm
Place: Applewood, 1st Floor Meeting Room, One Spencer Drive, Amherst
Parking: Ample parking on site; please park on the outside curve of Spencer Drive, not in the parking lot!

Recent Advances in the Understanding of Evolution of Life on Earth

In the 3.8 billion years since life first arose on planet Earth, living things have moved from deep ocean vents to populate the land and air as well as the sea. We will consider recent evidence on how life emerged on Earth and the major evolutionary changes that have occurred since. Our study will be informed by new information about the biochemistry of living things and discoveries of organisms previously unknown, all of which have radically changed our understanding of the Tree of Life. Information on the emergence of life is coming in daily and we will try to capture the new understanding of evolution and the excitement of being witness to new discoveries in this seminar.

Format: A series of presentations, each of which allows time for general discussion of the topics.

Resources: There will not be one book for everyone to read, but once participants have chosen a topic, the moderator will make one or more suggestions of pertinent books for each topic. Because of the recent nature of some of the material, the internet will be a major source of information as well.

The moderator: The moderator has a background in teaching biology and has moderated ten seminars on various aspects of biology for Five College Learning in Retirement.

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