Wonderfest’s “ORIGINS NightLife” at the California Academy of Sciences, May12

Whether you're a NightLife regular or rookie, Wonderfest's ORIGINS NightLife is not to be missed. It features three great speakers who will offer insights into fundamental beginnings: the origin of the cosmos, the origin of life, and the origin of civilization. Here's the schedule and line-up:

7:00pmEliot Quataert (Director, UC Berkeley Theoretical Astrophysics Center) on "How the Universe Evolved from Smooth to Lumpy" — The infant universe was remarkably uniform, with only tiny differences in its properties from one part to another. By contrast, the present universe exhibits enormous differences: some regions host planets, stars, and galaxies (and even humans!) while others do not. Prof. Quataert will describe how the universe evolved from its smooth beginnings to its current state, emphasizing how gravity reigns supreme and builds up the planets, stars, and galaxies required for biological evolution to proceed.

8:00pmDave Deamer (Professor of Biomolecular Engineering, UC Santa Cruz) on "Salty Sea or Darwin's Pond: Where Did Life Begin?" — Many undersea hydrothermal vents are loaded with bacteria, so scientists propose that life could have begun in similar sites four billion years ago. But science works best when there is competition between ideas. Prof. Deamer will describe field studies in the hydrothermal fields of Hawaii, Iceland, Kamchatka, and Mt. Lassen’s Bumpass Hell. He’ll discuss lab simulations that argue in favor of life’s origin in the fresh water environment suggested by Charles Darwin in 1871.

9:00pmHenry Gilbert (Associate Professor of Anthropology, Cal State East Bay) on "Human Civilization from a Paleoanthropologist's Perspective" — Webster’s defines civilization as “the condition that exists when people have developed effective ways of organizing a society and care about art, science, etc.” Is civilization a useful term in academia? … in geopolitics? Does the term unite or divide humanity? Using numerous visual presentations of artifacts, excavations, and prehistoric societies, Prof. Gilbert will address the archaeological origins of intelligence, art, and other aspects of modern human behavior that may constitute civilization.

TICKETS: Get general NightLife info, and purchase tickets here.
  • WHAT:  Wonderfest's "ORIGINS NightLife" at the Cal Academy
  • WHO:  Eliot Quataert (UC Berkeley); Dave Deamer (UC Santa Cruz); Henry Gilbert (Cal State East Bay)
  • WHEN:  6:00 PM, Thursday, May 12
  • WHERE:  California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco
  • HOW: Purchase tickets via the Cal Academy.
  • WHY: Because we're curious creatures.
WHEN: 2016-05-12 — 6:00pm, Thursday, May 12, 2016