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UCLA: The Spark of Life: Darwin and the Primeval Soup

Precambrian stromatolites in the Siyeh Formation, Glacier National Park. In 2002, a paper in the scientific journal Nature suggested that these 3.5 Ga (billion years old) geological formations contain fossilized cyanobacteria microbes. Credit: National Park Service. P. Carrara, NPS

Precambrian stromatolites in the Siyeh Formation, Glacier National Park. In 2002, a paper in the scientific journal Nature suggested that these 3.5 Ga (billion years old) geological formations contain fossilized cyanobacteria microbes. Credit: National Park Service. P. Carrara, NPS

New research shows that life probably arose on Earth almost four billion years ago, at a time when the planet’s surface was pounded by huge waves and tides, and periodically devastated by volcanic eruptions.

In this talk hosted by The University of California, the authors of “Spark of Life”, UCSD’s Jeffrey Bada and Christopher Wills, describe the steps by which living organisms may have first appeared, and how right from the beginning, the forces of evolution were at work.