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Caleb Scharf: The Copernicus Complex | Are We Special in the Cosmos?


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Is humanity on Earth special or unexceptional? Extraordinary discoveries in astronomy and biology have revealed a universe filled with endlessly diverse planetary systems, and a picture of life as a phenomenon intimately linked with the most fundamental aspects of physics. But just where these discoveries will lead us is not yet clear. We may need to find a way to see past the mediocre status that Copernicus assigned to us 500 years ago. Dr. Scharf helps us to come to grips with the implications of some of the latest scientific research, from the microscopic to the cosmic.

Founded in 1999, the Silicon Valley Astronomy Lectures are presented on selected Wednesday evenings during the school year at Foothill College, in the heart of California’s Silicon Valley. Speakers over the years have included a wide range of noted scientists, explaining astronomical developments in everyday language.