Early Life

Wednesday, March 21, 2007 - 17:00

The origin of life on Earth is a mystery—there are no fossils of the earliest life forms.

But, fast-forward a few hundred million years, and—voila—we see traces of life, from microbes to—zip ahead another billion years—creatures with six legs, a tail and a thorax. But how did these early life forms develop?

Join us for a journey to Mexico where pools of microbes could tell us about life’s earliest moments. Also, the turning point in the history of animals on Earth: the Cambrian explosion. Finally, he may not be a mad scientist, but we’ll meet a chemist who is trying to reproduce early life in the lab.


  • Max Bernstein, chemist at NASA Ames Research Center
  • Bruce Lieberman, geologist at the University of Kansas
  • Bertha Shostak
  • Charles Bentley