Appreciating Earth’s Evolutionary Pageant and Our Animal Nature
The previous post is my summary of an “Earth Centrist” outlook on life and our human condition, a perspective that acknowledges Earth as our fundamental touchstone with reality.
This Earth Centrist's perspective can’t be attained by reading a description of it - unless it already resonates within you thanks to your own previous inquiry and inclination. That's because each of us must engage in our own learning effort.
That is, living your moment and doing the homework and drawing your own conclusions from the evidence you’ve been able to gather. Your deeper understanding emerges out of your own efforts.
Since I’m no scholar, I’ve done my learning by way of some wonderful science communicators, mostly real scientists giving lectures via YouTube along with writing articles and books, with a few talented writers and science documentarians in the mix.
I’ve put together a bibliographic list of my favorites, and of course, it's geared to the intelligent high schooler or early college student, and for other informed enthusiasts such as myself. It follows a natural progression from matter forming followed by mineral evolution & our planet evolving a "global heat and moisture distribution engine," to geology and biology combining forces, on to the mysteries of complex dynamic living creatures. Then on to the greatest show on Earth with life's collective consciousness spectrum.
Since my bandwidth is limited by my crowded day to days filled with other obligations, I'm sure I’m missing many awesome gems. So please do share should you believe you know of some presentations worth adding to this collection.
Featuring: Sean Carrol, NOVA/NASA, Robert Hazen, Robert Rohde, Richard Alley, Nick Lane, David Qualmen, Carl Woese, Lynn Margulis, Tsutomu Wantanabe, Angela Hessler, Svante Pääbo, Mark Solms, Antonio Damasio, Susan Greenfield, Jim Al-Khalili. Finishing with introductions to David Attenborough’s incomparable tour of the evolution of Earth’s living creatures: "Life on Earth", and James L. Sadd’s wonderful introduction to the fundamentals of geology: "Earth Revealed."
I've found my first addition to this list in an amazing lecture by Mike Levin: "Non-neural, developmental bio-electricity as a precursor for cognition" it adds a new dimension of insights into the evolution of consciousness and mind, that fits right into my overall theme of Earth's pageant of evolution.
Another must addition to this list, was written by professor and historian of science and technology James Poskett: "Horizons: The Origins of Modern Science. In it Poskett "recasts the history of science, uncovering the vital contributions of scientists the world over to what is truly a global story." The first couple chapters are down right thrilling, with the book then settling into an enthralling exposition of facts and enlightening surprises. A must read, if the history of human curiosity and development of science is your thing.