Big Picture Science – Geology is Destiny

by Gary Niederhoff on January 16, 2017

Big Picture Science – Geology is Destiny

The record of the rocks is not just the history of Earth; it’s your history too. Geologists can learn about events going back billions of years that influenced – and even made possible – our present-day existence and shaped our society.

If the last Ice Age had been a bit warmer, the rivers and lakes of the Midwest would have been much farther north and the U.S. might still be a small country of 13 states. If some Mediterranean islands hadn’t twisted a bit, no roads would have led to Rome.

Geology is big history, and the story is on-going. Human activity is changing the planet too, and has introduced its own geologic era, the Anthropocene. Will Earthlings of a hundred million years from now dig up our plastic refuse and study it the way we study dinosaur bones?

Plus, the dodo had the bad luck to inhabit a small island and couldn’t adapt to human predators. But guess what? It wasn’t as dumb as you think.

Listen to individual segments here:
Part 1: Walter Alvarez / Rocks Remember
Part 2: Eugenia Gold / So Goes the Dodo
Part 3: David Grinspoon / Enter the Anthropocene

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

avatar Robert January 16, 2017 at 2:24 pm

Thank you Molly and Seth!

I’m a big fan of your show and was looking forward to a new episode after the holidays. I mean it as a big compliment that your show helps me sleep. Let me explain a bit… Normally I have a hard time falling asleep when let alone with my own thoughts. Your show is interesting enough lure me away from that. At the same time, it’s light enough for easy listening. Most of the time, I listen you shows in 3 to 5 stints because I’m away in 10 to 15 minutes.

Greetings from the country where Seth once studied… The Netherlands.

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