The above is thanks to an email from Coursera that had me googling “Carl Woese” because I was curious to be reminded of his work.
Pretty interesting and what I would call science
quite a contrast to the character of the LFW/determinism debate/philosophy thingie :-/
Emergence of Life
How did life emerge on Earth? How have life and Earth co-evolved through geological time?
Is life elsewhere in the universe?
Take a look through the 4-billion-year history of life on Earth through the lens of the modern Tree of Life!
About the Course
This course will evaluate the entire history of life on Earth within the context of our cutting-edge understanding of the Tree of Life.
This includes the pioneering work of Professor Carl Woese on the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign campus which
revolutionized our understanding with a new "Tree of Life." Other themes include:
Reconnaissance of ancient primordial life before the first cell evolved
The entire ~4-billion-year development of single- and multi-celled life through the lens of the Tree of Life
The influence of Earth system processes (meteor impacts, volcanoes, ice sheets) on shaping and structuring the Tree of Life
This synthesis emphasizes the universality of the emergence of life as a prelude for the search for extraterrestrial life.
This course will be broken up into 8 weekly modules covering the following topics:
Week 1: Course Welcome, Geological Time, and the Nature of Science
Week 2: The Tree of Life and Early Earth Environments
Week 3: Fossilization and Precambrian Life-Earth Interaction
Week 4: Paleozoic Life After the Advent of Skeletons
Week 5: Paleozoic Plants, Reptiles, and the Transition to Land
Week 6: Mesozoic Reign of Dinosaurs and the Development of Flight
Week 7: Cenozoic Mammals and Global Environmental Change
Week 8: Astrobiology and the Search for Life in the Cosmos