Astrobiology and the mysteries of life:
Dr. Graham Lau is an astrobiologist and communicator of science. He currently serves as the Director of Communications and Marketing for Blue Marble Space, as a Research Scientist with the Blue Marble Space Institute of Science, and as the Director of Logistics for the University Rover Challenge. He also co-hosts the NASA-sponsored livestream show “Ask an Astrobiologist”, and you can find Dr. Lau on Twitter and Instagram at the handle “@cosmobiologist” or on his website cosmobiota.com.
Podcast website: https://volandino.com
Apple Podcasts: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/beyond/id1509949724
Full episodes playlist: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLXRmG-SrXaHiysqmzKg78kW1g_VBxHyjj
01:15 – Intro
01:31 – What is astrobiology? what does an astrobiologist do?
03:46 – If you had just 5 minutes to study a new lifeform, what is the first thing that you would analyze, and why?
05:50 – How likely is it that we may miss in our explorations the existence of other kinds of lifeforms because we may be looking for what is similar to the way we ourselves are made/structured?
09:35 – The shadow biosphere on Earth – How would you make sure that you are in front of a new kind of lifeform?
12:28 – Becoming less Earth-centric
13:09 – What is the most alien-like place on Earth?
16:15 – Strategies for detecting other lifeforms in the universe
19:50 – Detecting the existence of alien life remotely
21:49 – Technosignatures, messages from alien civilizations
24:04 – Interacting and communicating with other intelligent species and other forms of life
27:58 – Learning from our attempts to communicate with other species that are different to us
30:15 – Fascinating and wacky behaviours of lifeforms on Earth
32:17 – How is life is getting its energy? The basis of metabolism
33:28 – Creatures with crazy metabolisms: the hummingbird
36:00 – Deep sea organisms
37:45 – Biological machines: how biochemistry and biochemical engineering are being inspired by biology to eventually produce new medicines and create new materials.
39:07 – Material science: helping to build a better world
41:26 – The roots of the pandemic
45:11 – Consciousness: part of the fabric of our neurons/brain vs Panpsychism (an essential property-layer of the universe)
46:31 – What is life? is there a definition everybody agrees on?
48:11 – Panpsychism
50:20 – Consciousness and Humans 2.0
51:37 – Demonstrating consciousness – the zombi metaphor
54:04 – Are all life forms computational and biological machines?
57:00 – Artificial Intelligence: building machines that undergo Darwinian evolution. Post-biological species, synthetic life.
59:28 – What is the meaning of life?
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