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Lyceum Society: Origins of Life


for Members

Lyceum Society: Origins of Life

Thursday, April 21, 2011

The New York Academy of Sciences

Presented By

Presented by the Lyceum Society


The Lyceum Society is comprised of the Academy's retired and semi-retired members. Talks cover various scientific fields. All Academy members are welcome.

All Lyceum meetings (except December) are Brown Bag lunches. Brown Bag: 11:30 am; Brief-Brief: 12:00pm; Lecture & Discussion: 1pm to 3 pm.

Origins of Life


Robert Carneiro, PhD

Curator, AMNH

As the explaining mammal, we humans, in all our cultures, have constructed marvelous stories to account for the origins of life. As long as the Book of Genesis was accepted unquestionably, Westerners had neither the need nor the methods to look further.

With the tools of science, serious thinkers began searching for an explanation of life's origin that did not require the supernatural. Spontaneous generation was shown experimentally to be impossible, yet it took until 1953 to show how amino acids could be produced, including several found in the human body.

Since then, further experiments have narrowed the gap between inert matter and living protoplasm, establishing a high probability that life on earth arose on a purely material and mechanistic basis.

Bob Carneiro is currently Curator of South American Ethnology, Division of Anthropology, American Museum of Natural History. Born in NYC in 1927, his BS, MA and PhD all in Anthropology, are from the University of Michigan. He was elected a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 1959, a Fellow of NYAS in 1983, and a Fellow of the Linnean Society of London in 2004.

The list of his published writings exceeds 20 pages. An entire issue of American Behavioral Scientist was devoted to articles on the circumstription theory of state formation, first proposed by Caniero in 1970.

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