Review: Hunting for dinosaurs showed me our place in the universe
Speaker: Kenneth Lacovara
Date: February 2016
Location: Vancouver, BC
Description from TED website:
What happens when you discover a dinosaur? Paleontologist Kenneth Lacovara details his unearthing of Dreadnoughtus — a 77-million-year-old sauropod that was as tall as a two-story house and as heavy as a jumbo jet — and considers how amazingly improbable it is that a tiny mammal living in the cracks of the dinosaur world could evolve into a sentient being capable of understanding these magnificent creatures. Join him in a celebration of the Earth’s geological history and contemplate our place in deep time.
My Review / Notes / Thoughts
Personally, I do not believe in evolution… so I had a hard time listening to his talk since it was based on evolution. However, after listening to the entire talk, I found that his final point was rather important.
He asks the question “Why study the ancient past?” and then goes on to say that we should study it because it gives us perspective and humility.
“The dinosaurs died in the world’s fifth mass extinction, snuffed out in a cosmic accident through no fault of their own. They didn’t see it coming, and they didn’t have a choice. We, on the other hand, do have a choice. And the nature of the fossil record tells us that our place on this planet is both precarious and potentially fleeting. Right now, our species is propagating an environmental disaster of geological proportions that is so broad and so severe, it can rightly be called the sixth extinction. Only unlike the dinosaurs, we can see it coming. And unlike the dinosaurs, we can do something about it. That choice is ours.”
The talk is certainly food for discussion and might help with the debate on the future of this earth. I’m still not so sure about the talk myself… but perhaps you want to watch it and make your own call.
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Until next time … live long life-learner!