Art Woods, Marty Martin
If the tape of life were replayed, how recognizable would today’s species and biomes (environments?) be? How and why does power increase over evolutionary time? How have humans unleashed so much power, and what are the consequences of that power for life on Earth?
In this episode, we talk with Geerat Vermeij, a paleoecologist and evolutionary biologist in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences at UC Davis. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, and has published over 200 papers and five books. Our conversation focuses on his most recent book: “The Evolution of Power: A New Understanding of the History of Life.” In it, he asserts that power, the amount of energy an organism can take up or expend per unit time, has increased steadily during the history of life on Earth. On the episode, we discuss the idea of power, how species evolve more power, and how humans have unleashed more power than any other species (and whether we need to work on curbing this power).
Cover photo: Keating Shahmehri
Length of Episode
57 minutes, 47 seconds
Digital File Format
Woods, Art and Martin, Marty, "Episode 114: How power explains the history of life (with Geerat Vermeij)" (2024). BigBiology Podcasts. 117.