The Medea Hypothesis

Monday, January 11, 2010

Renowned paleontologist Peter Ward argues that life might be its own worst enemy. He proposes a provocative vision of life's relationship with the Earth's biosphere in The Medea Hypothesis: Is Life on Earth Ultimately Self-Destructive? Ward’s proposes that all but one of the mass extinctions on Earth were caused by life itself, and reveals that there is an alarming decline of diversity and biomass on Earth, caused by life's own "biocidal" tendencies.

Event: Peter Ward is speaking
Monday, January 11, at 7:30 pm
Hayden Planetarium Space Theater
Tickets: $15; $13.50 members, students, senior citizens
More information and tickets here.


Peter Ward

Comments [6]

Jgarbuz from Queens, NY

I do not believe that overpopulation is the problem. Some of the most densely populated countries, like Holland, Japan and ISrael are doing well, thank you. The answer is RE-URBANIZATION and DE-SUBURBANIZATION. The excessive spread of the suburbs in the US after WWII, was based on cheap energy, mainly oil and coal, and has been a blessing and curse. We had the blessing; now we have the curse. What we need is a "back to the apartment" movement, and re-urbanization into cities with good public transit systems, leaving the countryside to farms, parks, resorts and the animals that we can go visit on weekends and holidays.

Jan. 11 2010 01:02 PM
Suffocating on the Big Blue Marble from Earth

Do any scientists or climatologists work for the U.S. government?

Going back to Bush 1 (The First Disaster), global warming was treated like some kind of Left-wing hysterics. I think this world deserves whatever it gets. The greed and waste will eat itself and we'll all implode. Hooray! But at least were not a bunch of liberal sissies!

Jan. 11 2010 12:59 PM
Yani Tsakos from Valley Cottage, NY

As George Carlin said: (paraphrasing)

There's nothing wrong with the Earth. Its going to shake us off like a bad case of fleas . . .

Jan. 11 2010 12:56 PM
Jesse Ainslie from bed-stuy, brooklyn

I'm sorry, "we are the curse and the blessing"? In what way are we the blessing? We continuously disobey natural law, we refuse to recognize biodiversity as necessary, we are an agent of Medea.

Jan. 11 2010 12:52 PM

Given his hypothesis, isn't the human race the most self destructive? (Since we have only one habitat, Earth, and we are actively poisoning and destroying the Earth's ability to support human life.)

Jan. 11 2010 12:46 PM
Jesse Ainslie from bed-stuy, brooklyn

Could this Medea hypothesis be related in any way to the theory of a tendency towards entropy on a universal and quantum level?

Almost, one hand will break what the other will build.

Also, love the show and thank you for working so hard.

Jan. 11 2010 12:46 PM

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