I am a scientist, entrepreneur and teacher in the life sciences.
Browse or search here for explanation of what it is I do, why I do it, and what links such disparate subjects as the search for extrasolar planets, the chemistry of kidneys, and the economics of venture capital investment.
Dec. 2016. Wherever life is, it is complex
Dirk Schulze-Makuch and I explored the key innovations in function that have lead from simple microorganisms to plants and animals today. We have three models for this: Random Walk (a step is very rare and unlikely), Critical Path (a step is likely, but only after one of more sets of conditions make it possible), or Many Paths (each mechanism to allow a function is unlikely, but many combinations of mechanisms can work). We show that all the steps apart from the origin of life itself and the appearence of human-style, technological intelligence are probably Many Paths processes, and so likely to occur.
Does this mean that We Are Not Alone? Alas, not necessarily, as the two remaining steps could be very, very unlikely indeed