Cosmic Evolution Project Submenu Links - click to expand or collapse list

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expanding universe

particle evolution

structure formation

cosmic web




Milky Way Galaxy



stars and galaxies

Solar System






Ice Giants

Trans-Neptunian Objects

Asteroid Belt

Moons and Rings

Earth and Geobiosphere

Global Catastrophes

Ocean Science Quest

Darwin In the Garden

Cosmic Origins of Life




Diversity of Life

Complexity of Life







Organism Life Cycle

Ecosystem Evolution

Ecosystem Life Cycle

Brains and Tools


Brain Structure

Brain Cell Building Blocks

Brain chemistry and neuroplasticity

Brain Development

Brain Evolution

Brain Emergent Properties


Brain Life Cycle


Tools to expand sensory powers

Tools to expand physical powers

Tools to expand mental powers

Artificial Intelligence

Artificial Selection

Socio-economic Evolution



Earth and Geobiosphere

The ultimate question in Earth system history is how did a cold dilute cloud of gas and dust evolve into astronauts driving on the moon of a planet orbiting a star?

The solar system domain describes the formation and evolution of the Sun and planets from a cold dilute cloud of gas and dust, but that leads to the question of how early life formed on Earth? What is the sequence of steps in the formation and evolution of biologically important molecules, structures, and metabolic processes

How did the first cells form? What was life like in early microbial ecosystems? How did complex eukaryote cells evolve from simpler prokaryote cells? How did complex cells form multicellular organisms and complex ecosystems? How do specialized cells in multicellular organisms develop from a common embryotic cell?


Earth and Geobiosphere

The Earth and geobiosphere page will cover the five billion year history of our planet including its physical and biogeochemical evolution with emphasis on the early evolution of the molecular and metabolic building blocks of life and the complex interactions of ecosystems.

The five billion year history of the Earth and geobiosphere is best depicted by a linear timeline in equal 100 million year intervals depicting Earth's physical, chemical, and biological history including changes at major nodes in Blair Hedges molecular timescales. The timeline highlights the rarely discussed extraordinary events in the Proterozoic era and features plausible natural explanations of the underlying astrophysical, geophysical, biogeochemical, and ecological causes and/or consequences of molecular and metabolic evolution.

The emphasis is on the thermal structure and distribution and flows of energy and matter within the Earth’s lithosphere, hydrosphere, atmosphere, biosphere, as well as the influence of the Sun, the Earth’s deep interior, other planets, and inflows of particles and objects. This domain encompasses the water cycle, carbon and other element cycles, biogeochemical processes, and the origin and evolution of the molecular, metabolic, and structural building blocks of life. Interactions of energy and matter drive microbial ecology, the evolution of complex cells and multicellular organisms, and the origin of kingdoms and phyla.

The Whole History of the Earth and Life - the official full version



Origin of Life and Synthetic Biology - click to expand or collapse

The following embedded video is from a talk recorded on 10/05/2011 by Dr. David Deamer (UC Santa Cruz, Biomolecular Engineering) entitled "Systems biology, synthetic biology and the origin of life"

The YouTube caption is "Synthetic life, defined as life that did not arise from preexisting life, spontaneously emerged when the first cell-like structures assembled from mixtures of organic molecules on the early Earth. These structures, referred to as protocells, exhibited certain properties of living systems and represented evolutionary steps toward the first forms of cellular life. Driven by the forces of natural selection, those first cells evolved into the biosphere we inhabit today. In my talk I will describe how we can learn about the origin of life by fabricating protocells in the laboratory."




Life on Earth depends on seasonal and daily changes in sunlight

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gif image credit


The pdf document, climate wikis, contains a collection of Wikipedia articles that may be useful for students trying to understand and modify simplified climate models and the underlying physical factors that influence the surface temperature of a planet.


NetLogo standard library model of climate change

Composition and Structure of the Solid Earth - click to expand or collapse

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Global carbon cycle - click to expand or collapse

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Building Blocks of Life - click to expand or collapse images and text table

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origin of life text and more text to fill space properly to 800 pixels




origin of life text and more text to fill space properly to 800 pixels



origin of life text and more text to fill space properly to 800 pixels



origin of life text and more text to fill space properly to 800 pixels





Introduction to Darwin in the Garden - click to expand or collapse

Darwin In the Garden Poster Display - click here




To View the complete Darwin In the Garden Poster Display - click here


Ocean Science Quest Tabloid Newspapers - click to expand or collapse

The Ocean Science Quest Exhibit can be viewed by clicking this link:

Ocean Science Quest tabloid newspapers. Eight fictitious "Daily Sea Star" and "Natural Enquirer" tabloid newspapers collectively explore the theme that the diversity and abundance of life depend on interactions of energy and matter in the oceans, atmosphere, solid Earth, and Sun. The truth-is-stranger-than-fiction approach is intended to be provocative, informative, and entertaining. The story begins with sea otters in a kelp forest and explores a series of global themes emphasizing sunlight, gravity, and heat transfer. Some readers may recognize elements of Dr. Art Sussman's systems (energy, matter, and the web of life) and Sam Ham's thematic interpretation principles.


Solar and Global Evolution - click to expand or collapse

The password protected Solar and Global Evolution document can be downloaded by clicking SAGE2010. It is an incomplete documentation of the lecture slides from a 2006 PHYS 470 advanced topics course that may be a useful supplemental resource for Earth Science teachers. It includes extensive slide captions and some chapter introductory paragraphs.

A NetLogo model conduction was uploaded after changing the extension to .pdf and it can be downloaded and then opened after changing the extension to .nlogo - you can do this by making extensions visible in the folder containing the file.

Another example of changing extensions is this mp4 video slidervideo which was changed to a pdf and can be changed back after downloading.




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