SETI Talks - Urable Worlds: Where and How can Life Start in the Universe?

SETI Talks

Tags: Exoplanets, Astrobiology, SETI, SETI Talks

Time: Wednesday, Nov 16, 2022 -

Location: Mountain View, CA and Online

We are excited to bring SETI Talks in person to the SETI Institute! You can attend either in person or online.

On which worlds and under what conditions can life begin? The new “urability” framework (places and conditions under which life can originate) is a new addition to Astrobiology, joining the term “habitability” (worlds where life as we know it can survive). Applying urability to exoplanet models will inform a key term in the Drake Equation enabling better estimation of the inventory of worlds where life might arise. The framework is based on a foundation of accumulating evidence by multiple international teams, which increasingly supports an origin of life on land in volcanic hot spring pools. David Deamer and Bruce Damer of UC Santa Cruz and the BIOTA Institute will introduce urability and the hot spring scenario and present a new twist, “the Drake Equation, in reverse,” along with a potentially controversial proposal that “microbes may be hard, not easy.”

This talk will be in person at the SETI Institute (limited space available) and online. Senior researcher Franck Marchis will moderate this talk.

If you are attending this talk in person, please note the SETI Institute’s COVID policy:

  • Anyone visiting the SETI Institute must be fully vaccinated and updated against COVID-19 or have an approved accommodation or state exemption
  • All visitors must complete the SETI Institute’s COVID Declaration Form upon arrival; forms will be available at check-in
  • Anyone who has traveled via plane, either domestically or internationally, within 72 hours of their visit to the SETI Institute is requested to take an at-home COVID test that is negative before coming to the SETI Institute
  • Masking is encouraged, but not required; masks are available upon request

David Deamer and Bruce Damer

Biologist David Deamer, a Research Professor of Biomolecular Engineering at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and multi-disciplinary scientist Bruce Damer, Associate Researcher in the Department of Biomolecular Engineering at UC Santa Cruz, will describe their most recent work, which infers that hydrothermal pools are the most plausible site for the origin of life. Both biologists have been collaborating since 2016 on a full conception of the Terrestrial Origin of Life Hypothesis.