UNE Center for Global Humanities presents “Living with Our Natural Imperfections”

November CGH

The existence of life on Earth may be best understood as the consequence of a series of accidents, alternatives, and errors that have turned out quite well. Our unlikely origin story began with anomalies and asymmetries in space that caused planets to take shape from a bubbling void and sent light into darkness. It continued to produce the Earth’s first living organisms and, eventually, produced that most complex of creatures: the human being.

This is the argument scholar Telmo Pievani will make when he visits the University of New England Center for Global Humanities to present a lecture titled “Living with Our Natural Imperfections” on Monday, Nov. 27 at 6 p.m. at the WCHP Lecture Hall in Parker Pavilion on the UNE Portland Campus for the Health Sciences.

Pievani is a professor in the Department of Biology at the University of Padua in Northern Italy, where he holds the First Italian Chair of Philosophy of Biological Sciences. Previously, he served as a professor of the philosophy of science at the University of Milan-Bicocca. He is a past president of the Italian Society of Evolutionary Biology and is currently a fellow of several academic institutions and scientific societies, including the Scientific Board of Science Festivals in Italy and the International Scientific Council of MUSE in Trento. He is a member of the editorial boards of “Evolution: Education and Outreach, Evolutionary Biology, Nature Italy, Istituto Treccani,” and the Italian edition of “Scientific American.” He is the author of more than 300 publications, including a robust list of books that includes his 2022 title “Imperfection: A Natural History,” upon which his lecture at UNE will be based.  

In the lecture, Pievani will explain that life on our planet has flourished and survived not because of its perfection but because of its imperfectionHe will begin this amazing story with the disruption-filled birth of the universe and proceed through the random DNA copying errors that fuel evolution.

This will be the fourth of five events this semester at the Center for Global Humanities, where lectures are always free, open to the public, and streamed live online.

Click here for more information and to watch the event.