This is truly a wonderful way to start the interviews! We will be able to ask many questions about the possibility of life on Mars, the beginning of life on Earth, and many many more! Please submit all questions by U2U to JCMinJapan by January 12, 2005.
Professor of Biology
Harvard University Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences
Member of the Mars Rover team
Andrew Knoll is a professor of Natural History at Harvard University and is Principal Investigator of the NASA National Astrobiology Institute team at Harvard. He is also a member of the NASA Mars Exploration Rovers science team. Dr. Knoll earned his Ph.D. in Geology from Harvard in 1977. He studies the first 3 billion years of life on Earth -- from the first single-celled life forms to the explosion of multi-celled life forms about 570 million years ago.
"I think that everyone who thinks that intelligent design is a good idea should look at rabbits. They should notice that the rabbit actually eats its own fecal pellets. The reason it does that is that rabbits, like cows, have an internal rumen-type storage area where bacteria break down food that the rabbit can't break down itself. But unlike cows, in the rabbit, that pouch is on the wrong end of the intestine. The food goes through the intestine, then it gets broken down by the bacteria, then the rabbit has to eat it again to get the nutritional value. Now, if that's intelligent design. . ."
Some of his publications: (these are just a few of many)
Knoll, A.H. (1992) The early evolution of eukaryotic organisms: a geological perspective. Science 256: 622-627.
Knoll, A.H., R. Bambach, D. Canfield, and J.P. Grotzinger (1996) Comparative Earth history and late Permian mass extinction. Science 273: 452-457.
Knoll, A.H. and S.B. Carroll (1999) The early evolution of animals: Emerging views from comparative biology and geology. Science 284: 2129-2137.
Knoll, A.H. (2003) The geological consequences of evolution. Geobiology 1: 3-14.
Knoll, A.H. (2003) Life on a Young Planet: The First Three Billion Years of Evolution on Earth. Princeton University Press, Princeton, New Jersey.