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. http://www.eps.harvard.edu/people/faculty/knoll/
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.
Life on a Young Planet The First Three Billion Years of Evolution on Earth
by Andrew H. Knoll
Princeton University Press
Due/Published September 2004, 304 pages, paper
Australopithecines, dinosaurs, trilobites--such fossils conjure up images of lost worlds filled with vanished organisms. But in the full history of life, ancient animals, even the trilobites, form only the half-billion-year tip of a nearly four-billion-year iceberg. Andrew Knoll explores the deep history of life from its origins on a young planet to the incredible Cambrian explosion, presenting a new explanation for the emergence of biological novelty.
The very latest discoveries in paleontology--many of them made by the author and his students--are integrated with emerging insights from molecular biology and earth system science to forge a broad understanding of how the biological diversity that surrounds us came to be. Moving from Siberia to Namibia to the Bahamas, Knoll shows how life and environment have evolved together through Earth's history. Innovations in biology have helped shape our air and oceans, and, just as surely, environmental change has influenced the course of evolution, repeatedly closing off opportunities for some species while opening avenues for others.
Readers go into the field to confront fossils, enter the lab to discern the inner workings of cells, and alight on Mars to ask how our terrestrial experience can guide exploration for life beyond our planet. Along the way, Knoll brings us up-to-date on some of science's hottest questions, from the oldest fossils and claims of life beyond the Earth to the hypothesis of global glaciation and Knoll's own unifying concept of "permissive ecology.'"
"Andrew Knoll, one of the world's foremost paleontologists, here presents the origin and early evolution of life the way it should be told: a mystery unfolding as an epic. Resonating with the authority of firsthand stories of discovery, his account will be exceptionally enjoyable for scientists and the educated public alike."--Edward O. Wilson
Sorry, lost the link, but this is an intro from a lecture that he did.
Andrew Knoll “Space Exploration: The Mars Rover”
Prehistoric bacteria may not have the headline grabbing potential of T-Rex and Velociraptor, but it is, all things considered, more important to our understanding of the development and evolution of life on earth. And its study has made Andrew Knoll one of the world's most important scientists.
In a sweeping book entitled Life on a Young Planet: The First Three Billion Years of Evolution on Earth , Andrew Knoll takes readers on a fascinating and compelling journey back in time to understand how life on earth came to be. Fisher Professor of Natural History at Harvard University , Andrew Knoll has been hailed by Time Magazine as America 's best paleontologist. In his most recent work, he has been a key advisor on the recent mission to explore the surface of Mars.
The University Lecture Series tempts you to take note and ask Andrew Knoll what life on Mars might be like.
I am personally wondering about the "blueberries" on mars that were found and his thoughts on them.
Then in another direction I am very curious about his comments on Creationism. It was quite interesting and I am wanting to know more.
I had recently read some of his work about withing the Mars spectrum and was very interested. I then looked up some more information and found that he actually researches the true beinnings of life on this planet. So, I contacted him as I thought you all would love to have a chance to ask some questions. He graciously accepted.