The Ends Of The World

Jul 5, 2018

Since life first evolved on earth more than four billion years ago, it has passed in and out of existence five times. Make that six. An extinction event is happening right now. So what can we learn about the previous ones? (Rebroadcast)

Throughout human history, people have warned that the end of the world is coming. If it does, it won’t really be all that unique. You see, the world has already ended five times. Life on earth has been broiled, frozen, gassed, smothered, and asteroided out of existence. And scientists believe that those previous mass extinctions can teach us something about the one happening right now. Science writer Peter Brannen joins us to explore the Earth’s past dead ends and what they mean for the future. (Rebroadcast)

Peter Brannen's writing has appeared in the New York TimesThe AtlanticWired, and the Washington Post, among others. His new book is called The Ends of the World: Volcanic Apocalypses, Lethal Oceans, and Our Quest to Understand Earth's Past Mass Extinctions [Independent bookstores|Amazon|Audible].