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Stars, Cells, and God | Sixth Mass Extinction and M-Dwarf Habitability

Join Fazale “Fuz” Rana and Hugh Ross as they discuss new discoveries taking place at the frontiers of science that have theological and philosophical implications, including the reality of God’s existence. Sixth Mass Extinction Where have all the animals gone? Collaborators from Mexico and the US provide added evidence that we are entering a sixth mass extinction—triggered by human damage to the environment. The impact of the loss of species and the collapse of ecosystems could be much more devastating to humanity than climate change. How should Christians respond to the sixth mass extinction? In this episode, biochemist Fuz Rana discusses the latest insights into large-scale species loss, explores the biblical basis for Christian environmentalism, and makes the case that the Christian story provides explanatory power for the extent of the damage that humans are causing to ecosystems around the world. RESOURCES: Mutilation of the Tree of Life Via Mass Extinction of Animal Genera Additional Resources: A Christian Perspective on the Sixth Mass Extinction Did Humans Cause the Global Extinctions of Mammals? M-Dwarf Habitability? NASA asserts that the most promising candidates for habitability are planets orbiting M-dwarf stars. M-dwarfs are less than half the Sun’s mass, less than 1/15 the Sun’s luminosity, and comprise 70% of all stars. The only remaining hope for finding a habitable exoplanet is to discover one identical to Earth. So far, the most Earth-like known planet beyond Earth is Venus. RESOURCES: Terminator Habitability: The Case for Limited Water Availability on M-Dwarf Planets Planetary Population Synthesis and the Emergence of Four Classes of Planetary System Architectures High-Contrast Imaging around a 2 Myr-Old Cl Tau with a Close-In Gas Giant Carbon Dioxide Outgassing Constrains the Habitability of Rocky Planets After Their Host M Dwarf’s Pre-Main Sequence Phase