Is complex life a freak accident? by UCL Sound published on 2012/02/07 12:10:44 +0000 UCL Lunch Hour Lecture: Is complex life a freak accident? Dr Nick Lane (UCL Genetics, Evolution and Environment) Date: 24th January 2012 Natural selection is a kind of search engine. Given enough time, and suitably vast populations, it should find the best solutions repeatedly. So why are bacteria still bacteria? And why did all complex life on our planet share an ancestor that only arose once in four billion years? In this lecture, Dr Nick Lane suggests that everything we see around us stemmed from a freak accident two billion years ago. We are far from inevitable, and may be alone in a universe of bacteria. UCL is consistently ranked as one of the world's top universities. Across all disciplines our faculties are known for their research-intensive approaches, academic excellence and engagement with global challenges. This is the basis of our world-renowned degree programmes. Visit us at www.ucl.ac.uk.