While the question of the inevitability of human life inevitably brings out the God-fearing gravity theorists among us, University of Chicago paleontologist Neil Shubin's lecture "Was Human Life Inevitable?" indicates the encouragingly enlightened age into which we've evolved. Shubin the globe-trotting, lobe-fin-fish-fossil-finding author of The Universe Within: Discovering the Common History of Rocks, Planets and People
gets to the root of it all in this riveting meditation on life, the universe and everything. Across the span of 14 billion years, humanity has reached the point at which it alternately creates both The Big Bang Theory
and Afrobeat but why has it ultimately come to this? If you make only one New Year's resolution to see a paleontologist, let it be this one. Zocalo at Petersen Automotive Museum, 6060 Wilshire Blvd.; Mon., Jan. 14, 7:30 p.m.; free ($8 parking). (213) 381-2541, zocalopublicsquare.org.
Mon., Jan. 14, 7:30 p.m., 2013