Evolution of the Universe: From Nothing to Everything


1:10 PM ‚Äď 2:50 PM

9/13, 9/20, 9/27, 10/4, 10/11, 10/18, 10/25, 11/1

The universe started with the Big Bang.  But how did it start from nothing?  As armchair scientists, we’ll explore the wonder and mystery of the beginning and how the universe evolved from subatomic particles to atoms of hydrogen, to stars and galaxies and to planets with life forms.  Come and find out how you are related to stardust and what a brief moment in time humans have been on planet Earth. 

Approximately half the classes focuses on the evolution of the cosmos and its components; the other half addresses how evolution has taken life on earth from simple bacteria and algae to dinosaurs and squirrel sized mammals to whales, elephants and finally to humans, sequoias and seed plants.  Special attention is given to human evolution. 

Syllabus:  Evolution of the Universe:  From Nothing to Everything 
Ken Lyon, klyonshart@aol.com

This is an approximate timeline as class questions are encouraged and other timely topics may be introduced.

Week1:   Current Events and the Beginning of the Universe

Week 2:  Stars and Galaxies and Our Place in the Universe

Week 3:  Nebulae, Black Holes, Dark Matter and Dark Energy

Week 4:  Our Solar System and the Formation of the Earth

Week 5:  Beginning of Life on Earth

Week 6:  Animals Without Backbones and Simple Plants

Week 7:  More Advanced Life Forms: Fish to Dinosaurs, Spores to Seeds

Week 8:  More Advanced Life Forms: Birds to Mammals to Humans

Facilitator: Ken Lyon

Ken Lyon is a graduate of Pfeiffer College and Southern Connecticut State and former adjunct lecturer at NCC. A science teacher for over 40 years, both at the secondary and college levels, he has shared his love of geology, human biology, forensics and athletics with many generations. He originated the first public high school forensics course in Connecticut and it rapidly became one of the most popular electives at Greenwich High School. Since man first walked on the moon on his 29th birthday, Ken has been captivated by the marvels of the universe.