May 18, 2019 - 9 min
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This unique aspect of human emergence is like a sudden invasion of Earth. When looking at other inhabitants of the planet Earth, humans are strange. What is even more bizarre is how ‘we generate, exploit and propagate information that is not encoded in our heritable genetic material yet travels with us through time and space.’ Caleb Scharf, the director of the Columbia Astrobiology Center, reflects on how the propagation of information known as the “dataome” has been an integral part of the hominin species since 200,000. Here, he reflects on why this is like an alien invasion or an asteroid impact.