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SBE 2020: Submission Detail

ID Number: 292
Title: IDENTIFYING THE QUATERNARY PERIOD RECORD OF COSMIC IMPACT AND EXPLORING ITS IMPLICATIONS FOR PAST HUMAN BIOLOGICAL AND SOCIOCULTURAL EVOLUTION AND FUTURE SOCIETAL RESPONSE
Lead Author: Masse, W. Bruce
Abstract: The role of cosmic impact by asteroids and comets is explored in relation to human biological and sociocultural evolution during the past three million years of the late Pliocene and Quaternary Periods (the Quaternary Period constitutes the past 2.6 million years). Human societal risks relating to potential future cosmic impact is also addressed. The specific challenge question is: To what degree has cosmic impact by asteroids and comets affected human individuals and societies during the past 3 million years of human biological and sociocultural evolution, and how might the study of these past impacts benefit attempts to model risks and mitigations of future impact? The paper highlights the conundrum in which data contained in current planetary science models of cosmic impact risk and rates strongly suggest that cosmic impact played a significant role in human biological and sociocultural evolution, including the recent development of human civilization, and yet this apparent fact is intentionally downplayed or ignored apparently due to the many gaps in the historical record of impact. Members of the social, behavioral, and economic sciences have a significant opportunity to participate in the development and analysis of a robust database of Quaternary Period cosmic impact.
PDF: Masse_W_292.pdf

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