He's my cousin

Nov 10, 2005

A very engaging science writing book club tonight, with Steve Olson, the author of there to join us (courtesy of host David Jarmul). Olson is an excellent writer, and he became so expert in the subject of human genetic history that he even added to the scholarship with a paper in Nature that showed that the the most recent common ancestor of all of us would have lived in the very recent past [paraphrased from the article].

I first read Olson’s book when I was researching my article Genealogy Meets Genetics. It was a treat to meet him tonight.

At one point, our conversation turned to the movement, in Kansas and elsewhere, allowing the notion of intelligent design to be mentioned alongside the more robust, and demonstrated, theory of evolution. The consensus of our group was that scientists, science writers, university educators and others must respond to these challenges with more science education and public explanations of the scientific method. “Neil Caudle” had the most succinct answer: “Do I believe in evolution? No, but I find it the most plausible explanation of everything around me. If you want to teach belief, do so, but let us teach science in the classroom.”

Anton Zuiker

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