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Atheists Talk–Sean B. Carroll

Sean B. Carroll, “Remarkable Creatures”
Atheists Talk #0063 Sunday, March 29, 2009

Have you heard of the new science of Evo Devo? If so, then you’ve probably read Endless Forms Most Beautiful by Dr. Sean B. Carroll. It is a captivating book describing the genetic tool kit that humans and animals share. His engaging narrative style and clear explanation for how developmental biology works is not only smart it is fun to read.

His new book, Remarkable Creatures: Epic Adventures in the Search for the Origins of Species, shows what a gifted story teller he really is. It will also convince anyone (get this book, kids!) just how exciting, Indiana-Jones-style, adventuresome science can be. Epic adventures are just what Von Humboldt, Darwin, Wallace, Bates and other naturalist explorers experienced. Carroll selected the stories of 13 explorers for their courage, their tenacity and their respective abilities upon return to civilization to share their remarkable insights into how our world works.

Just as enthralling as the stories of 19th century explorers are the tales of current adventurers like Neil Shubin and Svante Paabo. Dr. Carroll’s admiration for his colleagues is very much in the 19th century spirit of acknowledging contributions from contemporaries. His explanation of how current research in molecular biology connects with how scientists historically used morphology, shows there are vistas in science yet to be explored. We catch the excitement of watching it unfold from this master storyteller as the age of discovery continues.

Produced by Minnesota Atheists. Interview by Lynn Fellman. Hosted by Stephanie Zvan. Directed by Mike Haubrich.

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