Spencer Wells

Interview

Friday, November 20, 2009

Where did we come from? Evolutionary biologist Spencer Wells is pretty close to the answer. He's the National Geographic "Explorer-in-Residence" and heads an initiative called the Genographic Project. By collecting DNA samples from people around the world, he's tracing the paths of human migration, and he's uncovered some startling facts about homo sapiens' early history: we almost didn't make it.

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Guests:

Spencer Wells

Comments [3]

KC from Hartford, CT

The assumption that a creator would have made us perfect and left it at that speaks of spiritual prejudice or rigidity. What would be the meaning in a world in which we were formed as perfect robots without the potential to continually engage in new acts of creation? We seem to be here to learn, to grow, to evolve. The world's religious texts make that clear.

Spencer Wells was fascinating to hear, and I admire his work, but if he lacks understanding of theology, he shouldn't pretend that he doesn't.

Nov. 22 2009 11:42 PM
William Malmstrom from Clearwater, FL

Thank you for this great show tonight. I know you are primarily a program about the arts. Tonight's presentation shows how scientific creativity and thinking is indeed an art. It takes great leaps of the human imagination (such as Darwin's) to allow the sciences to progress.
William Malmstrom, Clearwater, FL

Nov. 22 2009 06:46 PM
William Allison from Ottawa, Ontario

Spencer Wells assets that Darwin did not understand Mendel's work. Apparently Darwin had Mendel's publication on his shelf but the pages were uncut. If this is so it is quite possible that he had not seen Mendel's thesis. In general the story of human evolution is much more tentative than presented.

Sincerely,
William Allison

Nov. 22 2009 11:50 AM

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