Club meeting February 28, 2018 – Modern science, part 2

Jerry Goldberg continued his presentation of his book, who we are, where we are, where we came from, and where we are going.

 

He reviewed his prior presentation, which showed the minuscule size of the earth compared to the sun, and the tiny place of the Milky Way in the galaxies of the universe. Formed about 13.5 billion years ago, the universe is constantly expanding, something that was shown only in 1927 by Edwin Hubble. An analogy to an expanding balloon, with stars and planets on the surface moving further away from each other, is useful but inexact.

 

The “life-line” from atom to molecule through evolution to modern humans shows how people started chemically, and then Jerry called on the summary in the recent book by Nicholas Wade (A Troublesome Inheritance: Genes, Race and Human History) to remind us that all modern humankind descends from a group of about 1500 to 5000 people who came out of Africa about 50,000 years ago and the expanded throughout the world.

 

Finally, he discussed CRISPER technology, which allows for human change in genes. This may lead to eliminating some diseases, but the broader implications of this “designer gene” approach are still not fully understood.

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