This conversation is absolutely fascinating. In fact, it blew me away. My guest for this episode is science, nature, and travel writer David Quammen. David’s books have included The Song of the Dodo, The Reluctant Mr. Darwin which chronicles’ Charles Darwin’s reluctance to publish his On the Origin of Species, Spillover which later informed shorter books Ebola and The Chimp and the River: How AIDS emerged from the African Forest. David has also written hundreds of articles for the likes of National Geographic, The New York Times, Rolling Stone, and The Atlantic, amongst others.
The bulk of this episode however relates to David’s latest book The Tangled Tree: A Radical New History of Life, which explores the dramatic revisions in our understanding of life’s history on this planet caused by recent discoveries of genome sequencing and the story of a scientist called Carl Woese. You will also hear about the concept of ‘horizontal gene transfer’ amongst others which revolutionises our understanding of the human genome, how we think about all species of life on earth and other profound and radical implications.
David has a wonderful knack in his writing and speaking for making science understandable and pleasurable to absorb. We get into all of that and much more including:
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