Olivia Judson: DNA is the new fossil record

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Oliviajudson_1Are fossil records a thing of the past? Evolutionary biologist Olivia Judson (TED2005) thinks they may be. In Sunday’s New York Times, she made a case (aimed at the general public) that DNA sequencing and analysis now provides more detailed proof of evolution than fossils ever could.

True to form, Judson — who is known for her spicy, off-beat musings on all manner of mating issues (Her book, Dr. Tatiana’s Sex Advice for all Creation, was adapted into a UK Channel 4 TV series, featuring unlikely musical numbers like the “Ladybug Promiscuity song”) — takes the opportunity to present a few titillating facts: like the discovery, published recently in Nature, that humans and chimpanzees were kissing cousins far more recently than previously believed.