In this episode, three geneticists respond to the LDS Essay “Book of Mormon and DNA Studies,” and to Apologist Michael Ash’s article entitled “The DNA Challenge to the Book of Mormon that Fizzled.” The respondents are as follows:
Jamie Hanis Handy has a B.S. in Zoology and an M.S. in Biological Science Education and Genetics from Brigham Young University. She is the mother of 5, a pianist, a photographer, and a lover of science, truth, and sensibility. Jamie is the author of a recent article entitled “DNA and Mormonism.” Jamie also has a general topics podcast called “The Cereal Podcast.”
Simon Southerton completed a PhD in plant science at the University of Sydney in 1989. For 15 years he worked at CSIRO, Australia’s national research organization, where he
led its forest genomics team. In 2014, in partnership with his brother Bob, he formed a CSIRO spin off company named Gondwana Genomics. Gondwana provides DNA testing services to tree breeders to enable them to select better trees when they are seedlings. Simon first encountered DNA research on Native Americans and Polynesians in 1998
while serving as a bishop in Brisbane, Australia. In response to Mormon apologetics in 2004 he published Losing a Lost Tribe, which explores the origins of Amerindian and Polynesian DNA and its implications for LDS beliefs arising from the Book of Mormon. Simon is married to Jane who is an English teacher/librarian. They live in Canberra along with their five wonderful offspring. Simon’s blog on DNA and Mormonism can be found here.
Eric Fairfield has a Ph.D. in moleular biology from State University of New York at Stony Brook. He is currently founder and owner of Cognitive Architectures for Learning, a company that understands cell by cell and synapse by synapse what learning and memory are and how to build devices from this knowledge. Eric has also run a number of church courses and seminar series bringing together science and religion. He is the proud father of a female nanotech physicist. He is also a geneticist and biochemist with expertise in genes and their enzymes across many organisms. When there is time, Eric is a swimmer, photographer and chef.