Sean B. Carroll

On this date in 1960, Sean B. Carroll was born in Toledo, Ohio (not to be confused with cosmologist Sean M. Carroll). He earned a B.A. in biology from Washington University after only two years and graduated with a Ph.D. in immunology from Tufts Medical School in 1983 when he was 22. Carroll worked as a professor of genetics and molecular biology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and an investigator at the University of Wisconsin’s Howard Hughes Medical Institute. He primarily studied evolutionary developmental biology, a relatively new field that focuses on the evolution of the development of organisms. Carroll, now an emeritus professor, has two sons with his wife Jamie.

Carroll is a strong advocate for evolution. When he was interviewed by Freethought Radio in 2008, Carroll stated that he often works with teachers who want to incorporate evolution into their curriculum and helps to develop high school lesson plans that include evolution. He has published three books about evolution: Endless Forms Most Beautiful: The New Science of Evo Devo (2005), The Making of the Fittest: DNA Evidence for Evolution (2006) and Remarkable Creatures: Epic Adventures in the Search for the Origins of Species (2009). He writes the “Remarkable Creatures” science column for The New York Times and was awarded the 2010 Stephen Jay Gould Prize for raising public awareness about the importance of evolution.

In 2007, Carroll wrote the article “God as Genetic Engineer,” which debunked author Michael Behe’s book about intelligent design, The Edge of Evolution (2007). When asked in a 2003 interview by Nature magazine what he wished the public understood better about science, Carroll responded, “The depth and breadth of evidence supporting scientific ideas: compared with, say, the absence of evidence in areas like astrology, UFOs and ghosts.”

PHOTO: By Jane Kitschier under CC 2.5.

Freedom From Religion Foundation