We’re continuing our Gospel Topics Series. This time, we’re going to talk about DNA and the Book of Mormon. I’m excited to introduce Dr. Thomas Murphy. He’s an anthropologist at Edmonds College and works with Native American tribes. Why does an anthropologist have the knowledge to critique this essay?
Thomas: Yeah, excellent question. What lured me to anthropology, as a discipline, was the ability to be a natural scientist, a social scientist, and scholar of the humanities, all in the same discipline. [There are] not too many disciplines offer you that opportunity. In fact, teaching at a community college has really given me the opportunity to do that as a career, to have that breadth that you don’t see that often today among scientists and scholars. Anthropology is the study of humans. We have four major subfields, what we call cultural anthropology, and that’s the study of human culture, linguistic anthropology, the study of human languages, and archeology, the study of past societies through the artifacts and features that they leave behind. Biological anthropology is the study of humans as biological organisms. That’s where the DNA comes in.
I teach biological anthropology courses that DNA work is kind of a central part of those classes. In fact, we get to extract our own DNA and take the students through that process.
Thomas shares several other experiences working with Native American tribes as an anthropologist in Washington and Mexico. Check out our conversation….
Don’t miss our previous conversations with Dr. Ugo Perego on DNA and Book of Mormon.