On Bones and Genomes: What Can Science Tell Us About Being Human?

Date(s) - 04/25/19
7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Kent Hall, University of Chicago

Hosted by
Veritas Forum

On Bones and Genomes: What Can Science Tell Us About Being Human?

Veritas Forum – University of Chicago

April 25, 2019 at 7:00pm / Kent Hall 107

Praveen Sethupathy and Zeray Alemseged

Recent advances in science and technology have made great strides in addressing some of our deepest questions about being human. These advances help us to have a better understanding of who we are, where we came from, and what humanity’s place in nature might be. But are there limits to what science can tell us about being human? And does religious belief have anything to contribute to answering such questions? Join us for a conversation between two world-class professors as they discuss what makes us human.




Praveen Sethupathy

Associate Professor in the Department of Biomedical Sciences
Cornell University
Praveen Sethupathy is a Professor in the Department of Biomedical Sciences at Cornell University, where he directs a research laboratory focused on human genomics and complex diseases. Praveen received his B.A. in Computer Science from Cornell University, his Ph.D. in Genomics and Computational Biology from the University of Pennsylvania, and he continued his training in genomics and gene regulation as a post-doctoral fellow with Dr. Francis S. Collins at the National Institutes of Health. Dr. Sethupathy was recently selected by Genome Technology as one of the nation’s top 25 rising young investigators in genomics. He has published nearly fifty articles in scientific journals, including Science, Nature Communications, PNAS, and Genome Biology. He also serves as associate editor of Non-coding RNAs in Endocrinology and as a reviewer for over twenty journals. Dr. Sethupathy has been an invited speaker for the Veritas Forum, has contributed opinion pieces for BioLogos, and serves on the advisory board for AAAS Dialogue on Science, Ethics, and Religion as well as the Board of Directors for BioLogos.

Zeray Alemseged

Professor/Paleoanthropologist in the Department of Organismal Biology and Anatomy
University of Chicago

Professor Zeray Alemseged is a paleoanthropologist in the Department of Organismal Biology and Anatomy at the University of Chicago. His research interests include human evolution and the exploration of factors that shaped the evolution of humans and extinct ancestral species. Prof. Alemseged undertakes extensive fieldwork and employs cutting-edge imaging techniques to investigate the evolutionary processing mechanisms that lento the emergence of Homo sapiens. He has published extensively on these topics and his discovery of the 3.3 million-year-old fossil “Selam” has been featured in National Geographic, Gizmodo, and Science Life.

Prior to joining the University of Chicago, he was a Senior Curator of Anthropology at the California Academy of Sciences (CAS) in San Francisco where he held the Irvine Chair of Anthropology. He was also Adjunct Professor at the University of California Davis and a Research Professor at San Francisco State University. Before joining CAS, he was a senior scientist in the Department of Human Evolution at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, and a postdoctoral fellow at the Institute of Human Origins at Arizona State University based in Tempe, Arizona. He earned his PhD from the University of Paris, France, in paleoanthropology and his BSc in geology form Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia.