Sean B Carroll on randomness in the course of evolution

I have not had the time to watch this myself yet, as it was just released. Should be interesting.

Sean Caroll (the theoretical physicist) has a conversation with Sean B Caroll (the evolutionary biologist) on the topic of Randomness and the course of evolution.


Definitely bookmarking. That podcast series is highly recommended.


The producer calls the video (link below) a parody, but it is actually a serious attempt to make
evolutionary principles entertaining!!!

Give it a click and a listen … it has racked up more than 3 million views! It comes out of Canada!

He’s talented. Wow.


This did not get that much into the topic of randomness in evolution as I had hoped. They did go over the ways in which the evolutionary process can be described of as random, both with respect to the biochemistry and physics of mutations, and the unpredictability of extinction events.

But it all seemed rather brief and cursory, and the latter part of the discussion centered around more sociological topics.

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I should listen to the podcast before asking this, but did Carroll try to explain the concept of “random” mutation as it is most commonly used by evolutionary biologists? Meaning the apparent lack of causal connection between the “process” of mutation and the “need” for an adaptation.

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Yes, he goes over exactly that. He also gets into whether mutations(substitutions) can be said to be quantum events.

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