Jennifer Raff, PhD.

Dr. Raff sent me the synopsis today!

"For hundreds of years, Europeans have been trying to insert themselves into Native American prehistory, developing elaborate explanations for how their monumental architecture, art, technology, and even genetic ancestry ought to be attributed to non-Indigenous peoples (whether human, alien, or Sasquatch).  I will discuss some of the old and new pseudoscientific hypotheses pertaining to Native Americans, and how the field of anthropological genetics is rapidly demolishing these ideas. I’ll give a brief overview of how ancient DNA research is done, and discuss what is currently known about the genetic prehistory of Native Americans—and why this subject matters in our current political and social climate."

Dr. Jennifer Raff is a Science Communicator and Post-Doctoral Research Fellow at UT Austin. Her research is interdisciplinary (see here, ). She is also a Mixed Martial Artist.

Her blog,, is outstanding. Articles, such as this one ( ) and this one by her collaborator, Colin, ( ) have received multiple accolades. 

Even her guess contributors kick ass, check this article about Magical Thinking and Martial Arts, by Jeff Wesfall, see, I told you.

The rumor among the grapevine is the she will become the "Next Big Thing" in the scientific blogosphere. I believe that's the understatement of the year.

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  • Dan

    Very good presentation given by a working research scientist - I'm looking forward to the next meeting.

    July 19, 2014

  • Roy A.

    Great. Stimulating talk by someone who was an expert in her field. It is refreshing to see people in areas like this who are careful and precise in what they know and freely admit what they don't.

    2 · July 19, 2014

  • Dan

    No. I'm only a member, not a spokesman for the group, but I happened to see your question and though I'd jump in and give you a quick answer - there is never a charge - please bring guests too!

    2 · July 18, 2014

    • Erling B.

      you would make an excellent spokesman. If you want the job...

      1 · July 18, 2014

  • Ida

    Is there a cost to attend this?

    July 18, 2014

  • Erling B.

    Jennifer will send me a synopsis tomorrow.

    July 16, 2014

  • Erling B.

    I see some new faces, welcome!

    July 14, 2014

  • Dan

    What is the specific topic? I am also intrigued by the link to the article on martial arts and magical thinking - a topic I am interested in, but that is for another day...

    June 14, 2014

    • Erling B.

      I knew you were going to like that link, that appeared in her blog months after you mentioned doing a presentation about the subject. There's a different blogger that wrote two post on the subject as well. It seems that a good deal of skeptics practice Martial Arts and feel the time is right to debunk the myth promoted by some fakers.

      1 · June 14, 2014

    • Erling B.

      Oh, I think she'll talk her current research on ancient DNA, she'll send a summary, soon.

      June 14, 2014

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