Graduation, nerd blogging and a talk

By David Winter 28/08/2012 4

The most dedicated readers of The Atavism may have noticed a few Sundays have passed without celebration of a spineless creature. Well, you know how blogging is sometimes. A few of the things that have kept me from blogging might be of interest to readers here. This weekend was dedicated to the wearing of silly hats, posing somewhat awkwardly and the conferring of my PhD. It was almost a big enough event to make me wear a tie:

So far I’ve rested the urge to change the name that appears under these posts to Dr David Winter, we’ll see how long that lasts.

I’ve also been working a little on some more software for evolutionary biology. Since I very much aim this blog at a lay-level, and there is no reason on earth why a lay-person ought to care about the computer programs scientists use to collect and analyse their data, I’ve decided to set up a dedicated nerd blog. The first post their introduces an R library that can help researchers quickly download data from molecular biology and medical databases.

Finally, I should say their probably won’t be a new post here this weekend either, as I’ll be at the New Zealand Skeptics Conference, right here in Dunedin. I’ll be giving a talk about how the the creation-evolution “debate” as it usually plays out has very little to do with evolutionary biology, and how getting past popular misconceptions about the way evolution works makes most creationist objections to evolution into non-starters. I’ll also say why I think good old fashioned creationism is a more respectable position than “intelligent design”, so that ought to be fun. If you’re in Dunedin you can still register for the whole meeting, my talk is on at 9:50am on Saturday in Archway 3 (the best, and perhaps only, way to find this lecture theatre is to walk into the Archway building and wander around opening doors at random).

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