Hi. Let me start by saying that, chances are, you don't agree with some of my views, and I don't agree with some of yours. So why am I on here? I think the ability to defend your positions against a hostile audience leads to the most profound understanding of those positions. Hey, it might even lead to a change for the better. All I ask is that you keep an open mind, and I promise to do the same. I will never attack anyone's religious views, and I respectfully ask the same.
Who am I?
By training and by fascination, I'm an ecological and evolutionary biologist in pursuit of my Ph.D. So naturally, the areas in which I can speak with the most authority are those involving ecology and evolution. I can be very opinionated about some aspects of eco/evo, but I try always to deliniate my opinions from the scientific facts. I make a lot of claims, which means I'm wrong a lot, and which also means that I've learned to admit that. I'm more than open to debate on anything, but be warned that I don't accept "he said/she said" as a valid scientific argument. It's an appeal to misplaced authority, when we should be appealing to science. But let me clarify that a little bit: I'll reject an argument along these lines..."This is true because Richard Dawkins says so." I won't outright reject this: "Richard Dawkins said this, and it is true because of this evidence." See the difference?
I consider myself a fairly rigorous scientist. In other words, I never accept anything without question, which also means I'm primed to defend my views. Also beware that I attack ideas for their scientific merit, regardless of source. That means that I'll attack the scientific establishment for their line of reasoning, even if I agree with the final conclusion. I respect the right of anyone to debate with me, though I hope they might keep in mind that when it comes to evolution and ecology, I've spent years studying it. Be prepared to learn the things you weren't taught in school.
With that in mind, I also consider myself an educator, not least of all because it is my responsibility to spread what I've learned. I also believe that critical thinking is a critical skill, and how I teach reflects that. There is no such thing as a yes or no question for me, and my answers reflect that. Furthermore, I think that over-simplification is one of the prime reasons for the low level of public support for evolution, and my lengthy articles reflect that.
What I hope to add to Conservapedia
Like I mentioned in my introduction, debate with a hostile audience basically forces a deeper understanding. A receptive audience is more likely to accept things...a hostile one will try to poke holes at every chance. In short, it keeps you on your toes. This goes both ways, so I hope people are able to benefit from debates with me. That aside, I'm also a very careful writer, so I think I can help in the nitty-gritty details of grammar, style, and spelling. Hopefully, my presence will be beneficial, and I promise to stick only to what I know.
I thought I could try to better explain science here, in the hopes of showing that many of the percieved conflicts are a result of misunderstanding. I have tried, and evidently I have failed. Perhaps I have simply lost my ability to explain things to lay persons, but I am wasting my time here. I have students who have paid a vast amount of money for access to a college with me on the faculty, and to continue here would be a disservice to them.
There are some people on this site who are rational and erudite, even if I disagree with them. To those people, I say that I have enjoyed the chance to debate and learn with you, and I wish you good luck and God's blessings in your search for the Truth. To those who have closed your mind to science, I strongly urge you to look again...we aren't the monsters you've been taught we are. Understanding us may take a little work, but we aren't going away anytime soon.
To everyone else, I urge caution: never stop questioning.