Sunday, January 01, 2006

Brave New Year

Apologies for the long silence! Has it really been over two months? Oh well, I should say something about that. Initially I had to work on a paper, and that took all my time in between teaching. Eventually it got into Nature, so that was time well spent. I'll post about it when it comes out, probably sometime next month. Then my laptop had to be repaired, so I did not have a computer to blog from home and at work I had to actually, well, "work". Then, I kept waiting for a good opportunity to get back into it, and... here I am. I guess procrastination doesn't end in graduate school. Sadly I won't be able write much over the next couple of weeks because I have to work on a grant application (talk of procrastination).

There have been some interesting developments in the favorite topics of this blog. First, Science judged recent developments in Evolution to be the most important scientific breakthrough of the year. So maybe it wasn't such a bad idea to dedicate my scientific life to it... Maybe that will help in selling Evolutionary Biology to the next cohort of students. Second, Judge Jones ruled! In so doing he handed the first major legal defeat to Intelligent Design Creationism, one that should have far-reaching implications. I'm still reading the decision (that grant proposal again...) but I can already see that it's a thing of beauty. Hopefully it will help to keep creationism out of science classes in other places. Curiously, perhaps as a result of the Jones decision, Dembski, the Stephen Wolfram of Intelligent Design Creationism has decided to stop blogging. I suppose that means I should keep at it to even things out a little in the struggle against the army of the night.

I'll leave you with two reading suggestions. First, Neal Stephenson's Cryptonomicon, one of the best scientific novels I have ever read. If you have an interest in the history of computer science, cryptography and the Second World War, you should read it. It's great fun as well... Second, I've spent large chunks of the last few reading another great novel: the Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon. From the Borgesian opening I was hooked. Enjoy!