A fan of science from an early age, Jack Scanlan has been fascinated with both the complexity of life and the marvelously simple evolutionary mechanisms by which this complexity can arise ever since taking an advanced biology course relatively early in high school. Learning about evolution brought him into contact with the murky world of intelligent design and creationism, two forces that he is determined to combat through science communication and outreach.
Jack is the head editor of the Young Australian Skeptics, a group blog about science communication, critical thinking, skepticism and religion, and a panelist on its weekly podcast, The Pseudoscientists. He also writes for The Panda’s Thumb and Nature Education’s Student Voices, and has written for COSMOS Magazine Online as a freelancer.
Jack has a Bachelor of Science degree (majoring in Genetics and Biochemistry & Molecular Biology) from the University of Melbourne, and is currently undertaking a Master of Science (Genetics) degree at the Bio21 Molecular Science and Biotechnology Institute, working on a project in Drosophila melanogaster, looking at an unknown gene family that may be implicated in insecticide resistance and metabolic defense against bacteria and fungi.
He is a philosophical naturalist, agnostic atheist and scientific skeptic, and willingly discusses these concepts with anyone who is interested. Defending and explaining the scientific process is a specific passion of his, as are geeky science t-shirts and experimental/indie music. Plus some other things too, probably.
Like most bloggers, Jack finds writing in the third person both unnerving, awkward and makes him seem self-absorbed, but puts up with it because it makes him seem more professional. Or does it? Maybe.
Homologous Legs is all about evolutionary biology and those who oppose it, as well as science communication, skepticism and atheism. It started out in April of 2008 as an anti-creationism blog, but over time shifted its focus to a more scientific-seeming target: intelligent design. Posts often engage with and critique the online written output of the Discovery Institute, a Seattle-based conservative think tank and its Center for Science and Culture – the home of the intelligent design movement. Sometimes they write back.
Homologous Legs has been quoted in the Guardian, was a finalist in the 2010 National Science Week Big Blog Theory competition, after being picked by a panel of expert Australian science communicators as one of Australia’s best science blogs, and is featured in the Young Australian Skeptics’s Skeptical Blog Anthology.