About

The Author

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.

You can find him most days on Twitter (@JackLScanlan) and Facebook.

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.

The Blog

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.

29 thoughts on “About”

  1. AH! Another youngen to add to the skeptical flock! HURRAH! I feel less alone now. Welcome my friend. I will add you to my blogroll and keep and eye on your blog :).

    Btw I am making a website for the Australian Skeptics called The Young Australian Skeptics Website and I am looking for contributors to author articles. If you are interested just email me! (my email should be attached to this comment.)

    Good Luck!

    Skelliot.

  2. I must say that your videos impress me much. You know what you’re talking about. Well, maybe I see this just because you say what I already know :)

    From David, Sweden.

  3. Hi, I checked your website on the recommendation of the Two Smokin' Hot Freethinkers. I have already lost a morning when I should be applying myself to banal work things trawling through your posts. And during that time I have chuckled, made ponderous 'umm' noises, nodded heartily in agreement and banged my head painfully on my desk at some of the more ludicrous Creationist claims … so now it is only polite that I congratulate you on a lucid, level headed and quite wonderful blog. Thank you.

  4. Thank you! While I'm not thrilled you lost some work productivity, I'm glad you enjoy what I write so much that you would consider losing a whole morning's worth reading it. ;p

  5. hey I'm 36 years old and from England. When I was 19 I took a gap year and travelled Australia. I was a pot smoking, beer swilling atheist. God/religion = junk. I thought I was about to die in Australia (long story, but it was in Airlie Beach). I didn't die but I cried out to a God I didn't know (and meant it, – it's that sort of prayer that is a real prayer). Guess what? I'm a christian now. Have been since May 1992 in Airlie Beach, Australia. A hymn writer once wrote 'God works in mysterious ways, His wonders to perform.' I really pray you humble yourself. You're so young! Read the whole of the New Testament. Read Church history. Find Jesus Christ for yourself!
    With sincere best wishes to you,
    Allan Clare.

  6. Hi Allan,

    Thank you for posting a comment to my blog and having a concern for my spiritual welfare.

    Somethings I've got to note, before I talk about anything else, is that I am not a "post-smoking, beer-swilling" atheist. I'm not saying you specifically implied that I am, but I think you may have a slightly warped view of who atheists really are and what they are like, like most Christians do. I am a perfectly normal 17-year old high school student: I have never touched drugs or alcohol, and don't intend to. I'm not an amoral person who goes against societies laws because there is not God watching over me, such would be a moral code ruled by fear and oppression. I do what is right not because someone in the book told me I have to do it or I'll burn forever, but because I can create a moral system from both first principles of "reducing suffering" and "do to others what you would want them to do to you", plus the ethics of our current society that allow it to function so well socially.

    I believe Christians do this too, except they use the Bible to choose passages they agree with and say their morals come from there, giving them "better morals" even though they are practically the same as everyone else's.

    The reason I will decline on your offer for me to read the New Testament is that I have examined many arguments from prominent Christian apologists, who are held up as champions of the faith, and they simply fail to support either the Christian God or a God in general. I also find that the basic tenets of Christianity, ie. resurrection, original sin, don't make the least bit of sense when you factor the properties of God into the mix. Free will and an omniscient God also do not mix, and while I don't think free will exists anyway, it is just another internal inconsistency from within Christianity.

    Again, thank you for posting a comment, but if you would like to help me find Jesus or God, please offer some arguments and not just an offer to read a 2000-year old book that starts to not make sense even before you open the cover.

    Cheers,
    Jack

  7. When you say "I am a gnostic atheist in relation to the Christian God (I can know it exists and don’t believe)", would that be similar to saying you know the "force of gravity" exists but you don't believe in it? Or that you know there "could be" aliens and yet you don't believe they exist?
    FYI, the links to your Youtube videos are not working properly. The links to the list goes to your wordpress.com site.

    Thanks,
    Leo

    1. Hey Leo,

      What I mean when I use the term "gnostic", is that I think that it is possible to know if it exists or not. This does not mean I think it exists, but that it is theoretically possible for me to come to the conclusion that this being actually exists. I apply this to the Christian God because there are logical inconsistencies within the description and definition, plus there's a lack of evidence for it, so I don't believe.

      I would be agnostic towards something like a Deistic God because there's no way to test whether or not such a being exists. The same goes for other deities other than the Christian one, on a personal level for me, since I don't really know much about them.

      Oh, and I've fixed the link. Should work now.

      Cheers,
      Jack

      1. How do you determine the possible existence of a God? Specifically the Judeo-Christian God. I assume that is the God you speak of as the Christian one.

        If your wordpress site is still active you may want to put messages up on the pages pointing people here. I was redirected to the old page from a site that linked to it externally.

        Thanks,
        Leo

        1. My WordPress site is still active, but all it contains is a "New Domain" page and links to various popular parts of the site. So, yeah, if people go to that site they will be linked back the new URL.

          I would determine the possible existence of a God by evidence for that God existing. Using the Christian God as an example, I could find evidence for its existence by looking at what the Bible says about things and seeing if they are true. If they all are, then the Christian God exists. If they're not, the Christian God does not exist. However, most Christians will claim that the Bible is usually not 100% correct, and so under that definition of their faith, I would become an agnostic atheist towards their particular God concept. This is because they have removed the only way to really know if their God exists or not.

          This means that I'm only a gnostic atheist towards the God of the Biblical literalists, aka. the creationists, because evolutionary theory is not compatible with Genesis, and as they they themselves will happily tell you, not much in literal Biblical Christianity makes sense without Genesis being true.

          1. Would you say then that your reasoning for agnostic atheism then would be analogous to: Determining the existence of someone/something based upon 1) a book written about that someone/something by several authors
            2) a book which several individuals or a group suggest that you read in order to determine the existence of said someone/something
            3) a book which is not believed to be 100% accurate by those who suggest you read it
            4) a book which you may or may not have read completely and studied to be familiar enough with to determine if it is even a good resource for gaining information about the certain someone/something ?

            Is this a rational or skeptical process for determining the existence of a being or thing?

            Your gnostic atheistic position is analogous to: Determining the existence of someone/something based upon 1) a group saying that a certain book is the literal and 100% correct authority on the certain someone/something. 2) the group holds to a theory about said someone/something that contradicts an accepted mainstream scientific theory 3) the scientific theory is not about determining the existence of the someone/something but may refute/contradict a theory held by this group, about the someone/something
            4) if the theory about this someone/something is not accurate then the book itself is determined not to be accurate.

            Is this a rational or skeptical process for determining the existence of a being or thing?

            Just curious about your thoughts and process behind them, as you seem like a very intelligent person. Forgive me if my questioning comes off in an offensive manner.

            1. The reasoning for my agnostic atheism is that I can't be bothered to read every single religious text in the world, and neither can anyone else. So, what are you supposed to do about a belief in a God that you know nothing about? I simply just "don't believe in that God", ie. agnostic atheism. I don't have any specific reasons for not believing it, but simply that I've never been shown sufficient evidence to come to the conclusion that the God does exist.

              For example, I can apply this to magical creatures. If someone came up with a new type of fairy and I didn't know anything about it and the person who came up with it told me nothing about it, then I could only be agnostic towards knowing if it existed, and I wouldn't believe that it existed. The same applies for Gods, of course.

              My reasoning for gnostic atheism is about whether or not the deity, due to my knowledge about it, can be known to exist by me. For example, I could know if the God of the Bible existed: check the Bible, see if what it says holds true in reality. For example, if I found solid evidence of the crucifixion of Jesus, the Garden of Eden, radiometric dating showed that the Earth was only 6000 years old, etc.

              But none of that evidence exists, in fact, evidence exists that contradicts the Bible. This means that I know the God of the Bible, in the most literal reading, cannot exist.

              I'm sorry I couldn't answer using the numbered analogies, sorry, but I didn't really know what you meant.

              Cheers,
              Jack

              1. Agnostic Atheism stance: Would this be the same as stating "I cannot read all there is about Particle Physics, therefore I cannot know all there is to know about the subject, therefore I am agnostic on the matter and choose not to believe it"?

                Gnostic Atheism stance: Would this be the same as saying, "I checked the reference book on Particle Physics and weighed what it said against what other books said on the subject. According to the other books, not my own experimental data or experience, I determined that the other books through my reading and the statements of an "expert" in the matter contradicted the reference book and therefore the "reference" book is totally incorrect. In turn, the Particle Physics summarized in the reference book is incorrect or non-existent, because it is incorrect."

                I apologize for my vagueness in this or my other comments and appreciate you humoring my questions. Perhaps another approach in my seeking to understand would be to ask the following:

                How would you determine if Alexander the Great existed? Or how would you determine if a quark exists?

                1. "Agnostic Atheism stance: Would this be the same as stating "I cannot read all there is about Particle Physics, therefore I cannot know all there is to know about the subject, therefore I am agnostic on the matter and choose not to believe it"?"

                  Not really, and here's why:

                  Particle physics is a field of science, and within it it contains various facts proven by observation and theories about how those facts all tie together. The existence of God is about the existence of one being.

                  Seems similar so far, right? Well, the similarity falls apart when you glance at the epistemological landscape surrounding the two concepts. Particle physics is a unifying field of science with no competing fields around it, vying for attention from people. There is no discontent from scientists about the general nature of particle physics. In this scenario, I choose to go with the consensus opinion of scientific experts, like anyone would with medical professionals.

                  God, on the other hand, is a veritable marketplace of ideas, with everyone claiming that they have the true religion/pathway to the "Ultimate Truth". As such, there is no consensus of experts to fall back on. In this scenario, I choose not to take any side in the debate for the religions I know nothing about, and not believe that any of them exist. Can could you possibly pick a side when you know nothing about it?

                  "Gnostic Atheism stance: Would this be the same as saying, "I checked the reference book on Particle Physics and weighed what it said against what other books said on the subject. According to the other books, not my own experimental data or experience, I determined that the other books through my reading and the statements of an "expert" in the matter contradicted the reference book and therefore the "reference" book is totally incorrect. In turn, the Particle Physics summarized in the reference book is incorrect or non-existent, because it is incorrect.""

                  Again, Particle Physics is different to the question of whether a God exists. There are no "competing books" on Particle Physics. However, if there was, and it made claims about the nature of particles and they were demonstrably wrong, then I could claim with pretty much a high degree of certainty that that book was wrong.

                  I don't like you bringing an implied argument from authority onto my side of the argument: I have made no such fallacy.

                  Plus, for me to critique the Particle Physics book, I would need some level of knowledge in Particle Physics, of course. However, you are trying to analogise that and my claims about God. Can you please explain why you think (as this is the impression I'm getting) that I don't have enough expertise in the field of religion or enough evidence to take a position like I do?

                  "How would you determine if Alexander the Great existed?"

                  Well, I would look for historical evidence from multiple sources. I'm not exactly sure what I'd look for, because I'm not a historian. However, this does not translate well to God, although it may do for Jesus. I don't really have a position on the existence of Jesus, though I don't see any reason to think, if he did exist, that he was in any way supernatural. That claim needs to be backed up with evidence, of course.

                  "Or how would you determine if a quark exists?"

                  Experimental evidence. The nature of such evidence is indirect, of course, but that does not mean that it is not valuable or unable to be used to draw conclusions about existence. Plus, we can hypothesise about the existence of particles with the characteristics of quarks and make predictions with that, see if they conform to new data.

                  "I apologize for my vagueness in this or my other comments and appreciate you humoring my questions."

                  No problem. The only worry I have is that this is all rather superfluous: I am going to assume you are a Christian, so why don't you tell me what you believe about God and why you believe it? Then, as an atheist (a person who has responded to the theist's claims about a God with disbelief) I can respond to your claims (as the burden of proof lies on you) and see if I am convinced, and why/why not.

  8. i think you have a warped idea of what it truly means to be a christian, many christian churches nowdays are far from being christian, and many who call themsemves christian are no different from atheists, agnostics or those from other religions in their behaviour, they wear nothing more than the name.

    why dont you study and read up on the teaching of the real Christians, the holy fathers of the first centuries. the disciples of the apostles, the teachers who were not hypocrites, and lived by what they preached. i recommend you read some writings of St John Chrysostom, Anthony the Great, or St Basil The Great. you are rejecting something you truly dont understand. i was once agnostic as well, but i somehow came across the teachings of the orthodox church, and it makes much more sense to me to live my life by those principles, than by what i feel is right. havent you noticed that our perceptions often change as we grow older? i bet many things you once considered important, have faded in the background of your life. think about it, you've barely lived a fifth of your life on this earth, it may seem like a lifetime to you, but in 5 lifetimes time imagine the realizations, and knowledge you will gain.

    i wonder, in your logical systems, and your reasoning how is it that you are able to justify the purpose of anything in a temporal and mortal life if there is no life after death? if no matter how you live your life, no matter how rich, poor happy or sad you are, you will still die in the end. what is the point in anything, if no mattter what you do in this life or who you are, in no more than 100 years time, your body will cease to live, your stream of consciousness will ebb and thats it, no more thoughts, feelings memories or knowledge. in truth, the belief in nothing after death is nonsensical and has no logical basis whatsoever. the existence of a diety has not been disproven, and in the end, if you think about it, if you end up dead anyway, whats the harm if you believe in god, and try live your life by his will? if theres even a sliver of a chance that there is such a thing as eternal life, wouldnt you take it? what do you have to loose if, as you believe there is no life, or existence after death.

    take a good look around at the world around us, everything is so complex, beautiful and intricate in its design. how is it that it all works together so well? would you leave it all up to chance? is it plausible that as a result of chance, a grain or seed so small, grows and multiplies into a mighty willow tree, which lives for hundreds of years. or did something infinitely more complex, intricate and beautiful create it.

    your belief in atheism is flawed because it relies on the belief that human reasoning and logic is perfect. in truth the human mind cannot comprehend everything, and understand everything there is to know about god. how can you possibly define a god which is infinite? in fact if you read the teachings of the orthodox church, on a certain level the god we believe in has been defined, but this is not in the same way that you would define the nature of say a tree.
    look inside yourself and you will see that there, at the heart of man lies a thirst for the infinite, for something that will satisfy us forever. would it make sense of there was a finite amount of knowledge? if tomorrow there was a new scientific discovery that in a mere 10 page report, defined the nature of life and the universe, once you had that knowledge then what? thats it? would you as a human being be satiated? i dont think so

    the truth is out there, keep looking for it and im sure someone as intelligent as yourself will see that it makes more sense to believe in god. seek the truth, and you will find it

    1. Hey James.

      "i think you have a warped idea of what it truly means to be a christian, many christian churches nowdays are far from being christian…"

      I think you have a warped idea of what I really think. On this blog, I usually simply respond to positions that people put forward about evolution, creationism and fundamentalist religion. I don't attack the common believer, or all believers in general. I don't say Christians are bad people, I don't think that they are bad people. I think they're misguided, but not necessarily stupid. Some of them are seriously deluded, like the creationists I take on here, but I would never go so far to criticise them for no reason other than their Christianity.

      I don't know where you've gotten this conception of my "position" from. But be assured that it's not mine.

      "why dont you study and read up on the teaching of the real Christians, the holy fathers of the first centuries. the disciples of the apostles, the teachers who were not hypocrites, and lived by what they preached. i recommend you read some writings of St John Chrysostom, Anthony the Great, or St Basil The Great. you are rejecting something you truly dont understand."

      I seriously doubt that there is going to be a revelation in my thinking about the topic by reading some old holy texts. But the "try before you reject" thinking is really quite strange. Of course, I must know a little about the topic before I completely dismiss it, but I don't think I have to exhaustively research everything I don't believe in.

      I'm assuming you're not a Muslim. Did you research Islam in detail before you rejected it? If not, you're being slightly hypocritical and giving extra weight to your beliefs simply because they're yours.

      "i was once agnostic as well, but i somehow came across the teachings of the orthodox church, and it makes much more sense to me to live my life by those principles, than by what i feel is right. havent you noticed that our perceptions often change as we grow older? i bet many things you once considered important, have faded in the background of your life. think about it, you've barely lived a fifth of your life on this earth, it may seem like a lifetime to you, but in 5 lifetimes time imagine the realizations, and knowledge you will gain."

      Yes, I realise that, but the assumption that I'll become religious as I age (which I find ever so slightly offensive to the older atheists I know) is not one I'm going to use as a justification to suddenly become a Christian. I like to reason myself into positions, not slowly fall as I become more emotionally attached to the idea of living forever.

      "i wonder, in your logical systems, and your reasoning how is it that you are able to justify the purpose of anything in a temporal and mortal life if there is no life after death? if no matter how you live your life, no matter how rich, poor happy or sad you are, you will still die in the end. what is the point in anything, if no mattter what you do in this life or who you are, in no more than 100 years time, your body will cease to live, your stream of consciousness will ebb and thats it, no more thoughts, feelings memories or knowledge."

      I could flip the situation and talk about the blandness of an eternity in Heaven, but I won't.

      Do things become more precious as they become more rare? Yes, most of the time. I would argue, as would most non-believers, that the fact that your life will come to an end one day makes it more enjoyable, more rare, more precious.

      Plus, an emotional argument about the existence of God is never going to change my mind. What I would like the world to be like and what the world is actually like are usually separate things.

    2. "in truth, the belief in nothing after death is nonsensical and has no logical basis whatsoever. the existence of a diety has not been disproven, and in the end, if you think about it, if you end up dead anyway, whats the harm if you believe in god, and try live your life by his will? if theres even a sliver of a chance that there is such a thing as eternal life, wouldnt you take it? what do you have to loose if, as you believe there is no life, or existence after death."

      As an atheist, I don't have to disprove God's existence, you have to prove it to me. It is not assumed that God exists until it is proven that he doesn't. Logic doesn't work like that. You make a claim, you back it up.

      You say "believe in God and live by his will". Which God? How do I suddenly believe? Most religions are mutually exclusive, I can't be a Christian and a Muslim. What if Yahweh is real? What if Allah is real? What if I get it wrong? The logical option is not to choose without reason, but to wait for people to try and convince you. A God that really did exist that didn't hate the people he created would try to get you saved, would he not? And he'd try to do it well. So, all I have to do is wait to be convinced, right?

      "take a good look around at the world around us, everything is so complex, beautiful and intricate in its design. how is it that it all works together so well? would you leave it all up to chance? is it plausible that as a result of chance, a grain or seed so small, grows and multiplies into a mighty willow tree, which lives for hundreds of years. or did something infinitely more complex, intricate and beautiful create it."

      Of course I would not leave it up to chance. That's where evolutionary theory comes in. If you read the things I have written on this blog, James, you might find that evolution isn't chance. You might even learn some more stuff about it. Go on, I dare you.

      "your belief in atheism is flawed because it relies on the belief that human reasoning and logic is perfect. in truth the human mind cannot comprehend everything, and understand everything there is to know about god. how can you possibly define a god which is infinite? in fact if you read the teachings of the orthodox church, on a certain level the god we believe in has been defined, but this is not in the same way that you would define the nature of say a tree."

      Okay, I can't comprehend God, so he exists? Flawed argument right there. Do I need to tell you why?

      "look inside yourself and you will see that there, at the heart of man lies a thirst for the infinite, for something that will satisfy us forever. would it make sense of there was a finite amount of knowledge? if tomorrow there was a new scientific discovery that in a mere 10 page report, defined the nature of life and the universe, once you had that knowledge then what? thats it? would you as a human being be satiated? i dont think so"

      Again, another emotional argument. Final consequences of a worldview do not invalidate that worldview. You should know this.

      "the truth is out there, keep looking for it and im sure someone as intelligent as yourself will see that it makes more sense to believe in god. seek the truth, and you will find it"

      Thanks for the compliment, but I am yet to be convinced. Please try again sometime, so I'm open to attempts at conversion through reason and logic. Oh, and perhaps some capitalisation wouldn't go astray next time.

      Cheers,
      Jack

  9. James – use sentence case. You know, capital letters? It's a good start in seeming to appear intelligent. Just a tip…

  10. This is one of the things I love about the internet, it's sheer ability to lead you on a wild goose chase and end up somewhere completely unexpected but still with very valuable content.

    I am a perfectly normal 17-year old high school student: I have never touched drugs or alcohol

    Congrats on staying true to this as a 22 year old who has done the same thing I'm sure there have been times when it wasn't easy.

    Also, Good to see another agnostic out there fighting for his beliefs.

    PS if you're curious the wild goose chase started at a friend's facebook page, which lead to a group, which lead to a google search, which lead to twitter which lead here.

  11. Thanks to the UAF for pointing me your way! Now my Monday holiday is shot. lol In a good way though!

    This line got me as well:
    "I am a perfectly normal 17-year old high school student: I have never touched drugs or alcohol"

    At 17, I was as well! At 23 – 24 years of age, I moved to San Francisco, and spent 9 months there doing almost every drug there was at the time. (No needles, but LOTS of stuff up the nose) I was addicted mostly to cocaine and speed. I had to have it every day to function. I lost 30 pounds or so. I was normal weight in the first place.

    I know at this point in the story you are expecting me to say I found jeebus or something. :-) But alas, I did not. I just decided one day that I needed to get the hell out of dodge. And I did. And now, 14 years later, I am a happy, drug free Agnostic. Never had g-d. And probably never will. Science fascinates me too much! :-)

  12. "You say "believe in God and live by his will". Which God? How do I suddenly believe? Most religions are mutually exclusive, I can't be a Christian and a Muslim."

    I think you are kind of mistaken in what you are saying in the above quote. You can find out that by being a true jew, muslim or christian, you encompass all three religions. If you could do a little research on Islam, you will find that Islam was the last monotheistic religion. In fact, long ago, Judaism, Christianity and Islam were not three different religions but one common one. Over time, they evolved onto different routes. Jews seperated first, then Christians and finally Muslims. However, these three religions encompass similar rules and ideas. The fact that they bear ressemblance in such a manner cannot be mere coincidence. To be continued..

  13. CONTINUED
    I do not know if you have ever heard of the story of Gilgamesh. This is an ancient text from Babylon. In it, there is the story of a great flood that destroyed 'the world' where a prophet saves people and animals. Interesting enough is the ressemblance between this polytheistic religion and the monotheistic ones. There are other simalar points in other religions. But they are there. Hence, I find it important to question why there are these similarities. Could it be that they are true? And if they are true, could it mean that God truly exists? I cannot say. I am not a scientist , I do not have any empirical data, I am not a professional. I am only 18 and I am only thinking, reflecting. Life is a mystery, an unsolved puzzle, that we may never find the answer to, but we can always try. Right? I mean we've got nothing to lose…

    From someone who happened to pass onto this debate,
    All the way from up here,
    Randomness

  14. <1>Jack Scanlan said: He is currently in his second year of a Bachelor of Science degree at the University of Melbourne, and hopes to major in both genetics and molecular biology before completing a PhD in evolutionary biology/genomics/molecular evolution/some related field. Something involving insects, Archaea or parasites would be perfect, but he’s not particularly fussy.

    You are only in your second year of an undergraduate degree and already bragging about doing a PhD in the future. You are such a paragon of humility.

    My son also goes to Melbourne Uni, currently in his 4th year, finishing with honours first class . and he is not even thinking of what he will be doing next semester. Take it easy, Jack. Enjoy life, while you are still young. Watch F1, play Age of Empire, attend a barbeque and live and let live.

    1. I'm sorry if you think my plans for the future come across as bragging, but I've known that I want to pursue a career in academia and scientific research for many years. I don't think it's particularly arrogant to "hope", as I say on this page, even though I personally believe I can successfully complete a PhD – and confidence in one's abilities isn't necessarily a bad thing.

      But don't get the impression that I don't have a social life or enjoy doing things for leisure – part of my free time is spent writing this and other blogs, as well as being part of a highly social skeptical movement that both exists online and holds major annual events. I enjoy music, talking to people, playing the occasional video game, and life in general.

      I may be focused, but I'm not letting my years of youth slip away before I understand what I was missing out on.

    2. Guess you don't have much ambition for your son then, nor does he have as many interested offers nor supporters who care for him. Sucks to be you.

      Never mind, you can always stick to anonymous comments on people's blogs to bolster your flagging ego and pretend that you have something to brag about that leads you to desperate efforts to judge someone on limited information. Don't let the spam filter hit you on the way out, worst-mother-of-the-century.

      1. Hey now, I don't think that's *entirely* fair… Plus, it's a little bit ironic that you would use an anonymous comment to denigrate someone else's anonymous commenting.

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