Congratulations, Dr. Matzke


Guest post by Josh Rosenau.

Cross-posted from the NCSE blog, “Science League of America.”

When I started work at the National Center for Science Education six years ago, I was known as “the new Nick.” Nick Matzke was heading off to grad school in evolutionary biology after a productive tenure at NCSE. I had big shoes to fill.

In his time at NCSE, Nick’s work refuting creationists had resulted in a research paper published in Nature Reviews Microbiology and other publications in high-profile venues. He’d been the lead scientific consultant to the plaintiffs’ attorneys in Kitzmiller v. Dover, and was widely recognized as having found several of the smoking guns which tied “intelligent design” to its creationist origins in that case. And he was picking, and winning, fights over creationist history with some of the leading historians in the field. He’s also the only person I know who went to grad school to get a social life. Fighting creationists had been his hobby before he came to NCSE, and once he was here, he couldn’t get away from it. He’d work a full day, head home, and continue baiting creationists in blog posts here at PT and in their own lairs, places like Telic Thoughts and Uncommon Descent. Eventually, he’d crash for the night, and when he woke up, it was back to work.

Even the intense demands of completing a doctorate at UC Berkeley couldn’t slow him down. Most recently, he posted a devastating critique of Stephen C. Meyer’s latest screed here at PT. Along the way, he got a few more papers published in places like Nature and the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, and this spring he got his doctorate. Dr. Matzke left the Bay Area recently for fresh pastures in Tennessee, at the National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis (NIMBioS). He denies the proximity to the Scopes trial courthouse was a factor in moving there, but I have my doubts.

For all who know him, there’s no doubt at all that Nick will continue to make important and profound contributions—both to evolutionary biology and to the confounding of creationism.


Well done, Nick, Piled Higher and Deeper!


Let us not forget Nick’s efforts (as Nic Tamzek) on the (late lamented) Internet Infidels Discussion Board. His conjecture about Invisible Tinkering Warrior Armies there was the original inspiration for my Multiple Designers Theory. (By the way, I’ve located my original MDT post on ISCID’s Brainstorms, Dembski’s site. The discussion there was very interesting.)

Man, when Nick body-slams ‘em, they don’t get up so easily; and if they do, they are completely addled, heads spinning and getting loonier as they grope for a new sound byte.

I dig that. :-)

Congratulations, Nick! All the best.

Nick is one of my heroes. I got to know him when I hosted his two visits to the University of Oklahoma, including a field trip to the national Wichita Wildlife Refuge. He will surely continue his attacks on creationism and his excellent scientific contributions. I am always amazed at his energy and amazing output!

Dr. Nick … congratulations! Employed Nick … in today’s climate, even more congratulations!

(Sniff … I knew him was a pup!)


Man, when Nick body-slams ‘em, they don’t get up so easily; and if they do, they are completely addled,

But didn’t they start out that way? ;)

Yeah, how could they get loonier?

Hear hear, well done sir.

This comment has been moved to The Bathroom Wall.

Congratulations, Nick. Have fun at NIMBios. I assume you will be extending the biogeography work. Say hi to Brian.

Kudos, Nick! Your contributions at Kitzmiller and elsewhere in supporting science have been invaluable. The likes of Ken Miller, Eugenie Scott and other science advocates aren’t getting any younger. So it’s good to know you could be on the forefront for decades to come - and not so comforting to the likes of the DI.

BTW, welcome to my home state as I grew up in east Tennessee (currently in Nashville). Hope your stay in Knoxville will be productive. I noticed NIMBioS is virtually in the shadows of Neyland Stadium so no excuse in not heading out to cheer on the Vols!! :)

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This page contains a single entry by Matt Young published on September 9, 2013 12:36 PM.

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