My name is Michael Hawkins and I’m a participant in the evil, evil world* of vaccine production (and, on the side, the less evil world of math and science textbooks). I have degrees in Biology and Liberal Studies, as well as a minor in Philosophy.
In the summer of 2012 I worked on an NSF-funded study looking at the effects of wild turkeys on Maine agriculture. Wild turkeys can carry with them a number of zoonotic agents which may infect livestock and humans. In addition, the health of wild turkey populations is of interest to recreational hunters and, largely for economic reasons, state wildlife management. Relatively little has been done in terms of turkey populations in New England, so this study may prove regionally useful.
This blog is devoted to evolution, atheism, civil rights, and whatever else tickles my fancy. It is geared towards defending the underlying theme of all of biology against the insult of creationism, ignorance, and misinformation. Also, sometimes I will use the British spelling of words, like “towards”. But most importantly, this blog is about science. First and foremost, science is the best way of knowing. It deserves a place high within any society. For the Sake of Science is here to fight against its undue degradation.
It is incredibly difficult to get banned here, so don’t come crying to me when someone upsets you. Especially if I’m the one who did it. I will basically only ban for spamming or trolling; I treat constitutionally protected speech the same way the constitution does: it is 100% allowed. This blog is not my living room or some other hogwash platitude we see espoused so often around the blogosphere. Consider FTSOS a public forum just as you would a city park or your town’s sidewalk. I hate to see stifled speech, and so I won’t stifle, but for the one and only example where I had to ban someone (that wasn’t a bot), see Mark Lindholm. He was allowed to be a scrote for some time, but then he spammed the hell out of the place, cluttering up the Recent Comments widget. It was like he was using his speech rights like someone uses speech rights to put flyers under windshield wiper blades, except he went a step further and glued the flyers to every square inch of the car. This joke was literally on FTSOS more than I was. He was initially only held in moderation so that other comments and discussions could be clearly seen in the widget, but then he assumed he was banned (despite being told otherwise) and circumvented his moderation, continuing with his incessant, whiny, childish spam. In turn, he actually was banned from posting (and embarrassing himself). (What’s more, he lied about discussions had elsewhere. That isn’t disallowed – if he wants to pretend he doesn’t believe anecdotal evidence is valid scientific evidence, something he has actually said multiple times, I won’t stop him – but it did make the banning rather easy to do.) Update: Now there are two examples. This other person has comments spanning a few different posts, so I won’t bother linking anything, but I will say that he was a very angry defender of quacks. He was constantly commenting on Andreas Moritz posts, but his primary concern was firing off insults at me. I highly suspect he has been around here before, but I can’t be sure. Where I can be sure, however, is in my assessment of him as a waste of everyone’s time. (He was also posting under several different names: Accaba, robscollett, Trader Haus, and Blues, attaching a different email to each name. The strikes me as at least a little suspicious.) As with Lindholm, he could have stayed as long as he wanted had he just not spammed.
There is a five-link limit per post. If you have more links than that in a post, it will automatically be caught by the spam filter and I may see it. Give me some time to find and approve it. If it doesn’t show up in short order, I can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For a less snarky version of FTSOS, try Nothing But Science.
*This idea that vaccines are evil tends to only exist in the quackiness of the alternative ‘medicine’ world. The reality is far different.