I started on the Internet the same way most people do. I watched the “Charlie Bit My Finger” style videos, laughed at captioned pictures of cats, and then like most people I encountered someone with an opposing viewpoint. In my case it was my first encounter with a Young Earth Creationist outside of my upbringing in rural Texas, where even my high school biology teacher openly professed her disdain for anything other than a literal interpretation of Genesis.
A search for this creationist led me to Thunderf00t, and to potholer54 and ExtantDodo. I had no idea that scientists ever visited the seedier parts of YouTube to engage with what I would come to call science denialists. It hadn’t occurred to me that there were a large group of people out there on the Internet who cared about science, reason and rationality, but didn’t have the training and background to see the flaws in denialist arguments.
So I downloaded an evaluation copy of Camtasia Studio 6, dug out an old microphone/headset I picked up in college for $20, and made a video on the molecular evolution of the eye. Two more on the same topic followed, all very detailed molecular biology of optical systems. I think I had 100 views (combined) after a week, but I did get some very positive feedback.
My next video was on the Discovery Institute, and I issued a challenge to them to produce a gene which did not have the hallmarks of common descent: a non-phylogenic gene sequence. Challenges were all the rage on YouTube at the time. Fortunately for me, Thunderf00t watched it and liked it. It sparked a friendship and collaboration, and our joint video went out to the entire atheist/rationalist community. Overnight I went from less than 500 subscribers to several thousand. I was hooked.
As time has gone by, my subscriber base has grown. This only makes it more frustrating when I am sabotaged by the media site I use. YouTube has made it difficult to trust that my content will be preserved, available to all those subscribers who have given the precious gift of their time and attention.
That’s why I’m starting this blog. It will give me a place to put my video content so that regardless of forum, I can make it available to you, my subscriber. It also opens up some new formats and possibilities. I’m going to be exploring this new medium, so I hope you’ll consider checking back from time to time.
Thanks for following me here from YouTube, and if you’re just discovering my work, welcome!