An Interview with Afarensis of Afarensis

This time around, we're talking to Afarensis of Afarensis: Anthropology, Evolution and Science.

What's your name?

What do you do when you're not blogging?
I read a lot. I also have an interest in old science fiction and horror movies. I also sail - weather permitting.

What is your blog called?
Afarensis: Anthropology, Evolution and Science

What's up with that name?
I picked the name to reflect the subjects I write about.

How long have you been blogging, anyway?
I will have been blogging for two years at the beginning of October.

Where are you from and where do you live now?
I was born in Indiana but spent most of my life in St. Louis (except for brief stints in Denver, Colorado and Knoxville, Tennessee).

Would you describe yourself as a working scientist?
Unfortunately, no.

Any educational experiences or degrees you'd like to mention?
I have a B. A. in anthropology and did two years of grad school.

What are your main academic interests, in or out of your field?
Anything anthropology, evolution, science. I also have a fondness for magnetic bacteria (the world needs more), tube worms, bats and octopi. In particular, I am drawn to good research that demonstrates interesting methods for learning about the past history of life on earth.

The last book you read?
Standards for Data Collection From Human Skeletons by Buikstra and Ubelaker

What is your idea of a perfect day?
That is a tough question...I guess a good day sailing on the lake followed by interesting feedback on my latest blog entry.

What's your greatest habitual annoyance?
Creationists - ID or otherwise

Who are your favorite heroes of fiction?
Theseus - for some reason I always liked the combination of brain and brawn displayed in the Greek legends about him.

Your favorite heroes in real life?
In general, I prefer not to idealize or romanticize real people by calling them heroes. However, I think the people I respect or admire are people like Alfred Wegener or Lynn Margulis whose theories were met with initial skepticism. Or people like Stephen Hawking, people who overcame tremendous obstacles to make important contributions to science.

What's your most marked characteristic?
I honestly don't know.

What's your principal defect?
I smoke.

What quality do you admire most in a person?
Intellectual integrity - or maybe I should say mental toughness. I think what I am trying to get at is that I admire people who don't fool themselves...

Who are your favorite writers?
Cordwainer Smith, Stephen R. Donaldson, H. P. Lovecraft

What would you like to be?
A Ph. D. in anthropology...


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