Nicholas J. Matzke is the former Public Information Project Director at the National Center for Science Education (NCSE) and served an instrumental role in NCSE's preparation for the 2005 Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District trial. One of his chief contributions was discovering drafts of Of Pandas and People which demonstrated that the term "intelligent design" was later substituted for "creationism". This became a key component of Barbara Forrest's testimony. After the trial he co-authored a commentary in Nature Immunology, was interviewed on Talk of the Nation, and was profiled in Seed magazine as one of nine "revolutionary minds".
Matzke has written many in-depth pieces and has made frequent posts online, including regularly blogging at The Panda's Thumb. He wrote a lengthy paper about the evolution of flagella and has challenged intelligent design claims that flagella are irreducibly complex. He co-authored a critique of Stephen C. Meyer's paper that became important in the Sternberg peer review controversy. He also critiqued Jonathan Wells' book Icons of Evolution and contributed to NCSE's book Not in Our Classrooms. Less seriously, he co-authored a research parody based on NCSE's Project Steve. He first made a name for himself posting on talk.origins as "Nic Tamzek".
Matzke is currently a Discovery Early Career Research Award (DECRA) fellow at the Australian National University. He was previously a postdoctoral fellow at the National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis. He received Ph.D. in evolutionary biology at the University of California, Berkeley in 2013.
He is the author of the 2013 R package BioGeoBEARS, which enables statistical comparison of probabilistic models of how the geographic ranges of species evolve on phylogenies, such as models that include or exclude founder-event speciation, geographic distance, or dispersal-influencing traits. He also authored a 2015 paper in the journal Science conducting a dated, Bayesian phylogenetic analysis of antievolution legislation proposed or passed in the United States in the decade following Kitzmiller vs. Dover.
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