Saturday, May 10, 2008

Poster on my research & Atheists who make "moral" choices

I am currently making a poster that I will be presenting at an evolution and development conference in Berkeley on the 28th. I am both nervous and excited. It is going to be on work I have done and discussed briefly in this blog for the past year or so. The toughest part will be trying to make the mostly mathematically and computer science based work I am doing interesting to evolutionary biologists. It should be interesting, it is very relevant to that field, I just need to come up with a good way of presenting the data.

Last night I went to a Barack Obama rally here at the University of Oregon. It was a lot of fun and I really hope he gets the presidency. Afterwords I joined some friends from the CIS department for beers, and when they asked me what I was having I informed them that I am one of those weird Atheists who doesn't drink. Really it isn't very weird at all, it is a very logical decision especially given that I have substance abuse issues in my family and showed signs of them myself in high school. That said I had a really good time and didn't feel awkward at all. I usually get very uneasy when telling people that I don't drink because I am afraid they will label me as a religious fanatic of some sort. This time though preceding the "I don't drink" with letting them know I am also an Atheist, really helped take the awkwardness out of the situation for me. I think I will continue to handle social situations involving drinking in this way.