Field of Science

I'm a loser

and I'm not what I appear to be.

I applied for a postdoc position in Copenhagen (where I'm from), but was notified yesterday that I didn'get it (320 applicants).

I submitted a blog post for the competition to win a award to go to ScienceOnline 2010, but got an email five days ago telling me I didn't win (2 winners, 10 submissions).

I posted a reply to the question Can natural processes produce an increase in complexity?, but was beaten by someone called Calilasseia in the competition on Pharyngula. (Ironically, the winning reply references my advisor to make his/her case.)

I was just in Okinawa, and it rained most of the time.

I can take a lot more.


  1. You are a winner!

    End of discussion,

    Cheers Arend

  2. But you could post your Increase in Complexity entry here....

    *hint hint*


  3. Here's the reply I posted on Pharyngula:

    "2) Can natural processes produce an increase in complexity?
    Podarcis sicula, a Croatian lizard, evolved differences in head morphology, bite strength, and digestive tract structure in a very, very short period of time: 36 years! In about 30 generations the lizards evolved larger heads, stronger bites, and cecal valves - a structure in the gut that can constrict, slowing down the passage of food, giving more time for digestion. Behaviorally the lizards changed their diet to include much more plant material, and the morphological changes were adaptations to this new lifestyle. Clearly the lizards became a new species, as they moved into a new niche, and increased the information in their genome about the new environment. Thus evolution increased the complexity of these lizards. [Herrel et al. (2008), PNAS, 105 (12).]

    A note on complexity: That this term is undefined when used by creationists makes it possible for them to reject any example given to them of complexity increasing. Requiring them to define it will make it possible to give an example that is more likely to persuade some of them (or just the fence-sitters). Here I have used one definition that is actually quantitative, namely that the more information the genome contains about the environment, the more complex it is."

  4. So here's more losing: you helped write an NSF proposal to investigate sympatric speciation, but it was rejected. Given that some reviewers professed that they really didn't know much about speciation, I'm not beating myself up too much. (But it will be resubmitted this Friday). BUT here's the good news for you. EVERYONE loved the "Speciator". (An educational software that Bjorn designed in theory). So there. And you forgot to mention that your NK paper will be accepted (once we send in our changes).

    Here's my way of dealing with setbacks: While I can make mistakes, I know I'm good. If you keep at it, and don't give up, you will prevail. Plenty of good people have given up, I simply refuse to be among them. Onward we go, come hell or high water.

  5. Well, then maybe we should actually try to make the damned program...

    And thanks for underscoring my loserosity. I'm very pragmatic about it, so no worries. I just like the Beatles song so much, and have taken the theme to heart.

  6. Oh, and in a post about me being a loser, I'm not going to showcase all my wins (there are plenty).


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