Nick Matzke

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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.[1] 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.[2][3] After the trial he co-authored a commentary in Nature Immunology,[4][5] was interviewed on Talk of the Nation,[6] and was profiled in Seed magazine as one of nine "revolutionary minds".[7]

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[8] and has challenged intelligent design claims that flagella are irreducibly complex.[9][10][11] He co-authored a critique of Stephen C. Meyer's paper that became important in the Sternberg peer review controversy.[12][13] He also critiqued Jonathan Wells' book Icons of Evolution[14] and contributed to NCSE's book Not in Our Classrooms.[15] Less seriously, he co-authored a research parody based on NCSE's Project Steve.[16] He first made a name for himself posting on as "Nic Tamzek".[citation needed]

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.[17]

He is the author of the 2013 R package BioGeoBEARS,[18] 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,[19] geographic distance,[20] or dispersal-influencing traits.[21] 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.[22][23]


  1. ^ "Farewell, Nick". National Center for Science Education. 2007-08-20. Retrieved 2007-08-26.
  2. ^ testimony of Barbara Forrest, Kitzmiller v. Dover
  3. ^ I guess ID really was “Creationism’s Trojan Horse” after all Archived 2008-06-24 at the Wayback Machine, Panda's Thumb
  4. ^ Andrea Bottaro, Matt Inlay and Nick Matzke (2006). "Immunology in the spotlight at the Dover 'Intelligent Design' trial". Nature Immunology. 7 (5): 433–435. doi:10.1038/ni0506-433. PMID 16622425.
  5. ^ PT posters in Nature Immunology, The Panda's Thumb
  6. ^ "Science, Intelligent Design and a 'Flock of Dodos'". Talk of the Nation. February 23, 2007. Retrieved 2008-08-17.
  7. ^ Seed Magazine — “Nick Matzke, Legal Beagle” The Panda's Thumb
  8. ^ Evolution in (Brownian) space: a model for the origin of the bacterial flagellum
  9. ^ Background to "Evolution in (Brownian) space: a model for the origin of the bacterial flagellum" (2003)
  10. ^ Flagellum evolution Archived 2006-09-27 at the Wayback Machine in Nature Reviews Microbiology, The Panda's Thumb.
  11. ^ Mark J. Pallen and Nicholas J. Matzke (2006). "From The Origin of Species to the origin of bacterial flagella" (PDF). Nature Reviews Microbiology. 4 (10): 784–790. doi:10.1038/nrmicro1493. PMID 16953248.
  12. ^ Meyer's Hopeless Monster, The Panda's Thumb
  13. ^ Creationism's Holy Grail: The Intelligent Design of a Peer-Reviewed Paper, Robert Weitzel, Skeptic, Vol. 11, Number 4, pp. 66-69
  14. ^ Icon of Obfuscation: Jonathan Wells' book Icons of Evolution and why most of what it teaches about evolution is wrong, Nick Matzke, TalkOrigins Archive
  15. ^ Not in Our Classrooms: Why Intelligent Design is Wrong for Our Schools edited by Eugenie C. Scott and Glenn Branch ISBN 0-8070-3278-6
  16. ^ Eugenie C. Scott, Glenn Branch and Nick Matzke (2004). "The Morphology of Steve" (PDF). Annals of Improbable Research. 10 (4): 24–29. doi:10.3142/107951404781540554.
  17. ^ "Nicholas J Matzke - Graduate Student". 2009-11-06.
  18. ^ "BioGeoBEARS - PhyloWiki". 2017-11-14.
  19. ^ Nicholas Matzke (2014). "Model Selection in Historical Biogeography Reveals that Founder-event Speciation is a Crucial Process in Island Clades". Systematic Biology. 63 (6): 951–970. doi:10.1093/sysbio/syu056. PMID 25123369.
  20. ^ Matthew Van Dam and Nicholas Matzke (2016). "Evaluating the influence of connectivity and distance on biogeographic patterns in the south-western deserts of North America". Journal of Biogeography. 43 (8): 1514–1532. doi:10.1111/jbi.12727.
  21. ^ Nicholas Matzke (2016). "Trait-dependent dispersal models for phylogenetic biogeography, in the R package BioGeoBEARS". Integrative and Comparative Biology. 56 (suppl 1): e251–e400. doi:10.1093/icb/icw001.
  22. ^ Nicholas Matzke (2015). "The Evolution of Antievolution Policies After Kitzmiller v. Dover". Science. 351 (6268): 10–12. doi:10.1126/science.aad4057. PMID 26678877.
  23. ^ Nicholas Matzke (2015). "Free Supplementary Materials for Matzke 2015 Science Paper On The Evolution Of Antievolution". PhyloWiki Web Site.

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