I suppose as my first post, I should introduce myself and my intents in creating this blog. Firstly, my name is Jon Voisey. At the time of writing this, I am a 22 year old junior, majoring in astronomy (possibly dual major in Physics, or at the very least a minor, and possibly one in mathematics if all continues to go well), at the University of Kansas. I was born in Dallax, TX. but lived in St. Louis, MO. from the time I was 3, until I left for college in fall of 2002.
I originally attended Southwest Missouri State (now Missouri State University) intending to get a major in educational physics and a minor in astronomy. But due to disagreements with the overly idealistic views they tried to force on students, I then decided to change to a straight physics major. After a year and a half pursuing that, I decided that this would be inadequate for several reasons. The first was that SMS's physics department was very poor in my opinion. From there, it also became apparent that I didn't enjoy physics that didn't pertain to astronomy. Therefore, I found it pertinant to find a school that offered astronomy as a major so that I could concentrate more on classes I enjoyed and would do well in. This is what prompted my transfer to KU.
Sadly, due to differences in the curriculums, many of my courses did not transfer intact and thus, I will be spending 6 years as an undergraduate student. Currently, I will have 2 more semesters after the one I am currently in. At this time, I also teach an introductory astronomy lab course and enjoy it thoroughly. Other important positions I have held include being a previous president of the Ozarks Amateur Astronomer's Club at SMS. This summer I will be doing an internship through San Diego State University that will last 10 weeks.
That explains my background in science and academia. Outside of school, I enjoy amateur astronomy and have my own astrophotography gallery. I also enjoy playing video games, particularly RPGs (tabletop if I can find someone with which to play) and real time strategy games. Concerning movies, I have a particular fondess of the Star Wars series and enjoy costuming from these epic movies. Additionally, I am a member of the Society for Creative Anachronisms, a group dedicated to the recreation of medieval arts. My main interest in this group is the armed combat.
Politically, I consider myself a moderate. However, in today's society, I am often considered extremely liberal. Religiously, I am not. I have considered myself an atheist since high school and was agnostic several years prior to that after having been born into a Christian family (which became non-practicing after we moved to St. Louis). I am a member of the Society of Open Minded Atheists and Agnostics here at KU.
In regards to my personality, I tend to be a rather reserved person around people with whom I am not familiar. However, my friends I'm sure would tell you I'm quite outspoken. My prose tends frequently towards sarcasm and relies heavily on logical structures found frequently in science and mathematics (hence the frequent use of terms such as "however", and "therefore" I'm sure you've noted by now if you've read this far).
The reason I state all of this is because I feel that it will be important to understand where any possibly percieved biases in this blog may come from. After all, everyone has biases of some sort. I candidly admit my own. My first and foremost is that I cannot understand religion. I find it as incomprehensible as to why someone would worship a god that in no demonstratable way reveals themselves as I'm sure those that have been touched by god find it incomprehensible that I would choose to reject the notion.
However, the primary difference between me and other atheists when compared to those on the theistic side of the fence is that we have absolutely no care as to the religion of others so long as they do not try to force their beliefs on us, whether it be through prosetylization or legislation.
Which leads me to the purposes of this blog; In recent years, religious fundamentalists have been working to destroy any science that they find objectionable when compared to their religion. Currently, this is primarily in the attacks on evolution through the torjan horse of Intelligent Design. However, the anti-scientific movement has been growing. Censorship and villification of scientists has begun. It is with this in mind that I entitle this blog "Angry Astronomer", since this I find myself quite irate over this senseless attack on science.
Since I have chosen to dedicate my studies to a scientific field, I find that it is my responsibility to defend the sciences that religious fundamentalists seek to undermine. Thus, one of the purposes of this blog is to keep readers up to date on the anti-scientific movement. Another purpose will be to share the processes, findings, and beauty of science with those that read this in order to have a deeper appreciation for that which many seek to destroy.