Was Evolution 2011 a waste of time?

A reader wrote in recently:
Thank you so much for the blog from your time at the conference. ... Don't you leave all this and think that "Wow, are they wasting their time and efforts!" I know I would think that if I attended a YEC conference.
Wow, not at all! A lot of what is presented at Evolution conferences is pretty uncontroversial. To put it most simply, it's "change within a created kind." I'm very interested in that material, and it doesn't bother me a bit. Not all of the presentations are so creationist-friendly, of course, and those I have to think more critically about. Sifting out the useful information from what I consider to be incorrect is not that difficult or distracting. But it's still important to study this material, since this is the data that a good creationist model will eventually have to explain.

And frankly, I really like science and scientists. I even liked Jerry Coyne's talk. He's fun to listen to, and his work is great. I don't care much for his attitude about God, but personally, he seemed like a nice guy. That's not an unusual pattern, either. I find a lot of anti-creationists are a lot more thoughtful and knowledgeable and just plain friendly than you might guess. It kind of gives me hope that there really could be a resolution to the culture war. But maybe I'm naive...

One more thing: I definitely feel like I should be more active at future Evolution conferences. Maybe even give a talk? Let's call that a growing conviction.  Wouldn't that be fun?

Feedback? Email me at toddcharleswood [at] gmail [dot] com.