Take a deep breath.... Now another. ;-)
They were so opinionated that Perl only exists as long as Bio data is in text files, if that changes then no more Perl...
If that was intended (by them) to be an especially strong argument, you might revisit (and perhaps strengthen) some parts of your original presentation, e.g.,
topics such as PDL, BioPerl, Text::Table, DBI,...
My overall thoughts on as long as ... data is in text files
can be summarized with a few lines of pseudo-Perl:
#for web-based extraction/scraping
It's easy to lose your bearings (and even your wits, sometimes) in those situations. Next time the subject comes up, you'll be better prepared to refute some of those misconceptions.
So take a deep breath.... and another. Just don't hyperventilate and really lose your wits. 8-)