Tuesday, January 22, 2008

The Final Curtain!

Notice To All Readers

"BCSE Revealed", the blog, is closed.

For a comprehensive database of articles of information about the gigantic fraud known as the "British Centre for Science Education", visit www.bcse-revealed.info.

I also have a new personal blog, "More Than Words" - http://mothwo.blogspot.com

Well, this time it really is it, folks. Two things are now clear:

  1. That the BCSE have been well and truly revealed.

  2. The BCSE for the present time do not merit any more attention.
For the evidence for the latter assertion, see this recent "Decline and Fall" post.

Hence, I formally announce "BCSE Revealed" to be completed and hence closed. I'm not ruling out sticking up the odd bit here and there as needed, or responding if the BCSE, zombie-like, rises again. For now, though, it's mission complete.

I don't see the BCSE going anywhere at the moment, but some of its members are young, and I've noticed that the same little group of atheist and secularist campaigners tend to pop up all over the place (National Secular Society, anti-academies campaigns, RichardDawkins.Net, the BCSE, etc.). I suppose it's well possible that some of those in the BCSE at the moment may turn up again wearing different hats in future. So I think it will be useful to have information on them easily available. Here, for your amusement, for the informing of anyone else who wants to know, for you to point anyone who might need to know to, and for the inducing of spluttering sounds over at the BCSE HQ, is the collation of everything I've said over the last year and a bit. I am relieved to finally be able to present "BCSE Revealed: The Website". Please stick lots of links to it up where you can (blogs, websites, mailing lists), so that Google gets to know about it and serves it up when asked for info on the BCSE.

And finally... here's my new blog, "More Than Words". Do drop by for a visit.

Many thanks to all those who lent me support over the last 15 months. It's taken about a year longer than I aimed for, and you made a real difference. Thank you.

David Anderson

P.S. If you want to read a book-length parable about atheism, intelligent design and evolution, or if you enjoyed my Richard Dawkins parable, you might like this: Roddy Bullock's "The Cave Painting".

Do you like our new deck-chair arrangement? (Part 2)

In the previous article, I commented on the fact that the BCSE's deckchairs have changed colour, and they sport a re-written front page of their website. In that piece, I pointed out a number of the claims which the BCSE no longer make - because they were exposed. Don't expect to find any link on the BCSE website where they explain or apologise for any of the misleading half-truths or downright falsehoods, though - that's not their way of doing business.

Let us now examine what the present BCSE front page (as of 10th January 2008) actually does say.

The British Centre for Science Education (BCSE) is a group dedicated to promoting and defending science education in the UK.

This statement is misleadingly general. In fact, the BCSE has no other agenda that to silence criticism of Darwinism. As documented many times, its leaders have no experience or credentials in science education, and none of them are currently practising scientists or educators. The thing about the Darwinism debate though is that so much of it depends on philosophy rather than science, that the BCSE feel able to talk to that specific area.

It is run as a cooperative organisation by part-time volunteers with paid membership and a public forum where the general public can debate the key issues involved.

I exposed last year that the BCSE had had to change its policy of asking members to pay for their membership, apparently because hardly anyone was willing to join under such conditions. In fact, the membership page of the new BCSE website also still says that no payment is necessary, so here is a contradiction. I'll refrain from commenting much on the level of co-operation that actually exists within the BCSE! (A majority of its committee resigning within one year of opening...).

We have become deeply worried about attacks on science education, particularly from creationists funded from the USA, and our campaign is dedicated to keeping all forms of creationism including Intelligent Design out of the science classroom in the UK.

This statement is also misleading. Creationism and intelligent design are in fact the BCSE's sole actual interests in the realm of science education. The impression is given by the above statement that the BCSE have long been involved in science education, and that here is one particular present issue. In fact, the BCSE has never done anything about any other issue at all other than creationism and ID. The BCSE's activities have also gone far beyond the science classroom, and for the last year they have been involved in various campaigns of slander and intimidation against religious individuals (ministers, seminary teachers and the like) who have not had any kind of involvement in school science. The BCSE is simply an organisation which exists to silence any criticism of materialism's creation myth not with reasoned argument but simply with insults and smears, whether it occurs within 100 miles of a classroom or not.

Notice too the BCSE's description of intelligent design as a form of creationism. Such rhetoric is just a way of advertising your own ignorance. The concepts of intelligent design have been held and discussed by a wide variety of scientists and philosophers down history, by such names as Plato and Aristotle amongst others. It is supported by people who are neither creationist nor even Christians. To seek to write off the whole concept as merely being a form of creationism is simply to reveal your own ignorance and bigotry. In that regard, I don't really have a problem with the BCSE advertising it on the front page of its website - it's a fair warning sign to those without the BCSE's non-too-subtle agenda.

The membership is open to all who support our aims. Members, in practice, are professional and managerial people from all walks of life who have been through the education system, understand it and have benefited from it.

It is interesting to compare this statement about the BCSE's membership with the one that their website used to make. It is one of the areas in which the pressure from "BCSE Revealed" has paid off - though, as always, there is no recognition nor apology. The BCSE's front page used to say, "Our members come from a broad variety of fields - science, business, theology, education, academia, engineering, IT and research." The mention of a "broad variety of fields", with science put first, gave a completely inaccurate impression. In fact, the BCSE has only a tiny membership, and its leadership is overwhelmingly dominated by IT workers and businessmen. The BCSE now acknowledges this on its website - but is it likely to do so in its lobbying of MPs and newspapers? Though the BCSE now acknowledges that its members are generally not scientists or educators, its practice has always been to send letters with such authoritative-sounding sign-offs as "Chairman, British Centre for Science Education", with no explanation that the signer was, when this letter was written, a 30 year-old IT worker!

We wonder though, what is meant by "professional and managerial people from all walks of life"? Are not "professional and managerial people" from the "professional and managerial" "walk of life"? Obviously the desire is to give the impression of variety and largeness - of which in reality the BCSE has a very short supply, being overwhelmingly dominated by non-science educators who are campaigning atheists.

We are aware of the key issues involved in education both as beneficiaries of it and also because our own children are currently benefiting from it.

This paragraph is obviously intended to explain the reason why the BCSE, though lacking credentials in science education, are lobbying the public as if they were experts. It is meant to explain what their qualifications actually are. Let's take a look. The qualifications are apparently two:

  1. They have been to school.

  2. They have children who go to school.

Yes, that really is it! Apparently, not getting expelled and being able to procreate are now sufficient qualifications for masquerading as experts. Reality, this ain't. In fact, were I a betting man I'd wager that the majority of the past and present BCSE committee don't even have children. I have very little evidence to go here, but from the little asides I've picked up, from noticing who has enough time to be on the Internet on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year's, and my knowledge of the ages of several of them, I'd say that probably only five of the eleven of them at most have children. I don't know how many of those children would actually be at school.

Whilst there is no evidence to hand concerning children, there is, on the other hand, plenty of evidence of these same individuals doing plenty to promote secularism and atheism. Websites, involvement in the National Secular Society, the British Humanist Association, RichardDawkins.Net, signing petitions to make various manifestations of religion illegal, etcetera.

You don't have to be a genius to sum up the balance of probabilities. Lots of evidence of anti-Christian activism; varying from little to no evidence of involvement in children's activities... which is the more likely to be the real motivation, Sherlock?

"It's for the children" is a favourite refuge of many activists. It's also one which the general public see through the shallowness of pretty quickly.

As such, the BCSE holds a robust position on endeavours without any scientific merit and whose proponents attempt to negatively influence scientific and educational activities.

Again, this is just bluster. The BCSE's leaders generally have neither professional knowledge nor experience in judging what ideas have scientific merit. Some of them do, but this is rather tangential to their work in the BCSE. The BCSE's sole interest is in silencing criticism of Darwinism.

Our public forum allows proponents of creationism and Intelligent Design to put their case forward and debate it.

Indeed it does. Such proponents though, have with only the very tiniest number of exceptions, surveyed the BCSE forum, adjudged it to be a sewer of atheistic ignorance and prejudice, and concluded that to even bother beginning participating would be a monumental waste of time. Who wants to "debate" when that means receiving several insult-laden replies for every responsible one?

Members and participants in our forum include teachers, academics, scientists, members of the clergy, engineers, archaeologists, scientists, students, management consultants, professional managers and businessmen, as well as people of a wide variety of political and religious persuasions.

As we saw in a recent post, in fact over the last 3 months there have been only 23 participants of any kind in the BCSE forum. Dropping those who only posted once, we're down to 19. If you make the mark of being an actual, active participant to have posted 10 times in a 3-month period, then in fact the BCSE forum only has 12 participants. In the most recent complete month, December 2007, there were in fact only 9 people who people who managed 5 posts in the month.

"[T]eachers, academics, scientists, members of the clergy, engineers, archaeologists, scientists, students, management consultants, professional managers and businessmen" is a description which contains 11 different types of people, and they are all in the plural. We are then told that in addition to this ("as well"), there are "people" (note plural again) with a "wide variety of political and religious persuasions." That's quite a lot to fit into only 9, 12 or however-you-want-to-slice-it people, isn't it?

If each of those plurals in fact only means two people, and if the "wide variety" means only three then we'd have a minimum of 25 people. Even on that most generous score, two of the participants completely forgot to ever actually participate.

The BCSE is open to all, irrespective of religious or political affiliations, who wish to oppose the tide of creationism in the United Kingdom.
Well, at least that's accurate. If however your religious affiliations aren't overtly atheistic, you'll probably find you don't want to stay long.

We are then treated to a list of the BCSE's present committee. There's not much need to comment on that, as we know most of them well enough already.

The BCSE believes in the tools for everyone to think for themselves - Science, Education and Reason

You will of course note the conspicuous absence of philosophy or theology as being a useful tool in thinking for yourself; the BCSE are generally followers of the Richard Dawkins-style positivism and empiricism which believes that science is the ultimate arbiter of reality, and that any other field of philosophy or theology must either give way to or preferably be completely replaced by it. Science is the sole source of human knowledge, and all the other fields can go hang.

- and the outcome – Democracy, Pluralism and Liberty.

We've seen before that the actual beliefs of the BCSE leaders are that democracy, pluralism and liberty should be not be extended to those parents or educators who question Darwinism, whether at home or school. The majority of the presentg BCSE committee has at some point voiced support for the position that the state should take active steps to prevent even parents from telling their children that Darwinism can be questionned. The BCSE's "pluralism" is a pluralism of people like themselves - disagreements are permissible are over whether religious people should be hated but tolerated, or hated and exiled from any public life, but not much more than that!


So, what do we learn from this? The BCSE continue to spin, and to present themselves as something they're not. They continue to puff their own credentials to make themselves sound big and authorative, but in the small print we have plenty of hints that the truth is the opposite - and "BCSE Revealed" has documented just what lies behind those little caveats.

The BCSE has relaunched its website, but it's nothing more than the deckchairs being moved around. Same old, same old.

David Anderson

Non-anonymous factual corrections welcomed by e-mail (bcse-blog at dw-perspective dot org dot uk). Comments are moderated - please read my comments policy.

Do you like our new deck-chair arrangement?

As demonstrated in this post, the BCSE has been maintaining up an impressive rate of decline in recent months.

But, do not fear - our brave science educators have moved to mitigate the decline by reorganising their website. It now sports a slightly altered colour scheme, and the structure of the content throughout the site has undergone some re-arrangement.

The work was done by Michael Brass, the BCSE's chairman:

That fact alone is another indicator of the BCSE's decline. Back one year ago, the BCSE's IT manager was Mr. Ian Lowe, and Mr. Brass announced that by autumn 2007 he would have to step back from the BCSE because he would have no time to be its chairman. By the time a year had passed, though, Lowe had resigned and there was hardly enough of the BCSE left to need any chairing, so Brass was able not only to continue but take over Lowe's job as IT manager too! (You will recall from a previous series of exposes that whereas the BCSE website used to advertise Brass using cleverly-constructed words that would lead you to believe he was a leading archaeologist, he was in fact an assistant IT worker whose BCSE-advertised book was published by... himself, using a notorious vanity publisher: see here). More that that, another member was going to help the BCSE put together a better website - but he also left.

(From the BCSE website's front page, February 2007).

What I want to briefly comment upon is the fact that the BCSE has again rewritten the text on the front page of its website with which it seeks to introduce itself to the world. In fact, one of "BCSE Revealed"'s very first activities was to focus attention on the innaccuracy of the BCSE's self-description (see here and here). It is valuable to review what claims no longer appear on the BCSE's front page. The BCSE's practice is to silently delete embarassing material whenever they're caught out, so you won't find any explanation or retraction of any of these claims - you have to rely on "BCSE Revealed" to point them out. Here's what they no longer say about themselves but once did:

  • That the BCSE is a "new group". Of course, such claims become out of date; but at launch time I exposed the truth - that the BCSE was an existing group of secularist activists, renamed.

  • That the BCSE had 83 members. I exposed the fraudulent counting method that the BCSE used to devise this number; as sen recently, even in its hay-day the BCSE had only around 30 interested participants (not all of whom were members), and nowadays has scarcely double figures.

  • That the BCSE was an international group. This claim was deleted after I pointed out the improriety of Americans, Spaniards, etcetera, being members of a campaigning group whose sole stated aim was to influence what was taught in schools funded by British taxpayers.

  • That the presence of creationists at Leeds University had done so much damage that the university had had to introduce remedial courses to re-educate their students. The BCSE had to delete all material about Leeds University from its website after Leeds threatened the BCSE with legal action over its material! At the same time, another section silently disappeared from the BCSE website - the bit where they promised to print in full any threats of legal action that they received!

  • That the goal of those who doubt Darwin in the UK is to overthrow lawful government and institute a theocracy. I exposed firstly the fact that the only basis that the BCSE had for these claims was their own atheistic prejudice which infers that any mention of religion outside of the private sphere is inherently theocratic, and second exposed the fact that more than one BCSE leader was actually lobbying the prime minister to make any non-secularist approach to upbringing illegal! That's not the kind of thing you want to be caught out doing if you're pretending to be committed to pluralism and democracy, as the BCSE's website claimed at the time.

  • That the BCSE had members "resident in the UK, North America, Australia, South Africa and the mainland of Europe". In the last three months, the 15 most active participants of the BCSE active in the BCSE forum (not all of whom are members or even supporters) who together with accounted for 97% of the activity in that forum all lived in the UK.

  • The hilarious claim that the Discovery Institute in the USA "has a clear agenda to take political power" ! Get those tin foil hats on now, everyone!

  • That the BCSE had a "lively" web forum. In fact, as a recent post demonstrated, a tiny number of die-hards is about all that remains, and the BCSE leader had to recently resort to begging any passing creationist to debate with him! Interestingly, the claim that the forum was "lively" wasn't added until June 2007, by which time the rot had well and truly set in. Methinks he doth protest too much?

May 2007 : it's a discussion forum. But by July 2007 it had become a a "lively discussion forum". Except that it hadn't.

  • That the BCSE chairman, Michael Brass, was a "published archaelogist". The reality: Brass was at the time a 29 year-old assistant IT worker who had self-published a single book with a notorious vanity publisher.

There are a whole series of other statements too which are easily demonstrable as nonsense, but most likely have been withdrawn simply to keep the length of the page down rather than because the BCSE wishes to withdraw them. That may go for some of the above as well, of course. Examples would be the claim that the BCSE has a proven track record (of what, exactly? A disintegrating membership, perhaps? Of making not-even-slightly-plausible legal threats against "BCSE Revealed"?), or has no atheistic agenda (apart of course from the majority of the leadership of course, who we documented as saying the opposite!).

In the next article, I take a look at what the BCSE front page does say.

David Anderson

Non-anonymous factual corrections welcomed by e-mail (bcse-blog at dw-perspective dot org dot uk). Comments are moderated - please read my comments policy.

For completeness sake (the updated BCSE committee)

For Completeness' Sake...

There have been three new names added to the BCSE committee recently, to replace the continuing stream of resignations.

I can't do much apart from yawn at them, as it's now obvious enough that the only qualification necessary to get onto the BCSE committee is that you are 1) not dead and 2) willing to join. If you happen to have any experience in teaching science then that is of course good, but it's quite sufficient if all you've done is put up some websites to promote atheism then that's definitely a bonus. Well, on that score we've already commented on new member Mark Edon (see here).

For completeness' sake, that just leaves Dr. Jeremy Hodge and Chris Hyland to add a few notes on.

Dr. Jeremy Hodge

Dr. Hodge joined the BCSE committee in late 2007. He has a doctorate from Oxford University in chemical engineering, and runs an electrical manufacturing company. The BCSE presents itself as an expert source of information on questions about biological origins. Dr. Hodge, though, apparently has no qualifications in biological origins or in science education in general - but he is, as with the BCSE leadership in general, an outspoken atheist. Dr. Hodge was a supporter of the infamous petition which sought to forbid parents to instruct their children in any way of life except for secularism and atheism. In fact, he went as far as to argue that this was required by the UN convention on human rights! So, it's obvious where he's coming from. I'm sure our children all look forward to being carted away to the nearest council home in order to enjoy a better life, free from their religious parents, and they'll certainly thank Dr. Hodge and those of his ilk should it ever come to pass. Ho hum.

In the following paragraph, Dr. Hodge shows us that he makes the classic atheist division of religion from science and reason, as if they were mutually exclusive, not to mention some obviously whacky political ideas, and drops in the hallmark of Dawkins-style fundamentalist atheism: the suggestion that Christianity is really little different from Islamic terrorism:

"I think we may be seeing the early stages of the Second US Civil War here, or at least the breakup of the USA into two groups of states, one which follows reason and science (e.g., California and the North East) and which is the dominant economy, and the other which is religion-dominated (e.g., Mid-West and South). Thinking as a secular European, this may be to our ultimate advantage. I don't particularly care if they delude themselves, or whatever else they do, as long as they don't turn dangerous, as some Islamicists appear to have become, and as long as they don't try to peddle their nonsense over here.''


In other words, Dr. Hodge is a good fit at the BCSE.

Chris Hyland

Finally, Chris Hyland. Mr. Hyland may be Dr. Hyland by now for all I know, as I suppose that most doctorates are finished by age 25 (which is what Mr. Hyland's age is).

Chris Hyland joined the BCSE committee in later 2007. Now aged 25 (end of 2007), he began campaigning with the BCSE as a 23 year-old biology PhD candidate at Leeds University.

Hyland has from the beginning been the only evolutionary biologist of any kind belonging to the BCSE. That fact alone would be enough to convince most investigators that it's probably not his love of biology that drew him to the BCSE!

See these stories for more on Mr. Hyland:

  • "The BCSE Caught Lying To MPs" - Hyland was involved in the first major BCSE scandal, as they were caught having lobbied MPs, asking them to condemn the materials of Truth in Science as being "full of errors" before they even knew what was in them.

  • How the BCSE changed its story about its lobbying of MPs - and gave itself more problems - Hyland was then involved in the BCSE's attempt to spin a story to cover itself up; which only created new questions and highlighted new aspects to the apparent deception.

  • Hyland's own university, Leeds University, threatened the BCSE with legal action over the article on the BCSE's website about it and one of its non-Darwinist professors. The BCSE pulled the article without putting up any fight to defend its contents. See here.

  • Hyland was complicit in the BCSE's pre-meditated slander campaign (based upon allegations which I easily proved false) against me. See here. For this, Hyland has never offered any explanation or apology.

Mr. Hyland is taking a major risk with his credibility by being involved with a group of imposters such as the BCSE; the only conclusions I can draw from this is either that Mr. Hyland does not intend to be involved in academia any more after his PhD, or that he is so blinded by atheistic zeal that he believes the price is worth paying. Hyland himself appears to know this, because he gave the following effective testimony to the effectiveness of my exposures of the BCSE. Before he joined them, on another website he wrote this about his advice to the BCSE:

"We did also advise that they get their website in order BEFORE starting thei lobbying, which they failed to do. The result = BCSE 'revealed'." Hyland: Yeah I was willing to write that of as the ramblings of some idiot but as it stands now it's a major problem for their credibility."

What changed? When did the BCSE recover its credibility? Or, more likely, is it Hyland that changed? Is it not a "major problem" for Hyland's own credibility that he was prepared to join the BCSE leadership despite knowing all that "BCSE Revealed" had shown about its nature? Note, though, that it's not the nature of the BCSE that was worrying Hyland; it was the fact that unless they re-wrote their website to cover up certain sections, that that nature might be made known to others.

So, the BCSE has added some new committee members - each with demonstrable track records in at least one of atheist campaigning, being caught telling pre-meditated lies without apology, or both. In other words... they'll be right at home in the BCSE.

David Anderson

Non-anonymous factual corrections welcomed by e-mail (bcse-blog at dw-perspective dot org dot uk). Comments are moderated - please read my comments policy.

Not Even Good At Being Nasty!

I've briefly mentioned a Mr. Mark Edon before. I haven't taken much notice of him, as I don't think it's a good use of time to go around refuting every atheist-rant blogger who decides to take a pop at me on the Internet - I'd have to give up sleeping.

However, Mr. Edon was recently appointed to the BCSE committee, so I'll provide a little documentation just for completeness (I'm sure there can't be many people left on the Internet who need any proof of what the BCSE are really about).

All You Need To Know...

Mr. Edon joined the BCSE committee in the second half of 2007. Suffice to say that:

  • Like most of his colleagues, he has no qualifications in science or education that would qualify him to pose as any kind of science educator, let alone a national expert who should be lobbying newspapers and MPs.

  • Like most of his colleagues, Mr. Edon's motivation is obvious, as he is a rabid supporter of Richard Dawkins.

  • Again, like most of his colleagues, Mr. Edon is seriously equivocating in his involvement in the BCSE, because whereas:

    • the BCSE claims to be a scientific body and not driven by religion, and to believe that science and religion are broadly complementary ...

    • ... Mr. Edon's own personal beliefs are exactly the opposite: science and religion are irreconcilably opposed and it is the purpose and destiny of the former to replace the latter. Mr. Edon's own Internet activities are motivated in the most obvious possible way by his own deep dislike of theism.

It is apparent enough too that there were two reasons why Mr. Edon was invited to join the BCSE committee:

  1. The BCSE's collapse by that point was so advanced that, if they wanted to still have a committee, they were more-or-less obliged to offer a place to anyone who was willing, and

  2. Mr. Edon's polemical activity on the Internet made him a friend of the BCSE leaders. This is all really we need to know about the BCSE; there is no need to have any real understanding of science education to join it - a bit of experience in atheist polemics is quite sufficient.
So that you can judge for yourself whether I'm justified in identifying Mr. Edon as an "atheist-rant blogger", I offer the following in response to Mr. Edon's prize claim about my integrity.

A Response to Some Of Mr. Edon's Polemics

From examining Mr. Edon's polemical efforts to discredit my research, his prize claim is apparently that I am dishonest because in one place on the Internet I described my degree in more general terms as being in science, whereas in another place I described it more specifically as being in mathematics.

Mr. Edon writes that these two claims are obviously contradictory (he did a straw poll in his office to establish that mathematics cannot be described as a scientific subject), and that therefore I am a liar. He then proceeded to promote his claim in several places, including the BCSE, around the Internet.


I don't know whether to laugh at this claim for its silliness, or cry at the tragedy of pursuing such a pointless set of goals. What cause could be such a bad one that it requires this to help it?

My course was described as a scientific one by the university which awarded me the degree, where the mathematics department that taught me describes itself on the front page of its website as teaching "Mathematical Sciences", and on my university application, five of the six universities to which I applied awarded a Bachelor of Science (BSC) degree for their mathematics course.

My UCAS application: note the right-hand column

A letter from my college

Even if Mr. Edon had bothered to look up on Wikipedia, he would have found maths described as a science!

That Mr. Edon:

  • Never thought of doing such basic checks,

  • had no idea that mathematics degrees in the UK are generally awarded with a Bachelor of Science degree,

  • but instead rushed into print to try to discredit me,

  • and apparently believes that scientific questions are settled by taking a straw poll of people in his office...
... is all the evidence we need about what kind of people are leading the "British Centre for Science Education", and what level of competence they have in their purported sphere of expertise. They're not even any good at smearing!

I will leave it to Mr. Edon to decided whether or not the UK's top universities are also pseudo-scientists and liars... or whether it's not the case that his attempts to discredit me have rather scraped the barrel.

David Anderson

Non-anonymous factual corrections welcomed by e-mail (bcse-blog at dw-perspective dot org dot uk). Comments are moderated - please read my comments policy.