Thursday, November 23, 2006

The BCSE's View Of The World II

Or: Theocracy! Theocracy!

(The next part of this article is here).

Over the last few weeks, we have seen various quotes from the BCSE's leadership, spoken when they thought that nobody else was listening. These quotes show us quite clearly the BCSE's view of the world, and how it sees itself and its opponents. Here's one post with some information; and here's another.

Today we're going to continue on that theme.


In May 2006, some of the BCSE's core were discussing a science teacher who had e-mailed them to disagree with their hard-line Darwinism-only stance. Core BCSE member Lenny Flank offered his opinion (emphasis mine):

What [he] and others like him want is to preach their extremist religious opinions ... in the service of a theocratic political program. That's ALL they want. Nothing more, nothing less, nothing else.

I doubt that agenda would win much popular support.

So don't bother with the "science debate". Turn it into a POLITICAL debate. That, after all, is what it is. [864]
This talk about politics and religion instead of science, of course, is what we've seen plenty of times before. So what's new? The note which I want to particularly highlight in this article is the BCSE's view that those who disagree with Darwinism are really doing it because they want to set up a theocracy.

Some Background

Well, I'm a Christian minister, and I can tell you what I think about theocracies. A theocracy is the last thing any Christian should be aiming for. Why? Because glory comes to God when people give their lives to Jesus Christ simply because they are persuaded that the message about him is true. If instead there's coercion, bribery or force of any kind, then that's not right. Empires, forces and powers in this world get power that way. But God is honoured when the true Christian church outlasts them all and advances even though its "only" weapon is spoken persuasion and example - with reliance upon God to bless it. And in any case, forced obedience is not real obedience. God requires the obedience of our hearts - there are no acceptable counterfeits.

According to classic Christian theology, Jesus Christ will return to rule absolutely, everywhere - to judge his enemies, and to save his people. But not until then. Any attempt to set up a theocracy before then is against God's revealed plan. The church is to advance through simple, persuasive explanation of the Bible's message - anything else is just wrong.

Well, it's not the purpose of this article to teach Christianity. If you would like to read a quick and simple presentation of the Christian message that explains the rule of God and its implications, then go here. My point is just to lay down some facts.

The General View

This is classic, historic, Biblical Christianity. To depart from this view on things is to mark yourself out as being way out on the fringes of orthodox Christianity. I am not aware that any creationist, intelligent design theorist or anti-Darwinist of any sort in Britain mentioned on the BCSE's website departs from it. In fact, I don't have experience of a single church or conference in Britain where something different is taught.

If, of course, the opposite is the truth, then it will be very easy for the BCSE to document. If I'm completely wrong, then it'll be trivial to show. Many of the names mentioned on their website are published authors - in journals and whole books. Some are pastors, whose sermons are made available on the Internet week by week. If they hold a different view, then the BCSE should have plenty of material to show it.

But, article by article, I've been drawing attention to the fact that the BCSE's website is long on allegations, 2+2=5 connections and other smears - but very short on documentation. That's why I've been careful to document all my facts on this blog. Everybody can check out the reasons for my conclusions. The BCSE's conclusions, though, are just something you'll have to trust them for. But what we've seen, article by article, you can't even trust the BCSE with straightforward facts about themselves. The only reason to believe what they say about others is because your mind is made up, and you don't want to be confused by facts.

Get to the point, Anderson!

OK. So here are some more quotes. Here's Lenny Flank again:
It is a political fight. The fundies want a theocracy, and are trying very hard to get it. So this is a fight between "everyone who wants a fundamentalist theocracy" and "everyone who doesn't. [1024]
This is strange material for a bona fide "Centre for Science Education", isn't it? Still, if those are the battle lines, then I'm with the BCSE - and so is every creationist in these isles listed on their website that I know of. Shurely shome mishtake?

But, you're thinking, maybe Lenny Flank is just a lone nut with eccentric views of the world, not speaking for the BCSE as a whole. Not so. In reply to the above quote, the BCSE's original founder Alan Bellis wrote in to say "I agree with everything you say Lenny" [1030].

Later on, in July 2006, Roger Stanyard was lamenting the perceived "dishonesty" of those whom he opposes. Timothy Chase chimed in, to say this:
As for their dishonesty, it runs very deep. When you consider what they are after -- indoctrinating students in science classes with a religio-political ideology intended to establish a theocracy ... well, I don't know what other word to use, I can only describe it as evil. [1273]
I can only agree - that does sound evil. But it also sounds unreal. Chase is again giving away that he's been reading from the campaiging atheists' handbook: portray all people of religion using the template of Islamic extremists. Or, if you're Richard Dawkins, then you can produce leaflets containing pictures of the twin-towers, and instead of attributing it to extremist Isalm, attribute it to "religion" in general ( We've seen the BCSE using that approach before too. Cute, but not the way to be taken as a credible "Centre of Science Education" - or to be taken seriously when discussing religion.

Here's Lenny Flank again:
On the other hand, fundies are fundies, and they all have the same theocratic political program (or programme ;> ), and no one supports their wanna-be-theocracy. So the best way to eliminate their public support, in the UK as well as the US, is to make sure everyone KNOWS about that theocratic political goal.
This again explains much of the BCSE's campaigning approach. Instead of presenting scientific arguments to explain the gaping problems with Darwinism, they have instead chosen to talk about religion and politics. Why? Because there's a theocracy coming!

What the BCSE might have been called...

When the BCSE was picking its name, Timothy Chase came up with this suggestion:
Science Education Coalition United Regarding Evolution


... because we are defending education against the threat posed by creationism and creationist ideology, and both the UK and democracy against the threat of theocracy. The name would draw attention to the threat posed by what it is we are against. [1506]

Wow! That's quite something, isn't it? Apparently Darwinism needs to be defended because otherwise the UK might end up as a theocracy. Not because Darwinism is true - but because alternative explanations of the scientific data might cause the end of democracy! This is all quite ironic when you remember our previous uncovering of the BCSE's agenda to campaign for government legislation to limit and monitor parents should they question Darwinism in the presence of their own children (part one, part two).

Hello - Reality Calling!

Again, we are left wondering what in the real world has led the BCSE to take up with this madness. Is there, somewhere, a totalitarian theocracy that came about because Darwinism wasn't being taught with sufficient rigour? Is there, in some corner of the globe, a state which persecutes those who don't accept intelligent design or creationism?

Well, according to the US State Department's list of countries where religious freedom is suppressed, no. There are, though, three countries where people are persecuted for not accepting atheism. ( But it's not very likely that the BCSE will be campaigning against that any time soon, is it? That's the real world. This is the BCSE and Internet atheist activism!

Let's Pause There

There's plenty more where that came from. But we've seen enough for today.

So... what does this tell you about the "British Centre for 'Science Education'"? Is it a real science group? Can they be taken seriously? Is there real agenda science - or something else? Are they credible? Or has an overload of Internet atheist activism fused their critical reasoning faculties?

David Anderson
bcse-blog at dw-perspective dot org dot uk - non-anonymous factual corrections welcomed.

Quotes above are taken from the Yahoo BlackShadow group message with the indicated number. The BCSE have since removed these messages from public view on the Internet, but if you wish to have a copy of the archive to verify the accuracy of the quotes above, you can e-mail me.

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