Saturday, December 22, 2007

Some Feedback

Here's something I received in my mailbox recently. It's from a real scientist, with a real qualification, doing real research in a real university - not someone working to gain a qualification, but someone who's been long established in his field. i.e. The kind of person still utterly missing from that body which fraudulently writes to MPs, newspapers, etcetera, pretending to be a national authority, a.k.a. the "British Centre for Science Education". Of course, so that he doesn't get his name dragged through the mud on the BCSE's website, I've trimmed it off.


Having laughed so much I wanted to send you a note to say thank you: this evening I discovered your blog and analysis of the so called British Centre for 'Science' Education. There's may be horrid mischief but you certainly have a knack for confronting and humorously demolishing it.

I was a bit alarmed when I first saw the BC'S'E website earlier this year, but fortunately aside from the obvious religious zealots like Dawkins and Jones, in my experience academics have too much integrity (and are too busy) to bother with this sort of nonsense. They are probably far less gullible than I fear MPs may be over the output of BC'S'E.

I think my correspondent is right; the BCSE, generally being outside the world of real science themselves, is only going to con people who aren't in that world - anyone else will smell the rats pretty quickly.

I like getting this kind of feedback. The BCSE is essentially a con game; their procedure is to: 1) invent authoritative-sounding name for themselves 2) put up spin-filled website 3) profit!!! Until you dig a little deeper, you might well be worried, or taken in; that's what "BCSE Revealed" is here for. On the Internet, any man and his dog can pretend to be a leading authority; but it's also true that on the Internet, any man and his goldfish (actually, I keep chickens now, but it used to be goldfish!) can point out the scam.

David Anderson

Thursday, December 20, 2007

In case you were wondering...

Sometimes, you have to spend several hours digging through different sources to piece things together. Sometimes, the BCSE just hand it to you on a plate.

Here is Roger Stanyard, the founder, de facto leader, and official spokesman, of the "British Centre for Science Education", posting over at RichardDawkins.Net and making a few things quite clear for us. Note that Stanyard is posting in his official capacity, beginning his post with "We at the British Centre for Science Education" and finishing with the tag-line, "Roger Stanyard, British Centre for Science Education". Read it through for yourself:

We at the British Centre for Science Education have done some estimates of the proportion of Christians in the UK who are fundamentalist (extremist if you like). A rough definition of extremism is that the accept Sola Scriptura as extended into all public domains. In English that means into science - creationism if you like.

On a head count of churches it is somewhere between 5% and 10% of all churches. In terms of individual believers it seems to be around 400,000 out of a regular church going population of 3.5-4 million.

However, it ain't no good asking people if they are fundamentalists. No matter how much they foam at the mouth about creationism and hell fire and brimstone, most of them will deny it.

Sadly, in any society there are a lot of authoritarian extremists. Seems to me that you only have to scratch a fundamentalist slightly and underneath they are all the same as hardline fascists, BNPers, white supremicists, Abu Hamza fans, Marxists, racists, homophobes, Trotskyites, Leninists, Maoists, Northern Ireland paramilitaries, KKKers - all birds of a feather.

They all have a 'worldview' that they want to impose on others without consent.

It is silly, though, to suggest all religious believers are of that ilk or that religion is the platform off of which extremism rides. It is like saying that communism is the natural outcome of the beliefs of people who are in the Labour Party or fascism of those in the Conservative Party. The overwhelming majority in both parties believe in liberal democracy, are pragmatic and not prone to authoritarian extremes. Same with religiou believers.

Roger Stanyard, British Centre for Science Education


Some pertinent questions and observations, for anyone who hasn't yet worked out what the BCSE are really about:

  1. How is it that a purported centre for "Science Education" which pretends to operate independently of religious questions, is taking surveys to work out what percentage of Christians are "extremist"? Which branch of science, exactly, is this part of?

  2. Why is the spokesman for a body which presents itself to its lobbying targets as a bona fide scientific institution with expertise in biological origins doing offering us definitions of religious extremism? What branch of biology is this from, please? Or have I missed something - maybe Mr. Stanyard has had his work published in a scientific journal somewhere? Because it looks to me like Stanyard's "science" is nothing other than his atheistic philosophy in a not-very-cunning disguise. My point is not that science and philosophy are separable fields; my point is that Mr. Stanyard's purports to have a scientific viewpoint which is free of all philosophical bias, which is clearly not the case.

  3. Notice too how extremely broad Stanyard's definition of an extremist is - it includes 100% of classical Protestants, being defined by acceptance of the defining Protestant doctrine of Sola Scriptura - i.e. the belief that the Bible is the highest, unrivaled, authority - the belief that God exercises his own authority through speaking to us in the Bible. The phrase "Sola Scriptura" was coined at the time of the "Protestant" Reformation, to "protest" against the teaching that church, or the Pope, had an equivalent or greater authority than the Bible. According to Stanyard, though, this doctrine is the sina qua non of religious extremism. Has it occurred to Stanyard that whether or not a viewpoint is "extreme" or not also depends on where you are viewing it from? i.e., why is Mr. Stanyard so blind to his own anti-supernatural extremism?

  4. Does not the comment "They [i.e. all classical Protestants] all have a 'worldview' that they want to impose on others without consent." indicate a severe personal antagonism against Christianity, which is the real driving force behind Mr. Stanyard's quest to pass himself off as a legitimate spokesman on science education? (Mr. Stanyard is a life long business consultant who has never been involved in science education or research at any level).

    This comment itself is self-contradictory; how can someone accept a view of the world without consenting to it? What does that mean? Or is Mr. Stanyard really saying that the Bible-based Christianity is really a brain-washing and mind-control program in a poor disguise? That Christian preachers are really would-be hypnotists? (Watch out - on this blog I'm not really trying to persuade you with rational arguments in these lines - my real aim is to reprogram your mind using pychadelic images which pop up when you're not expecting them! Wu-ha-ha!) It seems pretty clear that Mr. Stanyard has spent a long time drinking at the Dawkins fountain, because to him all efforts to persuade someone of a religious idea amount to brain-washing.

  5. The BCSE's purported objectives are to prevent any criticism of Darwinism (which they believe is irrefutable truth) in 100% of public schools - even though the percentage of the public who pay for those schools and who share their certainty is very small. How, exactly, is this campaign of theirs different from "imposing a worldview without consent"? Is not the very raison d'etre of the BCSE to ensure that their own view is unchallenged, contrary to the beliefs of the public at large? Does the word "hypocrisy" figure in Mr. Stanyard's lexicon?

  6. Does not the same comment also indicate a severe misunderstanding of Christianity? It is a "fundamental" belief with Christians that becoming a Christian is a supernatural event - the Holy Spirit applies truths to the mind and changes the heart. The method is through supernatural persuasion, as Christian truths are proclaimed. The idea of externally "imposing" on someone "without consent" is foreign to this way of thinking, and is effectively a denial of essential Christian truth claims - the claim that Christian conversion is a real, supernatural phenomena that involves all the immaterial faculties of the person - the rational mind included. That is why Christians like me blog, and author presentations - to persuade.

  7. In other words, do not Mr. Stanyard's words provide more solid evidence for the case that "BCSE Revealed" has been making - that the BCSE is really a badly-disguised atheist/anti-supernaturalist crusade, run by people not with scientific or educational standing, but driven on by their own personal grudges? Mr. Stanyard has such a deep hatred of Biblical Christianity, that his prejudice prevents him from even describing it accurately - all he knows is that he hates it and wants you to do so too!

  8. Notice, as we have continually pointed out on "BCSE Revealed", that Mr. Stanyard's chosen vocabulary is the standard vocabulary of campaigning anti-theists, such as Richard Dawkins. Stanyard poses some conspiracy or mystery as to why those who he calls "fundamentalists" do not themselves accept the label. The real reason is quite simple; the term "fundamentalist" has only two normal usages; in the religious world, it is used one to identify the sub-segment of American Baptists who hold to a number of particular beliefs who developed in the late 19th and early 20th century (distinctive beliefs which Mr. Stanyard's targets do not generally share), and the other is the usage by Dawkins et. al. to try to posit an equivalence between any consistent belief in supernaturalism and the maddest excesses of militant Islam.

  9. Notice too, that Stanyard follows that second course - the Dawkins line. The "fundamentalists" are really "hardline fascists, BNPers, white supremicists, Abu Hamza fans, Marxists, racists, homophobes, Trotskyites, Leninists, Maoists, Northern Ireland paramilitaries, KKKers" in a poor disguise. Mr. Stanyard has forgotten to index for us the scientific paper which has the proof for all this laid out... either that, or he's again confused about the difference between actual science and his own metaphysical prejudices.

  10. Mr. Stanyard is firstly apparently stumped at why someone convinced that God has spoken in the Bible would not want to accept the label "fundamentalist", and then secondly explains that a "fundamentalist" is basically the same thing as a member of the Ku Klux Klan, etcetera. Does Mr. Stanyard not possess enough grey matter to work out the answer to his own question?

  11. Is there any science at all in Mr. Stanyard's screed? Do not Mr. Stanyard's comments rather bear out the thesis of many of us on the Internet that one of the major problems in the science concerning human origins (Darwinism, origin of life, etcetera), today, is that there are just too many dogmatists like Mr. Stanyard who start with the assumption that their own philosophy is correct and then seek to drown out any other voices?

Mr. Stanyard pretends on the BCSE's website that his organisation is religiously neutral. When he's doing something other than authoring that website, he tells us what he really things - that people who believe that God has spoken are all murdering mullahs at heart, and that the goal of scientific organisations it to oppose them. That's what the BCSE's there for - and that's what I'm here to reveal.

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.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Being An Internet Investigator

(If you've come here to read research about the "British Centre for Science Education", you should skip this post).

I think I've learnt a few things over the time that I've been investigating and documenting the activities of the non-British non-centre for non-science non-education. It may be useful for others if I write a little about some of those lessons. I've seen other investigative blogs on the Internet; the quality varies greatly! It's an interesting and challenging personal experience too, especially if those whose activities you look into start trying to play nasty.

Here, then, in no particular order, are some of the things I've learnt or questions you ought to ask:

1. You will become a public person

Once you go live, you become a public person. Other will comment on your work, and on you. Some will take remarkable liberties in making all kinds of speculations - even if the only contact they've ever had with you is to read a handful of blog posts. This might make you realise that you've done the same about others; it certainly gives you a different perspective from "the other side of the fence" and teaches us to be a bit more reserved in our own wild speculations!

I recommend not even thinking about doing this kind of work anonymously. Investigative work is about integrity - you are questioning the integrity of someone else or their organisation. If you don't want to be held accountable for what you say (which for me means I list on my blog my name and which church I belong to), then probably you shouldn't be saying it. Maybe if you're investigating the Mafia and your targets are likely to hire hit-men, then anonymity might be an option. Otherwise, remember that if you're going to question someone else's credibility, they're likely to at least wonder what yours is too.

Following on from this is...

2. Are you ready to become a public person?

If you are, like me, seeking to expose a bunch of people who have no qualms about playing dirty, then you really need to think about whether you're ready for the comeback. Either you need to grow a thicker skin, or you should probably consider never starting. Are you ready for a hate-mail, having counter-blogs and websites set up with no discernible purpose other than to insult you, and having small-minded people with infinite amounts of time on their hands run all round the Internet to say about you whatever bizarre inventions their brains can concoct? Are you ready to have them seek to peer into your personal relationships, contact your friends and churches, make bogus legal threats and so on? Are you the sort of person who will have trouble sleeping and develop ulcers because of the strain it'll put you under? If the whole premise of your investigation is that the organisation or whatever that you're researching is in fact a nasty piece of work, then it shouldn't be much of a surprise if instead of responding to the message they attack the messenger instead, should it? If you're not ready for that, then you might want to think again before you start out.

I rejoice that I have a sovereign God who, for some unfathomable reason, loves me is able to help me through all such things. I also had the help of already, as a Christian minister (though a very obscure one!), being a public person in the world beyond the Internet. But nobody should underestimate the challenge.

3. Do your homework!

This is obviously the cardinal rule of research, of whatever kind. Your opponents might think nothing about making the most bizarre allegations about you and offering no evidence for it. Your credibility, though, depends on doing the opposite. (The Bible also forbids us to spread allegations about others without evidence - Leviticus 19:16).

It is tempting once you get into this kind of thing to have a "them and us" mentality. You may develop speculative ideas, and then start interpreting the evidence in the light of those ideas. Suddenly, you see your pet theory everywhere! Don't do this. When you write up your research, you must make sure it is evidence-based and evidence-led. When you make speculations, make it clear that you are doing that. If the main burden of your belief in your opponents' lack of credibility is correct and you can show it, then you don't need to indulge in pointless speculations. Your opponents will, if they cannot rebut your case, instead seek to seize upon and make a mountain out of the tiniest little error or misleading statement. Hence, it's a good idea to make as few of those as possible. Be ready to correct your errors; show an openness to look into any mistakes which people can show you. For this reason I advertise my e-mail address and policy on correcting errors together with an invitation to inform me of them after every post.

4. Remember that most of your audience is unseen.

As a blogger, you now have a public profile, and so do your opponents. You will write up your research; your opponents will do what they decide in order to refute you - whether honestly or through dirty tricks. You should remember, though, that the great majority of your audience watches and listens silently, forming its opinion and never telling you about it. They will vote with their feet, and maybe talk about it on some other forum or more likely just keeping it to themselves. The would-be supporters and insiders of the BCSE didn't generally contact me to tell me that they had decided not to join, or been persuaded to leave - but over the course of the year, I watched the BCSE move from being an organisation with big hopes and dreams into a tiny remnant, smaller even than on the day it launched - people voted with their feet.

You should be realistic about convincing the main players amongst your opponents. The powers that humans possess for self-deception are immense. Once someone has committed to something in a public way, it is very hard for them to change course. If their public enterprise is actually founded on deceit and/or wilful self-deception, then you should not be surprised if when you point this out they don't see it. In many ways, you are not writing for them - you are writing for the onlooking world. As a Christian I don't expect Satan to pack up and go home just because I preach sermons. The point for those of us who are Chirstians isn't that we will easily win the world to our message; it is often more that as preach it, it will make the division between right and wrong, and who is standing on which side, much clearer. The sides might not change - but the existence of those sides and the actual principles they stand for will become much more obvious.

Ultimately the most important audience - your maker - is unseen. Whatever integrity or lack of it we show to the world, and however much they fail to detect it, he will. The judgments and opinions of others matter little, because they're not the ones with power to decide our eternal destinies (see the gospel of Luke, chapter 12). That's another reason to not be anonymous - it helps to keep us honest, remembering that ultimately one day there will be no secrets left at all - everything will be revealed. The all-seeing eyes of God are ultimately very comforting; as a Christian I don't have to resort to suing the BCSE for slander (which they gave me very strong grounds to do on several occasions), because I know that there is already a court that will decide on the matter, and which I can wait patiently for.

This point leads on to another:

5. Be careful and patient in responding to critiscm

We are human beings. We have been made in such a way that we are intended to live in society with other human beings. There are very few people who can really and truly shut themselves off from others - I believe that those who manage to do so completely are known as "psychopaths"! Our natural tendency, particularly fueled by our sinful pride, is to want to respond to everything bad sad about us, and defend ourselves to the hilt. It is often necessary to respond to attacks on us because otherwise we co-operate in the spoiling of our own reputations and join in the ruining of our own future usefulness. However, it is never necessary to respond to everything said against us.

I've found that it's rarely a good idea to make a swift response to something malicious said against us or that reflects badly on us. Much better to wait, ponder on it, pray and sleep on it, and seek to come to a more objective viewpoint. Some attacks on you as an investigative blogger will be so obviously groundless and malicious that the best thing to do is simply to ignore them - rise above it. If you start descending to the level of every muck-thrower, you'll soon find that you've become one. The world does indeed have an excessive quota of people who behave like unthinking zombies with vast amounts of time to waste, and if you make it your task to rebut them then you'll have to give up eating and sleeping. Swat one here, up pops another one there. Simpler just to ignore them, and only respond to challenges which are in some way worthy.

6. Be careful about what you reveal

I've found that some opponents of my work were ready to behave in a very deceitful way - contacting me, or maybe a colleague in the church whose e-mail address they'd obtained from the Internet (or even putting up smears on them in order to pressurise me), pretending to be someone that they weren't or disguising their true purpose.

If someone starts fishing for personal information, you have no obligation to reply to them. You have no obligation to reply to anyone who e-mails you privately at all unless you actually asked for such e-mails (e.g. asking people to point out any mistakes in your research).

Some private e-mails I've received have been frankly little more than invitations to have a bar-room brawl. Often such e-mails have no name on them (or just a first name), and the author doesn't even bother to introduce himself before he piles on in. E-mail seems to be a medium which brings out the worst in some people. I eventually learnt that the best response to anonymous e-mails or deliberately and pointlessly insulting ones is the delete key, together with a "block future e-mails" filter in your e-mail program. I was amused to find one supporter of the BCSE bragging in a forum that my latest blog post was provoked by something he'd e-mailed me... when I'd added his e-mail address to my "block" filter some time before!

Basically this rule is about remembering that you're in control. Unless they are in fact the Mafia or live next door, their powers to compel you to play along with whatever game they're up to are pretty limited.

7. Record everything!

The BCSE are a pretty unscrupulous bunch, and the usual response when I caught them out in some unguarded comment about their true motives or if I documented some obvious and gross set of lies was not for them to apologise or publish any retraction, but simply to whitewash the evidence (e.g. see here). The various pieces of damning evidence that I started drawing attention to would simply disappear, without a word of explanation - whilst, of course, all the parts of the BCSE's website, including the front page, proclaiming their honesty and integrity would all continue to say just what they'd said before. Basically, the BCSE just wanted to pull the wool over everybody's eyes, hoping that people would forget if given enough time.

To counter-act this, you need to take a copy of everything you come across. You need to note down everything potentially interesting or useful as soon as you come across it. This is helpful too for when you later come across something that ties in with something you'd seen earlier - if you didn't note down the earlier thing, then you'll have to waste time in searching for it again. The golden rule here is archive, archive, archive! Which leads me on to...

8. Know the law

When I started quoting the BCSE website and making my own copies for my research use, the BCSE responded with a series of bogus legal threats and attempts to ruin my reputation by publishing their allegations, without accompanying evidence, on their website - in all but one case, without making any attempt to contact me beforehand (e.g. see here and here).

If you don't know the law, then you can end up either being intimidated by such bully-boy tactics, or into restraining your activities because you believe your opponents. In my case, I already knew what copyright law allowed, and knew that the BCSE were either badly mislead by someone or simply making it up as they went along in order to further their own ends. (Their own website violated the standard they had said I should be keeping to many times, e.g. see here).

It is worth pointing out that copyright law has specific provisions for researchers. The BCSE sought to keep certain very revealing materials out of peoples' hands by claiming that I had no right to own and/or distribute them. This was wrong. The law has provisions to prevent the kind of bully-boy tactics the BCSE employed from being effective - but they're only of use if you know about them. I am not a lawyer - so make sure you get your own advice if needed.

9. Don't descend to their level

I think I must have said this a few times already. It's worth saying again though. Don't be reactive; there's no need to respond to everything said. They might even try to bring you down into the sewer as a tactic to discredit you - to show the world that you're as bad as they are and so haven't got a case to make. Avoid it at all costs! If you find it hard to avoid responding or implementing any of the above things, you might want to recruit someone wise to run all your blog posts past before they are published.

And finally, the most obvious one:

10. Make sure your cause is a good one!

Otherwise, all the good and bad advice in the world is just a waste of time!

"For we can do nothing against the truth, but for the truth." - 2 Corinthians 13:8.

Obviously, in the above I am describing an ideal. How well I met it, I leave others to judge. I hope though that the advice will be useful to someone in some good cause. Take care!

David Anderson

Friday, November 02, 2007

New Presentation - Is Belief In Divine Creation Rational?

This is off-topic for the main research done on this blog (into the true identities and activities of those involved in the "British Centre for Science Education"), but will be of interest to anyone involved in the debate over evolution, intelligent design, creationism, atheism, materialism, etcetera.

As most of you will know, in my "day job" I am a Christian minister. I have just put online a major new audio-visual presentation: "Is belief in divine creation rational? (responding to atheist claims)".

The talk is 77 minutes long, accompanied by slides (combined courtesy of Google video), and goes over quite a wide field - rationality, morality, laws (or not?) of logic, Richard Dawkins, the scientific method, world views, the definition of the mind, etc. It's meant to be popular level but stimulating for anyone. You can watch the presentation with audio, or download it to your iPod, etcetera. Lots of links and resources provided. Of course it's a lot more heavyweight than the previous Richard Dawkins parable, but much more stimulating and rewarding and hopefully life-changing for it.

If you like it, please link it. Put it on your blogs, websites, mailing lists, etcetera. As with the previous Richard Dawkins parable, the success of this depends on it getting linked.


Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Who are the BCSE? (2)

When the "British Centre for Slandering Evangelicals Science Education" launched last year, there was one thing that any interested individual would notice pretty quickly. They were almost entirely anonymous. This didn't prevent some more gullible MPs and newspapers from printing their letters, or taking them at face value in some other way - but it's something that I pointed out as a huge question mark over their credibility pretty quickly.

In only my second article, I asked the question, "Who are the BCSE?", and then in the next article on the theme, I concluded as follows:

So, observation number one is that whilst the BCSE are very keen to give you their opinion on a number of other people (including individuals with apparently more qualifications than the entire BCSE membership combined, they're very reluctant to tell you anything about themselves. I look forward to them beginning to read my website, and addressing these criticisms; however, from my research so far I am confident that the more details about themselves they expose, the lower their plausibility as a group of "Science Educators" will sink.

Who They Really Were

After that, I started naming and describing the true identities and their (lack of) credentials to be masquerading as experts on either science or education. The BCSE responded to this pressure by beginning to publish a little information about themselves.

In general, this information only confirmed the accuracy of my research, as even with the best spin that the BCSE could put on it, its descriptions of its committee only confirmed their lack of standing. Some of this "spin", though, we later provided documented proof as being little different to outright fabrication (e.g. see here).

Screenshot from BCSE homepage, December 19th 2006

The More That Changes...

One year on, though, the situation is again that the BCSE have become basically anonymous. A large part of this is certainly due to "BCSE Revealed"; it became a regular occurrence that after I posted a new article, the BCSE would scramble to edit its website to cover up whatever embarrassing revelation had just been made. (e.g. See here). A large part of it is certainly because the internal rumbles that "BCSE Revealed" has caused and other factors have meant that over the course of that year, four of the original seven committee named have resigned (one returned); and the BCSE are rather nervous about us knowing just how bad their internal squabbles have been - so apparently, they decided it was just simpler to delete the list of committee members so that we couldn't know. (See here for more of that).

So basically, one year on, we find that the BCSE have become anonymous again. That's very bad for their attempts to appear credible. If you receive a communication from an organisation you've never heard of, and then seek to find more by checking out their website, and find that their website tells you basically nothing about their identities - what would you conclude? Why ever would a bona fide organisation need to take such measure to not let you know who they were?

So, that's good news for "BCSE Revealed". The BCSE have been forced back into a semi-secret mode of operation. If you visit the BCSE website today, then you will find, in a situation almost identical to a year ago:

  • The section "What is the BCSE", on its front page, contains lots of spin, but no actual names or their credentials.

  • If you then follow the link to the "More about the BCSE page" (here), then you will find approximately 1800 words - approaching 3 pages of A4 - which, amongst all the spin there, still manages not to find any room to give more than two names: informing us that in the BCSE's past, Alan Bellis handed over the reins to Roger Stanyard - whoever they might be - and then telling us that Ian Lowe (whoever he is!) brought them some IT help; and omitting to mention that Lowe resigned some months ago...

  • Go to the "Contacts" page (here) and there are no names, no postal address, no information on any credentials... just an e-mail address, They offer to help the media with any help they need... but no information on just why the BCSE might have any credibility that the media should rely on.

  • In terms of identifying any serving officers of the BCSE, there's just what you can find on the front page: "... phone our press officer, Roger Stanyard, on 07724938890." As we've seen before, this description is itself bogus; Stanyard basically is the BCSE, or at least half of it in terms of foundation, direction setting, putting in the hours of work, and so on. But notice, no mention again of what Stanyard's credentials might be to talk about this or any other subject.

Dotted throughout the website, you can find a few individuals named in the odd place, described with the adjective "BCSE Member": but many of these are out of date, as the individuals in question have resigned once they'd perceived that the BCSE was spouting bigoted nonsense, was doomed, or they fell out, etcetera.

Looks a bit odd, doesn't it? They want you to believe them - but they're unwilling to tell you anything at all about themselves. Why would that be? "BCSE Revealed" readers will know: because the facts about themselves are damning.

As I write this today, though, I do find that Roger Stanyard recognises that this is an unsatisfactory situation to be in, because I find him complaining that some other organisation hasn't published a list of its committee members.

"How convenient that the Causeway Creation Committee just doesn't happen to name who are its members and doesn't have a web site.


I suspect that if they did disclose who is involved we would have a field day in pulling it apart."

Well, you might think from that that irony isn't Stanyard's strong point. He certainly ought to know a thing or two about trying to hide the identities of your committee, because of being ripped apart, by now...

David Anderson

Non-anonymous factual corrections welcomed by e-mail. Comments are moderated - please read my comments policy.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Happy Birthday!

I missed it! Yesterday was the anniversary of the launch of "BCSE Revealed". It all began here.

Several bogus legal threats, lots of atheist panic, and a whole dictionary full of nasty words sent my way, and it's time to have a mini review of what's gone on.

One year ago, the "British Centre for Science Education" had launched itself publicly, and had quick success in managing to persuade newspapers and MPs to accept its pronouncements as if they came from a real scientific body. I, though, knew better - and began blogging. The pressure's told, and the BCSE's suffered the following set backs, largely I believe, to the pressure that our revelations have put on them:

  • We pointed out their semi-anonymous nature, revealed the real people behind them, and forced them to put up a list of names on their website.

  • Of that list of names, around half have subsequently resigned from the BCSE during the course of the year. I haven't documented much of that, because the BCSE has imploded so impressively that it's almost removed the need to have anyone document it at all.

  • And now, the BCSE has been forced to go semi-anonymous again; search the website; who are the BCSE? You can't find out. Who are the credentialed scientists and educators and what are their qualifications? None who can be named. Not good if you want to appear credible.

  • We now have several dozen documented, verifiable articles demonstrating to anyone who cares to find out, that:

    1. The "British Centre for Science Education" is basically a two or three man band, in terms of anyone willing to put real hours into it, with a website.

    2. None of its leaders are, or have ever been, employed, or received credentials as, science educators.

    3. Its chairman, Michael Brass, is now exposed as a charlatan who sought to promote himself as a "published archaelogist" when he was in fact an assistant IT worker with a vanity-published book. Oh, and his degrees are in archaeology and history - not the primary fields that the BCSE claims to be experts in.

    4. The other leg of the all-but two-man band is Roger Stanyard, a management consultant who has been a businessman all his working life; never a scientist or educator of any stripe. What Stanyard and Brass do have in common, though, is a deep hatred of any kind of belief that the supernatural might affect day to day life, and evangelical Christianity in particular. We've documented some of Stanyard's more extreme anti-Christian rantings in some depth.

    5. The BCSE are a really nasty operation. When caught lying, they simply delete the material - no corrections or acknowledgments. When caught slandering, they do the same - no apologies. They are classic bullies; they make big threats which they never carry through on, and when the teacher comes they run and hide.

    6. The quality of the BCSE "research" is appalling, almost never documented and often stating baldly the very opposite of what the primary sources actually say. In very recent times, it appears that a new policy has been agreed that articles need to be based on primary sources (gasp!), but there's no indication that there will be any retrospective re-writing of the present website.

    7. The leadership of the BCSE in general are not motivated by science, in which they lack qualifications and experience; they are generally hardline atheists of the Richard Dawkins variety, taking part in such activities as signing petitions to persuade the government to outlaw parents from teaching their own children about religion until the age of 16. We exposed some of the pre-launch discussions in which various of them stated their campaigning goals or ideas, such as trying to persuade the media to portray Christians like paedophiles, or turning the UK into a fully secular state. Science isn't apparently what we thought it was, folks!

  • These revelations thwarted the BCSE's plans to gain real science educators, or other helpful figureheads, to boost its credibility. It began with the cupboard bare, hoping that it would attract support; but too much of the above ruined its chances. It's one thing to start small and hope to gain support; but a year later to be smaller than you started means only one thing: it's been a disaster. Do you know why the BCSE spill such venom when they talk about me? Is it because my revelations have been totally ineffective and they see no need to care about anything I blog? Would that tally? ;-)

  • This set of articles has now basically put the BCSE into a position whereby they form a convenient litmus test: people now know what they're like, and anyone whose reality meter is still even vaguely functioning will avoid being seen to be associated with them like the plague. Whenever someone credits them or refers to them, it tells you that that person has a metaphysical agenda to promote naturalism and/or atheism; nobody who didn't have that agenda would ever find any reason to refer to the BCSE as any kind of credible source. In short: they've been revealed.

I believe that the last year has been a fantastic success for "BCSE Revealed", and I give God all the glory for helping me to press on through it. I've seen the BCSE all but implode due to the pressure which plain, documented evidence of their true thoughts and agenda has brought to bear on them. I've pretty much done what I aimed to do: put myself out of a job, blogging wise. Oh yes, and we've had the Richard Dawkins parable too: approaching 120,000 views on YouTube, and 11,000 in written form.

Does that mean that my work is over? Is it time to wallow in past success? I don't believe so. The BCSE's general response to revelations about what's going on has been to delete the evidence, go silent on the topic in question, and wait for the storm to pass. In short, they hope that nobody will notice, and that I'll get bored and leave them alone, and that they'll then be able to go on passing themselves off as real authorities. The corpse keeps twitching, and there's the danger of zombie attacks. I'm determined that their strategy won't work. The Internet has a long memory, and for now, I'm going to carry on turning the screws as and when it seems necessary to do so.

I plan in the near future to supply more evidence of the BCSE's deep decline, and the reasons behind it. Keep in touch!

David Anderson

Non-anonymous factual corrections welcomed by e-mail. Comments are moderated - please read my comments policy.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

The BCSE Guide To Silencing Criticism

The BCSE continue to be extremely worried by the threat to their credibility posed by the information revealed on the "BCSE Revealed" blog, and with good reason. Because, we keep highlighting the religious agenda, lack of scientific/educational credentials, and downright falsehoods which are part of their modus operandi. People who read "BCSE Revealed", will consider the BCSE as so silly that it's not even worth listening, let alone responding.

Just how worried the BCSE are can be seen in the steps they're willing to go to discredit me. If you flick through the archives, you'll soon find plenty of material - bogus legal threats, campaigns of insult both by private e-mail and in public, and downright fabrication.

Last week I pointed out that the BCSE had had one of its press releases picked up by the National Secular Society, and run as a news item. The same press release was also blogged by James Randerson, a Guardian columnist. Over the last year, Randerson's name is one that I've soon come to recognise: his own metaphysical naturalistic bias naturalism shines through very clearly (take a peek at his blog to see what I mean). So, it was no surprise at all to find that Randerson was the only mainstream reported of any kind who picked up the BCSE's press release and gave them some publicity from it (albeit in a blog rather than in the newspaper), here.

In the last line of Randerson's blog, he credited the BCSE, with these words:

"For more on TIS check out the British Centre for Science Education."

Those words blow away Randerson's hopes of credibility in the eyes of any neutral observer: the BCSE are the very definition of a bogus scientific institution, driven by their own metaphysics rather than science itself. As I've said before, they serve as a good litmus test: anyone who credits them has given the game away about their own prejudices. One commenter, whose identity I don't know, picked this up, remarking:

Ah, the British Centre for Science Education. So much less ironically named than "Truth in Science" - well worth an uncritical plug in this column, methinks.

I then took the opportunity to add a link to my own blog, so that people could see what he meant. One commenter asked me if I was the "famous David Anderson", mentioned on the BCSE website, a creationist, and said that if I was then therefore "I would say that". I pointed out that the only reason why I was mentioned on the BCSE website was because I run this blog: it is what, in the BCSE's eyes, makes me famous So, somewhat of a circular argument. I "would say that", because I run a blog which does say "that"!

I do wish now that I'd saved a copy of my own comments so that I could re-post them here. I didn't though, because I didn't anticipate what would happen later... which was quite revealing.

What happened next was that Roger Stanyard and Brian Jordan of the BCSE complained to the Guardian that my comments were "malicious libel", and the Guardian dutifully removed them. (Whether that was Randerson himself or not, I don't know).

My guess is that the Guardian probably routinely deletes comments on receiving such threats, just to cover their own backs. It's not worth the time to investigate when you get many such complaints, as a huge website like theirs may well do. The BCSE, however, know far better:

  • As I've been making statements about the BCSE's bogus credentials in public, known to them, for over a year, very easily accessible (just Google for "British Centre for Science Education" and I'm right up there), linked from very popular blogs, the BCSE have lost any feasible opportunity to sue me for libel: they'd have to explain why they made no formal complaint to me about any specific statements or asked to have any such specific statements removed or corrected, during that time.

  • To be "malicious", a statement has to be known to be false. But, seeing as I've documented all the allegations I've made so that anybody can check their accuracy, this obviously can't apply.

  • And of course, the main point is that... truthful speech, no matter how damaging to your cause, cannot be libelous. Duh!

I cannot remember exactly what I put on the Guardian blog; my memory was that it was pretty general. But, I'll try my best again here to say all the things I can think of, just to show you that they have no intention of suing me for malicious libel because they know these things are all true:

  • The British Centre for Science Education has nobody known in its leadership with any credentials in science education.

  • The BCSE is so inept in its actual knowledge of education, that when it launched, it was easy to prove that its members didn't even know what the National Curriculum was, let alone having read it or implemented it as teachers.

  • The BCSE has a proven and continuing track record in gross deception.

  • The BCSE has run personal campaigns of the nastiest and most personal kinds against me based on utter falsehoods, which it knew in advance to be falsehoods. That's the kind of operators they are.

  • They only have one PhD scientist in their leadership - now retired. (Dr. Jordan - he who signed the infamous Richard Dawkins-backed petition to make it illegal for any parent in the UK to instruct their children in any world view except atheism).
Obviously, then, in complaining that I have spoken "malicious libels" about the BCSE, the BCSE are indulging once more in bogus legal threats which have no chance of being carried out, and plain old fibbing once again. You'd think that if the BCSE did have credentialed science educators amongst their number, their website might want to tell you a little about them? Why the almost entire silence on the BCSE website about their true identities and credentials? Because the things I've been telling you are too true...

It is amusing to remember that when I first launched this blog, without a comment facility (because my aim has always been to journal, not to have yet another Internet debating forum), the BCSE complained that my running a blog without comments constituted outrageous "censorship". Here's James Rocks of the BCSE over at RichardDawkins.Net peddling this line:

Yes, he appears to have set up the blog "BCSE Revealed" as nothing more than a deliberate attempt to smear our friends over at BCSE. What's really interesting is the censorship he applies to bloggers (some of which gets revealed at BCSE). I'm also a member there BTW.

(If you search back through my archives, you will find a little material on Rocks. He's not a qualified scientist, but is a militant atheist, and like the BCSE (of which he is a member), he founded a campaign group which seeks to lobby the public representing itself as an authority on science. Notice too the tag-line in his post at Richard Dawkins' website: "Religion! Something to comfort those who live in a world torn apart by religion!").

Note the "censorship" complaint. How does this tally with the BCSE's own strategy of having links to critical material about them removed from websites on the grounds that it is libelous? How does it measure up with their own panic to prevent anyone from discovering the criticism of them that exists?

The BCSE know that my material isn't within a million miles of being libelous, and they know that they have no intention of taking any legal action over it, because they can't. (I expect they have a range of bogus excuses to cover that... too expensive (not heard of no win, no fee?), too time consuming (yet they have lots of time to run their own smear campaigns against me and write letters to the Guardian complaining about libel!)).

In other words, the BCSE are again caught acting in premeditated deception. So, again, note the hypocritical double standard: The BCSE seek to discredit "BCSE Revealed" by telling you that I censor and smear; the BCSE on the other hand seek to prevent anybody hearing about criticisms of themselves by censoring them based on bogus claims about libel. Ho hum!

The BCSE certainly ought to know what smears are, having had little else to say in response to me. However, Rocks and the rest of the BCSE are stilling failing to get over the reality hurdle: When facts are documented in triplicate, it is not a smear: it is a fact, documented in triplicate. By continuing to point out that the BCSE send press releases to national newspapers like the Guardian, etc., calling themselves a national body of scientific experts, and failing to point out their true identity as a group of atheists, management consultants and junior IT workers etc., I am not smearing them: I'm holding up the mirror of reality. That reality isn't kind to them or their agenda, but reality it still is. Deal with it!

David Anderson

Non-anonymous factual corrections welcomed by e-mail. Comments are moderated - please read my comments policy.

Monday, October 01, 2007

The BCSE and the National Secular Society

The few die-hards left in the "British Centre for Science Education" are still at it: seeking to scam anyone who will let them.

The BCSE's problem, though, is that its own agenda and motives have become so obvious, that the number of those who'll let them do that is pretty low. They've been exposed. The BCSE are basically a good litmus test - anyone who is disposed to refer to them as an authority is almost certainly abusing science to further their own anti-religious crusade, and is willing to get help from wherever they can - any standards of truth or honesty can go take a hike.

You don't have to take my word for that - just pop along to Google Blogsearch, and see who's talking about them. The top four posts, when sorted by date, are by:

1. Mark Edon, a BCSE member and campaigning disciple of Richard Dawkins, who we previously mentioned on this blog as having signed the infamous Dawkins-backed petition to make it illegal for parents to raise their children in any way except in atheism. OK!

2. The blog of the Dorset Humanists, "humanism - a positive alternative to religion".

3. I don't speak the language necessary to decode the third one!

4. An atheist called "Andrew Hawkins" (unknown to me) who introduces himself with the words "I'm an ex-christian atheist and I'm often filled with wonder about how I was deluded enough to be a Christian in the first place" and has set up a blog to chronicle his attempts to debate with a local Baptist minister to justify his position. Andrew sought to call in the BCSE to give him some help - he obviously knew where their sympathies lay!

And so, today we have another example of this phenomena, courtesy of the National Secular Society, which has printed a piece which I'm pretty convinced from the language in it is just a BCSE press release. Anyone without a religious agenda would be likely to just bin this kind of press release because the rhetoric is so loaded it's just too obvious what's going on. But of course if you are the National Secular Society, then the BCSE's output is going to be much more acceptable than to a more impartial publisher.

The piece is 3 paragraphs long and the BCSE is mentioned in both the first and third paragraphs. In the first paragraph, we read: "The British Centre for Science Education strongly supports this move and hopes that it will be effective in preventing children being misinformed about scientific ideas." This mention, without any qualification or explanation, of the BCSE, marks it out as a press release; as the BCSE are basically about up to a dozen (but more like 4 in terms of active ones) individuals with a website but without credentials in science or education, no authentic article could possibly mention them without saying just who the whatsit they are. The who?

Then in the last paragraph, we have this: "Mike Brass, Chairman of the British Centre for Science Education said", followed by a paragraph-long quote. Note: no mention of who Mike Brass is as a scientist, or his experience in the world of education. The authority on which we're meant to take his words seriously is that he's the chairman of the afore-mentioned "British Centre for Science Education". So you should listen to him!

No mention, then, of the facts that Brass has never been employed within science or education, and is in fact a 30-ish year-old IT worker whose degrees are in history and archaeology. No mention of the fact that Brass is a now-exposed academic fraud who used the BCSE website to advertise himself as a "published archaelogist" when in fact, as I revealed, his sole book was self-published (the BCSE have since deleted this description). No mention either of the fact that the organisation with the comprehensive-sounding name (they're experts on science education!) is in fact a single issue pressure group, with no activities except for promoting evolution and slandering those who point out the flaws. Nope - he's just introduced as if he were one of the country's leading authorities on science, now giving his distilled wisdom from examining this particular controversy. Ho hum indeed! Read more about Mike Brass's problems with his forked tongue here.

The Bogus Centre for Selling Evolution

So, the BCSE are still at it - putting out press releases which are written to make themselves sound authoritative, to scam the unwary - or the willing. It's full of the usual BCSE pork pies, too; saying that the group "Truth in Science" has been promoting explicitly creationist theories. Either Brass has never read the Truth in Science website, which explains criticisms of Darwinism and the theory of intelligent design, or he's too ill-equipped with the mental furniture necessary (or too prejudiced ahead of time) to understand the difference between promoting creationism and intelligent design. Take your pick! Whichever way, it doesn't end up looking good.

I'm not a secularist, and I don't mind the NSS relying on the BCSE to help their case - if that's the best they can do, things must be grim. That's why I say that the BCSE have become a litmus test - if you find someone who refers to them, that tells you all you need to know.

So, the remains of the BCSE haven't given up yet. Looks like I'll have to bring some more stuff out of the vaults for those who aren't yet convinced. Stay tuned!

David Anderson

Non-anonymous factual corrections welcomed by e-mail. Comments are moderated - please read my comments policy.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Darwinism and Hitler: a look at the quality of the BCSE's "research"

Move along please...

I'm not saying much at the moment. My files are full of damning material on the BCSE that can be written up and published if necessary. However, as I look round the Internet I find that convinced Darwinists and atheists agree with me that the BCSE is not a credit to any cause and that those supporting it are shooting themselves in the foot. So, that material can remain in my files until the BCSE give some evidence that they're still worth opposing.

The BCSE's "Research"

Having said that, this one needed very little work to get it publishable, so here it is. It's an examination of some more of the BCSE's "research". In science, the quality of your research and the inferences you draw from it is crucial. However, in previous investigations, we've shown the BCSE's minds are made up long before that stage: the point of the evidence is not to draw us towards a rational conclusion, but to form the raw material for smearing and slandering anyone who questions materialist dogma in general or Darwinism in particular.

I've not generally wanted to document the errors of any of the BCSE's articles in detail, because that would normally involve dragging someone's reputation through the mud again by repeating the BCSE's innuendos. But there have still been good opportunities to document the appalling quality of the BCSE's research:

  • In a now-hidden anti-Christian article that the BCSE hope people won't know about (from the days before the BCSE had decided that its official stance was religiously neutral), the BCSE revealed that its main source for its allegations about what Christians believe was not the books, sermons or websites they had written... but "a collection of angry adolescents".

  • In one particularly egregious example, we saw that the BCSE entirely overlooked all the primary sources which pointed in one direction in favour of a single secondary source of another campaigner of their own ilk which said the opposite.

  • Many times (we found 13) the BCSE has put out the line that the group Truth in Science have announced that anyone, especially a teacher or lecturer, who either agrees with Darwinism or fails to agree with a particular interpretation of the Christian faith must be a charlatan. When, however, we took the effort to research the source of this allegation, we found something quite different: its author was an adviser, not a spokesman or director, of Truth in Science, and what he actually said was that anyone who was deliberately subverting science in order to promote atheism as the only scientific position needed to be exposed as a charlatan. The quote didn't even mention Christianity! I can understand why the BCSE would not like anyone who seeks to expose fake scientists (the BCSE themselves being category one religiously-motivated charlatans); the fact that they took such offence is rather revealing!

  • In a rather amusing and very revealing incident, we showed how the BCSE had rewritten its biography of a particular individual. When they suspected him of not being a Darwinist, the biography sought to portray him as an adulterous buffoon; when they discovered that he did believe in evolution, the biography dropped all the innuendos and awarded him a doctorate! And when the BCSE realised they'd been caught... they changed it all back and hoped nobody would notice. Fair? Impartial? Scientific? Ha!

What to make of this absymal incompetence? It isn't particularly surprising, because as we've documented many times, the BCSE is not a collection of experienced researchers who have credible publication records. They are simply a group of self-publicising con-men who have given themselves a grand sounding name and seek to use it to trick the public and the politicians. Essentially, it's a false appeal to authority - you receive a letter from them, and you're meant to think it's from the experts, because you wouldn't suspect that anyone would be so audacious as to pose as a national centre of expertise with hardly a relevant qualification to go round between them.

And Today...

Today I have an article written by Mr. Andrew Sibley of the "Creation Science Movement" (CSM). The CSM is one of the world's longest running anti-Darwinism movements, and its first president was Sir Ambrose Fleming, the inventor of the thermionic valve and hence the pioneer of modern electronics. Another obvious clown who forgot to spot that Darwinism is the basis of all true scientific progress. ;-)

I'm grateful to Andrew for sending me this article. It deals with a particular piece of research on the BCSE's site entitled "Charles Darwin and Adolf Hitler". This piece, written by BCSE chairman Mr. Michael Brass, seeks to deal with the question of whether the "science" (as it was then considered) of eugenics in general and Hitler's own plans for breeding a "Master Race" and eliminating the unfit (especially Jews in the "Final Solution" of the Holocaust) in particular were inspired by and/or a logical conclusion of Darwinian thought. This is a very legitimate and obvious question. If Darwinism teaches that the struggle up from bacteria to human beings was achieved through solely through genetic selection, then the question arises - "and may we not progress much further through giving help to this selective process?". Hitler sought to help the selective process along by sending the disabled, gypsy and Jews to a premature death, that the pure Aryan "race" might rise to greater heights unhindered by admixture with inferior genes. His implementation of this idea was horrific; but the question is, can the logic which leads to such actions be faulted? Whether it causes us to feel moral outrage or not, is it rational and reasonable? Is our moral outrage itself irrational? Why did eugenics become an accepted part of science in the early 20th century?

You won't, unfortunately, learn the answers to any of these questions from Mr. Brass's article. Mr. Brass's aim is solely to discredit opponents of Darwinism, whatever subject or evidence is under discussion. Brass restricts his investigation to cherry-picking four short quotes out of Mein Kampf, adds a couple of Internet links, and then concludes "It is clear then, once again, creationists ... have opted to flog a dead horse." Maybe that's clear to Mr. Brass, but...

There's no examination or even quotation of any contrary arguments; no discussion of the primary source material that tells a different story, and no indication that Brass even knows it exists. For sources, we get the distinct impression that Brass used Google to tag on a couple of links after he'd written the piece - none of them are primary sources at all. The reader of Brass's article could come away not even knowing that eugenics existed. Brass did, however, find space in his word limit to irrelevantly laud Darwinism as "the framework for all biological sciences". His conclusion on the "key roots" of the Holocaust? According to Brass, Hitler was seeking to implement a particular vision of Christianity.

Right! Not exactly a surprise to discover that conclusion given what we know about the BCSE. And Brass's reference for this claim? An anonymous, 1 page article on the Internet, collected by a Darwinist activist with no other discernible qualifications in the area. Great stuff!

I invite all readers to have a look at Brass's article for themselves. Anyone who's ever made the slightest effort to interact with primary sources and document claims will know pretty quickly how to evaluate this piece of output:

Get On With It!

Ah yes! The article kindly sent me by Mr. Sibley. Here it is. The contrast in the areas I've pointed above with the BCSE's output hardly needs to be pointed out. The conclusions speak for themselves. All, from this point onwards, is Andrew Sibley.

* * *

Hitler’s link with Darwinism

Mike Brass of the British Centre for Science Education has produced a short piece entitled ‘Charles Darwin and Adolf Hitler’, which attempts to show that Hitler was not influenced by Darwinism. But does this claim fit with what is known about Darwinism and Hitler?

Brass claims that Hitler was not influenced by Darwin and provides apparent religious quotes from Mein Kampf, [My Struggle] where Hitler asserts for instance that he is acting with the will of the ‘Almighty Creator’ (Hitler 1933:262). It is well known that Hitler used religious language in this way in his speeches and writing, and often appealed to German national sentiment that linked the established Lutheran church with his nationalistic agenda. However, it was Hitler’s skilful use of rhetoric that blinded so many to his very un-Christian cause, although a number of German Protestant scholars, such as Dietrich Bonhoeffer, and Karl Barth signed the Barmen Declaration, and reject Hitler’s fascism.

Was Hitler influenced by Darwin?

Sir Arthur Keith for one thought that Hitler was an evolutionist. He comments

‘The leader of Germany is an evolutionist not only in theory, but, as millions know to their cost, in the rigor of its practice. For him the national “front” of Europe is also the evolutionary “front”; he regards himself, and is regarded, as the incarnation of the will of Germany, the purpose of that will being to guide the evolutionary destiny of its people.’ (Keith 1946:9)

In order to understand Hitler it is necessary to look beyond the simple rhetoric that has blinded Mike Brass. Hitler was in fact a pantheist believing that nature and god were one and the same with nature giving creative power over itself. This was a tradition in German philosophy stretching back to Spinoza, and Darwin’s German acquaintance Ernst Haeckel was for instance a pantheistic monist. This pantheism comes out in Hitler’s comments.

‘No more than Nature desires the mating of weaker with stronger individuals, even less does she desire the blending of a higher with a lower race, since, if she did, her whole work of higher breeding, over perhaps hundreds of thousands of years, might be ruined with one blow…When man attempts to rebel against the iron logic of Nature, he comes into struggle with the principles to which he himself owes his existence as a man.’ (Hitler 1933:260)

No, there is only one holiest human right, and this right is at the same time the holiest obligation, to wit, to see to it that the blood is preserved pure and, by preserving the best humanity, to create the possibility of a nobler development of these beings. …and finally to put an end to the constant and continuous original sin of racial poisoning, and to give to the Almighty Creator beings such as He Himself created.’ (Hitler 1933:262)

In other words, for Hitler, the ‘iron logic of Nature,’ was the process of evolution, or ‘the principles to which he himself owes his existence as a man.’ For Hitler, nature, through the process of evolution was one and the same as ‘Almighty God,’ because he believed Nature had creative power over itself. Hitler also hated Christianity, claiming that he wish to abolish it.

‘I do insist on the certainty that sooner or later—once we hold power—Christianity will be overcome and the German church, without a Pope and without the Bible, and Luther, if he could be with us, would give us his blessing’ (Hitler 1942:369).

Can we link Hitler directly to Darwin?

There are likely a number of links from Darwinism to Hitler’s fascism, but perhaps the most notable is through Charles Darwin’s cousin Francis Galton. Darwin himself corresponded with Ernst Haeckel, but it was Galton who developed eugenics and was converted to atheism through Darwin’s Origins book. Galton wrote to Darwin shortly after publication of Origins that he felt.

‘…initiated into an entirely new province of knowledge…Its effect was to demolish a multitude of dogmatic barriers by a single stroke, and arouse a spirit of rebellion against all ancient authorities whose positive and unauthenticated statements were contradicted by modern science.’ (Galton: 1908:287)

Galton’s eugenics work written in Heredity Genius has come in for severe criticism with Brookes for instance commenting that ‘Galton’s central thesis’ was ‘deeply flawed’ and notable for ‘its lack of objectivity’ (Brookes 2004:142). But many were won over to eugenics. Galton wanted to improve the human race believing this is what nature (i.e. evolution) determined. He didn’t have much respect for democracy either.

‘It is the obvious course of intelligent men – and I venture to say it should be their religious duty – to advance in the direction whither Nature is determined they shall go, that is towards the improvement of the race….But it [Democracy] goes farther than this, for it asserts than men are of equal value as social units, equally capable of voting, and the rest. This feeling is undeniably wrong and cannot last.’ (Galton 1873:119,127)

It is interesting to note from the above how closely Hitler’s writing reflects the writing of Galton. One of Galton’s German supporters was Alfted Ploetz. Eugenics began to take off in Germany, and in 1904 Galton received a letter from Alfred Ploetz who founded a journal of eugenics in Germany entitled Archiv fǘr Rassen – und Gesellschaftesbiologie. Ploetz wrote to Galton that ‘We take the highest interest in your eminent and important Eugenics’ (Brookes 2004:275).

A year later Ploetz founded the German Society for Race Hygiene in Berlin. Heinrich Himmler also publicly embraced the eugenics of Alfred Ploetz, Galton’s German admirer (Brookes 2004:289). Whereas Brass comments from a preface to Mein Kampf that Hitler picked up many of his racist and fascist ideas from catholic Vienna, Weikart asserts that time spent in Munich played an important part in Hitler’s thinking (Weikart 2004:221).

According to Weikart, Ploetz was active in Munich and although there is no clear evidence that Hitler met Ploetz, both were close friends of Julius Lehmann, a publisher of medical, racist and eugenic material. Lehmann was a leading member of Ploetz’s organisation and publisher of the German nationalistic journal Deutschlands Erneuerung. Lehmann had been interested in eugenics from the 1890s and joined the German Society for Race Hygiene prior to 1914. During the 1920s Lehmann had regular contact with Hitler, and was at this time publishing racist and eugenic material (Weikart 2004:221).

Was Darwinism a purely scientific theory?

It is noteworthy that Darwin was influenced by social and political thought in writing, such as work by Malthus on population growth, Adam Smith on free economics and a general Victorian attitude to liassez-faire economics. Darwin’s theory also influenced the social Darwinist Herbert Spencer, who coined the phrase ‘survival of the fittest’ and justified exploitation of workers. As such the assertion that Darwin’s theory was a purely scientific theory is not entirely plausible. Himmelfarb for instance notes that.

‘The theory of natural selection, it is said, could only have originated in England, because only laissez-faire England provided atomistic, egotistic mentality necessary to its conception. Only there could Darwin have blandly assumed that the basic unit was the individual, the basic instinct self-interest, and the basic activity struggle. Spengler, described the Origin as “the application of economics to biology”, said that it reeked of the atmosphere of the English factory…natural selection arose…in England because it was a perfect expression of Victorian “greed-philosophy”, of the capitalist ethic and Manchester economics.’ (Himmelfarb 1962:418).


Despite the assertions of Mike Brass, it is quite clear that there is a link between Darwinism and Hitler’s fascism through for instance Francis Galton’s eugenics, although it is not established that this was Charles Darwin’s intention. However, Darwin took ideas from economics and applied them to biology, and did not object to Herbert Spencer and Francis Galton applying those biological ideas of evolution back to society. As such Darwinism cannot be seen as a purely scientific concept, but was a theory of its time embedded within Victorian economic, political and social thought.

It is also regrettable that the British Centre for Science Education has produced such a poor piece of research that overlooks the mountain of evidence that exists that shows the influence that Darwinism had on Hitler’s brand of fascism. Such poor quality research damages their claim to be representatives of good standards in British education.


Brookes, M. (2004) Extreme Measures: The Dark Visions and Bright Ideas of Francis Galton, Bloomsbury Publ. Plc. London.

Galton, F. (1908) ‘Memoirs of my life: Chapter 20,’ Heredity, p.287 Methuen, London.

Galton, F. (1873) ‘Heredity Improvement,’ Frazer’s Magazine, Vol. 7, January.

Himmelfarb, G. (1962), Darwin and the Darwinian Revolution, W.W. Norton, New York

Hitler, A. (1933) Mein Kampf, tr. [1969] R.Manheim, Hutchinson.

Hitler, A. (1942) Hitler’s Speeches, edited by Prof. N.H. Baynes, Oxford.

Keith, A. (1946) Evolution and Ethics, Putnam’s Sons, New York

Weikart, R. (2004) From Darwin to Hitler: Evolutionary Ethics, Eugenics, and Racism in Germany, Plagrave Macmillan, New York

Thursday, July 26, 2007

When caught...

Previous parts in this investigation: one, two, three, four, five, six. (Please also support my appeal for education in a very deprived part of Kenya in Africa).

The Story So Far...

The purpose of "BCSE Revealed" is to document the reality behind the fraudulent group presenting itself to the public and law-makers as a credible authority on science education.

In the last month, we've had a great opportunity to show how this group works, as it launched its latest attempt to discredit "BCSE Revealed". As in previous attempts (e.g. here), this attempt didn't consist of producing any evidence that you can examine to show that any of my reports have been false. As before (e.g. here), the attempt basically consisted in sending a whole load of un-documented accusations and abuse my way, and hoping that somehow some of it would stick.

This latest attempt consisted of: 1) asserting that my report that Roger Stanyard, the BCSE's de facto leader, had fallen out with the BCSE and walked out, was false and then 2) heaping on the insults about what an appalling liar I was.

The wheels fell off this attempt rather badly, though, when I revealed some of the conversations of the BCSE leaders which demonstrated that I was telling the truth, and that the same BCSE leaders were indulging in a cynical, planned attempt to smear me based on allegations they knew were absolutely false.

And that is primary evidence for the "BCSE Revealed"'s investigations.

When Caught... Run and Bluff!

How would a credible body of scientists or educators respond to being caught out so spectacularly? I think heads would have to roll and groveling apologies might have to be made. However, I showed that a majority of the BCSE leadership were complicit in this deception, making any kind of repentance particularly hard; if those heads rolled, the BCSE would end.

So, what happened? Did Ian Lowe, who wrote that those who were caught lying and didn't apologise showed themselves to be very small men indeed, when caught lying, apologise? Did Michael Brass, who had such fine words to say about how you should never listen to a proven liar, resign when he was proved to be a liar? Did Roger Stanyard, who after making up with the BCSE went along with its "he didn't walk away - he merely had Internet access problems" story, retract and apologise for misleading the BCSE's supporters?

Nope. Two things happened. Firstly, the BCSE silently removed the page that contained all of the various statements that I proved to be outright and known falsehoods, locking it with a password (

Before: A page full of insults, innuendos and downright slanders.

After: Gone, gone, gone...

We've seen this before: when the BCSE are caught with their trousers down, they don't apologise, they don't explain; they simply delete the evidence, and pretend that nothing happened. See here for more of that. Not really the way to convince anyone of your credibility, and a real disaster if you want to take the moral high ground and issue allegations that everyone who questions Darwinism is a despicable rogue.

Secondly, the BCSE published a new policy, spoken through the lips of Ian Lowe, which they summarise in these words:

"Posts which contain links to, or material from, this blog will be removed by the forum admin team New Topics posted about Anderson, or his Blog will similarly be removed."

Lowe was careful to lock the post; a previous response to "BCSE Revealed" went a bit wrong when the responders started calling the BCSE's bluff, the response to which drew out more demonstrable falsehoods from the BCSE in trying to defend their position - which were later silently deleted (see here).

We wonder if Mr. Lowe has any sense of irony after such a sequence of events as this:

  • Lowe, Brass and their fellow BCSE committee members, unsolicited, launch a thread and e-mail campaign to refute "BCSE Revealed", and to slander me.

  • I then document that Lowe, Brass, etc., telling falsehoods, but that they were of the most cynical kind.

  • When caught in this way, the BCSE committee then silently delete the material...

  • .. and post a statement to express their displeasure that BCSE forum participants were talking about me. Well, duh.

Maybe Mr. Lowe is suffering from an advanced form of schizophrenia. One of his personalities launches campaigns to discredit me, and the other issues policies that BCSE members shouldn't talk about me? We do wonder just who Lowe's request to not talk about me was aimed at...

Lowe then went on to direct his readers to a website run by a BCSE member, some kind of copy-cat blog whose purpose is ostensibly to "reveal" the appalling truths about me. The individual in question e-mailed me privately some months ago, posing as an observer wanting a conversation about Christianity, evolution and a whole manner of other topics; but when the conversation didn't go as he was hoping, he then revealed that he was a BCSE member, and would, without permission, be posting from my e-mails in public - and did so, rather dishonestly representing them as if they were the answer to the question "what would David like to see taught in state school science lessons?".

The page is a bit puzzling from two points of view. From one, it doesn't actually contain any revelations - beyond the fact that I'm a Christian who thinks that other people should become Christians too. Well, blow me down! If this would-be reported had bothered to examine the very first post on this blog and my Blogger profile, or the church website which distributes my sermons, leaflets, etc., he could have been spared the effort needed to make this sensational expose or the bizarre conclusion that I'm trying to hide my beliefs and am therefore a "hypocrite". Even readers of "BCSE Revealed" alone will find plenty of explicitly Christian material (e.g. here).

The second point is that the page then forwards the argument that as a Christian, my beliefs make my opinions on science and/or education invalid. Now, I know that the blogger, and the majority of the BCSE do believe that the point of science is to completely replace religion. However the BCSE's official position is meant to be that religion and science are perfectly compatible and that they have no anti-Christian prejudice. To promote a site which explicitly argues that unless you're a philosophical materialist then you don't understand the basis of science is a bit off-message! That's precisely the kind of revealing anti-religious statement that "BCSE Revealed" exists to unmask - so, a bit strange for the BCSE to actually commend such a page when it's so at odds when his purported purpose. Maybe Mr. Lowe was suffering from schizophrenia again, and forgot whether he was wearing his "I operate the Scottish Atheist Council - all religion is evil" hat, or his "I work for the BCSE - we have no religious bias" one...

Summing it up

The BCSE has embraced moral nihilism. Its homepage boldly proclaims that the "BCSE believes in ... Righteousness"; but the reality is that this statement is not there to describe the reality but to substitute for it. When caught in the most execrable acts, instead of apologising (whether to me or to the members of their forum who they willingly deceived), they simply delete the evidence, announce a new policy, and pretend that nothing happened. Talk about me; be proved to have completely lied; then announce a convenient new policy that the BCSE doesn't talk about me!

It's cynical, it's ugly, and it's the fast track to empty yourselves of any membership except those who are ready to embrace moral nihilism themselves - those who believe that "the cause" of Darwinism is so important, that it justifies whatever indulgence in lying, slander, deceit, etc., that you care to partake in. Clearly if Charlie's theory is in such a mess that it needs this kind of help from its supporters, things aren't looking too good.

The BCSE: all we can say is, "yuk".

David Anderson

Non-anonymous factual corrections welcomed by e-mail. Comments are moderated - please read my comments policy.