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.