Decline And Fall
(Originally published in April 2007).
This article provides a few graphs and statistics to show the collapsing interest in the BCSE, and its failure to expand beyond its core membership. In doing so, it demonstrates that the BCSE's attempt to portray itself to the world as growing and successful is one more deception.
It's been a while without any new research - more than a month!
Why so little? Because I've become convinced that my work is mostly done. The BCSE have blown their chance of being what they wanted to be - any kind of influential, respected voice in public debate. And there's no point in continuing to kick a corpse. They have been exposed - too many people have seen through them.
Has "BCSE Revealed" played a part in this? I hope so, but I can't know. I do know of people who took an interest in the BCSE, then spotted what was going on, and quietly slunk away in case they lose their own credibility through involvement with such a group. But those who contact you to tell you are always a minority - you can't know what the silent majority thought.
Yes, the BCSE haven't officially closed their doors yet. And I don't expect they will for a while yet either. But those whose help the BCSE most needed have generally gone away - whether through nausea at the anti-religious prejudice, rampant dishonesty and inflation of credentials, infighting, clashes of egos and/or general inability of militant atheists to get on with anyone other than themselves. They are whittled down to the real hard core. Those who are left are those who simply refuse to believe it has failed: whether because they've invested too much time or reputation for their pride to admit it, or whatever.
If it ever becomes necessary, I have plenty more material that was in the file to document the BCSE's gross dishonesty and incompetence. If they want to carry on pretending to the public that they in any way approximate real "Science Educators", I will be here to point out the facts. I can bring them out. But there's no point in flogging a dead horse - there's real work to do! I don't want to be triumphalistic - I do not have a crystal ball. But the BCSE has a major, major problem if it's going to turn this situation around.
Maybe your remember some of the BCSE's early boasts - of over 100 members - before "BCSE Revealed" exposed the fraudulent method which the BCSE were using to rope the unsuspecting into those figures (see here). Well, here is a graph showing the number of posts made each week on the BCSE's website forum since it began. Each data point represents a week. Here is the dying interest in what the BCSE has to offer, illustrated. The trend is clear:
That first dip just before the middle of the graph is the week between Christmas and New Year, December 2006. People normally find better things to do than twiddle on the Internet at that time of year. But look at the right hand of the graph - now. Interest is lower than even then. If you group the weeks into 4-week chunks, the trend is even clearer (again, the first dip represents Christmas/New Year):
The facts are clear: only the die-hards are still chatting within the BCSE, and their numbers are dwindling too. The rest of the world has moved on.