Some Pertinent Questions... (Part 2)
(This article was first published on my blog in February 2007).
Part one of this article set the scene - we want to conduct an analysis of the BCSE's response to the questions raised by "BCSE Revealed". What does this response show? How much pressure do they feel from the facts that we've been documenting? What kinds of answers do we have?
In summary, the response has been "many insults - little substance". I am not aware that the BCSE have addressed any of the substantive issues I have raised over their credibility. On the other hand, I am aware of a very substantial and very personal campaign to blacken my name.
I find this response revealing. If the BCSE had some solid arguments against my case - why would they resort to this instead? On the other hand, though, it is what I expected from my research before launching this blog. A brief visit to the BCSE's website will show that ad hominem combined with and a crude "you're either for us or against us - and surely you're not with those nutters!" appeal is the BCSE's stock-in-trade.
And it's not just me... over the last couple of days I've appreciated the moral support from two much bigger blogs - Uncommon Descent (here - http://www.uncommondescent.com/archives/2044) and Telic Thoughts (here - http://telicthoughts.com/david-anderson-a-very-dangerous-man/).
More of the same...
As if to prove this point, about 48 hours after I posted, the BCSE's spokesman turned up on RichardDawkins.Net, adding "ad hominim [sic] attacks, pedantry, sanctimonious self righteousness and his vile, amoral blog" to the list of my crimes. Ah well. I can at least appreciate consistency... (http://richarddawkins.net/articleComments,626,Does-Richa...mments)
What's missing from this picture?
Now I want to do what the BCSE's leadership apparently are very keen for me not to do - raise those awkward questions again.
I remind my readers once again that I am interested in facts. I am sure of my case - the BCSE are a bogus, fraudulent and deceptive organisation. And because I am sure of my case, I do not want it to be sullied by errors or unnecessary personalisation of the issues. I want all the mistakes to be weeded out. So, the comments are open - and I place my e-mail address at the end of every post.
Here, then, are some of the key issues I've documented - and what the BCSE could do to provide a credible response. The links given are representative - you can find plenty of others on this site.
No Science Educators
Despite representing itself to the public, newspapers and MPs as a national centre for scientific education... the BCSE's leadership has not one member who has actually any experience in providing science education.
Prove me wrong! Am I lying? All it requires is a list of the universities/colleges/schools and years where the BCSE's leadership have held appropriate positions. And then I'll stop saying it.
No Clue About UK Education In General
In fact, the BCSE's leadership were so clueless about education in the UK, that they even had to converse amongst themselves about what the National Curriculum was... and still got it wrong.
The BCSE can easily prove me wrong here, by releasing the releveant e-mails public archive of the Yahoo group on which they discussed this matter to the public. I have them, and I have offered to make them available to any researcher. If I have fabricated these e-mails - then it's very easy for the BCSE leaders to make public the real ones. The references are in the link above.
The Most Meagre Scientific Qualifications
The BCSE leadership only contains a single individual with a doctorate in a scientific subject - and he is retired. (Ironically, his expertise was in a branch of (chemical) engineering. This is ironic, because the BCSE often criticise engineers for not being qualified to speak about evolution... go figure that one out!) (Update late 2007: The BCSE now appears to have a second individual with a doctorate; again, in engineering. Two others are studying for doctorates).
I can't see how the BCSE could possibly prove me wrong on this one, as the above is directly stated on the front page of their own website. But still, I'm willing to be corrected...
Caught Lying To MPs
The BCSE had sent letters to MPs condemning Truth in Science's mailed material as "full of scientific mistakes" at least three days before they discovered any of the contents of that material. Or in other words, they lied openly and brazenly.
And when I discovered it, they attempted to obfuscate the matter - by bringing in the irrelevant fact that when they received the material, they discovered that it contained some of the same content as some material they'd seen in another context a few months before.
To this day, the BCSE have continued to completely ignore this major issue for their credibility. You can't lie to MPs in such a shameless fashion and then expect to be taken seriously.
Of course, if the BCSE have the proof that their reviewer received the material before 29th of September (the date which he announced on the Internet that he had received it - being 3 days after Roger Stanyard had already written to MPs), then all they have to do is produce it... this will be hard though, as then they'll have to explain the places where said reviewer mentions that he hasn't yet received the material...
Founding members caught stating that their aims were not scientific, but religious
We documented quotes from some of the BCSE's present leadership, explaining that their aim in participating was to make people think of certain religious groups as they do of paedophiles. Other explained that their goals were not to do with science, but politics.
Again, if I fabricated these quotes, then all the BCSE has to do is reproduce the messages with the numbers I cited from the now deleted "BlackShadow" Yahoo group in full, so that people can see that the quotes I documented don't exist....
Conclusion - And Challenge
There's plenty more where that came from. But I think that five test cases to start with is enough.
So, the gauntlet is laid down. The typical response from BCSE leaders to my material has been to complain amongst themselves on various websites that I am lying again - and to post new blog entries or set up new websites to try to persuade people what a piece of dirt I am.
But if I am lying, there is a much simpler remedy which makes all the superfluous. The comments thread is open. I will accept any comment that addresses one of the five points above, and is free from irrelevant asides. That is, cut out the personal stuff, and just provide straight down the line documentation of where I've gone wrong. As, according to the front page of the BCSE website, my blog is "unmitigated rubbish from start to finish" (update: quote subsequently deleted), this should be fairly easy to do - shouldn't it?
So, the challenge is there. Provide the documentation.
If you can't, then the Internet will know just what you're really up to.