Some Pertinent Questions (Part 3)
(This article was first published on my blog in February 2007).
The Story So Far...
In part one of this series, I pointed out what the BCSE have done by way of response to "BCSE Revealed". They have spent very much time and energy in responding. Almost all of this response, though, has been directed to discrediting me by way of insult. Almost none of this response has been actually directed towards answering the questions I've been raising - or explaining the damning evidence for the BCSE's mendacity and true agenda.
In part two, I then raised again some of the questions which the BCSE have ignored - and challenged them to provide some answers. If you want to represent yourself to the public and to legislators as a bona fide body, then you have to be able to provide answers. Here are the questions again, in brief:
1. Why are you presenting yourself as a national centre for science education when you apparently have not a single individual within your leadership who has ever been involved in science education? Isn't this a massive act of dishonesty and fraud?
2. How do you explain the evidence I presented showing your cluelessness about the UK education scene in general? Isn't it grossly fraudulent of you to represent yourself as experts when none of you had even read the National Curriculum? Shouldn't a group professing to be experts on education have, say, a teacher in its leadership somewhere?
3. How is it that you claim to speak with authority on science education without a single practising PhD scientist amongst your leaders - and only one retired one? (And his PhD is not in the field which you claim as your area of expertise...)
4. How do you explain my evidence that you wrote to MPs, lobbying them to condemn material whose contents, when your wrote, were unknown to you? How much more blatantly dishonest an act could you carry out?
5. How should we reconcile the statements on your website that you have no religious agenda with the many quotes I have produced from your leaders explaining their religious agenda in their BCSE activity?
First of all, it is quite clear that the BCSE leaders regularly read my blog - a quick visit to their own blogs, website or forum will show you that.
And secondly, from the continuing activity at various websites to discredit me with various insults and assertions-without-evidence, it is clear that the BCSE leaders are still willing to put up a good chunk of time in the effort to discredit me. (I am particularly amused by the individual who has taken to claiming that I am incompetent in secondary-level science, and I invite him, if he has the guts, to post his examination record. Then we can compare who the facts say is more or less competent...)
But thirdly... there's not been a single comment submitted to me, either privately by e-mail, or as a comment to this blog, to answer any of the above questions.
Now, I don't intend to go away. As long as the BCSE continue to make any kind of public claim or demand to be heard in the field of science education, I intend to make the information available showing just who they are and what they're up to. The BCSE have the greatest possible of motives for providing good answers to these questions.
And that is why I can feel pretty confident in asserting that the reason why they haven't even tried to answer these questions is... because they can't. They're willing to spend lots of effort - but none here. What does that tell us?
Whereas the "research" on the BCSE website merely asks you to take their word for it on assertion after assertion... I have provided documentation. The world can see what's going on...
Some More Questions
I do not expect the BCSE to try to answer any of the following questions - because I do not think they can. But for the sake of completeness, I shall ask them. Here are some more reasons why it's pretty difficult to take the BCSE as anything but an act of fraud.
1. Why Did The BCSE Spend So Much Energy In Deleting Evidence Of Its History?
As I launched "BCSE Revealed" and began documenting the evidence of the BCSE's true composition and aims, something started happening. As soon as I blogged - evidence would start disappearing. Logs of changes to the BCSE website were passworded; paragraphs and words change or disappear; a Yahoo e-mail group was locked and then deleted; and the BCSE even took steps to block anyone following a link from this blog to their website! (Last I heard that was still in place, but I haven't tried it).
Given that the BCSE's website alleges that its opponents are secretive (try doing a search for "Mafia" on its site)... why did it start doing this? Wasn't it because the evidence was too damning? I showed people what the BCSE was really up to - and so they moved to cover it up... is there any other explanation? Nothing started to be locked down - until "BCSE Revealed" started pointing it out... (see "Hiding The Evidence").
2. Massive Exaggeration Of Its Own Size
The BCSE made several public claims about its own size - including in the context of protesting that it wasn't a one-man band. The numbers it claimed for its membership went into three figures.
I exposed the method that the BCSE was using to arrive at the figures it was giving. It was counting everyone who posted even a single message on its web discussion forum as a member - whether they agreed, or whether they disagreed. Unwitting non-Darwinists would post a message on the BCSE discussion forum - and unbeknown to them, the BCSE would then start including them in the numbers it gave out for its membership. This was a highly convenient counting method too from the point of view that once someone loses interest, they'll just float away - but probably not bother to delete their forum account. Membership was guaranteed only ever to go up!
Can the BCSE explain this?
Can they explain, furthermore, why, after announcing a policy that only those who made a financial contribution could be members, they later reverted it and accepted anyone, without payment? Is it because hardly anyone (no-one?) was willing to send them any money? What would this say about the BCSE's trustworthiness - that even those sympathetic to its position weren't sympathetic enough to actually trust them any cash... ?
3. Neither a scientist, nor an educator.
Whilst the BCSE's website was busily protesting that it was not a one-man band but full of qualified individuals, I was documenting the fact that the majority of BCSE activity was (and still is) due to a single individual - Mr. Roger Stanyard. I provided evidence that he:
Ironically, of course, it was Mr. Stanyard himself who wrote the parts of the BCSE website which protest that the BCSE is not a one-man band...
... but anyway, the point was this. Mr. Stanyard has never been a practising scientist - his entire career has been in management consultancy. This left us with some significant questions:
Was Mr. Stanyard guilty of deceit when he asked the public to believe that the BCSE wasn't really a "one-man band"? How much would he have to do to qualify for this description?
If Mr. Stanyard really was the leader whilst describing himself as the "spokesman", then what does this tell us about the BCSE's honesty?
If Mr. Stanyard was really the leader, then what was his motivation for passing himself off to the public and MPs as a "spokesperson"? Surely the answer is to be found in the question...
What are Mr. Stanyard's qualifications to speak in the areas of science and education - even, to set up a national centre for science education - and to seek to gain influence in parliament in these areas? Apparently, he has none. Is this not a gross act of fraud?
See here for documentation.
4. Former Members Told Us What They Really Think
One individual who had been involved in the planning for the launch of the BCSE, and a second who had been claimed by the BCSE as a member and had an article published on its website, e-mailed me to clarify that they were now certainly not members.
One described the BCSE as "religiously motivated" and said "One of the reasons I distanced myself from the BSCE is for the very reason you have pinned that they are ... a small number of individuals claiming to be something bigger than they are." The other individual said that he was "fed [up] and bored with the strident tones of BCSE" ... "Many of their articles are both shoddy and strident." ... "I was fed up with atheistic bigotry."
This is the verdict of former BCSE insiders. Were they wrong? How does the BCSE explain that they came to just the same verdict as I had? (See here for details).
So, here are some more hard questions for the BCSE. I expect them to devote no time to answering them; I expect them to continue devoting time to insulting me on their blogs and websites. And you, dear reader, will know just what to make of that. But just in case someone has some answers - the comments on my blog are open, and we are all ears.