The BCSE Guide To Silencing Criticism
(Originally published on my blog 9th October 2007)
The BCSE have continued 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 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:
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!