The BCSE's View Of The World - Part 3
(This article first appeared on my blog in November 2006).
The BCSE's public stance since its launch has been that it is religiously neutral, and motivated purely by scientific concerns. By taking this stance, it aims to gain as wide a support base as possible.
However, the discussions of the BCSE's leadership pre-launch show that the truth is very different. The BCSE's leadership are generally hard-line atheists, utterly lacking in experience of science education, and who, far from favouring a religiously-neutral approach to science, are generally fans of campaigning anti-theist Richard Dawkins, from whose website the BCSE leader has recruited campaigners - the same Richard Dawkins who alleges that science has proved that all religion is irrational and ought to be done away with. That's not really very neutral, is it?
Where We've Been
In our previous article, we began to reveal the BCSE's beliefs about those non-Darwinists it opposes who are also Christians. According to the BCSE's leaders, the aim of Bible-believing Christians (who the BCSE describe using the pejorative label "fundamentalists" - presumably in order to invoke the image of Islamist outrages) is to take over the government of the UK, and replace democracy with theocracy.
Given that those that the BCSE are campaigning against have produced a great number of published books, articles and audio recordings between them, this ought to be rather easy for the BCSE to demonstrate, were it true. The fact that the BCSE website does not (as far as I can see) include a single quote to back this idea up, is rather telling. I do not know of a single British person who is a Christian mentioned on the BCSE's website who holds to a theocratic view - and I don't think the BCSE do either. (Follow this link to see what happened when the BCSE later took up this challenge).
I do not know whether the BCSE are pushing this line because they believe it, or whether it is because it is part of a campaign to deliberately misrepresent Christianity. The BCSE do have form in this area; remember Ian Lowe stating his campaigning intentions:
It should be relatively easy to rally against the fundies.
Pick an obnoxious trait, focus on what that would mean for the public at large, exaggerate it, and demonise that trait to the point that no rational person would consider supporting them.
The point of this article is to bring forward some more evidence. Again, we shall let BCSE members speak in their own words, to describe how they see those who they oppose, and what their aims concerning it.
Last time, we finished with Timothy Chase's suggestion that the as-yet unnamed BCSE should be named as follows:
Science Education Coalition United Regarding Evolution
... because we are defending education against the threat posed by creationism and creationist ideology, and both the UK and democracy against the threat of theocracy. The name would draw attention to the threat posed by what it is we are against. 
Such an approach would have been more honest that the BCSE's eventual decision to represent itself as religiously neutral. However, such an approach would also probably have not gained the BCSE the credibility that it wished to have. So, instead, it had to cover up its true aim, and masquerade as being motivated purely by science.
What I did not tell you was the statement with which Chase introduced this suggestion. It is very revealing. Chase said:
"I agree that we should avoid turning this into what appears to be a science debate." 
This is not just Chase's opinion. Lenny Flank on the same day wrote the following. Read it well!
And, as counterintuitive as it sounds, my advice is to virtually ignore the "science".
No one cares. It sounds blunt, but it's true. People ... simply don't care about science...
This fight really isn't about science -- it's about political power.
Instead, we should focus on all the things the fundies DON'T want others to know about them. Such as their theocratic political program... 
I wish somebody would tell me about this theocratic political program. I've heard, or read, or spoken to, several of the scientists and educators mentioned on the BCSE's website, but none of them have ever mentioned this program. Why are they hiding it from me? And why aren't they running for parliament, or infiltrating political parties, or setting up their own? Maybe they've been hiding their theocratic political program from themselves too?
Of course, I'm being flippant. Those who are Christians believe that the kingdom of God is not political, and can't be furthered by political means. As Jesus said when before Pilate:
"My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight ... but now my kingdom is not from here." (John 18:36)
Later on Chase, proposed a draft for a call for supporters, containing these words:
The Current Situation: Britain is faced with a highly organised, well-funded coalition of fundamentalist Young Earth Creationist groups including but not limited to the Vardy Foundation, the Christian Institute, and Creation Research Trust. ... As you should already know, these organisations are attempting to bring Young Earth Creationism into the science class rooms as a means of promoting their political anti-democratic ideology and theocratic agenda. 
Wow. That's quite something, isn't it? According to Chase, the reason why creationists point out the lack of transitional fossils, or the lack of any evidence that life can ever arise from non-life, or the clear evidences of deliberate design in the universe, is not because they actually believe what they are saying. It is because they wish to crush democracy, and bring in theocracy! I find myself wondering if Chase actually knows that religious freedom in the modern world was fought for and won by creationists? Does he know that in the world today, of the eight countries which suppress religious freedom, none of them are Christian, and three of them are atheist? (http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2006/75927.htm). Dealing with real-world, verifiable facts, though, isn't the BCSE's strong point.
The above paragraph didn't make it into the final version, but BCSE leader Roger Stanyard did include this:
Moreover, the movement includes extreme political objectives, one of which is the replacement of democracy with a theocracy based on its extreme religious opinions. 
Stanyard's discussion of who to restrict membership of the BCSE to is also revealing. Notice three elements in his reply: 1) The primary goal is a religious one 2) Stanyard realises he needs to state his goal in terms of science, though, in order to be credible and 3) No scientific experience is needed to join the "British Centre for Science Education":
One thing missing is a statement aboout [sic] criteria for becoming members of it. ...
What ideas does everyone have on this?
My own view is anyone but bloody fundies but that isn't exactely [sic] a tactful way of stating things. It seems to me that we need to get over that it is anyoone [sic] who is against creationism and we need to emphasise that it includes people with religious views and of any political pursuasion [sic] ... It also needs to make it clear that a science background is not necessary at al. [sic] 
Finally, let us consider a post from Brian Jordan. Brian's post is particularly useful for demonstrating how the BCSE's minds work. Brian first quoted a Darwinist dissenter who had an interest in social science and the impact of Darwinist ideas upon society:
In the last few years I have become more interested in looking at the details of the evidence for and against evolution and the impact of evolutionary belief on society....and the awful fruit that this theory has produced in our Western society.
Now, there's certainly a lot to be said about that subject. Many commentators have found it easy to spot the link between believing that you are an animal and behaving like one - or on the other hand, the behaviour that consists with believing that you are a special creation of God, made for his glory. Darwinism was the basis for Hitler's eugenics policies - and in recent days, prominent Darwinist Richard Dawkins has again been arguing that Hitler was saying something at least worth discussing.
But how does Brian respond to that quote? As follows:
This man is clearly in favour of a theocracy. It IS politics :-((
That's quite an amazing leap, isn't it? A social scientist says that he is interested in the impact of evolutionary belief on society. Immediately, he is identified as a theocratist (is that a word?). It seems to me that if we're looking for people whose outlook on the world is deeply prejudiced by their religious beliefs and who have lost the ability to deal with facts rationally, then the leadership of the BCSE is a good place to start.
Let's take stock of what we've seen - and let's ask some questions.
Posts above are from the public BlackShadow Yahoo Group post with the same number. The BCSE have since deleted the archive from the Internet, but I am able to make available a copy to any researcher for the purpose of verifying the accuracy of the above quotes.