Newsletter 1

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Newsletter 1

Postby Anonymous » Fri Oct 27, 2006 5:35 pm

[Posted on behalf of the BCSE forum moderators]

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BCSE Update

This is a short note to keep everyone up to date on what we are doing at BCSE.

We have had a number of big successes since mid-September – letters in leading newspapers, an Early Day Motion tabled in Parliament and the BBC Radio interview alongside Andy McIntosh, head of Truth in Science.

The first three stages of our business plan have now been completed – the formation of an extensive wiki on the creationists, the formation of a central management team and the launch of campaigns. We have, as a result, more than doubled the number of members of our forum.

As you might expect there are also a considerable number of activities going on behind the scenes. This week, for example, we are in correspondence with two politicians and, hopefully, we should have something to say in coming days.

We have been approached by a leading professional body in the biological sciences to see how we may co-operate.

We have also today received an offer of help from a leading academic (details to follow shortly, hopefully).

Indeed, we have a meeting next week with a very well known name in the biological sciences arena.

Part of the work we are doing is to ensure that we meet supporters in the flesh (good business practice) which is somewhat time consuming.

Over the last couple of weeks or so we have met with the moderators of Science Just Science – that was at one of their London group meetings. However, we also met with one of the moderators for a long discussion a week or so earlier.

We also met with PZ Myers (biologist, University of Minnesota. He runs the Pharyngula blog).

The NCSE in the USA has been providing us with advice over recent weeks and we have met with one of its members.

Moderator Ian Lowe flew down from Scotland this week and we had an informal meeting in Oxford.

Naturally the big news during the month has been the Early Day Motion tabled in Parliament. This has resulted in a lot of follow up work in asking MPs to sign it. Ian Lowe has managed to get a letter in the Financial Times. It looks as if, between us, Science Just Science and BCSE have written to a total of over thirty MPs, one member of the House of Lords and one member of the Scottish Parliament.

The big job we are hoping to complete over coming days is the final details of our constitution. We’ve taken outside help on this from two bodies and expect to take advice from a third. We are now members of the National Council for Voluntary Organisations.

We’ve also done an audit of people who have signed up to BCSE. We note that amongst them are, in fact, four ministers of religion and at least eight PhDs and three currently working for their PhDs – and that’s without asking people for their qualifications. In fact we think the number of PhDs is very much larger. At least two people are also members of Christians in Science, a staunchly anti-creationist organisation.

We also have at least five members who are also members of the National Secular Society or affiliated organisations although, surprisingly, no one has stated that they are members of the British Humanist Association. At least nine members of the forum are also members of Science Just Science.

It does seem that members are also commonly members of other organisations or groups that are anti-creationist.

The audit shows that members are predominantly, but not exclusively, people with a science or applied science background or in teaching or members of the clergy (or combinations of same). There are two known creationists in the group and four with predominantly business backgrounds including a company director.

Feel free to let us know what your qualifications and professions are – either in this forum or off site by email. If you email the information, it will be held in confidence.

The transfer from the old Blackshadow forum was completed on 8th October and there have been no postings there since 9th October. Brian Jordan arranged and paid for our new domain name and Ian Lowe has donated the server space. As at this morning there had been 1,614 unique visitors to our web site since 6th October (we don’t have figures prior to that).

BCSE has clearly gained the attention of creationist groups (we’re pleased to say) and they, in turn, have given us valuable publicity. We’ve been mentioned on Bill Dembski’s notoriously partisan blog as well as by the Discovery Institute. David Anderson continues his public relations disaster for Truth in Science with now near-daily ad hominim attacks including claims that we are liars, unqualified and are all atheists.

Our wiki continues to grow; Tim Chase has taken a very active role in it and we are now increasing the amount of science and science links on it. Alan Bellis and Mikey Brass have also made recent contributions. Tim Atkinson, amongst others, continues to proof read it. Contributions to the wiki from all and any members are welcome. It has consumed over twice the bandwidth we had budgeted for so it does get looked at!

Finally, we owe some members of the forum an apology. It’s our normal practice to welcome very new member. And ask them to introduce themselves. However in the couple of weeks after it was opened, this didn’t happen (time and technical issues being to two reasons). If you would like to introduce yourselves, we would be delighted.

Mikey Brass, Brian Jordan, Ian Lowe and Roger Stanyard, group moderators.
Anonymous
 

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