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Project Steve

In a comment to my post on "Intelligent Design," yesterday, I’m reminded of Project Steve.

NCSE’s "Project Steve" is a tongue-in-cheek parody of a long-standing creationist tradition
of amassing lists of "scientists who doubt evolution" or "scientists who dissent from Darwinism."

Creationists draw up these lists to convince the public that evolution is somehow being rejected
by scientists, that it is a "theory in crisis." Most members of the public lack sufficient contact
with the scientific community to know that this claim is totally unfounded. NCSE has been exhorted
by its members to compile a list of thousands of scientists affirming the validity of the theory of
evolution, but although we easily could have done so, we have resisted such pressure. We did not
wish to mislead the public into thinking that scientific issues are decided by who has
the longer list of scientists!

Project Steve mocks this practice with a bit of humor, and because "Steves" are only about 1%
of scientists, it incidentally makes the point that tens of thousands of scientists support
evolution.

As of September 28, there are 628 scientists named Steve who support the following statement:

Evolution is a vital, well-supported, unifying principle of the
biological sciences, and the scientific evidence is overwhelmingly in
favor of the idea that all living things share a common ancestry.
Although there are legitimate debates about the patterns and processes
of evolution, there is no serious scientific doubt that evolution
occurred or that natural selection is a major mechanism in its
occurrence. It is scientifically inappropriate and pedagogically
irresponsible for creationist pseudoscience, including but not limited
to "intelligent design," to be introduced into the science curricula of
our nation’s public schools.

Now, of course, I have no dog in the fight between what should and should not be taught in public schools. Any moral sanction I grant to public schools is to individual teachers and principals who do a good job. Period. And I know some. I don’t support stealing in the form of taxation for any cause. So, all schools should be private schools.

Still, whether public or private, if you’re going to call it science class, then it’s science you ought to be teaching, not fairy tales.


Richard Nikoley

I'm Richard Nikoley. Free The Animal began in 2003 and as of 2021, contains 5,000 posts. I blog what I wish...from health, diet, and food to travel and lifestyle; to politics, social antagonism, expat-living location and time independent—while you sleep—income. I celebrate the audacity and hubris to live by your own exclusive authority and take your own chances. Read More

5 Comments

  1. Rich on September 29, 2005 at 14:43

    Daedalus:

    You're new at this, huh?

    Taxation is the cost of citizenship

    It amazes people that there are still people making this claim after I saw it demolished over and over 15 years ago on Usenet.

    So, just tell me where I can go to cancel my "citizenship" subscription, K?

    Oh, what's that? Oh, you mean I can't live or work here either, right? I can't actually even feed and cloth myself, "legally," unless I accept "citizenship," or, at least, pay for "citizenship" whether I want it or not. Isn't that right?

    And, so I guess that I don't actually own anything, right? Not really, right? I mean, if I owned my own clothes and food, for example, I could sell some portion of them, and what business would it be of anyone's, right? But, "legally," I have to pay taxes on that, right?

    If you don't like it, move to a place where there are no taxes.

    See? The fact that I own things — including, presumably, land — doesn't really mean that I own them, does it? In fact, isn't it not only that they steal a huge percentage of my income and profits, but that they’ve stolen my land and other property and give me back but a “use license,” paid for with the income and profits they stole from me in the first place.

    Oh, forget it. This could go on for a hundred pages. You're argument boils down this: I am in the 35% slave bracket, and there's not a goddamned thing I can do about it, except die my way out of it.

    …And I'll bet you go around harping about living in a "free country," too, doncha?

  2. Rich on September 29, 2005 at 14:58

    …are a necessary part of life, as is FREE PUBLIC education in a society with equality of opportunity

    Actually, I should have read this at the end of her comment before writing the previous comment. I'd have realized I was dealing with a moron and saved some time.

    Taxes are a complex issue, and I don't expect the average person to have thought through all of the implications.

    But even the mentally retarded should understand that education is not "free." And, it doesn't require much thought to understand that there has never been "equality of opportunity" and never will be. Even in the Soviet Union, where the highest level of equality (everyone's equally fucked) has been achieved, there still were opportunities naturally opened to some that were not open to others.

  3. Steve on September 29, 2005 at 13:07

    Agreed. I'm with the people who doubt specific things about evolution (especially those who believe it can explain everything), but I don't see any way how it couldn't have occurred.

    Personally, I think that supposing that one entity – God – created the universe and that there's just heaven and hell and nothing else is far too simple an explanation for an infinitely complex universe. Many scientists would probably agree, but 95% of people would vehemently protest what I just said.

    How do we get around this? We just don't mention God in public schools.

    How can we get around the evolution problem? Don't teach anything about it OR intelligent design. At least we won't be offending anyone if we cut both out. Whether that's the best for the education of our children I'll leave for someone else to decide.

    -Steve
    Games are for Children

  4. Daedalus on September 29, 2005 at 14:06

    Taxation is the cost of citizenship. If you don't like it, move to a place where there are no taxes. Wait, are there any places like that? Ahh, I cannot think of any, for taxes are a necessary part of life, as is FREE PUBLIC education in a society with equality of opportunity.

  5. Heathen Dan on September 30, 2005 at 02:53

    "Still, whether public or private, if you're going to call it science class, then it's science you ought to be teaching, not fairy tales."

    Very well said. If they want to teach ID, teach it in philosophy class, and point out that it is mostly a metaphysical (and not scientific) argument for God. It's Paley's watchmaker argument, in cheap lab coats.

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