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An Open Letter to 600 Steves
Submitted by sevans on Mon, 2005-09-12 13:23.
An open letter to the 600 NCSE Steves,
My dearest, my darlings, you little stinkers! In all of my 25 plus years as a professional something or other, (and believe me, I've done a lot of stuff for money!) nothing makes me prouder than to have been involved in what became known internationally as Project Steve. Oh, poo to project lead on one of BellSouth's largest re-engineering software projects of the late 90s, GE Financial Services first venture into the World Wide Web and Bechtel Engineering's Web Initiative Plan what'cha'ma'call'it. Project Steve beat the pants off all of them.
From the moment that Matt Inlay first pondered the vastness of Steves (individually or collectively, only Matt himself knows), Glenn and I fell giggling onto the floor of the NCSE office munching Twinkies and causing the Darwinian-Only Terror herself, Dr. Eugenie Scott, to come from her lair and roar, “C'mon guys, what's so funny,” we knew we were on to something.
At first we thought it just too outrageous to even contemplate. After all, who were these so-called Steves? Botanists, geologists, paleontologists, biologists, tobacconists? Would they answer our call? Well, my boys, you did answer. With all the courage and conviction of someone who would send an email to a colleague stating, “Hey Steve, did you get one of these? Are the clowns at NCSE serious about this?” you charged to the front trenches defending quality science education.
As the momentum built, and Steves came climbing over the cubicle walls of their underfunded research labs, we were aghast at the response. We had only intended to gather one hundred names, but soon passed two hundred. More were coming in every day and we looked to one another in the NCSE office saying, “What are we going to do with all these Steves?” Dr. Scott was cautious. “If they want dinner at my house, I'm not cooking.” We fainted.
There was only one way out of this, one way to placate the media that had besieged our phone lines, the clamoring hordes wanting to know if it really was NCSE that unleashed this torrent of Steves on an assuming public. Yes, we had to make... a tee shirt. So the slogan “Over 200 scientists named Steve agree...” was born, after ripping off Kids in the Hall.
I quickly discovered an interesting personality quirk about scientists named Steve. They seem as interested in getting their name on NCSE tee shirts as on serious scientifically published papers. (Although when it comes to published scientific papers, NCSE's Steves kick the crap out of the DI Fellows, and that ain't gonna stop, boys and girls, is it?)
So now, as you pass the 600 mark, I just want to say thank you to all the NCSE Steves for your efforts on behalf of quality science education. It was with the utmost joy and pleasure I gave birth to you... in a metaphorical sense. In a physical sense that would not only be biologically impossible, but would hurt like hell, and you don't have to be a biologist to know that, d'ya?
So go, wait for the 600 Steves tee shirt, which I know NCSE will print if they know what's good for them...
... and go, go become fishers of Steves.
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Antievolutionists Say the Darndest Things
Antievolutionists often express outrage over alleged incivility from those who oppose their efforts to evade the establishment clause of the First Amendment. But they have no difficulty in dishing out the abuse themselves. Here is a sample from the Invidious Comparisons thread that documents egregious behavior on the part of the religious antievolution advocates.
One thing that Jack Krebs and I agree with is that Pratt can be likened to an outpost under siege in a cultural war.
My wife and I just returned from a trip to Belgium. We visited Bastogne where a few brave Americans of the 101st Airborne Division were surrounded by the German Army during the battle of the bulge. The German attack was led by a crack SS unit that took no prisoners.
What were we fighting against in Bastogne? We were fighting against a Nazi regime that used the philosophy of Naturalism to justify a eugenics program of terrifying proportions. Naturalism is the belief that all phenomena result only from the laws of chemistry and physics and that teleological or design explanations are not valid. Naturalism is not science. It is a belief system.
In the same manner, the defenders in Pratt are fighting against Naturalism, although they may not realize it. Rather than fighting against science, they are actually fighting for science. They are fighting for science that is driven by logic and critical thinking rather than by a philosophy that teaches to the exclusion of all other teachings that we are the products of only chance and necessity. They are fighting for science that is driven by the scientific method rather than science that is driven by a philosophy of Naturalism.
Rather than using logic and good science to support its assault on the brave contingent in Pratt, the KCFS is using tactics one would expect from those that besieged Bastogne: scare tactics, misinformation and no substantive discussion of the real issues.
So, we are back looking at Pratt as the bombs fall. The question is whether the Board and the Community will be supported by the rest of us as they have had the guts that General McAullife and the other brave Americans had that cold winter day in Bastogne 54 years ago. McAullife's reply was very simple when asked to surrender: "Nuts!" McAullife and the 101st were subsequently relieved by elements of Patton's Third Army. In the same way we all need to rise up and put our hands together for the Pratt Board and Pratt Citizens that have just characterized the outrageous censorship by the science establishment as "Nuts!"