Like most people we are always getting junk through the mail advertising shops, products, financial “solutions” etc etc. The ones that make me groan inwardly are those establishments that call themselves something like Land of Da-di-da or Dum-di-dum World. I guess they want us to believe these are places full of wonders untold, and entering it is like walking into Lewis’s Wardrobe. The trouble is when you get there, you find it’s … well … a shop. They have stuff. You have money. They want your money. Do you want their stuff? Nothing wondrous here.
Even bigger groans are stimulated over places which call themselves something like The Diddley-dee Centre. This conveys the idea that ultimately all roads lead to this place. There may be other places but this … this is the place – the Centre. Trouble is, when you get there, it’s … like … a shop. And not very big. They have stuff, you have… etc.
So, I’m a cynical old so and so. If I see a “centre” I expect to be disappointed.
Why am I telling you this? Well, you may have heard of the The British Centre for Science Education. Some key figures have been writing letters to the national papers over the last few weeks. But sounds great place though, doesn’t it? A centre for science education – in Britain! Sounds like a place that lots of well qualified scientists and educators speak to one another with scholarly moderation, examine the facts, conduct careful research, proposing rational approaches to educating our children in the issues of science, especially as it relates to issues of faith and culture. Let’s go!
Well, hold on a minute! (It is a “centre” after all – Antennae Up!) Yes, it is disappointing. My mate David has been examining the claims and approaches of the BCSE over the last few weeks and has found that none of these things above are true. Look, for example, at his critique today of the standards of their own research.
If you have an interest in the ID/evolution debate here in the UK, David’s site is well worth spending time in. Not only does he challenge the assertions of the BCSE (for that seems to be all BCSE produces), but, more broadly, his site is an excellent example of care, logical reasoning, attention to sources, humility (he has and will retract and correct inaccuracies), in dealing with fundamentalist evolutionists who seem to have forgotten how to reason and so cannot see the logical conclusions of their own position.