Feature Article - February 2012
by Do-While Jones

Is the Battle Over?

For almost 30 years, the NCSE has done nothing but oppose honest discussion of the theory of evolution; but that changed last month.

Clearly there are people who still believe in the theory of evolution, and there probably always will be; but several signs indicate to us that the theory of evolution is on its death bed. Foremost among these signs is a recent development at the NCSE. According to Wikipedia,

The National Center for Science Education (NCSE) is a non-profit organization based in Oakland, California affiliated with the American Association for the Advancement of Science. It is the United States' leading anti-creationist organization, and defends the teaching of evolutionary biology and opposes the teaching of religious views in science classes in America's public schools. 1

Wikipedia is somewhat more flattering in their description of the NCSE than we are. We would say that the NCSE is actually a political pressure group that has sought to censor the science curriculum by pressuring school boards, politicians, and courts to prohibit any legitimate criticism of the theory of evolution since 1983. That’s why we call it the “National Center for Science Eradication.”

For almost 30 years, the NCSE has done nothing but oppose honest discussion of the theory of evolution; but that changed last month.

In a 16 January [2012] announcement, the NCSE says that it will offer support to educators facing ideological opposition when teaching climate change, providing advice on how to present the underlying science. The strategy mirrors its approach to evolution, which includes clarifying for students why science is an appropriate tool for understanding the natural world. “This perspective is also important in helping people to understand the reasons why scientists overwhelmingly accept climate change,” the NCSE says in a mission statement describing the new effort. 2

Maybe It’s Just Politics

It is perfectly understandable why a group that seeks to censor the science curriculum on one subject to advance their political agenda would also seek to censor the science curriculum on a different subject to advance that same agenda. They could simply be politically motivated.

But there might be a financial aspect as well. Universities won’t get government grants to study the theory of evolution and global warming if the taxpayers don’t believe in evolution and global warming. Perhaps the NCSE has been forced to diversify because the support for the theory of evolution has dropped to the point where the NCSE can no longer sustain itself financially.

Funding Data

But rather that just THINK that, we did some research, and checked the publicly available tax reports filed by the NCSE in recent years 3, and found our suspicions to be true. Those reports show that the NCSE made substantial profits in 2007 and 2008, but they lost $227,764 in 2009 and lost $112,383 in 2010. Perhaps more telling is the fact that the NCSE collected speaking fees of $50,250 in 2009, but only $18,871 in 2010. Apparently fewer people were willing to pay good money to listen to their propaganda

In 2008, the NCSE reported $834,391 in grants received. That dropped to $522,313 in 2009 (a decrease of 37%) and $687,773 in 2010 (a decrease of 18% from 2008). Tax forms don’t tell where their grant money comes from; but the usual suspects are governments, universities, and political pressure groups. In 2008, the NCSE reported a total income of $1,295,698, so 64% of its income that year came from organizations capable of making grants, rather than contributions from private individuals.

To put it simply, the NCSE gets most of its money from the government, either directly or via universities (which get government research grants). The NCSE spends that money on propaganda designed to increase public support for research into the theory of evolution. Now the NCSE intends to spend money on propaganda to increase public support for climate research, so the government and universities will have more money for research (and grants to the NCSE). The NCSE needs the government to give it money, and the government needs the NCSE to raise money to fund the government. It is a cozy arrangement that has more to do with politics than science.

But that doesn’t really explain why financial support for the theory of evolution is down. Is it the economy, or some other reason, that is to blame?

Creationist Funding

If it is the economy, we should expect the big creationist organizations, like Answers in Genesis and the Institute for Creation Research to be losing money as well. When times get tough, people cut back on discretionary spending. What can we learn from creationist non-profit tax forms?

According to the publicly available tax forms filed by ICR,4 2010 was a great year for them. They showed a profit of $3,207,877 on an income of $8,748,095, none of which came from grants. $8,160,466.00 of that came from contributions, and the rest from the sale of books, and speaking fees, etc.

The latest available Answers in Genesis tax forms 5 are from 2009. That year they showed a profit of $936,478 on a total income of $22,065,512, none of which came from grants. They received $8,311,034 from contributions, $5,400,987 from admission fees to their museum, and $6,947,586 from sales of books and DVDs.

So, in comparison, the NCSE was losing more than $100,000 on a measly income of roughly $1 million, most of which came from grants, at a time when ICR was showing a profit of $3 million on contributions from private individuals of more than $8 million, and Answers in Genesis had a profit of nearly $1 million while receiving $8 million in contributions, $7 million in sales of books and DVDs, and $5 million in museum gate receipts.

You can draw your own conclusions. Our conclusion is that financial support for the theory of evolution is falling, while financial support for creationism is strong.

Other Indications

Our belief that support for evolution is declining isn’t based strictly on money. In the beginning, we were overwhelmed by hate mail from evolutionists. Lately, our hate mail has dropped off to practically nothing. (Hopefully this essay will inspire what few evolutionists are left to write us nasty emails which we can use as grist for our mill.)

This might not be significant, but we noticed when reading their campaign literature that neither of the candidates for president of the AAAS mentioned the importance of keeping evolution in the public school curriculum this year, as some candidates have in past years.

Technology Transfer

So, the evidence suggests to us that because support for the theory of evolution is dropping, financial support for the NCSE is dropping as well.

The NCSE has never published any scientific research on climate change. Their only area of expertise is censorship. They are seeking to expand their customer base by selling their data suppression skills to the highest bidder.

Climate Change

Science Against Evolution takes no position on whether or not the apparent change in climate is real or not. We take no position on whether or not man is responsible if the change is real. We merely point out that it is not surprising that the NCSE would seek to unfairly influence scientific examination of climate change, regardless of whether it is true or false, given their desperate need to find another funding source.

The NCSE is losing the battle over evolution, and they know it. They need to fight another battle to stay in business.

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Footnotes:

1 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Center_for_Science_Education
2 Nature, 19 January 2012, “Evolution advocate turns to climate”, page 248, http://www.nature.com/news/evolution-advocate-turns-to-climate-1.9811
3 http://www2.guidestar.org/organizations/11-2656357/national-center-science-education.aspx
4 http://www2.guidestar.org/organizations/95-3523177/institute-creation-research.aspx
5 http://www2.guidestar.org/organizations/33-0596423/answers-genesis-kentucky.aspx