|email - January 2003|
Sprinkled in with the hate mail, we occasionally get some fan letters.
One of the greatest strengths your organization is that it focuses solely on science related to evolution, without (at least directly) supporting creation. This is powerful, because most people in western society today seem to view creation theory as religiously motivated and therefore unscientific almost by definition. In my view, the important question to answer is whether evolution is scientifically sound, not whether creation is factual. The mere mention of creation--or worse, Biblical creation--automatically implies a non-scientific bias based upon religious belief. The precept is that science should be completely independent of bias, and therefore independent of religion.
I have a few questions for you:
1) Can I subscribe to your newsletter, even though I live in France? Or would it be better to just read it online?
2) Are there any other resources you are aware of which are, like your own, focused solely on evolution from a scientific (i.e., no religion - either Biblical religion or scientific religion) perspective?
3) What is your purpose? If your aim is to raise a few eyebrows, keep going because you are doing a great job. If your aim is to increase your impact, have you considered getting a qualified PhD in a relevant field of study on your staff to increase the organization’s outward credibility?
Thank you kindly for the great work, and for your reply.
Troy asks some very intelligent questions. His first (two part) question implies that he thinks we can’t afford to mail newsletters to France. The answer to both parts of his first question is, “Yes.” Yes, people in other countries can (and do) subscribe; and yes, it would be better for us financially if they didn’t.
Our yearly budget is based on twelve newsletters, each six pages long. We have a mutually beneficial deal with a local school to have our color newsletters printed at a cost of eight cents per page. If we could actually keep our newsletters down to six pages every month, that would cost us $5.76 in printing. But, in 2002, we had more information than we could pack into six pages, so the newsletters often went eight pages (just like this month), and one was even ten pages long. Actual printing cost was $7.20 per member last year. First class postage is now 37 cents, so it costs $4.44 to mail twelve newsletters. Therefore, printing and mailing of newsletters (to U.S. members) takes $11.64 of their $15 annual membership donations.
That leaves only $3.36 per member to pay for other expenses. Since we don’t pay any salaries, don’t own a building, and don’t own anything at all, we have very few other expenses. The state of California charges us some filing fees; there is an annual bill for the post office box; and we pay for Internet domain name registration. The biggest expense, however, is printing the material we give away at the Community Dinner.
Some people sent us $20 or $25 instead of $15 when they renewed their membership last year, so we did pretty well. We made a profit of $177.26 last year. That doesn’t sound like much, but it is more than Kmart and United Airlines made last year!
Postage to Europe is 80 cents per newsletter. So, our European newsletters cost us $16.80 in printing and postage last year. Since we lost $1.80 per European subscription, it would be better for us if people in other countries would simply read the newsletter on-line. But, our purpose isn’t to make money. Our purpose is to spread information. If some people in Europe want newsletters to pass along to other people who don’t have Internet access, it is certainly worth $1.80 to us to let them do it.
So, if you are reading this newsletter on the Internet, or are reading a Xerox copy that you didn’t pay for, don’t worry about it. We aren’t here to make money. We are here to educate people. If you can throw some money our way, we appreciate it, but don’t let it trouble you if you can’t.
Since this brings us directly to Troy’s third question, let’s skip over his second question for a moment. What is our purpose? Quoting from Section 1 of Article 2 of our bylaws, it says, “The primary objectives and purposes of this corporation shall be to make the general public aware that the theory of evolution is not consistent with physical evidence and is no longer a respectable theory describing the origin of life.” This is a slightly more formal statement of what it says on our home page, which says, “Science Against Evolution is a California Public Benefit Corporation whose objective is to make the general public aware that the theory of evolution is not consistent with physical evidence and is no longer a respectable theory describing the origin of life.” Article III of our Articles of Incorporation says, “The specific purpose of this corporation is to teach and disseminate educational materials to the public, including, but not limited to, material relating to the origin of life, through publications, lectures, or otherwise.”
In other words, we are trying to correct the distorted image that the general public has of the theory of evolution by presenting the information that organizations like the National Center for Science Education would like to suppress. We want everyone to know both sides of the issue--not just the side Scientific American, PBS, and U.S. News and World Report, would like you to hear.
Troy thinks we could increase our impact “by getting a qualified PhD in a relevant field of study on your staff to increase the organization’s outward credibility”. Perhaps so. If there is one who is willing to contribute some material for free, we would greatly appreciate it. But we don’t think it would help very much. There are several creationist organizations who have members who are eminently qualified, but those scientists are dismissed as “unqualified” by evolutionists for no other reason than that they don’t believe in evolution.
The true value in having additional highly-qualified people on staff would be that they would write more compelling arguments. It has always been our position that arguments for or against the theory of evolution should be judged on the basis of their own merits, not the degree of the person who wrote the argument, nor the prestige of the institution from which that degree was obtained. Some people writing for other creationist groups do have PhD degrees from prestigious institutions. But we hope that the general public will judge those arguments on what is said, not on who said it.
Finally, we return to Troy’s second question. Are there any other groups like ours which evaluate the theory of evolution on purely scientific grounds? There may be, but we aren’t familiar with them. There are many Bible-based creationist groups. They certainly have their place, but it isn’t our place. We feel that there are some people who want to evaluate the theory of evolution on its own merits, just like any other scientific theory.
Several years ago there was some controversy about “cold fusion.” Some experiments seemed to produce a small amount of “excess energy” which was attributed to nuclear fusion at room temperature (which is much colder than the temperature normally associated with nuclear fusion). Eventually the consensus was reached that there really wasn’t any excess energy, and that the measurements were the result of experimental error.
If cold fusion had been true, it could have been used in low-pollution, highly efficient automobiles. This would have severe economic repercussions on the petroleum industry. Eventually the argument was settled on the basis of experimental data. There was relatively little discussion of the motives of the scientists involved. It didn’t matter if they were petroleum engineers or environmentalists. It didn’t matter who graduated from what university. The facts spoke for themselves.
It is our (perhaps naïve) hope that the theory of evolution can be evaluated on the basis of scientific evidence, and not the metaphysical implications of the existence or absence of a creator. We understand that the realization that evolution isn’t true may result in an emotional response that is very frightening.
We know from the email we get, and from the discussions we have with people at the Community Dinner, that evolutionists become very frightened and agitated when they realize they believe in something for which they have no scientific support. It is terrifying for them to think that some things they were taught in school weren’t really true. If those things weren’t true, how many other things they learned in school weren’t true, either? It shakes the entire foundation of their world. They would much rather stick their heads in the sand, and continue to believe lies.
Despite the best efforts of evolutionists, children today are being exposed to more of the scientific data concerning the theory of evolution. They aren’t being shown just the pieces that can be twisted to support evolution, and “protected” from the rest of the data that the National Center for Science Education thinks might “confuse” them.
The purpose of Science Against Evolution is to expose all the dirty little scientific secrets that evolutionists would like to keep hidden so that you can make an informed decision. You have a brain. We hope you will use it.
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