Peter Henderson wrote:
I hate to sound pessimistic, but what hope have groups like the BCSE or SJS have against a well organisied, heavily funded multi-million dollar/pound organisation like AiG:http://www.answersingenesis.org/article ... -in-review
Some gloating by AiG who appear to be convinced they are winning the debate (if you could call it that):
I agree with you, Peter, that the anti-creationist movement is both far from getting its act together and utterly outgunned when it comes to resources.
The model I have for an effect ant-creationist movement is based oprettyclosely on the whay Michael Collins fought the British from 1917 (and, no, I am not a republican sympathiser or even Irish). I see it all as a management issue. Collins never had the guns to outshoot or defeat the British army. What he was, though, exceedingly good at, was getting the upper hand on intelligence. It was about knowing what was going on and using his very scarce weaponary to best effect.
It's basically what I have tried to do with BCSE - get the facts about the creationist movement together and present them to the public and the media in the most cost effective way. Yep, it's basically public relations - exactly what the creationists are using.
The difference is that the creationists, out of necessity, have to lie systematically, endemically and repeatedly. Deception is their stock in trade. It is that weakness I personally, amongst other things, am targeting.
The concentration of the anti-creationist movement in the USA on the ID thing is a bit of a problem for us. However, I suspect that will soon change because the creationists have lost the whole ID game. The next issue to look out for is where the creationists select another major area of science for attack - such as cosmology.
The third issue is that creationism is now probably on the run in the USA. Their power base in the Republican party is just about to be flushed down the toliet in the next presidential elections. Much of the media has now decided that ID is a joke and its backers a by-word for clowns. The term Baptist in the USA has now serious negative connotations. The high priests of ID, Behe and Dembski, have lost all what little credibility they ever had and Dembski is also now seen as someone with no personal integrity (see Panda's Thumb for details of his latest scam in endorsing ID books anonomously).
Moreover, religious belief in the USA is beginning to decline quite rapidly. Indeed, the Zeitgeist in the USA is generally getting very hostie towards religion, mostly, in my opinion, because of the fundamentalists. Americans are getting much more open towards questioning the excesses of the country's religious right.
I happen to think that BCSE has done a lot to discredit the creationists in the UK and to some effect. Our coverage of the European Theological Seminary in Northern ireland appears to have resulted in its closure. Truth in Science has done prescisely nothing since we launched a campaign against it getting on for 18 months ago. Even the attacks on the BCSE by the creationists have become so ludicrous as to discredit the entire creationist movement. (As you know, I've gone into that in a lot more detail off-forum) I also suspect that we may also have had an impact in Northern Ireland having "exposed" what the DUP and its allies are up to. Partly as a result of our efforts, Steve Fuller is increasingly perceived as off his rocker when it comes to science.
I think we may have some pleasant surprises in 2008. If Huckabee gets nominated as the Republican presidential candidate, the Republican party will have committed political suicide and that will be the end, altogether, of the Religious Right as a political force. The US media, in general, appears to have turned against the creationists and IDers so, despite Ham's blustering, they will continue to get very negative coverage. Moreover, most Americans are getting sick and tired of the religiousity in politics.
It looks as if Patrick Henry College, despite its arrogance, has already turned into little more that a obscure and tiny non-entity for home-schoolers. Oral Roberts University has managed to turn itself into a figure of fun.
Moreover, many believe that the AiG museum in Kentucky will prove to be the worst advertisement possible for creationists. It allows the rest of the world, including mainstream America, to understand once and for all how idiotic the creationists are. Just like the Kansas Kangaroo Court and Dover. In effect, the US$27m spent on the AiG museum plus whatever has been paid to PR puffery agents is an expensive self-defeating exercise of pissing in the wind. It openly demonstrates that the typical creationist is seriously short of his/her marbles.
Americans are also now wisening up to the money making scams of the fundamentalists, particularly the prosperity gospel crapola.
Finally, Dover again. This remains an absolute catastrophic defeat for tthe creationists. It couldn't possibly have gone any worse for them. There is a very good chance that the whole thing may be repeated in Texas again over the next couple of years or so. Yet Americans are turning on the creationists. Bright Texans don't like to see their state become an international laughing stock with a reputation of being full of hayseeds, hillbillies and bigots.
The huge weakness of the fundamentalists is that they cannot stand loss of face and will commit suicide rather than admitting they've got something wrong. Like all ideologues, they've got a built-in self-destruct button.
Play on the weakness till they hit it.