1000 Steves on Darwin’s 200th!

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The 1000th Steve of Project Steve, also known as the kilosteve, is going to be announced at the Annual Meeting of the AAAS this weekend. See the NCSE press release: Who will be Steve #1000?

(PS: What’s the Discovery Institute non-Steve-required-and-often-otherwise-dubious list at? 700? Meh. The creation scientists had a better list in the 1980s.)

24 Comments

Oh, everyone’s doin’ the Darwin boogie … hyper-slick multimedia presentation, “Evolution Of Evolution”, over at NSF.GOV:

http://www.nsf.gov/news/special_reports/darwin/

Forgive me if this is a double-posting. NSF.GOV actually seems to have a nice selection of articles on various science topics.

Cheers – MrG / http://www.vectorsite.net/gblog.html

Total scientists in biology or a closely-related field on the “Dissent from Darwin” list: 172.

Discovery Institute, meet Epic Fail.

James F said:

Total scientists in biology or a closely-related field on the “Dissent from Darwin” list: 172.

Discovery Institute, meet Epic Fail.

And only a small % reject common descent.

Alas, the “epic fall” is still a well-kept secret. I just attended an excellent talk by Ken Miller, who praised the efforts of several people, inlcuding one named “Nick” (ironically the only “Steve” he talked about was the DI’s Meyer, who declined to testify at Dover). But he reminded us that there’s still a lot of work to do.

I guess nobody had makes a comment about the Academic Freedom Day here because this initiative of the Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Culture passed in fact almost unknown. Under the motto: “A fair result can be obtained only by fully stating and balancing the facts and arguments on both sides of each question”, a quote from Charles Darwin’s introduction to The Origin of Species, and with the aim that “students everywhere can speak out against censorship and stand up for free speech by defending the right to debate the evidence for and against evolution.” The propose? “Let’s make ‘Darwin Day’ 2009 Academic Freedom Day!”

Also this website was launched a video and essay contest for high school and undergraduate college students, about Darwin’s comment above. Interestingly, the Academic Freedom Day site does not show anyone of the essays that would received. There are some more material at Facebook, included a 1:41 video of Dr. David Berlinsky, but nothing that would suggest a real impact anywhere. At the YouTube Group for the video contest, there are only six videos, included a 1:38 message of Ben Stein on Academic Freedom Day.

At the time to submit this comment nothing was happen at those sites, despite the fact that today it’s late at February 12, 2009.

Anyway, Happy Darwin Day!

For further information:

Academic Freedom Day site: http://academicfreedomday.com/

Academic Freedom Day Video Contest YouTube Group: http://www.youtube.com/group/academicfreedomday

Academic Freedom Day on Evolution Facebook: http://es-la.facebook.com/pages/Aca[…]/24093214725

Note: Apparently, grand prize winner and two runners-up were not announced yet.

I realize that the whole Project Steve thing is a spoof on the Dissent From Darwin statement and that the NCSE is just having fun with it, but 1,000 signatures is not a very impressive number really. I am more impressed by the lack of signatures to either of these statements considering the bureau of labor statistics on the www.bls.gov/ocoso47.htm#outlook site of a total of 173,000 biological scientists (apparently using some rounded figures) including “biological scientists, biochemists and biophysicists, zoologists and wildlife biologists and biological scientists all others.” The number of signatures is not even 1% of the total number even with Steve and derivations of that name being fairly common in the US. Perhaps there are many scientists that prefer not to put their names on a public list and just want to stay away from the culture war. Good for them.

Louise Van Court said:

I realize that the whole Project Steve thing is a spoof on the Dissent From Darwin statement and that the NCSE is just having fun with it, but 1,000 signatures is not a very impressive number really. I am more impressed by the lack of signatures to either of these statements considering the bureau of labor statistics on the www.bls.gov/ocoso47.htm#outlook site of a total of 173,000 biological scientists (apparently using some rounded figures) including “biological scientists, biochemists and biophysicists, zoologists and wildlife biologists and biological scientists all others.” The number of signatures is not even 1% of the total number even with Steve and derivations of that name being fairly common in the US. Perhaps there are many scientists that prefer not to put their names on a public list and just want to stay away from the culture war. Good for them.

Let’s see.…

173,000 scientists from the statistics above.

Approximate percentage of people named Steve/Stephanie: 1%

Number of Steves: 1,000

Statistically, this represents: 100,000

EPIC FAIL.

The National Center for Darwinian Education (NCDE) is failing in it’s mission.

Sadly (some of you might say), and despite attempts to foment a Darwin personality cult, only 4 in 10 believe in evolution.

This, according to a Gallup survey, On Darwin’s Birthday, Only 4 in 10 Believe in Evolution.

Keep trying. The more you preach, the less we believe.

Hello, Pandas Thumbers

Please make this video viral so VA can oust this joke of a state GOP chair.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N5Y5[…]kmg&eurl

Thank You.

Signed, Concerned Virginia Republican.

Just stopping by said:

The National Center for Darwinian Education (NCDE) is failing in it’s[sic] mission.

Sadly (some of you might say), and despite attempts to foment a Darwin personality cult,[false] only 4 in 10 believe in evolution.

This, according to a Gallup survey, On Darwin’s Birthday, Only 4 in 10 Believe in Evolution.

Keep trying. The more you preach, the less we believe.

Let’s see…

Believe in evolution: 39%, Do not believe in evolution: 25%, No opinion either way: 36%, No answer: 1%

Belief in evolution by education level:

High school or less:

Yes: 21%, No: 27%, No opinion: 52%

Some college:

Yes: 41%, No: 29%, No opinion: 30%

College graduate:

Yes: 53%, No: 22%, No opinion: 26%

Postgraduate:

Yes: 74%, No: 11%, No opinion: 16%

Thanks for stopping by!

The DI wanted to play the numbers game with their list. Has there been any response to Project Steve outpacing them? Also, congrats to the lucky kilosteve, whoever he or she may be.

James F.,

Thanks for pointing out the import of the numbers. It’s always amusing to see antievolutionists joining innumeracy to ignorance.

But Louise Van Court is even worse off than you noted. If one goes to the link she provided, one gets a 404-style message. If one does some looking, one can find the actual link. There, “Biological Scientists” are said to have numbered about 87,000 in 2006. Indented entries in four categories split that out. Louise arrived at the 173,000 number by adding up the rounded-off figures for biological scientists and the categories of biological scientists. She counted everyone twice and presented that as a figure. Louise is either uncommonly obtuse or deliberately lying.

Project Steve has been somewhat more open to Ph.D.s from outside the stated categories, but it is primarily pitched to them. The numbers indicate that for the biological sciences, Project Steve may be close to complete saturation.

That’s what I call shooting oneself in the foot; nice job, Louise!

Just stopping by said:

The National Center for Darwinian Education (NCDE) is failing in it’s mission.

Sadly (some of you might say), and despite attempts to foment a Darwin personality cult, only 4 in 10 believe in evolution.

Error 1: There is no such thing as “Darwinism”.

Error 2: It is not the mission of NCSE to foment a Darwin personality cult.

Error 3: The goal of the NCSE is to make sure that no one “believes” in evolution, because unlike (say) Catholicism or Calvinism or Intelligent Design, evolution is a scientific concept, not a belief.

Error 4: Your word “it’s” should be “its”. (Possessive of if, not contraction “it is”.)

There are other errors.

Congrats to Steve 1000!

/Please don’t hunt down Sarah Connor…

Looking at the bureau of labor and statistics chart quickly I did make a mistake, it was not intentional and I did not deliberately provide a broken link to the information. I am sorry about that, at least I went looking for the data to see how many biologists there actually are. OK celebrate your “close to complete saturation” for the biological sciences. I was wrong. I should not have posted my thoughts about the ongoing culture war.

The last time the disciplinary distribution of Steves was studied, about three years ago, 54% were in biology proper (anatomy, anthropology, biochemistry, biophysics, botany, cell biology, etc.), so the saturation level is presumably no greater than 62%, which isn’t too shabby, but isn’t close to complete either. (The saturation level must actually be somewhat lower, since the 87,000 figure is for biologists who are employed in the United States, and both foreign and non-employed scientists are among the Steves.)

Louise Van Court said:

Looking at the bureau of labor and statistics chart quickly I did make a mistake, it was not intentional and I did not deliberately provide a broken link to the information. I am sorry about that, at least I went looking for the data to see how many biologists there actually are. OK celebrate your “close to complete saturation” for the biological sciences. I was wrong. I should not have posted my thoughts about the ongoing culture war.

Ms. Van Court:

Admitting a mistake means you have more integrity than all of the leaders of the Discovery Institute combined. Thank you for that. I hereby withdraw my “EPIC FAIL” and transfer it to Mr. “Just stopping by.” I also urge you to consider that it is the DI that is trying to get material taught in public schools without any scientific peer review, indeed without a single piece of peer-reviewed research supporting “intelligent design.” If this is a culture war, it is against fraudulent public claims by the DI’s side.

Louise said”I am more impressed by the lack of signatures to either of these statements”

Now she admits her analysis for the Project Steve was erroneous. What I wonder is if she is still unimpressed by the lack of signatures for Project Steve. Louise should still be unimpressed by the Discovery Institute’s anemic list.

Louise signs off with:”I should not have posted my thoughts about the ongoing culture war.”

“Fighting a culture war” against a PR group who is misrepresenting themselves as a scientific movement is a good thing.

Matt said:

Hello, Pandas Thumbers

Please make this video viral so VA can oust this joke of a state GOP chair.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N5Y5[…]kmg&eurl

Thank You.

Signed, Concerned Virginia Republican.

Gosh, that’s almost as bad as here:

http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/o[…]-environment—sammy-wilson-does-not-do-orthodoxy-14182478.html

When it comes to the environment, Sammy Wilson does not do orthodoxy

Terry de Winne, of Allied Biodiesel Industries in north Down, asked the Environment minister to accept that the oil and other fossil fuels are running out. Standard stuff in such circles.

“Nonsense,” said Mr Wilson in his reply, sent a few weeks later. “We have heard this story since the 1960s and today fossil fuels reserves are higher than they have ever been. “If we look at coal alone there is enough to do us for the next 500 years and there are reserves of oil to do us for the next 150 years. As prices rise and technology improves other fossil fuel opportunities will be available to us.

“Personally, I would rather Kilroot burn coal, oil or gas than pollute the atmosphere by using energy from 300 wind turbines located in some of the most pristine parts of Northern Ireland’s countryside.”

and:

http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/n[…]4184873.html

A DUP Assemblyman has urged one of Northern Ireland’s biggest museums to ‘balance out’ a forthcoming exhibition on evolution with a display about creationism.

The Ulster Museum is to run a series later this year on evolution and fossils, which is expected to incorporate the work of naturalist Charles Darwin, whose birthday 200 years ago is currently being celebrated.

Darwin’s views on the theory of evolution and natural selection shocked the worlds of science and religion when first published.

However, North Antrim MLA Mervyn Storey has called for a creationist exhibition to be run alongside which explains the origin of life according to a literal reading of the Genesis account in the Bible.

“All I’m saying is that there should be a balance because there are other views out there,” Mr Storey said.

“There are people who have a different view to Darwin on creation.”

Mr Storey, himself a proponent of creationism, said that he was entitled to express his views on the subject.

“I believe in creationism and intelligent design, I don’t believe in the theory of evolution”, he said.

Mr Storey also said that a failure by the museum to reflect the views of “other people” could raise the possibility that a legal challenge may be launched under equality legislation.

Hmmmm. At last. Our very own Dover !!! Maybe we need our own local version of Project Steve.

Dan Wrote:

Error 1: There is no such thing as “Darwinism”.

Well there is no one such thing. The word is used, however, for at least 2 radically different things. Sometimes scientists and science writers carelessly use it as a synonym for “Darwinian evolution.” Fortunately this is being discouraged.

Anti-evolution activists define it as a materialistic philosophy that devalues life, and to which Darwin would never approve of lending his name. And worse, they deliberately confuse the definitions.

You can use a form here

http://www.ssa.gov/OACT/babynames/

to study the poularity of names for years past. Male and female variations of Steve, over the period 1958-1988 (possible signatories to the PS list) top out at 10% and decline. Let’s say they average 4%. Of 87,000 that is ~3500 people. Even if half the PS list is outside the 87,000 the penetration is still in the range of 14%. For, as mentioned, a spoof.

Totally back of the envelope, but still amazing. PS rocks!

You can use a form here

http://www.ssa.gov/OACT/babynames/

to study the po[p]ularity of names for years past. Male and female variations of Steve, over the period 1958-1988 (possible signatories to the PS list) top out at 10% and decline. Let’s say they average 4%.

Can you explain how you reached the above conclusion? When I add the qualifying male names from the 1960s, for example, using the SSA data (http://www.ssa.gov/OACT/babynames/d[…]es1960s.html), I get 2.6495%, which is quite a lot lower than your 10%.

NCSE’s FAQs include, “According to data from the U.S. Census, approximately 1.6% of males and approximately 0.4% of females — so approximately 1% of U.S. residents — have first names that would qualify them to sign the statement.” This estimate relied on the 1990 census data (http://www.census.gov/genealogy/www[…]eqnames.html), I believe.

Louise Van Court said:

Looking at the bureau of labor and statistics chart quickly I did make a mistake, it was not intentional and I did not deliberately provide a broken link to the information. I am sorry about that, at least I went looking for the data to see how many biologists there actually are. OK celebrate your “close to complete saturation” for the biological sciences. I was wrong. I should not have posted my thoughts about the ongoing culture war.

This is pretty rare. Someone with an opposing view to what is common around here admitting such an error. You just have to look at the ID perps or creationists that are involved in fiascos like Dover or Texas to wonder at the lack of honesty and integrity.

It is not that you should not have posted your thoughts about this stupid, inane, and ultimately dishonest “culture” war run by political propaganda groups like the Discovery Institute, but people like yourself should work to change it into something respectable. If you are embarrassed by the desception and bogousity work against those aspects. If you just sit back and accept the dishonesty what good does that do?

What has happened to every rube legislator or school board that has popped up and bought into the teach ID creationist scam? The bait and switch was run on all of them. No one has gotten any ID science to teach. Dover was the only example that didn’t take the switch or drop the issue. What happened there? Who is running in the switch scam? Why doesn’t the switch scam mention that creationism or ID ever existed when it is being perpetrated by the same guys that ran the teach ID scam?

What do you think of links like that put up by James F earlier in the thread and what it tells you about the type of people that support the religious side of this “culture” war.

http://skepchick.org/blog/wp-conten[…]meeting1.pdf

These are not isolated cases. It is about the whole deal and represent the only arguments that you regularly see. Why do you think that is?

Glenn Branch said:

You can use a form here

http://www.ssa.gov/OACT/babynames/

to study the po[p]ularity of names for years past. Male and female variations of Steve, over the period 1958-1988 (possible signatories to the PS list) top out at 10% and decline. Let’s say they average 4%.

Can you explain how you reached the above conclusion? When I add the qualifying male names from the 1960s, for example, using the SSA data (http://www.ssa.gov/OACT/babynames/d[…]es1960s.html), I get 2.6495%, which is quite a lot lower than your 10%.

NCSE’s FAQs include, “According to data from the U.S. Census, approximately 1.6% of males and approximately 0.4% of females — so approximately 1% of U.S. residents — have first names that would qualify them to sign the statement.” This estimate relied on the 1990 census data (http://www.census.gov/genealogy/www[…]eqnames.html), I believe.

Hi Glenn - My own innumeracy is the only explanation. I was taking rank order as a rough guide to percent of total, which I now see is bogus. Thanks for pointing me to better data.

David

thank you james f, wesley and glenn for your helpful links. i felt the urge to sum up all of the data so that all could appreciate how “in crisis” the theory really is.

Approximately 1% of the US population shares a derivative of Steve as their first name according to 1990 US census data. (If you were born after 1990 you are irrelevant, you are not yet old enough to hold a PhD) http://www.census.gov/genealogy/nam[…]s_files.html There were approximately 87,000 individuals employed in the biological sciences as of 2006 in the US. http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos047.htm#[…]ections_data

Let us make the fairly reasonable assumption that the name distribution in the population as a whole is roughly equivalent to the name distribution found in a specialized area of employment so that we arrive at approximately 870 US “Steves” employed in Biological Sciences. The NCSE list has 1036 “Steves”(as of 2/20/09). The NCSE, at the behest of journalists, has tabulated that approximately 50% of the “Steves” on their list are Americans employed in the Biological Sciences. 59.5% of all possible “Steves” employed in the most relevant field to evolution…biology, have signed on, agreeing to a very pointed statement supporting Darwinian Evolution. That’s impressive, and hardly indicative of a “theory in crisis”. Conversely, out of the DI list, only 172 of the signatories even work in the Biological Sciences. Not limited by any name restrictions that’s only 0.19% of the possible relevant population agreeing with a much more obtuse statement. 1/5th of a percent…who’s in crisis again?

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