You know, it just struck me that I haven’t told you guys about Project Steve!

This is a tongue-in-cheek project sponsored by the National Center for Science Education. Let me quote from their web page to describe what it’s all about:

NCSE’s “Project Steve” is a tongue-in-cheek parody of a long-standing creationist tradition of amassing lists of “scientists who doubt evolution” or “scientists who dissent from Darwinism.” (For examples of such lists, see the FAQs.)

Creationists draw up these lists to convince the public that evolution is somehow being rejected by scientists, that it is a “theory in crisis.” Most members of the public lack sufficient contact with the scientific community to know that this claim is totally unfounded. NCSE has been exhorted by its members to compile a list of thousands of scientists affirming the validity of the theory of evolution, but although we easily could have done so, we have resisted such pressure. We did not wish to mislead the public into thinking that scientific issues are decided by who has the longer list of scientists!

Project Steve mocks this practice with a bit of humor, and because “Steves” are only about 1% of scientists, it incidentally makes the point that tens of thousands of scientists support evolution. And it honors the late Stephen Jay Gould, NCSE supporter and friend.

I think this is fantastic! What a fun idea! If I was a Steve, I would totally get on this list! The statement that all the Steves agree to is:

Evolution is a vital, well-supported, unifying principle of the biological sciences, and the scientific evidence is overwhelmingly in favor of the idea that all living things share a common ancestry. Although there are legitimate debates about the patterns and processes of evolution, there is no serious scientific doubt that evolution occurred or that natural selection is a major mechanism in its occurrence. It is scientifically inappropriate and pedagogically irresponsible for creationist pseudoscience, including but not limited to “intelligent design,” to be introduced into the science curricula of our nation’s public schools.

That make sense to me! They now have 750 Steves with PhDs, or some similar graduate degree, who have signed off on this statement. Please, if your name is Steve (and for that matter if it isn’t), check out the NCSE web site and give your support.

By the way, the Steve list has supported some really great research! Check out this paper, available from the Annals of Improbable Research.

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