"Project Steve"

Evolutionists Use Humor to Make a Serious Point

by Ardea Skybreak

Revolutionary Worker #1216, October 19, 2003, posted at rwor.org

In February 2003, at the annual convention of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the National Center for Science Education (NCSE) introduced and circulated the following statement:

"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 scientific 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 of evolution. 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 the public schools."

This clear statement is something the vast majority of scientists in the United States and all over the world can agree with. To illustrate this fact, the NCSE has been circulating the statement in scientific circles, asking scientists to sign it to show their agreement, but only if their first name happens to be Steve (or Stephanie). Why only "Steves"? First of all, as a way to honor the recently deceased paleontologist and evolutionary biologist Stephen Jay Gould, who spent his whole life trying to extend and develop our understanding of evolution's principles and mechanisms; and, second of all, because there are just so many scientists in all fields of science all around the world who agree with this statement that trying to collect all their signatures would be a practical impossibility. So by just asking the "Steves," a small sample of the much larger scientific community, the NCSE has found a fun way of giving us a taste of just how unified scientists are on this question.

As Eugenie C. Scott, the executive director of NCSE, explains:

"Creationists are fond of amassing lists of PhDs who deny evolution to give the false impression that evolution is somehow on the verge of being rejected by the scientific community. Nothing could be further from the truth. Hundreds of scientists endorsed the NCSE statement. And we asked only scientists named Steve--who represent approximately 1% of scientists."

More scientists named Steve (or Stephanie) add their names to the list on a daily basis, so for updates on this fun and creative project, or to order the original Steve Project T-shirt, see the NCSE website at www.ncseweb.org)