Is the NCSE a partisan organization?


Why do you say that NCSE is partisan? They are clearly science education only oriented and centered on young children’s science education from pre-school to middle school (pre- High School) and they give their materials to public, private and parochial schools.

I am very familiar with NCSE’s personnel and materials, I support them financially. Why do you say they are partisan? Against who?

Yes, all true. That is why I support them.

Complete falsehood. NCSE is an excellent organization to be supportive of. They do a lot of good things for a lot of people. For next year, I am certainly going to increase my support (perhaps double) as their mission is important to me.

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Of course there is a secularist edge to the organization - that is the whole point of the organization. Religion (all religions) should have no part in science education. But all the same, no person of any religion should be excluded from NCSE, all are welcomed. But the whole point is science education should be completely independent to any religious beliefs. It is all about the science education.

I think your beef is that they consider ID some kind of religion hiding in disguise, which I don’t disagree with as ID is not really science. Yes, I am going to double down with them in 2016.

I think the National Center for Science Education (NCSE) is a fine organization. Its mission is to defend the teaching of evolution and climate change science in the public school science classroom, and to keep other stuff out. Religion can be taught in a philosophy or comparative religions class with no problem. Religion is beyond the scope of science, anyway. The NCSE is supported by many scientists of varying religious outlooks. It is also supported by solid scientific institutions, including the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and The American Association for the Advancement of Science.

No I would put it this way: ID is Christian creationism in disguise. ID is not really science. It is a ruse. A slight of hands. A three card monte.

Okay, so ID is not Christian. It still doesn’t belong anywhere near science education. Completely secular. Like government. :grinning:

What I find interesting about the NCSE is how they position themselves with regards to other professional players and views in the creation/evolution debates in the US. They are in a way caught between the extremes of creationist positions on the one and atheistic/humanistic positions on the other side. Both sides violate what they regard as the integrity of science as a neutral undertaking. At the same time they cannot detach themselves fully from all other views. They have an interest in promoting views on science and religion that leave science be, like Theistic Evolution. But they cannot associate themselves with that view either because it would compromise their neutrality. And in addition they would not be able to escape the debates that they would like to see resolved anyway, as is clearly shown by all the references to the NCSE by other players in the creation/evolution game. If you talk about the relationship between God and nature you are part of the game. And that game is harder to play for groups that are somewhat in the middle between extreme positions (like the NCSE but also like the CSC) because they have to develop and maintain a position that takes various sides into consideration. This is why they cannot talk about the entire controversy in black-and-white terms.
So yes, they are “partisan” if that means that they cannot but position themselves in the fight for the “right” view of how God and nature relate. But so is everyone else.

NCSE doesn’t take a position of how God and nature relate. They are a secular organization with the mission to improve scientific education. Their primary focus is on scientific education in two areas -evolution and climate change.

You are right if you mean by that that they are not actively advocating one particular view of how God and nature relate when it comes to explaining the world. Yet they do position themselves by rejecting a number of other positions in the field, namely various sorts of creationism/Intelligent Design but also atheistic evolutionism. In addition - and here they come close to advocacy - they point to a variety of sources where theologians relate evolution and religion in a way that suits their understanding of science. See Science and Religion | National Center for Science Education. As I said above they have the hard task of balancing neutrality and applicability, and in that task only a few positions are viable for them. This is why they tend to emphasize some positions and not others.

They are not trying to balance anything. Clear mission - science education. Main focus areas - evolution and climate change.

They don’t reject either of those positions. They are secular. Science education. Focus: evolution and climate change.

Well, I guess I can only say that my view differs from yours. There are many texts on the NCSE’s website and in RNCSE that explicitly deal with ID and/or creationism in a critical manner and the link that I posted above points to TE as a position that the NCSE at least regards as viable. I’m not saying the NCSE is doing anything wrong by positioning itself in that way, or that “being partisan” diminishes the merits of its case. I’m just saying that it is impossible not to be partisan in this way when dealing with evolution education in the US.