9 July 2008

What is that there on the ground? Is it ... could it be ... a gauntlet?

This post goes out to all of our readers and fans who think The Beagle Project is a great idea - for science, for public engagement, for education, and yes, for counterbalancing those anti-rationalists out there who would indoctrinate our children against natural science, and while they're at it, against the natural world itself...

...but who haven't yet thought to turn good will into action by clicking our PayPal button and donating $1000, $100, $10, or even $5 to help us re-build the most important ship in the history of science.

Avast, ye armchair Beagle Project cheerleaders: prepare to be shamed into action!

It was bad enough that creationists were able to raise $27 million for their "museum" in Kentucky, and now I'm dismayed to report that they have successfully raised a further $500,000 to make a "documentary" for 2009 that intends to:
"challenge evolution in a fresh way. Based on an original concept from Dr Emil Silvestru of CMI–Canada, the film revisits some of the places Darwin visited, and ideas he formulated, during his historic 1830’s voyage on HMS Beagle. Together with natural history footage from South America, period re-enactments and interviews with leading authorities from around the world, the documentary will illustrate how the evolutionary viewpoint is far from the tried and tested science fact that many believe it to be. It will investigate the man, the legend and the unfortunate world-changing legacy of Charles Darwin."
The website's leading quote is:
"Since the story of evolution has saturated cultures internationally it has become a major hindrance to people accepting Christ. In nations like Canada, one of the main reasons huge numbers of young people won’t consider the truth claims of Scripture is evolution. As the Darwin hype grows in 2009 this documentary will provide Christian answers to godless naturalism."
And for this they have raised $500K, people! Of course, as with similar ilk, it will be completely bogus at best, slanderous at worst. But... but... there it is.

By comparison, for our science, education and outreach project that will see the HMS Beagle once again sailing the seas for science, attracting huge crowds in port and media coverage, providing young and old alike with moments of thrilling adventure both physical and intellectual, we have raised through our PayPal mechanism a grand total of jack squat*.

So come on, folks, if the creationists can raise half a million for their "documentary", then surely evolutionists can raise 10 million for The Beagle Project! The PayPal button is over there to the left, in several places. Click it. You know you want to.

H/t to George Beccaloni.

*Okay, that's not entirely true: we have had some very generous donations by PayPal and for those we are truly grateful. But the total amount is small. We have also had other donations, corporate and individual, and these have enabled us to keep an office and hire an administrator, but the bald fact is we still need $10 million US Dollars to build the Beagle.


Kevin Zelnio said...

Egads! If that isn't the most convincing argument I don't know what is! It is amazing that religious fervor can be so profitable, while science in itself is profitable (invention, technology, innovation, etc. etc. etc.) it is nearly impossible to get people to squeeze out a few bucks to support kid's science fairs.

So in the honor of science, enlightenment and rationalism. I only find it fitting that I should send Ben Franklin you way.

Mike Haubrich, FCD said...

Oh, you know I want to give. I really do, but I am in kind of a bad way. Does good will help?

Karen James said...

Mike, yes, good will - not to mention a full hour interview on Atheists Talk - helps enormously! You score an "assist".

Miriam Goldstein said...

Ok, the gauntlet has inspired me to finally throw down and buy a t-shirt. That way I can proselytize for the Beagle! (though I'll never be able to compete with Kevin's t-shirt/tat/beer photo...)

Peter Telford said...

Pah! I'm such a sucker, you got me for a tee-shirt and some dirty spondoolicks.

As a UK taxpayer I could have gift aided my spondoolicks if you're a registered charity. Are you? There's nothing like getting Gordon Brown to put his hand in his pocket - makes a change from it being in mine!
All the best,