Project Steve

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Project Steve is a tongue-in-cheek parody created by the National Center for Science Education, intended to place the "scientific debate" over evolution into proportion. It is in response to various lists, put out by the likes of the Discovery Institute, of scientists who supposedly reject evolution. Usually such lists number anywhere between a dozen and a hundred. Creationists love to mention that famous scientists like Isaac Newton "didn't believe" in evolution, and more importantly, he was a Christian! Of course, it's incorrect to say that Newton didn't "believe" in evolution; he had probably no knowledge about it, as he died 82 years before Charles Darwin was even born. Project Steve, on the other hand, is an attempt to show that these creation scientists are outnumbered by pro-evolution scientists — named Stephen and alive.

Stephen was chosen in honour of Stephen Jay Gould, who died about a year before the list began. Some slight variations of that name are also included, such as Steven, Steve, Stefan, or Stephanie, or the same name in languages other than English, including three Etiennes, three Estebans, one Istvan, and one Tapani, which is the Finnish equivalent.

The list was invented entirely for the lulz and was not intended to be an argumentum ad populum, or any other argumentum. As of March 31, 2014, The Steve-o-meter numbers 1330 scientists on its list. It has been noted that the Steve list has proportionately more biologists (about two thirds are qualified biologists) than the creationists' list. So there.

The Discovery Institute's A Scientific Dissent from Darwinism had, by comparison, 12 signatories whose names would have qualified them for the Steve list per 2012. The twelve constitute a motley crew that contains at least some non-scientists (Meyer, Cheesman), certified crackpots (Gift), and one single biologist, C. Steven Murphree, who has — to really add insult to injury — later repudiated his involvement with the creationist movement and signed Project Steve instead.[1]

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