About Us - January 2007
by Do-While Jones

Corporate Evolution

The theory of evolution is false, but that doesn’t mean nothing ever changes.

People who like to misrepresent our position in order to refute it would have you believe that we don’t believe in anything that is called, “evolution.” The truth is that we agree with many of the concepts that are commonly termed, “evolution.” For example, we believe that it is necessary, in some cases, to adapt to survive. Changes in the environment will certainly, in some cases, cause changes in behavior.

Just one day before our last newsletter went to press, we discovered that we were losing our meeting place. We hastily inserted a paragraph (using a smaller type face to make it fit) in the portion of our newsletter where we advertise our next meeting. Now we are going to have to adapt to that change in our environment. Going extinct is not an option!

Science Against Evolution has been meeting in the conference room of the Ridgecrest Public Library since March 28, 1997. At the time, we had good reason to meet there. The room was the right size, it had a TV and VCR, and it was free! Furthermore, the room was not in a church. Science Against Evolution is a secular non-profit corporation not associated with any church. To hold regular meetings in a church would imply some sort of connection, and might discourage some people from coming.

We have, from time to time in the past, privately expressed our appreciation to the library staff for their support. Now is a good time to do that publicly. We really have appreciated the cooperation we have received from the Ridgecrest library staff, and are extremely grateful for the use of the conference room.

The recent change in fee structure was not a local decision. Let us assure those who are quick to believe conspiracy theories that the government did not change the policy to shut us down. About two dozen other non-profit organizations, including the local model railroad club, have been affected, too. There is no conspiracy against model railroads.

Libraries typically aren’t well funded, and governments are always looking for a way to increase revenues. The meeting room certainly is a valuable asset, and we can understand why the government would choose not to give it away for free. The $50 fee is not unreasonable. The question we have to answer is, “Is it worth $50 per month to us to meet in that location?” Sadly, the answer is, “No.”

Actually, the more pertinent question is, “Is it worthwhile to meet monthly in any physical location?” When we started meeting, we were a local non-profit group and had no expectation of any presence outside of Ridgecrest. Our members now reside in a polygon bounded by Seattle on the northwest, England on the northeast, Africa on the southeast, and New Zealand on the southwest. Most of our members don’t attend the monthly meetings for obvious reasons.

Over the years, we have evolved into a world-wide organization whose members never meet each other. The members all read the monthly newsletter, which they either get in the mail or read on-line. Plus, there are quite a few non-members who regularly read the newsletter on-line, send us supportive emails, but have never sent us any money. (You know who you are! )

This newsletter is, in effect, a virtual meeting. Certainly the communication is primarily one-sided, and there is no direct communication between members. Since our membership list is confidential, most of our members don’t even know who the other members are, and have no way of finding out.

There are, of course, social benefits to meeting in person. But Ridgecrest is a small city. Most of the people who attend our meetings see the other members socially around town. We don’t need a monthly appointment to get together.

Perhaps a big annual meeting with nationally-known speakers would be better. Some people would not want to come to the Mojave Desert for a meeting in August, when it is 110 oF; but the wildflowers are often beautiful in the spring—and fall and winter are nice here, too. We could couple the annual meeting with a field trip to Death Valley National Park, to see all the evidence against evolution there. Death Valley is an easy drive from here.

It has also been suggested that we add an RSS news feed to our web page. Then, each month subscribers would be notified as soon as the newsletter is posted. Currently, people have to check the web site near the end of each month to see if the newsletter has been posted yet.

We mail the newsletter on the third Tuesday of each month so that local members will get it as a timely reminder of the fourth Tuesday meeting. The newsletter is then converted to HTML and posted on the web site a few days later. Now that there are no fourth Tuesday meetings, there is no compelling reason to mail the newsletter on the third Tuesday. We still plan to keep to that same schedule, however.

It would be cheaper to email the newsletter to members as a pdf file instead of mailing a printed copy. There are two problems with that. The obvious is that not everyone has email. The second is that members might change their email address and forget to notify us. We would have no way to email them and ask for their new email address. At least the U.S. Mail forwards the newsletter, which reminds members to send us a change of address.

In summary, the environment has changed, forcing us to adapt, and that has caused us to re-examine everything. If you have any suggestions about meetings, the website, or newsletter, now would be a good time to make them.

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