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The Newsletter of The North Texas Skeptics
Volume 3 Number 5 www.ntskeptics.org September/October 1989

In this month's issue:

A follow-up on Carl Baugh's science degrees

by Glen J. Kuban

I wish to bring to light some additional information regarding "man tracker" Carl Baugh's alleged scientific degrees.

As pointed out by the authors of a recent Skeptic article, [1] the College of Advanced Education (CAE), from which Baugh claims a Ph.D. in anthropology, is not accredited, and has no science courses or facilities. Don Davis, administrator of CAE and pastor of the Baptist Church that houses it, told me that it is a "missions" school only. Davis explained that the degree was given through CAE, "under the auspices" of Clifford Wilson in Australia.[2] However, the reason for this curious arrangement was not explained, and the connection to Clifford Wilson (explained below) only further undermines the legitimacy of Baugh's degree.

A copy of Baugh's diploma (dated 1987) indicates that CAE is the "Graduate Division" of International Baptist College (IBC). As mentioned In the recent Skeptic article, IBC is incorporated in Missouri, but it is not certified there to grant degrees in any subject. Furthermore, IBC evidently is just as lacking in science facilities and classes as CAE. The phone receptionist at IBC stated that it was a correspondence school for religious studies based on tapes by Jerry Falwell.[3] Even more interesting, the letterhead of IBC listed Carl Baugh himself as president.[4] Thus, it appears that Baugh essentially granted himself a science degree from his own unaccredited Bible school.

Pacific College, Inc. (a.k.a. Pacific College of Graduate Studies) from which Baugh claims a masters degree in archaeology, traces to creationist Clifford Wilson in Australia. Wilson is the principal officer of PCI, which is a religious school with no accreditation or authority in Australia to grant degrees. [5]

Moreover,Wilson is (or was) a close associate of Baugh, [6] and evidently was a partner of Baugh in IBC. Wilson's name was listed as "Vice President, International Studies" on the letterhead of IBC,[7] and the location of IBC was given as Australia on a plaque displayed at Baugh's first "man track" site.[8]

Thus, all of Baugh's alleged science degrees appear to trace directly or Indirectly back to himself and/or his partner Wilson, and to their own unaccredited Bible schools or "extensions" of them.

Last, it may be noted that there is no evidence that Baugh has even an undergraduate degree in any field of science. Not having a science degree is not a crime; however, misrepresenting one's credentials is another matter. Baugh's frequently claimed degrees in science appear to be as dubious as his "man track" claims, and ought to be of serious concern to his fellow creationists.


[1] Thomas, John, Ronnie Hastings, and Rick Neeley, "A Critical Look at Creationist Credentials," The Skeptic, 3:4, July-Aug. 1989.

[2] Don Davis, personal communication, December31, 1989.

[3] Phone conversation, July 5, 1986.

[4] A letter from Carl Baugh to me, dated March 10, 1983, was written on International Baptist College letterhead.

[5] According to Australian paleontologist Ralph E. Molnar (personal correspondence, October, 1986), Pacific College of Theology was amalgamated with Pacific College of Graduate Studies to form Pacific College Incorporated. Australian Barry Williams stated that PCI appears to be a small, private Bible college headed by Wilson (correspondence to Ron Hastings, March 30, 1989). Ian Plimer, professor of geology at the University of Newcastle and member of the Australian Research Council, determined that PCI is unaccredited and stated, "Any 'degrees' from this 'College' are illegal in Australia (correspondence to Ron Hastings, March 1989).

[6] Wilson worked alongside Baugh on some Paluxy "man track" excavations, and coauthored a 1987 book with Baugh entitled Dinosaur (Promise Publishing, Orange, CA). Baugh's supposed degrees are listed on the back of the book.

[7] Immediately under Baugh's name on the letterhead (reference 4) was Wilson's name and title, obscured with "white-out" but clearly visible when held to light.[8] In 1982 the metal plaque was mounted on a large rock at the "man track" site, but later was removed (reportedly by Wilson).

[8] (Reference missing in the original)

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Astrology and the University

by John Thomas

The UTA catalog tell us: "The primary purpose of The University of Texas at Arlington is the pursuit of truth, knowledge and excellence. The institution aspires to free people from ignorance and prejudice and to stimulate a lasting attitude of inquiry." We always had a high opinion of the University's academic standards, so we were surprised to see Jeanne Dixon's horoscope column appear in the student newspaper, The Shorthorn. If The Shorthorn is also aspiring to free people from ignorance, this seemed like a strange way to do it,

We decided to ask a few questions.

We spoke with editor Laurie Pope about the new feature. Ms. Pope told us she considered astrology "utter garbage", and that the feature was added only to boost circulation. In line with the paper's presumed editorial independence, she did not consult with any of the faculty before picking up the column, even about the scientific status of astrology. Ms. Pope questioned whether the presence of the feature interfered with the University's educational mission, but she conceded that the issue was legitimate. She also told us she would consider running a disclaimer with the column, as some papers do (we furnished her an example).

We next talked to The Shorthorn's ad director, Arnie Philips. Mr. Philips told us bluntly that Dixon's column was added to boost readership and thus raise advertising revenue. He said that circulation was up, but he could not attribute this specifically to the horoscope, since The Shorthorn was now included in one edition of the Arlington

paper, thus Increasing readership. He seemed surprised that horoscopes and the university mission conflicted at all.

Dean of Science Dr. Howard J. Arnott did not even know that the feature was running in The Shorthorn. He told us that he assumed the school newspaper was independent and "...what they say doesn't affect us... it's irrelevant to the science department." Dr. Arnott said that The Shorthorn represented "...a group trying to learn how to run a newspaper." This last comment strikes us as all too true. If the UTA Journalism department was a trade school, and not part of a university, one would certainly expect it to teach students how to pander to superstition and pseudoscience to grab the mass market. After all, one of the largest-circulation papers is the National Enquirer.

Finally, we talked to Mr. Peter Van't Slot, Vice-President for University Relations. Mr. Van't Slot told us he couldn't comment on the astrology column, since our call was the first he had heard about it. (This seems odd, since we told his secretary the day before what we were calling about.) Like the skillful PR man he no doubt is, Mr. Van't Slot told us "no comment" In several different ways.

We were a bit distressed by the general head-in-the-sand attitude about this issue at UTA. Oddly, it was Ms. Pope, The Shorthorn editor who seemed to spot the issue most easily. Philosopher Robert P. Crease put it well in a recent piece in The Scientist: "Astrologers are to intelligence what quacks are to medicine. On the surface, there seems to be no danger in reading newspaper horoscopes or buying a copper bracelet to cure arthritis-but doing so makes one receptive to more harmful things." Crease makes an eloquent plea for scientists to actively fight back against the growing receptivity to irrational beliefs and practices. We disagree with Dr. Arnott that what the astrologers do is irrelevant to science. Popular beliefs are never irrelevant in a democratic society and in a university funded with public money.

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NTS Chair addresses students

John Thomas spoke In July to one of the Government classes at North Lake College. A lively question-and-answer session followed the talk. We want to expand our speaking activities. If any of you know of organizations or other groups that might be interested in hearing from one of our speakers, please let us know.

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Alternative 3: more food for the conspiracy-hungry

by Mark Meyer

I attended the February meeting of the Metroplex branch of MUFON (Mutual UFO Network). There they showed Alternative 3, an ITV television program that aired in Great Britain on June 20, 1977. The videocassette was a several-generation copy, and so the sound quality was not very good. I was in the back of the room as well, so I didn't get many notes from that night. However, I did get the main points made in the program, and I also had a copy of the book (yes, there's a book), which I later read to fill in some of the gaps.

I got the book (Alternative 3, by Leslie Watkins, 1978, Avon Books) at Half Price Used Books, which was convenient, because I certainly wouldn't pay full price for it. Below I shall try to tell the story in some semblance of chronological order, order which the book annoyingly lacks.

Alternative 3 was a special edition of a program called Science Report (also called Science Today on p.52), produced by Chris Clements and aired in 1975. The television program was originally Intended to be a report about Britain's "brain drain," scientists leaving Britain for other countries. One such scientist, Ann Clark, disappeared after she was interviewed. Robert Patterson and his family had vanished after preliminary contact by the reporters. Brian Pendlebury told his family he had gone to Australia, but the photos of himself he had sent back were apparently staged-their backgrounds were identical. This was the first indication to the reporters that something was going on.

In February 1977 one reporter, Cohn Benson, was contacted by Harry Carmell, a former NASA employee. He claimed to know why all those scientists were disappearing, and that Sir William Ballantine, who had died in a car crash recently, was actually murdered. He also mentioned one Dr. Carl Gerstein at Cambridge.

An interview was arranged to take place at a house in Lambeth, but when the camera crew arrived Carmell was violent and terrified that "they" had found him. The encounter was shown in Alternative 3, but there was no interview.

Gerstein, interviewed by Simon Butler, told how Alternative 3 started. At a conference in Huntsville, Alabama in 1957, the topic was the threat of the greenhouse effect. Three alternatives were proposed for the survival of the human race. Alternative 1 was to punch holes in the carbon dioxide layer with nuclear weapons to let the heat out. Alternative 2 was for mankind to go underground. Alternative 3, the one ultimately selected, called for a select group of people to leave Earth.

The American and Soviet governments have been cooperating In this effort ever since; the Cold War and detente have been lust a cover.

According to Bob Grodin, former Apollo moon walker interviewed on the program: "The truth is, we didn't get there first." And later: "The later Apollos were a smokescreen, to cover up what's really going on out there." (p. 139 in the book) In addition to the Grodin interview, the television program presented a map of the far side of the moon, showing where American and Soviet probes had landed. The landing sites were suspiciously close to one another. What was going on? Alternative 3 had established an active base on the Moon!

It gets better. Some glimpses into the inner workings of the Alternative 3 project were provided by an informant known only by the code-name "Trojan." Most of his information was given In the form of transcripts of meetings of the top officials In the project, the Policy Committee. There are 16 officials, eight American and eight Soviet, who meet in a variety of locations, such as in a nuclear submarine under the Arctic icecap. Among other things, the transcripts reveal that the Committee has on several occasions ordered "Expediencies" (assassinations) on those who threatened the success or security of the project. (Ballantine was one such victim.) The means of assassination are, to say the least, exotic. The most common is a "hot-job," in which the victim Is somehow caused to undergo spontaneous human combustion. Also mentioned in the book is the "telepathic sleep-job"; here the victim is telepathically compelled, while asleep, to commit suicide.

The book and the television program also mention the sinister "Batch Consignments." These were groups of livestock-and people-abducted for the Alternative 3 project. In a 1958 document relayed by Trojan:

Each designated mover <person> will, it is estimated, require back-up labour support of five bodies. These bodies, which will be transported in cargo batch consignments, will be programmed to obey legitimate orders without question... (p.139)
A 1971 document describes how the "components" should be de-sexed to increase their work efficiency, and how workers who turn out to be unsuitable for some reason should be released with their memories destroyed instead of simply being killed.

The television report concluded with a tape, descrambled with a device stolen by Carmell from NASA. The tape depicted transmissions from the first probe to land on Mars: a joint American/Soviet craft which landed on May 22, 1962! The transmissions consisted of television pictures of a low flight and landing on the Martian surface. The probe also reported that, yes, there was air on Mars! Not only air, but, as indicated by the burrowing occurring in the soil at that moment, life as well!

The whole story of Alternative 3 is fascinating. I must say, though, that I don't believe a word of it. Neither did Alan Coren, television reviewer for the London Times, who wrote in his review in the June 21, 1977 edition:

"...the year's worst kept secret was that Alternative 3 was a spoof." Coren also wrote that even if he hadn't known beforehand, he wouldn't have been fooled, because the interviews were to him obviously acted.

"The actor strives to affect amateurishness, and that is the giveaway."

The book relates that the Science Report series first aired for 13 weeks in 1975.1 looked though London Times television listings to try to confirm this. Though I didn't look at all 365 days, I left no 13-week period unchecked; still, I was unable to locate the program. It is for this reason that I doubt the series ever existed. Perhaps someone else would like to do a more thorough search.

Remember the probe landings on the far side of the moon I mentioned above? I tried to compare them with actual landing sites, but then I realized I didn't have to. Do you see why?

The Moon always keeps the same side facing the Earth, so a probe on the far side is useless - its signals to Earth would be forever blocked by miles of Moon rock.

There were a couple of differences between the book and the TV show. The book said (on p.71) that the Pendlebury photographs were deliberately omitted from the program. However, they were indeed included in the tape played before MUFON.

Perhaps the tape was an unabridged version. But about the burrowing Martian creature - why is such a significant find never mentioned in the book at all?

Finally, there is the matter of Bob Grodin. Neither the program nor the book said which Apollo mission he had flown. Some of you may already know (I had to check an almanac to be sure) that there was never an Apollo astronaut by that name.

There were one or two whose names were close, but on their respective missions they stayed in the Command Module, never setting foot on the Moon. I wouldn't be surprised if Carl Gerstein and others appearing in the show were fictional as well.

At the March MUFON meeting I commented on Grodin to the group's president. She opined that they had to change the astronaut's name to be able to air the show. This made no sense to me. They could have said the name had been changed, but they didn't. If one has a story to tell and it is to be believed, one should not introduce verifiable falsehoods such as Grodin and the far side landings. But then again, where the will to believe is strong, the story may be accepted anyway.

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Science for All Americans: Project 2061

Reviewed by Debbie Boak

The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) has Initiated Project 2061, a long-range, multi-phase effort designed to help the nation achieve scientific literacy. It was started in 1985, a year when Comet Halley happened to be in the earth's vicinity. That coincidence prompted the project's name, for it was realized that the children who would live to see the return of the comet in 2061 would soon be starting their school years.

Science For All Americans is about scientific literacy. It consists of a set of recommendations by the National Council on Science and Technology Education - a distinguished group of scientists and educators appointed by the AMS - on what understandings and habits of mind are essential for all citizens in a scientifically literate society.

Scientific literacy has emerged as a central goal of education. Yet the fact is that general scientific literacy eludes us in the U.S. Recent studies have made it abundantly clear that by both national standards and world norms, U.S. schools are failing to adequately educate too many students - and thereby failing the nation.

The United States should be able to do better. It is, after all, a prosperous nation that claims to value public education as the foundation of democracy. And it has deliberately staked its future well-being on its competence-even leadership - in science and technology. Surely it is reason-able to expect to see this commitment reflected in its educational programs, educators, and resources. in fact, however, the situation existing in far too many states arid school districts is quite different.

Few elementary school teachers have even a rudimentary education in science and mathematics, and many junior and senior high school teachers of science and mathematics do not meet reasonable standards of preparation in those fields. Unfortunately, such deficiencies have long been tolerated by the institutions that prepare them, the public bodies that license them, and even the teaching profession itself.

Teachers of science and mathematics often have crushing work loads that make it nearly impossible for them to perform well, when their preparation has been excellent. This burden is made worse by an absence of a modern support system to back them up.

As the world approaches the twenty-first century, the schools of America - when it comes to the deployment or people, time, and technology - seem to be stuck in the nineteenth century.

Education has no higher purpose than preparing young people to lead personally fulfilling and responsible lives. For its part, science education should help students to develop the understanding and habits of mind they need to become compassionate human beings able to think (or themselves and to face life head on. it should equip them also to participate thoughtfully with fellow citizens in building and protecting a society that is open, decent, and vital. America's future - its ability to create a truly just society, to sustain its economic vitality, and to remain secure in a world torn by hostilities - depends more than ever on the character and quality of the education that the nation provides for all of its children. And in the world today, this means a knowledge, comfort and proficiency in science.

There Is more at stake that individual self-fulfillment and the immediate national interest of the U.S. The pressures of population and its effects on important parts of the earth's ecosystem, including many parts just now being appreciated, the depletion of resources, disease, social strife, and the rest of a long list of local and global problems, demand solutions that cannot be reached without scientific literacy and a scientific habit of mind.

Science, energetically pursued, can provide humanity with the knowledge of the biophysical environment and of social behavior that it needs to develop effective solutions to its global and local problems; without that knowledge, progress will be unnecessarily handicapped.

By emphasizing and explaining the dependency of living things on each other and on the physical environment, science fosters the kind of intelligent respect for nature that should inform decisions on the use of technology. Without that respect, we are in danger of recklessly destroying our life-support system.

Scientific habits of mind can help people in every walk of life to deal sensibly with problems that often involve evidence, quantitative considerations, logical arguments, and uncertainty. Without the ability to think critically and independently, citizens are easy prey to dogmatists and flimflam artists.

Educational reform cannot simply be legislated and it will take time, determination, collaboration, resources and leadership. It will take a shared national vision of what Americans want our schools to achieve. Project 2061 is intended to help in the formulation of that vision.

In preparing its recommendations, the national council sought the advice of a large and diverse array of consultants - scientists, engineers, mathematicians, historians, and educators. The process lasted more that three years and culminated in the unanimous approval of the board of AMS.

Project 2061 Involves a three-phase plan of purposeful and sustained action that will contribute to reform of education in science, mathematics and technology.

Phase I focuses on the substance of scientific literacy. its purpose was to establish a conceptual base for reform by spelling out the knowledge, skills and attitudes all students should acquire as a consequence of their school experience.

Phase II involves teams of educators and scientists transforming Science For All Americans into several alternative curriculum models. During this phase, the project is also drawing up reforms related to teacher education, teaching materials and technologies, testing, school organization, educational policies and educational research.

Phase III will be a widespread collaborative effort, lasting a decade or longer, in which many groups active in educational reform will use the resources of Phases I and II to move the nation toward scientific literacy.

A fundamental premise of Project 2061 is that the schools do not need to be asked to teach more and more content, but rather to focus on what is essential to scientific literacy and to teach it more effectively. Accordingly, the national council's recommendations for a common core of learning are limited to the ideas and skills having the greatest scientific and educational significance.

Science For All Americans is based on the belief that the scientifically literate person is one who is aware that science, mathematics and technology are interdependent human enterprises with strengths and limitations; understands the key concepts and principles of science; is familiar with the natural world and recognizes both its diversity and unity; and uses scientific knowledge and scientific ways of thinking for individual and social purposes.

The national council's specific recommendations constitute the bulk of the report. The first three chapters focus on the nature of science, mathematics, and technology as human enterprises. The next six chapters present basic knowledge about the world - the shaping of the physical setting, the evolution and characteristics of life forms, the dynamics of human society as seen through the eyes of science and mathematics and as shaped by technology. The following two chapters set forth what people should know about the great themes in science. The final chapter focuses on the habits of mind that are essential for scientific literacy.

The council's recommendations cover a broad array of topics. Many of these are already common in school curricula (for example, the structure of matter, the basic functions of cells, prevention of disease, communications technology, and different uses of numbers). However, treatment of such topics differs from the traditional in two ways.

One difference is that boundaries between traditional subject matter categories are softened and connections are emphasized. Transformations of energy, for example, occur In physical, biological, and technological systems, and evolutionary change appears in stars, organisms and societies.

A second difference is that the amount of detail that students are expected to retain is considerably less than in traditional science, mathematics, and technology courses. Ideas and thinking skills are emphasized at the expense of specialized vocabulary and memorized procedures. Sets of ideas are chosen that not only make some satisfying sense at a simple level but also provide a lasting foundation for learning more. Details are treated as a means of enhancing, not guaranteeing, understanding of a general idea. The council believes, for example, that basic scientific literacy implies knowing that the chief function of living cells is assembling protein molecules according to instructions coded in DNA molecules, but does not imply knowing the terms "ribosome" or "deoxyribonucleic acid," or knowing what messenger RNA is and how it relates to DNA.

The national council's recommendations Include some topics that are not common in school curricula. Among these are the nature of the scientific enterprise, including how science, mathematics and technology relate to one another and to the social system in general. The council also calls for some knowledge of the most important episodes in the history of science and the major conceptual themes that run through almost all scientific thinking.

Science For All Americans concludes with an agenda for action that suggests steps individuals as well as other organizations can take to work together for reform. One of the best is that individuals bring this study to the attention of their school boards and ask them how they are incorporating these changes in their children's curriculum.

To turn the present situation around will take some time, and it will take some of all our time. The nature of the world today makes scientific literacy necessary for everyone. If enough Americans with the foresight and commitment become involved in the effort, there is a very good chance that Halley's Comet will find a more successful and vital America than that of 1985. The alternative Is a little frightening - Halley's Comet, of course, has seen it before.

Copies of the study can be ordered from the American Association For the Advancement of Science, P.O. Box 753, Waldorf, MD 20604, for $35.00

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On the Nature of a Destructive Cult

by Robert Utz

A "destructive" cult is normally seen as repetitive. Cults have a popular image as sinister, dangerous and enslaving. A colt imprints its members in both character and spirit. They tend to draw a stark and unrealistic contrast between personal impotence and personal empowerment.

When cults use a overt ideology of personal liberation or enlightenment, what they seek is a change in needs or desires among their members. This change creates a parasitic dependence on the cult's perspective and resources. The limits to a cult member's private power becomes the outline of their private impotence. To accept these limits as being only your own choice and responsibility is to be "deeply mystified" not only about their nature but also about your own freedom to choose.

Using examples of est as described by Michael Rossman in New Age Blues (1979), 1 shall describe the process by which a cult becomes destructive. When a member accepts the precepts of a cult, involvement and responsibility are defined In the interests of the cult. There are no positive social lessons or methods for changing social reality or technology. The isolation from and destruction of alternative views or values creates "a powerful set of socializing norms" defining each need and reality.

Through a perverse sense of cognitive restructuring, emotional purging, and regression to primitive and dependent behavior, cults maintain a "metaview." The process becomes the message with "sudden, shallow transformations," a "wolf pack of willing critics," and a SNAP or flash of consciousness. The overwhelming mixture of confusion, dissonance and pain creates a REFLEXIVE or self-descriptive feeling. A "social schizophrenia" reinforced by endless chains of subsequent seminars or retreats resolves by adoption of a ethic of survival and success. The "lifeboat ethic" reinforces a hierarchical and largely charismatic theocracy. Autonomy through personal responsibility is replaced by a DYSTOPIA or Utopia in reverse, rewarding complacency, obedience and sacrifice. To be realistic is to play along with the powers that be to get what one wants.

The personal impotence implied by the cult's ideology is as comprehensive and absolute as the personal empowerment taught as its complement. By refusing to challenge the power structure, you seek out the leader as SHAMAN capable of invoking power that you share and benefit you crave. An absolute denial of any other responsibility becomes an absolute acceptance of the cult's comprehension of it. Outside contact becomes another tool for the reinforcement of the collective will.

By emphasis on the preclusion of questioning or change in roles played, a leader may abuse reality experienced by redefining it's purpose or impact. Rossman calls this a Totalitarian Classroom Game. The idea of total responsibility for one's experience or reality is a "subtle and total contradiction." Choice becomes meaningless if one does not possess the power and ability to transform reality at will. The interpretation of reality is altered to serve the interests of the cult.

All sacrifice, even death, is rewarded by ritual adherence to bonding and emotional hostage-taking through emotional purging. The immersion in the culture of the cult destroys any loyalty to the past and any credence to an independent future. If no one shares the responsibility for determining the limits of your experience, no one shares your power to change them. Abdication of the power to choose is destruction of the power to create or define.

Critical reasoning requires both distance from authority and standards for judgment. To submit to dogma, personality or leverage in satisfying a lust to belong denies you authority, judgment or freedom. This is what makes cults destructive; Not just the "devoted attachment to a person or principle" but the erosion of meaning that the rest of our life gives us. Dignity cannot flourish in a world where values come from "a spiritual salad bar." The world must allow you interpretation and control of life on a personal level. Absence of a overwhelming ideology leads to the emergence of reasoned and effective judgment.

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