Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Creationism at the Causeway

Sadly, the National Trust, the UK's guardian of buildings and sites of past and present value, has embraced Creationism. I mention it here since I have previously posted on the irony that attempts to make diagrams of all of time were undermined almost as soon as they were invented in the 1750s by the realisation at the end of the eighteenth century that "all of time" was very, very much longer than the pioneer chronographers had supposed.

God amuses himself with making geometric rocks
I have been a member of the National Trust for many years. I have never written before to complain about information given by the Trust at its properties, but I wrote to them today to explain that I was very unhappy about press reports of their treating Creationism seriously in their information at the Giant's Causeway. Although it seems they have tried to cope gracefully with lobbying from religious fundamentalists, they have effectively handed them just the kind of victory these people seek.

The Trust is reported as saying "this debate continues today and we reflect and respect the fact that creationists today have a different perspective on the age of the Earth from that of mainstream science."
The Trust has no business according "respect" to a benighted superstition. It is silly to accord a position based solely on faith the status of a position in a "debate".

The phrase "a different perspective ... from that of mainstream science" will be read as implying that Creationism has some legitimate claim to be science, even if not mainstream, whereas it has no right to be considered as science in any shape or form. Science is based on evidence, and Creationism is based on faith – these are radically different.

This terrible move by the Trust establishes a precedent, something gleefully pointed out by the Caleb Foundation on its Web page (http://www.calebfoundation.org/):
"we have worked closely with the National Trust over many months with a view to ensuring that the new Causeway Visitor Centre includes an acknowledgement both of the legitimacy of the creationist position on the origins of the unique Causeway stones and of the ongoing debate around this. We are pleased that the National Trust worked positively with us and that this has now been included at the new Visitor Centre.
[...] This is, as far as we are aware, a first for the National Trust anywhere in the UK, and it sets a precedent for others to follow.
I have asked the Trust to reconsider its decision which gives credibility to a ridiculous sect and misrepresents it has having some kind of legitimacy.

Link to the New Humanist page setting out the story.

1 comment:

  1. Here in TN, they have taken steps though new legislation to allow creationism back into the classroom. This law turns the clock back nearly 100 years here in the seemingly unprogressive South and is simply embarrassing. There is no argument against the Theory of Evolution other than that of religious doctrine. The Monkey Law only opens the door for fanatic Christianity to creep its way back into our classrooms. You can see my visual response as a Tennessean to this absurd law on my artist’s blog at http://dregstudiosart.blogspot.com/2012/04/pulpit-in-classroom-biblical-agenda-in.html with some evolutionary art and a little bit of simple logic.

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