Creationism in Northern Ireland

FOR our American readers who may be geographically challenged, Northern Ireland is one of the four countries that comprise the United Kingdom — the others being England, Scotland, and Wales. Now that we know where this news comes from, we can read some excerpts from Northern Ireland minister calls on Ulster Museum to promote creationism which appears in the Guardian (formerly the Manchester Guardian). The bold font was added by us:

Northern Ireland’s born-again Christian culture minister has called on the Ulster Museum to put on exhibits reflecting the view that the world was made by God only several thousand years ago.

American creationists can take comfort in knowing that their cousins across the ocean are just as daft as they are — perhaps worse. There’s at least one other nut-case in that government. Last year we wrote Edwin Poots: Creationist Minister in Northern Ireland.

Let’s read on:

Nelson McCausland, who believes that Ulster Protestants are one of the lost tribes of Israel, has written to the museum’s board of trustees urging them to reflect creationist and intelligent design theories of the universe’s origins.

Who is that guy? This is what Wikipedia says about Nelson McCausland, which isn’t very informative. The Guardian‘s article links to this: McCausland has been appointed Minister for Culture.

What else does McCausland have to say? Let’s see:

The Democratic Unionist minister said the inclusion of anti-Darwinian theories in the museum was “a human rights issue”.

A human rights issue! That’s glorious — this goes way beyond the “academic freedom” slogan of the American creationists. We continue:

McCausland defended a letter he wrote to the trustees calling for anti-evolution exhibitions at the museum. He claimed that around one third of Northern Ireland’s population believed either in intelligent design or the creationist view that the universe was created about 6,000 years ago.

Only a third? Maybe there’s hope for that country. Here’s more:

His call was condemned by the evolutionary biologist Professor Richard Dawkins, who said: “If the museum was to go down that road then perhaps they should bring in the stork theory of where babies come from. Or perhaps the museum should introduce the flat earth theory.”

Dawkins said it was irrelevant if a large number of people in Northern Ireland refused to believe in evolution. “Scientific evidence can’t be democratically decided,” Dawkins said.

There’s more in the Guardian‘s article. Click over there to read it all. And be comforted that the US isn’t the only place to be suffering from this kind of lunacy. It seems to be everywhere. The whole world is crazy. Aren’t you glad?

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12 responses to “Creationism in Northern Ireland

  1. A lot of them believe in astrology, too, but that doesn’t make the fact that it’s not taught alongside astronomy a human rights issue.

    Notwithstanding that it’s part of the UK, Northern Ireland is not exactly a scientific powerhouse. This won’t help matters.

  2. Gabriel Hanna

    Might be shorter to list the things that AREN’T wrong with Northern Ireland.

    Significant fractions of the population have been trying to kill each other and engaging in terrorism for a long time. If there are people less rational than creationists, its the IRA and its Protestant counterparts.

  3. How true, James F. That’s always the issue.

  4. Gabriel Hanna

    Can’t believe you’re not watching the Simpsons, SC.

  5. Gabriel Hanna

    One is orthodox and one is heterodox; good luck keeping track which is which.

  6. Michael Fugate

    Norman Nevin Prof Emeritus Genetics at Queen’s U Belfast is a long-time YEC and has endorsed the curriculum of “Truth in Science” and anti-evolution organization in the UK.

    Here are some gems of wisdom from his latest anti-evolution tract:

  7. retiredsciguy

    Human rights issue, eh?

    That’s like saying, “It’s my human right to be stupid, and any school or museum that tries to make me less stupid is violating my human rights!”

  8. Gabriel Hanna

    I think you do have a human right to be stupid, but not at taxpayer expense. I’m pretty sure you don’t have a human right to be smart at taxpayer expense either; it’s a privilege for which you ought to be grateful. But that’s another argument.

  9. Gabriel Hanna wrote:

    I think you do have a human right to be stupid, but not at taxpayer expense

    This reminds me of a question I asked of Judge John E. Jones III at a conference last year. I asked him if there was legal recourse against intelligent design because it was fraudulent at its core. He said, in so many words, that the Constitution doesn’t bar people from being stupid.

  10. retiredsciguy

    Gabriel Hanna wrote:

    “I’m pretty sure you don’t have a human right to be smart at taxpayer expense either; it’s a privilege for which you ought to be grateful.”

    Gabe, believe me — I’m forever grateful for the education I have received, especially K-12 in the Chicago Public Schools, 1950-1963. And you’re correct — we don’t have a human right to a tax-paid education, but the payback to society is many times the cost. A good argument can be made that a well-educated population is essential for democracy. At any rate, I wouldn’t want to risk putting that proposition to the test.

  11. To be honest, it’s not a Protestant v Catholic thing: it’s more Our Tribe v Their Tribe with religious denomination sprinkled on top.

    The Olympian intellect that is Nelson McCausland gets to sit in a (government) minister’s chair because they have a truly weird system that guarantees government seats in proportion to electoral votes, resulting in forced coalitions. This results in the wingnuts on all sides getting jobs that stop them drooling on street corners or blowing stuff up.

    Dear Nelson is a worthy representative of his party, in which Cynthia NutDunbar would feel quite at home. He subscribes to British Israelism, which crumugeonly readers are invited to research for their own edification. This is a good starting place…