We’ve always had a high opinion of Scotland because of the Scottish Enlightenment, to which we owe so much. Nevertheless, the reality is that not every Scotsman lives up to that lofty image. As you know, they’ve got a creationism problem — see Paul Braterman on Creationism in Scotland.
How bad is it? According to an article in The Scotsman, published Edinburgh, it’s really bad. Their article has this headline: Christian MSP: science can’t disprove Earth created in six days. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us:
The SNP’s John Mason has lodged a formal motion in Holyrood urging what he sees as respect for religious beliefs in schools. His plea – as yet unsigned by any other member – comes after one of Scotland’s biggest councils, South Lanarkshire, effectively moved to bar creationism from its classrooms.
SNP is the Scottish National Party. Holyrood is an area in Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland, and it’s commonly used as an informal reference to the Scottish Parliament. Okay? Moving along:
Mr Mason dislikes the term creationism but passionately believes God created the world – although he does not know how long this process took. His motion reads (ellipses in the newspaper article):
If you want to see the official version, here’s a link: Motion S4M-12149. There was once a time when we believed that no true Scotsman could think like that, but now our illusion has been shattered. Back to The Scotsman:
Scottish scientist James Hutton, the father of modern geology, disproved that the world could have been created in six days in the late 18th century. His revolutionary study of Scottish rocks showed geological processes had taken too long for the Bible to be accurate.
Yes, but Mr. Mason sees things differently. Let’s read on:
Mr Mason, speaking to The Herald, said: “I also believe that Jesus could turn water in to wine; even if a scientific study of that wine showed that it was years old. These are the beliefs of Christians, Muslims and Jews and as far as I am concerned they cannot be proved or disproved by science.”
Mr Mason said his motion was a response to one from his party colleague Stewart Maxwell, congratulating South Lanarkshire on its stance.
Have there been any reactions to this amazing feat of, uh … creationist lunacy? The newspaper tells us:
Spencer Fildes, chairman of the Scottish Secular Society, said: “I welcome Mr Mason’s motion. We wanted the Creationism issue in front of every MSP. We now have that.”
Well played! Here’s another reaction at the blog of Paul Braterman, honorary senior research fellow in chemistry, University of Glasgow: Roll over Nessie – dinosaur alive and well in Scottish Parliament. You’ll want to read it all, so we’ll give you only one excerpt:
John Mason’s challenge to me and pretty well every other scientist on the planet: prove the world was not created in six days. Now here’s my challenge to Mr Mason: prove you are not a dinosaur. What is the evidence that you are not a dinosaur? Why is it not a valid belief for people to hold that you really are a dinosaur? … I have decided that I believe, as a matter of faith, that you really are a dinosaur, and I maintain that this is a valid belief for people to hold, and further consider that children in Scotland’s schools should be aware of this different belief system.
So that’s the news from the land of the Enlightenment. Now we’ll have to wait and see what the Scottish Parliament does with Mr. Mason’s brilliant motion.
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