Flaming Idiot in the Scottish Parliament

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):

The Parliament…understands that some people believe that God created the world in six days, some people believe that God created the world over a longer period of time and some people believe that the world came about without anyone creating it.

“The Parliament… considers that none of these positions can be proved or disproved by science and all are valid beliefs for people to hold, and further considers that children in Scotland’s schools should be aware of all of these different belief systems.

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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9 responses to “Flaming Idiot in the Scottish Parliament

  1. @Paul Braterman, wherever you are, you are my hero!

  2. Charles Deetz ;)

    And Paul lays down facts, not just snark, with this cute line in the middle: “Making 6 days wrong by a factor of around half a trillion.”

    God must be fooling us, that would be a pretty big lie … if we humans were making up lies about this, we’d have gone for 12 days or a month maybe … I don’t think we could have fathomed 13.8 billion years of time without science.

  3. My comment in the previous blog post about Oklahoma’s Josh Brecheen’s attire (“All creationist legislators should be required to wear a black shirt with white tie for quick and easy identification.”) would apply worldwide.

  4. To echo SC, Braterman’s take on the issue is gloriously funny — well worth a read.

  5. michaelfugate

    My comment in the previous blog post about Oklahoma’s Josh Brecheen’s attire (“All creationist legislators should be required to wear a black shirt with white tie for quick and easy identification.”) would apply worldwide.

    How about the jolly jester tricolored buffoon hat with bells on the tip?

  6. @Charles Deetz 😉
    I like to imagine when the EAC had that secret meeting of scientists when they decided on 4.5 billion years as the age of the Earth. Can you imagine, when they all knew that it really formed over 6 days some 6000 years ago. There was the conservative faction who said that all that we need is a few million years to deny the Bible and that’s all that we care about. There was the radical faction holding out for an infinite age. It was easy to agree that all the evidence for the Flood had to be destroyed. But there had to be so many details, and all those egos involved. Some agreed that they would pretend to be Christians.
    If it weren’t for Satan’s personal presence to force agreement, it wouldn’t have been possible.

  7. @Charles Deetz , @TomS – Never heard of Hindu mythology? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hindu_units_of_time .Older than Christian mythology, and 13.2 billion years is no big deal for their imagination.
    https://www . you tube . com/watch?v=Ugyrzr5Ds8o
    In fact, 4.32 billion years is the “day of Brahma” of creation, after which he sleeps the “night of brahma”, another 4.32 billion years. The big numbers must be a hindu conspiracy.

  8. The Scots are just a bit slow. We Dutchies had this some ten years ago:


    But it never hurts to repeat a good joke. Let the jeers begin!

  9. cnocspeireag

    Finding a ‘flaming idiot in the Scottish parliament’ is as unlikely as finding a stalk of dried grass in a haystack.