Thursday, July 5, 2012

More charity and woo: The National Trust and Creationism

As well as the Multiple Sclerosis Resource Centre promoting pseudoscientific nonsense, we now have the National Trust promoting creationism.

"Young Earth Creationists believe that the earth was created some 6000 years ago. This is based on a specific interpretation of the Bible and in particular the account of creation in the book of Genesis. Some people around the world, and specifically here in Northern Ireland, share this perspective. 
Young Earth Creationists continue to debate questions about the age of the earth. As we have seen from the past, and understand today, perhaps the Giant’s Causeway will continue to prompt awe and wonder, and arouse debate and challenging questions for as long as visitors come to see it."
“We reflect, in a small part of the exhibition, that the Causeway played a role in the historic debate about the formation of the earth, and that for some people this debate continues today. 
“The National Trust fully supports the scientific explanation for the creation of the stones 60 million years ago. 
“We would encourage people to come along, view the interpretation and judge for themselves.” 
The Caleb Foundation, which promotes "the Fundamentals of the Historic Evangelical Protestant Faith" issued a statement from their chairman, Wallace Thompson, which highlights the problem in the National Trust:
"As an umbrella organisation which represents the interests of mainstream evangelical Christians in Northern Ireland, 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."
The problem is that the Young Earth Creationist view has been seen to be given legitimacy, when there is none. There is no debate about the age of the Giant's Causeway. The Young Earth Creationists may debate it to this day, but they do so by being woefully ignorant of the evidence, or, by simply rejecting the evidence that there is, in a favour of the Bible. But their view has no merit. All ideas are not of equal worth. As Douglas Adams said:
"Now, the invention of the scientific method is, I'm sure we'll all agree, the most powerful intellectual idea, the most powerful framework for thinking and investigating and understanding and challenging the world around us that there is, and it rests on the premise that any idea is there to be attacked. If it withstands the attack then it lives to fight another day and if it doesn't withstand the attack then down it goes.
Young Earth Creationist ideas have not withstood their assualt and can be rejected. The Young Earth Creationists may, through ignorance or stupidity, wish to cling to their ideas, but the rest of us can reject them. And that should include the National Trust.

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