On Radio Ulster’s Sunday Sequence this morning, Will Crawley hosted a discussion [Realplayer file] between Al Hays, an American professor of politics currently working at Queen’s University, Ruth Yeo, the recently appointed Humanist Chaplain at Queen’s University, Times columnist Matthew Parris and the Northern Ireland Culture Minister, the DUP’s Edwin Poots, on the religious views of politicians. Will has blogged a section of the transcript of that discussion where Edwin Poots is, admirably, honest about his religious views – he believes in ArchBishop Ussher’s 17th Century chronology.. as do Lisburn Council.. and Matthew Parris resists, just, the temptation to call NI’s Culture Minister a “nutter”.. Which may help explain the Environment Minister’s official written answer on the age of the Giants’ Causeway.. although it also highlights the concern about what scientific literature will be provided in any Causeway interpretative centre.That transcript
Edwin Poots: He [Dawkins] wants to indoctrinate everyone with evolution. And whenever people suggest that you can teach something other than evolution, and that there might be others theories about how this earth actually came to be, such as intelligent design, Richard doesn’t want children to have the option of actually hearing those things and making their own minds up. So it’s very interesting that evolutionists are very dictatorial in what they suggest.
William Crawley: Matthew Parris … you’ve just heard the culture minister in Northern Ireland speak, Matthew. Would a politician in Britain ever use words like that? A minister ingovernment?
Matthew Parris: Absolutely not. No. And I would use the word “nutter” — not of Edwin, obviously. But I do use the word ‘nutter’ of people who think that what informs them religiously entitles them to say that evolution is a form of indoctrination. I mean, there’s absolutely no question where science points, and it can only be some feeling that you’ve got a direct line with revelation with the Almighty that could lead you to stop wanting children to be taught that evolution is the best available explanation of where we are now.
Edwin Poots: Matthew, you’re telling me that cosmic balls of dust gathered and there was an explosion. We’ve had lots of explosions in Northern Ireland and I’ve never seen anything come out of that that was good. And you look at this earth and you tell me that there was a big bang and all of a sudden all tat is good about this earth came out of it?
Matthew Parris: Good heavens! You’re the culture minister and you don’t believe in evolution?
Edwin Poots: Yes, absolutely. And you’re telling me that all of this evolution took place over billions of years, and yet it’s only in the last few thousand years that Man could actually learn to write?
William Crawley: How old is the earth?
Edwin Poots: My view on the earth is that it’s a young earth. My view is 4000 BC.
Somehow I doubt that the Culture Minister is familiar with Francis Bacon’s ‘New Instrument for Rational Thinking’..
One more time then..
Btw.. Where are those Department of Education guidelines?