Interpreting the Giants’ Causeway…

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A week or so ago, Will Crawley noted that a fundamentalist campaign group, the Caleb Foundation, were claiming that NI Culture Minister Nelson McCausland’s intervention at the Ulster Museum was as a direct result of their lobbying.

On Evening Extra today, a representative of the Foundation [it may have been chairman, Wallace Thompson] confirmed that, encouraged by that ‘success’, they had contacted the NI Tourism Minister, the DUP’s Arlene Foster, seeking a similar ministerial intervention in the consultation over the Giants’ Causeway Interpretive Centre.  They had a lobbying campaign already underway.

It’s worth noting that young-Earth creationism isn’t specifically mentioned on the Foundation’s website, nor is the 17th Century Archbishop Ussher, but they do seem to be a bit obsessed by references to the age of the Earth.

And sitting on the Foundation’s “Council of Reference” is the one and only Mervyn Storey of the DUP.

And his views on the teaching of young-Earth creationism are well known.

Scientists have already responded to the suggestion that young-Earth creationism be included in material available at the Interpretive Centre of the World Heritage site, as I noted previously here.

The young-Earth creationists’ view of Earth history, based upon their literal interpretation of the Bible, is quite simply wrong. It is a manifest untruth. It is as wrong as saying that the Sun orbits around the Earth, or that the Moon is made of green cheese, or that the Giant’s Causeway was constructed by Finn MacCool, the giant of Irish legend. Nor are we dealing with “alternative views” of the universe. We are dealing with the difference between reason and unreason. For it is unreasonable, indeed fantastical, in any impartial examination of the evidence (evidence that was sufficient even in Victorian times, and now that has been corroborated a thousandfold), to state that the Earth is only a few thousand years old.

This is not a case of censorship. We do not question the right of creationists to hold or expound their views, to write pamphlets and books, hold meetings, or set up websites; nor would we for our part demand to distribute articles on the scientific evidence of the age of the Earth in church halls. But we profoundly disagree with any suggestion that creationist views should be given space in publicly-funded museums or visitor centres that explain natural history, or in school science lessons or science textbooks.

The significance of this point goes far beyond questions of a philosophical interpretation of humanity’s place in the universe. Humanity is now struggling to maintain itself on an overcrowded planet, on an Earth in which the life-support systems of air and water and food and land are being imperilled by human action. To deal with the many crises facing us, we need to deal with the Earth as it is – not with the utterly unreal Earth that the young-Earth creationists have convinced themselves of, by over-literal interpretation of scriptural texts.

This is not at all to say that the world’s religions have no part to play in, say, the growing threat of global warming. On the contrary: the moral standpoints they provide may perhaps prove crucial in influencing individual or collective action that might counter this threat. But human reason as applied to the reality of the world around us – which is in essence what science is – must lie at the heart of any civilised society. The Giant’s Causeway, and its 60-million year history, must be used to help promote that reason, and to better understand the real Earth on which we live.

That does, of course, require the application of rational thinking in the modern age.

But in looking through the back-links [*ahem* - Ed] I see that the then-Environment Minister, Arlene Foster, has previously given an official written answer to a mischievous question about the age of the Giants’ Causeway

Mrs A Foster: Geologists generally agree that the Giant’s Causeway is some 60 million years old. As you will be aware, however, there are alternative views in relation to the age of the Giant’s Causeway.

Hmm…

Adds  A BBC report suggests it was Caleb Foundation Chairman Wallace Thompson on Evening Extra

The chairman of the Caleb Foundation, Wallace Thompson, has met the tourism minister Arlene Foster to discuss its request.

“All we are asking for is that the views that we hold, which are based on the Word of God, are at least respected and taken on board,” he said.

“A Christian politician in a position of power can make a difference.”

And on the absence of any mention of young-Earth creationism on their website, here’s fellow fundamentalist, the founder and President of Answers in Genesis – who not coincidentally are also purveyors of resources for teaching Creationism as ‘science’ – and director of the Creation Museum, Ken Ham

I want to make it VERY clear that we don’t want to be known primarily as ‘young-Earth creationists.’ AiG’s main thrust is NOT ‘young Earth’ as such; our emphasis is on Biblical authority. Believing in a relatively ‘young Earth’ (i.e., only a few thousands of years old, which we accept) is a consequence of accepting the authority of the Word of God as an infallible revelation from our omniscient Creator.

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  • Andrew Kerr

    …… and Mervyn Storey’s scientific qualifications amount to what exactly? I was at school with him – and I can reliably inform you that they amount to little more than CSEs. He should stick to politics – he hasnt the first clue about science.

    On another point YEC are very good at pointing out ‘scientists’ who agree with their views. I would like to throw down a challenge to them to name me one geologist who is a full time lecturer at a British university earth science dept who is a YEC. HOWEVER, there are quite a few Earth science lecturers, who would class themselves as ‘evangelical’ Christians, who believe the earth is 4.6 billion years old, Prof Bob White at Cambridge is firmly in this camp
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bob_White_%28geophysicist%29
    To me it is clear that Christian earth scientists who actually look at the evidence, reach the same logical, rational conclusion as other earth scientists.

  • Mark McGregor

    I don’t say it often but excellent blog Mr Baker and one that could have benefited from a few more links.

  • Damian O’Loan

    This interview provided some interesting context on the Minister’s motivations and advice. The arguments proposed by him appear, to anyone open to listening, more than adequately met by scientists in reference to this debate and others related.

    Another, thornier question is the democratic right at stake. Were a majority to support this view as scientific truth, a democratic government should represent that view – while seeking to amend that through education. There too, however, the curriculum has to be set by democratic assent. It shows some problems for democracy regarding mass progress when the scales of knowledge tip the wrong way. The overwhelming support for Islamicism in some countries is not entirely unrelated through this prism. Nor is the support for sexism by women a century ago, even today in come cases.

    It is important to ensure that while another DUP Minister, Arlene Foster, was this week boasting the success of the Science Park in inciting foreign investment, these kind of views remain in the minority.

    The access to senior politicians by this group is quite proper, given their support base. But their responsibilities to wider society should prevent the kind of letter that was leaked ever being written in the first place, so as to ensure that the fragile democracy at Stormont is not further undermined by religious fundamentalism.

  • marksi

    Seems perfectly reasonable to put the creationist stuff on display, alongside the bits about Finn McCool.

  • Cynic

    Damian

    ” Were a majority to support this view as scientific truth, a democratic government should represent that view – while seeking to amend that through education.”

    So if Germans believed in eugenics the Nazi Government was right to adopt policies that ‘represented’ that view while trying to educate the people? Really?

    On that basis why have we also not reintroduced capital punishment?

    Sorry Damian. Some things are just wrong.

  • jtwo

    The caleb lads also get an annual meeting with the boss of BBC NI. In years past it was mainly an extended complaint about Dunseith.

  • Pete Baker

    Adds A BBC report suggests it was Caleb Foundation chairman Wallace Thompson on Evening Extra

    The chairman of the Caleb Foundation, Wallace Thompson, has met the tourism minister Arlene Foster to discuss its request.

    “All we are asking for is that the views that we hold, which are based on the Word of God, are at least respected and taken on board,” he said.

    “A Christian politician in a position of power can make a difference.”

    And on the absence of any mention of young-Earth creationism on their website, here’s fellow fundamentalist, the founder and President of Answers in Genesis – who not coincidentally are also purveyors of resources for teaching Creationism as ‘science’ – and director of the Creation Museum, Ken Ham

    I want to make it VERY clear that we don’t want to be known primarily as ‘young-Earth creationists.’ AiG’s main thrust is NOT ‘young Earth’ as such; our emphasis is on Biblical authority. Believing in a relatively ‘young Earth’ (i.e., only a few thousands of years old, which we accept) is a consequence of accepting the authority of the Word of God as an infallible revelation from our omniscient Creator.

  • Pete Baker

    There are a couple of extra links in the update…

  • Damian O’Loan

    Cynic,

    When humiliating McCausland, Dawkins was right to point out that science is not a democracy. By the same token, however, democracy is not science. Nor is it an absolute moral system. I might hold capital punishment to be wrong, but there is no suggestion that in the US, for example, it is undemocratic. It is one of the graces and weaknesses in British democracy that it remains abolished – despite certain Conservatives’ views. The Enlightened view is to rationally present arguments for and against any given position in the justified expectation that people will see what is in their interest – not to risk supporting the ultimate penalty for a crime they are capable of, or not presenting your society as immune to progress.

    There are no absolutes in a democracy beyond the constitution, which is why care needs to be taken to ensure that fundamentalist positions are challenged before they become majority beliefs.

  • Cynic

    But on your analysis, for example, many studies have showed strong majority support for capital punishment. Should Government introduce it?

  • Damian O’Loan

    Without wishing to distract from the thread, I think it should be a part of the constitution of any secular democracy that capital punishment is unacceptable and an attack on the dignity of its citizens. Not for Christian moral reasons, but because the fear it induces that is an unjustifiable obstacle to civic freedom and progress.

    The equation of religious doctrine and scientific knowledge is dangerous for precisely the same reason.

  • Greenflag

    ‘We are dealing with the difference between reason and unreason.’

    And we should know from political history whether it be in Northern Ireland or Nazi Germany or the Stalinst USSR what can happen when ‘unreason’ triumphs over reason .

    It’s just unfathomable how in this day and age how elected politicians of the ilk of Storey and McCausland can be elected to public office holding such scientifically irrational beliefs .

    They make the medieval RC Church look like a product of the Enlightenment :(

  • jim

    most of these scientests r head cases.for no man knows for no man can were the beginning all began some get a living from saying they do if u wanna beleive them its up to u.my oul teacher learned me that n he was a header too

  • Ambidexter

    The age of the Earth is a science topic. In a science debate between scientists and non-scientists, the non-scientists don’t get to vote.

  • iluvni

    Another impressive week for Northern Ireland …

    The cringe of the year Ulster-Scots nonsense of Jim Shannon in the Commons.
    The Caleb Foundation claiming success for their ‘creationist’ nonsense and doing their best to make the Giants Causeway and Ulster Museum a laughing stock.
    Ken Wilkinson on Nolan doing verbal somersaults in order to avoid condemning the slaughter in the street of Bobby Moffatt….
    and last but least…the buffoon from Sinn Fein in Moyle making all sorts of excuses for the manager’s pathetic snub of Prince Edward in the Manor House on Rathlin.

    what a bunch of fuckwits.

  • jim

    this is wat re up agin

  • TinyTemper

    Eugenics is not a scientific theory, erroneous or otherwise, it is an ethical position about social policy. Same way that medicine, psychiatry or engineering are not scientific theories.

    However the idea of average racial equality in all socially important traits IS a scientific theory which is just as wrong as young earth creationism.
    http://www.gnxp.com/blog/2007/10/james-watson-tells-inconvenient-truth_296.php

    Few of those up in arms about creationists telling lies don’t seem so keen to confront the lies told to children and adults by the establishment in that area though.

  • TinyTemper

    But being a scientist is not so much something one is as something one does. Hence a patent clerk can revolutionise theoretical physics or a bin man in his back garden can discover a new comet.

    The moment science depends on letters after a person’s name or positions of paid employment it actually ceases to be science.

    Therefore your distinction between “scientist” and “non-scientist” is not one of status but one of activity. A scientist is someone who DOES science.

    It does work both ways though. There are also people with letters after their name and who are paid by universities who pretend to be scientists but are actually not scientists at all.

  • http://bavarian-orange.blogspot.com/ Bavarian Orange Order

    FFS, while we are at it why not paint the hexagons red white and blue and green white and orange?
    The idiots we elect spout some rubbish, but this has to be one of the worst ideas I have heard yet.

  • http://bavarian-orange.blogspot.com/ Bavarian Orange Order

    And rightly so because the two are discussing different things.
    Scientists are interested only in testable theories and verifiable data. The religious are only interested in matters of faith.
    What exactly can they discuss or debate?

  • Big Maggie

    The world knows Northern Ireland for three things:

    1. Sectarian conflict

    2. The Titanic

    3. The Giant’s Causeway

    The first two were disasters. FFS leave number 3 alone.

  • Ardmhacha

    well said Maggie, next thing you know they will be looking for the tour guides on the open-top buses around belfast to tell tourists how god used the H&W cranes david and goliath to help create the earth a couple of thousand years ago!

  • Big Maggie

    What?!

    Are you telling me he didn’t?

    Three Hail Marys and a Glory Be for you, me boy :^)

  • Greenflag

    ‘Are you telling me he didn’t?’

    God was’nt a ‘he’ He was a she ;) Thats what my mother in law says ;( . I don’t argue with her – life is short enough ;)

  • http://redfellow.wordpress.com Malcolm Redfellow

    Yes, indeed.

    Every good exhibit needs an element of ironic humour. After all, Florence would be the poorer [sic] without the tourists’ ultimate kulcheral experience: queuing up to photo David’s disappointing equipment.

    And, sure, all the Causeway amounts to is a few lumps of oul’ rock.

  • willis

    I think the Prof has a good angle on this:

    (Careful: nonPC)

    http://1690andallthat.blogspot.com/2010/06/giants-causeway.html

    “Likewise the Orange Order’s wee museum could be balanced by a series of panels writ by the Bogside resident’s group.”

  • Big Maggie

    I love it! This is probably my favourite verse:

    3. Thus the Laird didst rest, an’ whilst restin’ turned his attention til the Nairth Antrim area. “This coastline is braw,” he thunk, “but lacks a certain je ne say qua” fur the Laird wus wurkin’ oan French fowk in his spare time.

  • http://diaryarticles.blogspot.com/ articles

    The following is an account of a visit to the Giant’s Causeway in 1841 by William Makepeace Thackray.
    It is very funny.

    THE IRISH SKETCH BOOK

    CHAPTER XXIX

    THE GIANT’S CAUSEWAY

    The traveller no sooner issues from the inn, by a back door, which he is informed will lead him straight to the causeway, than the guides pounce upon him, with a dozen rough boatmen, who are likewise lying in wait; and a crew of shrill beggar boys, with boxes of spars, ready to tear him and each other to pieces seemingly, yell and bawl incessantly round him. “I’m the guide Miss Henry recommends,” shouts one; “I’m Mr Macdonald’s guide,” pushes in another; “This way,” roars a third, and drags his prey down a precipice; the rest of them clambering and quarrelling after. I had no friends, I was perfectly helpless, I wanted to walk down to the shore by myself, but they would not let me, and I had nothing for it but to yield myself into the hands of the guide who had seized me, who hurried me down the steep to a little wild bay, flanked on either side by rugged cliffs and rocks, against which the waters came tumbling, frothing, and roaring furiously. Upon some of these black rocks two or three boats were lying; four men seized a boat, pushed it shouting into the water and ravished me into it. We had slid between the two rocks, where the channel came gurgling in; we were up one swelling wave that came in a huge advancing body ten feet above us, and were plunging madly down another (the descent causes a sensation in the lower regions of the stomach which it is not at all necessary here to describe), before I had leisure to ask myself why the deuce I was in that boat, with four rowers hurrooing and bounding madly from one huge liquid mountain to another – four rowers who I was bound to pay. I say the query came qualmishly across me, why the devil was I there , and why not walking calmly on the shore.

    The guide began pouring his professional jargon into my ears – “Every one of them bays,” says he, “has a name (take my place and the spray won’t come over you); that is Port Noffer, and the next Port na Gange; them rocks is the Stookawns (for every rock has a name as well as every bay): and yonder – give way, my boys, – hurray, we’re over it now, has it wet you sir? – that’s the little cave; it goes five hundred feet under ground, and the boat comes into it easy of a calm day.”

    “Is it a fine day or a rough one, now?” said I; the internal disturbance going on now with more severity than ever.
    “It’s betwixt and between; or I may say neither one nor the other. Sit up sir; look at the entrance of the cave: don’t be afraid sir; never has an accident happened in any one of these boats, and the most delicate ladies has rode in them on rougher days than this. Now, boys pull to the big cave; that, sir, is six hundred and sixty yards in length, where the people sleeping in their houses hears the waters roaring under them.”

    The water was tossing and tumbling into the mouth of the little cave. I looked, for the guide would not let me alone till I did, – and saw what might be expected; – a black hole of some forty feet high, into which it was no more possible to see than into a mill stone. “For heaven’s sake, sir” says I, “if you’ve no particular wish to see the mouth of the big cave, put about and let us see the Causeway and get ashore.” This was done, the guide meanwhile telling some story of a ship of the Spanish Armada having a fired her guns at two peaks of rock, then visible, which the crew mistook for chimney pots – what benighted fools these Spanish armadillos must have been – it is easier to see a rock than a chimney pot; it is easy to know that chimney pots do not grow on rocks:-but where, if you please, is the Causeway?”

    “That’s the Causeway before you,” says the guide.
    “Which?”
    “That pier which you see jutting into the bay, right ahead”
    “Mon Dieu! and I have travelled a hundred and fifty miles to see that?”
    I declare, upon my conscience, the barge moored at Hungerford market is a more majestic object, and seems to occupy as much space. As for telling a man that the Causeway is merely a part of the sight; that he is there for the purpose of examining the surrounding scenery; that if he looks to the westward he will see Portrush and Donegal Head before him; that the cliffs immediately in his front are green in some places, black in others, interspersed with blotches of brown and streaks of verdure; – what is all this to a lonely individual lying sick in a boat, between two immense waves that only give him momentary glimpses of the land in question, to show that it is frightfully near and yet you are an hour from it? They won’t let you go away – that cursed guide will tell out his stock of legends and stories. The boatmen insist upon your looking at boxes of “specimens,” which you must buy of them; they laugh as you grow paler and paler; they offer you more and more “specimens”; even the dirty lad who pulls number three, and is not allowed by his comrades to speak, puts in his oar, and hands you over a piece of Irish diamond (it looks like half sucked alycompayne), and scorns you. “Hurray, lads, now for it, give way!” – how the oars do hurtle in the rullocks, as the boat goes up an aqueous mountain, and then down into one of those cursed maritime valleys where there is no rest as on shore!

    At last, after they had pulled me enough about, and sold me all the boxes of specimens, I was permitted to land at the spot where we set out, and whence, though we had been rowing for an hour, we had never been above than five hundred yards distant. Let all Cockneys take warning from this; let the solitary one caught issuing from the back door of the hotel, shout at once to the boatmen to be gone – that he will have none of them. Let him, at any rate, go first down to the water to determine whether it be smooth enough to allow him to take any decent pleasure by riding on its surface. For after all, it must be remembered that it is a pleasure we come for – that we are obliged to take those boats. Well, well! I paid ten shillings for mine and ten minutes before would cheerfully have paid five pounds to be allowed to quit it: it was no hard bargain after all. As for the boxes of spar and specimens, I at once, being on terra firma, broke my promise, and said I would see them all—-first. It is wrong to swear, I know, but sometimes it relieves one so much.

    The first act on shore was to make a sacrifice to Sanctissima Tellus; offering up to her a neat and becoming Taglioni coat, bought for a guinea in Covent Garden only three months back. I sprawled on my back on the smoothest of rocks that is, tore the elbow to pieces: the guide picked me up; the boatmen did not stir, for they had had their will of me: the guide alone picked me up, I say, and bade me follow him. We went across the a boggy ground in one of those little bays, round which rise the green walls of the cliff, terminated on either side by a black crag, and the line of the shore washed by the poluphloisboiotic, nay , the poluphloisboiotatotic sea. Two beggars stepped over the bog after us, howling for money, and each holding up a cursed box of specimens. No oaths, threats, entreaties, would drive these vermin away; for some time the whole scene had been spoilt by the incessant and abominable jargon of them, the boatmen, and the guides. I was obliged to give them money to be left in quiet, and if as no doubt will be the case, then Giant’s causeway shall be a still greater resort of travellers than ever, the County must put policeman on the rocks to keep the beggars away, or fling them in the water when they appear.

    And now by force of money, having got rid of the sea and land beggars, you are at liberty to examine at your own leisure the wonders of the place. There is not the least need for a guide to attend then stranger, unless the latter have a mind to listen to the parcel of legends, which may be well from the mouth of a wild simple peasant who believes in his tales; but are odious from a dullard who narrates them at the rate of sixpence a lie. Fee him and the other beggars, and at least you are left tranquil to look at the strange scene with your own eyes, and enjoy your own thoughts at leisure.

    It looks like then beginning of the world, somehow: the sea looks older than in other places, the hills and rocks strange, and formed differently from other rocks and hills – as those vast dubious monsters were formed who possessed the earth before man. The hill tops are shattered into a thousand cragged fantastical shapes; the water comes swelling into scores of little strange creeks, or goes off with a leap, roaring into those mysterious caves yonder, which penetrate who knows how far into our common world. The savage rock sides are painted of a hundred colours. Does the sun ever shine here? When the world was moulded and fashioned out of formless chaos, this must have been the bit over – a remnant of chaos! Think of that! – it is a tailor’s simile. Well I am a Cockney: I wish I were in Pall Mall! Yonder is kelpburner: a lurid smoke from his burning kelp rises up to the leaden sky, and looks as naked and fierce as Cain.

    Bubbling up out of the rocks at the very brim of the sea rises a little crystal spring: how comes it there? and there is an old grey hag beside, who has been there hundreds of years, and there sits and sells whisky at the extremity of creation! How do you dare to sell whisky there old woman? Did you serve old Saturn with a glass when he lay along the Causeway here? In reply she says, she has no change for a shilling: she never has; but the whisky is good.
    This is not a description of the Giant’s Causeway (as some clever critic will remark), but of a Londoner there, who is by no means as interesting an object as the natural curiosity in question. That single hint is sufficient; I have not a word more to say. “If,” says he, “you cannot describe the scene lying before us – if you cannot state from your personal observations that the number of basaltic pillars composing the Causeway has been computed at about forty thousand, which vary in diameter, their surface presenting the appearance of a tesselated pavement of polygonal stones – that each pillar is formed of several distinct joints, the convex end of the one being accurately fitted in the concave of the next, and the length of the joints varying from five feet to four inches – that although the pillars are polygonal, there is but one of three sides in the whole forty thousand (think of that!), but three of nine sides, and that it may be safely computed that ninety – nine out of one hundred pillars have either five, six, or seven sides; – if you cannot state something useful, you had much better , sir retire and get your dinner”. Never was summons more gladly obeyed.

  • Tim

    Isn’t there already loads of information at the Giants Causeway telling visitors that it was created a couple of thousand years ago? Last time I was there I bought a DVD saying that Finn McCool made it.

  • Big Maggie

    Nice one. Could use a glossary here and there though :^)

    Let’s see if I can help out:

    “William Makepeace Thackeray, in his Irish Sketchbook of 1834, invented the word poluphloisboiotatotic, meaning very loud-roaring.”

  • Jean Meslier

    “..God was’nt a ‘he’ He was a she…”

    Question:
    If he is a “HE”. Does “HE” have nipples?

  • http://redfellow.wordpress.com Malcolm Redfellow

    Older readers need not bother. I’ve done previous versions of this story.

    Many years back we delivered our off-spring to view the Causeway. After a scramble, and the next generation suitably impressed, followed by a clifftop walk (in which I revisited my acrophobia) we were on our way to the next “attraction” (which necessarily — note previous parenthesis — involved alcohol being taken).

    Just as we were departing a very large, chauffeured Mercedes arrived. A guide/curator approached. Out of the rear of the Mercedes stepped a Savile-Row suited, presumably African or UNESCO, gent. I overheard a snatch of conversation:

    Gent (perfect Oxford accent): There must be a lot of local culture round here.

    Guide/Curator (broadest Antrim): Yeah. Mainly country-and-western.

    [Any political-incorrectness apologised for.]

  • markyboy

    Enlighten me , but how is the age of the earth testable? It requires assumption after assumption to get any date whether thousands of years or millions of years. The evidence for these dates are the same, it is how they are interpreted that differs ie from a secular or Scriptural point of view. Creationists can argue many of their scientific theories quite convincingly. I wonder how many of those commenting on this thread have their own prejudices to begin with and are quite happy to accept evolutionary thinking as a result of their own secular worldview. I wonder how many have actually bother to see what the creationist science consists of. Has it been unarguably agreed by ALL scientists the exact age of the earth? If not why not? Some would say science has ALL the answers. I’m just wondering again while we were evolving which came first, the head, eyes, heart or lungs? Surely there must be billions of fossils of in between stages of evolution to be found on earth over the millions of years this planet existed? Perhaps that is the kind of verifiable evidence that would convince the ignorant creationist. Didn’t good old evolutionist David Attenbouragh have a programme on lately lauding the fact that they had FINALLY found the missing link? All the evolutionists were delighted, (a good friend of mine told me that I should forgat about the Bible as it had just been made redundant). Turns out it was a type of lemur!! Good old science, never wrong.

  • http://diaryarticles.blogspot.com/ articles

    it’s just gotta be Lord Paisley of the Giant’s Causeway then. Just think a statue at the causeway’s edge.

    Incidentally as i think mentioned once before the Vulcanists and the Neptunists regularly used to have fights at the causeway in the good old days when competing theories were settled by fisticuffs.

  • Prof McWilliams

    Class

  • fitzjameshorse1745

    Surely if the Giants Causeway is only 6,000 years old, american tourists wont come here to see it.
    They will just stay at home and look at the Grand Canyon which is millions of years old.

  • Big Maggie

    I followed the link to Nelson McCausland’s blog, where he’s beating a big drum for the Orange Order. He thinks it’s disgraceful that this noble organization is so poorly represented at the Ulster Museum. How about this for barely disguised partiality and classic whataboutery:

    The fact is that in the last few days before the Ulster Museum reopened a single board was added with five or six sentences about the Order. That board was added as an afterthought and that is why it looks like an afterthought. It was possible to add a single board with text on it but without redesigning that part of the museum there was no space to add a cabinet with Orange artefacts.

    The fact that it was an afterthought is highlighted by the stark contrast with the adjacent displays on the Irish Volunteers and the United Irishmen, where there are a number of cabinets with artefacts.

    Yes, Nelson. The difference is that unlike the IV and UI the OO haven’t gone away you know. They’re still messing up our July every year as well as disturbing the peace and creating traffic snarl-ups for months on end.

    Come to think of it, maybe we should take them off the streets, stuff them and put them in a museum.

  • Greenflag

    If he or she is God then he or she can have anything he or she wants :) And that would inlcude any or all appendages and even an extra coccyx or two ;)

  • Greenflag

    BOSWELL. “Is not the Giant’s-Causeway worth seeing?”

    JOHNSON. “Worth seeing, yes; but not worth going to see.”

    Boswell: Life of Johnson

  • markyboy

    Rubbish, that’s like saying in a political debate between politicians and the electorate the electorate don’t get a vote,or when debating religion between believers and non believers the non-believers don’t get a vote.Perhaps when debating religion Professor Dawkins should remain silent as he isn’t religious.

  • EWI

    Didn’t good old evolutionist David Attenbouragh have a programme on lately lauding the fact that they had FINALLY found the missing link?

    I believe that Bellamy’s some variety of botanist, rather than someone who specialises in evolution per se (can’t check, Wikipedia appears down). More to the point, he’s a media type.

    This isn’t the first time that he’s stuck hi foot in it, nor likely to be his last. His ignorant and quite bizarre views on global warming are embarrassing for someone who in decades past had done so much good to raise public awareness of his scientific field.