“there are no loyalty oaths in science”

In the Irish Times the DUP’s Mervyn Storey, Chairman of the Assembly’s Education Committee, expounds on his personal belief that young-Earth creationism should be taught in school science classes as an alternative theory to evolution. This is old ground by now, but it’s worth pointing out again that his argument ignores the 150 years of scientific scrutiny which the theory of evolution has been subjected to, and survived, whilst elevating the 17th Century Archbishop Ussher’s tally of the number of begots in Genesis to the status of a scientific theory. Gavin Conant, Assistant Professor of Animal Sciences at the University of Missouri-Columbia, rebuts Mervyn Storey’s argument in the same article.

Storey seems to believe that students must choose between their faith and a scientific education. Now, it is true that scientists take a range of positions on whether faith is compatible with a scientific world view. But even those who emphatically refuse any rapprochement with religion do not ask for a renunciation of belief as the price of studying biology: there are no loyalty oaths in science.