Celebrating Charles Darwin

On the 200th Anniversary of the birth of Charles Darwin, and in the year of the 150th Anniversary of the publication of On the Origin of Species, a New York Times op-ed offers a timely thought, “The cultural opposition to evolution was then, as now, scientifically irrelevant.” [added emphasis]. The BBC is covering the anniversary with an impressive series of programmes and a dedicated website. The Natural History Museum has more information and events. And Scientific American has a Darwin Day Special podcast. Meanwhile a mischievous Henry McDonald sought out the Chairman of the NI Assembly Education Committee, the DUP’s Mervyn Storey, for a quote or two.. He’s still confused about many things, including what the term “scientific theory” actually means.. and he seems to believe scientific understanding should be subject to “equality legislation”. [I, for one, welcome his acceptance of the need to teach His Noodly Appendage’s creationism! – Ed] Indeed. And that’s without getting into his views on what should be available at the Causeway Interpretative Centre.. Knowledge is, indeed, power. Adds More links at the Guardian.

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  • William

    Were there more Bible believing Christians, the world would be a better place. My belief is that the Lord created heaven and earth and that belief is based on his Holy Word, the Bible.

    I would guess when some of you who deny this die, your family will be running around looking for a clergyman or priest to bury you….I’ve seen that happen so many times.

    Typical of the BBC to spend our money on websites and lots of programmes….there have been many more worthy than Darwin, that they have ignored, as it doesn’t fit their agenda.

    The BBC have Left-wing bias, are anti-Christian, pro-anything that is anti-Christian, pro-Arab, pro-Terrorists like Hamas etc….

  • Survival of the fittest.

    well if we go by Darwin we must ask the question whether his theory would survive the times when every one is after one single question http://controversial-affairs.blogspot.com/2009/02/darwin.html

  • Wlliam

    What would you say to Lord Carey, former Archbishop of Cantebury, who says he believes in the bible and evolution?


  • Smug O’ Toole

    AS I’ve always said, the day someone makes an ark, using construction methods and materials from old testament middle east. Get’s two of every species of animal on the planet, using hunting and capture techniques from old testament times, sail around for a few weeks keeping the predators from the prey and somehow feeding every animal and not losing one (maybe a unicorn substitute pairing can be killed off), then sail back to every continent, placing the right species in the right habitat, is the day I become a blind follower of the most heavily edited piece of text of all time. Until then I’ll stick to the Scientology and harry potter books.

  • Gael gan Náire

    “Were there more Bible believing Christians, the world would be a better place.”

    Clearly that is a view that would not be shared by everyone.

  • Gael gan Náire

    “Were there more Bible believing Christians, the world would be a better place.”

    Clearly that is a view that would not be shared by everyone.

  • JJ

    William. Absolute. Nonsense.

    The reason people reach out for something to believe in as they stare death in the face is precisely the same reason they believe in a god while they are alive – it’s a human need. Humans need to have something greater than themselves in order to make sense of the world (especially when they are about to die). It’s inbuilt, it helps us work in communities and form groups and societies.

    There is no god, there isn’t a shred of proof for any god ever and the idea that there is a god merely is a construction to fill a human need. The more we begin to explain the universe, one would think, the less we would need to reach for such things – but no. Traditionally the aggressive enforcement of the idea that there is a god has been designed to keep order and stop people asking questions. It closes minds. Sadly, it’s still closing ’em.

    It absolutely amazes me that people like Sammy Wilson are content – and fair enough – to question the settled word of leading scientists around the world yet not to raise one iota of doubt about a superstition so ludicrous that it is frankly hard not to laugh.

    All this debate shows is that the rather silly Mr Wilson, the increasingly demented DUP and the holier-than-thous in general are in the business of narrowing minds.

    Read some stuff other than the bible, William. It’s a shockingly boring, badly written, self-contradicting and, frankly, not even very imaginative work of fiction.

    You are already an atheist in that you don’t believe in anyone’s god but your own. Open your eyes and go that one step further… One day you’ll maybe fear neither god nor the devil himself!

  • Gael gan Náire


    ” It’s a shockingly boring, badly written, self-contradicting and, frankly, not even very imaginative work of fiction.”

    Have to disagree. From a secular point of view one could regard it a fantastic folklore collection.

    It isnt boring and it is written satifactorily though I have never read the original.

  • joeCanuck


    Oh dammit, just pissed myself.

  • willis


    I know, I know. As soon as I saw William’s opening gambit I knew what was to follow.

  • willis

    Maybe if were about to die without the benefit of the sacraments you should call on this Archbishop.


  • William

    Conall McDevitt….

    What would I say to Lord Carey…..??

    My answer:

    ‘Keep quiet you old fool and go and read your Bible, if you know where you last threw it’

  • William

    Willis McBriar….I know you’re a prickly character but ‘my opening gambit’ is my view and it’s a good deal more relevant than your contribution at #10….I treat your post with the same contempt as you so obviously treat mine.

  • William

    JJ – Why should I believe in any God other than my own?

    I believe in the one true God….if other faiths share that and are reformed fine….the Reformation and the martyrs who died for their Protestant faith didn’t die in vain. The secret of England’s greatness was once the Open Bible….perhaps in this the 150th anniversary of the Great Revival in Ulster, we need another so that people can come back to the word of God and live a more decent life than many of them currently do.

  • Oilifear

    William, while evolutionary descent is not a known fact, that the world was created in more than seven days is.

    This leaves us with a connundrum: who is wrong? Those who look to the observable evidence? Those who say the bible says otherwise? Or God?

    In my opinion, it is the second of these parties that is mistaken. Mistaken in science. And mistaken in God.

    If the creator did not want us to uncover the his truths in his creation, he would not have endowed us with the intellect to do so. Those who would deny us that gift, deny God.

  • Bole

    very interesting that you call Lord Carey an ‘old fool’ (post # 12)
    perhaps you should read and take heed of the bible more carefully rather than just spouting garbage:
    Matthew 5:22 (King James Version)
    But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgement: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.

    Feeling a bit hot?

  • joeCanuck

    If the creator did not want us to uncover the his truths in his creation, he would not have endowed us with the intellect to do so.

    Wikipedia should use this an a prime example of a circular argument.

  • JJ


    I feel like you’re wishing you could shout in my ear and wave 16th century placards at me, and indeed you may have done so come to think of it. Anyway, you miss the point (and not for the first time).

    Your blind faith in your alleged god, to you, rules out the existence of all other gods. That makes you a de facto atheist when it comes to all other gods (those pesky muslims and, what, ten thousand other religions will burn in hell when they die and all good Christian men who believed will go to heaven? Gimme hell any day…)

    Anyway, enjoy your life of Zombie worship. And beyond quoting what someone once said….

    ‘Don’t pray in my school and I won’t think in your church’

    …I’ve nothing more to say to you.

  • William

    JJ….I have no problem with Muslims….have colleagues and a few friends over the years who would have been members of the Muslim faith. My problem is with the militant variety who are a danger to the Western World.

    I have just watched the film FITNA on LiveLeak [view it]…..much of the old footage has been seen before, but it shows how far the UK has moved from the Bill of Rights and the Magna Carta when a fellow democrat from the Nederlands is banned, whilst Muslim extremists are mollycoddled and allow to spew their venom at mosques throughout the UK. I don’t wish to associate myself with that ‘God’ in any shape, form or fashion. ‘Thou shalt have no other Gods before me’.

  • Archie Purple

    Science is the thoughts of man / woman,

    The Bible is the word of God.

  • joeCanuck

    Did he sign it? Who verified the signature?
    Have you ever enjoyed a bacon sandwich?

  • Kaido

    Another benefit of atheism is that when you shuffle off this mortal coil and find out that your belief was wrong and that instead of eternal non existance eternity is to be spent gambolling in the Elysian fields.
    Whereas for those with a holy disposition the total shock of being wrong and in one split millisecond, before total oblivion, recalling all the sins that could have been committed and enjoyed without retribution.

  • Catholic Observer

    There is no contradiction between evolution and creation. The myth that life arose 6000 years ago cannot be substantiated either by appeal to scripture or science for it is repugnant to both. Indeed I would contend that a faithful exegesis of the Genesis creation narrative actually supports evolution. The chronological order in which evolution purpots speciation is remarkably similar to the biblical account (especially coming from a time when most creation accounts promoted the inverse): first all the creation of a stable water circle is required (Genesis 1:6-7), then the formation of continents (Genesis 1:11-12), the very rapid increase (‘let the waters teem’; cf Cambrian Explosion) in small sea animals (Genesis 1:20a), the creation of land vegetation (Genesis 1:11-12), the appearance of birds(Genesis 1:20b), the creation of sea mammals (Genesis 1:21), the appearance of land mammals (Genesis 1:24-25) and the creation of mankind (Genesis 1:26-27).

    It is especially interesting that in reference to the creation of land mammals, God did not say ‘I will create living creatures’ but instead orders to the land to do so: ‘let the land produce living creatures’. This makes it sound as if God was slightly detached from their creation and to me it implies naturalistic evolution. The word used in the creation of land mammals which is translated in most bibles as ‘produce’ is היה and suggests a progressive evolution from preexisting rudiments and sharply contrasts with ברא used in reference to the creation of the universe in Genesis 1:1 which necessarily is creatio ex nihilio.

  • willis

    William, William, William

    You misunderstood my post.

    I was simply agreeing with Joe that once you had taken a particular stance the incoming flak could be predicted, and lo so it was.

    Still I cannot agree with you about Lord Carey.

    Are you familiar with Hebrews 12?

    14 Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:

    15 Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled;

  • Earnan

    The only thing I believe in is that Gerry Adams was never in the IRA

  • Guillaume

    Allez Earnan, a little bit of diplomacy.
    Where’s Thatcher?

  • pauljames

    Enough of this crap, reread Petes post and tremble in the fact (not theory) that Mervyn Storey is responsible for our kids education.

    Once again, Religiots- keep it to yourself.

  • Catholic Observer

    “Once again, Religiots- keep it to yourself. ”

    This topic concerns religion. Are only secularists permitted to respond?

  • Driftwood

    Catholic Observer
    Do you buy those delusion pills off the internet?
    Advertised as ‘Ignorance is Bliss’.

    if you ever run out, Mervyn Storey will lend you some of his.

  • William

    Earnan…..I think you have a point….Gerry currently is in discussions with the Guinness Book of Records….he claims he had a Blackberry as far back as the 70s.

  • Pete Baker


    “tremble in the fact (not theory) that Mervyn Storey is responsible for our kids education.”

    Thankfully, the situation is not quite as bad as that.

    Chairmen of the NI Assembly Committees don’t have the power they might like to portray themselves as holding.

    Although the Minister has yet to clarify the advice on what should, or shouldn’t, be taught in a science classroom.

  • Greagoir O Frainclin

    Superb programme presented by Sir David Attenborough on BBC last week about Darwin and how he came to such frightening yet truthful scientific conclusions.

    With the thoughts of great men like Charles Darwin, Thomas Paine, Arthur Schopenhauer, Sigmund Freud etc… the “Great Mystery” of god was revealed to be a great lie! The comfort blanket of superstitious blind faith was removed!

    BTW, Christians should be thankful today that it was the Emperor Constantine who made “Christianity” the one faith of the Roman Empire, else they’d be believing in someone else today…someone like emmm….Mithra for example!

  • pauljames


    Mervyn (and Sammy) retain the power to scare the bejayus out of me. I personally feel that the threats to the Ulster Museum are part of a cunning plan to open a branch of Ken Hams creation museum
    at the Maze.

    BTW Catholic Observer. sorry if you misunderstood. I meant that religiots should not force their beliefs on me from a position of public power or pulpit. A civilised discussion on slugger or elsewere is always welcomed.

  • 6cp

    There is a fascinating and very well written 6,800 word piece by a guest blogger in US News and World Report today entitled: Darwin Believers Hide Fears of Intelligent Design Behind a Wall of Denial and Ridicule

    The first sentence goes: Most Darwinists involved in the public debate today have one, and only one goal: To stifle free debate on this subject and thereby discourage you, the public, from scrutinizing the scientific evidence for yourself. (sounds like the global warming controversy, doesn’t it?)

    He defines and documents a series of strategies that are used to try to undermine the concept of intelligent design:

    Strategy 1: Ridicule, Demonization, and Character Assassination
    Strategy 2: Equating Darwin-Skeptics with Religion
    Strategy 3: Persecute Darwin-Skeptics
    Strategy 4: Pretend There Is No Scientific Controversy Over Evolution

    He concludes: Darwinist debate tactics are all part of a complicated strategy to distract you, the public, from looking at the evidence for yourself. So whatever conclusion you come to—whether you accept neo-Darwinian evolution, intelligent design, or something else—you owe it to yourself to look past the distracting and dogmatic rhetoric of the Darwinists and investigate this issue for yourself.

    If you do that, it doesn’t really matter whether you ultimately agree with me on intelligent design, because you’ll agree with me on something more important: academic freedom and freedom of speech in the debate over evolution.

    Recommended reading!

  • pauljames

    The fact that the article you quote is written by Casey Luskin of the Discovery Institute says everything you need to know about its credentials. Blaming big bad science while refusing to do any recognised peer reviewed work has long been the hallmark of the DI. It also remains fatally wounded by the Kitzmiller decision and the existence of the wedge document revealing it as a front for creationists.

  • Greagoir O Frainclin

    Here’s a little song from way back that I’d like to dedicate to all CREATIONISTS and Sammy Wilson.


  • Oilifear

    joeCanuck –

    “Wikipedia should use this an a prime example of a circular argument.”

    Wikipedia, yes, but I don’t think it would make it into the OED.