God help Darwin’s theory…

IF a publicly-funded body like the Ulster Museum (it’s open?) is going to promote Darwin’s view of evolution, then an alternative view like creationism should be given equal status, argues the DUP’s Mervyn Storey.

  • LURIG

    I am no great lover of the DUP but maybe Mervyn Storey has a point here. Many Christians know and acknowledge Darwins Theory but also believe that there might also be a greater creation behind this too. Some scientists DO NOT dismiss this thinking either so while we must surely promote scientific thinking we should also open people’s minds to other possibilities. It is not unreasonable or crazy to put this thinking forward so what is the big deal and I say that as a committed Catholic.

  • abucs

    I agree with you Lurig but would just point out that ‘opening peoples minds to other possibilities’ isn’t necessarily going against ‘promoting scientific thought’.

    It should be seen and demonstrated as going together, and not in opposition.

    I think it is a mistake for Mervyn to place his religion in opposition to the theory of natural selection.

    It creates the false idea that God and science are in opposition and helps mislead people into thinking that atheism and science are therefore one and the same thing.

    Instead modern atheism is an interpretation of science and overwhelmingly hasn’t created that science but has been a recipient of it.

    With the false mindset that science and atheism go together i think a lot of people choose atheism without looking into the fuller picture.

    Perhaps Mervyn, in this year of Darwin, should be helping to foster a more truer picture of the man.

    For example Darwin said many interesting things –

    ‘In my wildest fluctuations, i was never an atheist in the sense of denying the existance of God’.

    ‘Some people have taken my science and made a religion out of it’.

    ‘It is easier to believe in a God who created the initial conditions of life and its ability to adapt than a God who constantly interferes at the smallest insignificant level.

    It perhaps also should be recognised that eugenics came out of the new philosophy of social darwinism that led to calls from ‘the enlightened leaders’ for the poor British to be sterilised, Australian 1/2 aboriginal children to be taken away from their mothers and a certain Mr Hitler killing all of the handicapped and mentally sick patients in his hospitals before moving on to bigger projects.

    Perhaps it can also be communicated that the theory of natural selection did not gain scientific acceptance without the discovery of how things were done, that is through the science of genetics and the discovery of the double helix structure.

    The science of genetics of course was founded by an Austrian monk about the same time as Charles Darwin.

    http://www.adherents.com/people/pm/Gregor_Mendel.html

    http://anthro.palomar.edu/mendel/mendel_1.htm

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gregor_Mendel

    If Mervyn is going to use his religion to rally against natural selection then it will be his religion, and by association other religions, which will come out of it worse for wear.

    It is much more helpful, IMHO, to promote a fuller understanding of the past and not buy into a narrow version of it, which creates a false mindset.

  • New Yorker

    Lurig and Abucs

    I agree with both of you. Religious beliefs and evolution are not incompatible. One can see evolution as a way used by God to bring about the physical world. The context is very important, as Abucs points out, and what is lacking in most discussions on evolution at present. Darwin was expert in physical nature and, as far as I know, did not over step into the non-material such as soul, mind and spirit. He was a great scientist in his field who did not apply his theories beyond his competence, as others have foolishly done with hilarious results. Darwiwn is, I believe, entombed in Westminster Cathedral and I don’t think that is the resting place of too many atheists.

  • Doctor Who

    New Yorker

    “One can see evolution as a way used by God to bring about the physical world.”

    The first three posts are completely ludicrous so it was hard to pick out the most laughable quote, but New Yorker, you just pipped the other two dinosaurs (god´s playthings).

    Look you cannot pick and choose, your beliefs are based on the texts of non enlightened people 1,800 years ago. Science has dispelled those superstitions, not enhanced them.

    Those people who wish to marry science with religion should not be allowed anywhere near a museum or educational estblishments.

    New Yorker, can you please explain why god waited for billions of years before creating a people in his image who would worship him. Oh your answer would be, it´s god, there is no explanation, 100 bilion years is like uh! 1 god year, or something just as moronic.

  • Doctor who

    abucs

    Those people who associate eugenics with Darwinism, do not understand the term “survival of the fittest”. The fact that Darwin explained that everyone who was alive then and in the future was a product of natural selection, and had overcome the obstacles that evolution alone had placed before them. That included people of every race and people with disability.

    Strange how modern theolgians and voodoo peddlars bring things like the eugenics of the “lost generation” of aborigianl children, or the sterilsation of working class folk at the start of the 20th century, when it was all done in the name of god.

    Your attempt to paint Darwin as at best agnostic is shameful and long since discredited, a bit like religion.

    abucs

    “Perhaps it can also be communicated that the theory of natural selection did not gain scientific acceptance without the discovery of how things were done, that is through the science of genetics and the discovery of the double helix structure. ”

    Now this takes the biscuit, what you fail to understand is the way science works, everthing is always a theory until it is proved, the double helix structure and the knowlege of DNA, where found as a result of Darwin starting the ball rolling. Science searches for the facts and will always keep searching. Religion unfortuately just brings more suffering in every corner of the world.

    Now don´t be sacrificing any goats on my behalf guys.

  • New Yorker

    Doctor Who

    This conversation is obviously above your head. It requires an educated intellect to understand the arguments above. It sounds like you are a science believer, I am as well but I also believe things that are above science and within the reach of reason. The key is to know what is proper to science and what is not within its ken.

    I do not know why God created people when he did. We may find out some day but I don’t regard it as an important issue. The important thing for people to know in this regard is that it will come to an end for individuals and for our world. That which has a beginning must of necessity have an end: And we now know our universe had a beginning.

  • Docotr Who

    New Yorker

    Lol, utter bilge. You are trying to marry science with creationism by saying you don´t understand everything, science does not pretend to have all the answers,it strives to find them and it doesn´t turn to voodoo for answers.

    Sorry I am not up to your obvious high intelligence, but please if you see a burning bush, don´t try to speak to it, call the fire brigade.

  • nineteensixtyseven

    I have a weird theory that isn’t backed up by any empirical evidence too, do I get a museum? Surely a musuem should promote actual science (Darwin’s theory which used the scientific method of enquiry and backed its hypothesis up with evidence) rather than some crackpot reaction by those who can’t accept that we evolved from monkeys?

  • Mainstream thinkng in both the Anglican and Roman Catholic Churches are now that science and religion are compatible. That was made official after statements from both Dr. Williams (Archbishop of Canterbury 5 months ago) and more recently from Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor and then two days ago, the Vatican made a statement.
    There are obviously still some believers like Mr. Storey who think otherwise. I may be wrong but I suspect that even amongst religious believers in Northern Ireland, Mr. Storey’s view is in a minority.

    However, the real issue is should there be some sort of exhibition about creation in a science museum?

    Mr. Storey sees this as a competition of ideas and beliefs and therefore a competition for indoctrination.

    I would like to know if Mr. Storey would be happy with a science exhibition about evolution in his local church?

    However, Mr. Storey has not thought this through properly. If there was a statement about creation, what would you have to go with it. “The evidence supporting creation is a book written thousands of years ago before anybody knew anything about science” Then you would have the evidence supporting evolution. There is masses of it. The reality is that if such an exhibition was set up, people would be asked to take sides between what is presented as alternative models as to how the world began. When you present a mass of scientific data against just a book, I hardly think evolution has any chance of winning but I would be interested to see it tested out.

  • Damian O’Loan

    As a member of the leading party in the Assembly and Executive, Mervyn Storey, like his colleague Sammy Wilson, are acting in complete disregard for one crucial aspect: what is the likely effect on international investment?

    At a time when there are great plans to reduce dependency on oil and gas through research and innovation, the work of academics at Queen’s and elsewhere, and the work of teachers preparing the next generation of potential scientists is being seriously undermined. This wil have very real economic consequences.

    The challenge for creationists is to justify any pick’n’mix approach to the Bible(s). I couldn’t accept even a consistent submission to religious doctrine, but a convincing general defense of selected beliefs I very much look forward to. Perhaps then creationism should be given its own museum. In the meantime, this is more populism at a time when we can ill afford it.

  • New Yorker

    The opening reference is to the Ulster Museum which is not a science only museum. It is more of a museum of the humanities. So, subjects other than science can be presented and debated.

    If the point about international investment means likely investors will think less of NI, why would they? Presenting different opinions on debatable subjects is a sign of civic sophistication.

  • eranu

    anyone whos interested in the debate between darwins theory and the idea of an intelligently designed creation should watch the documentary “Expelled” by Ben Stein. im sure you can get it on bittorrent somewhere. i saw it recently and it goes into detail on various areas where darwins theory just falls apart. the complexity of a human cell is one example. there are interviews from scientists on both sides of the debate. he even interviews Mr Dawkins. you wont believe me but Dawkins actually talks about how life could have been started by being created by aliens. mad stuff 🙂
    the most worrying thing to be exposed is the closed minds of the scientific world. if you are a scientist and dont accept darwins theory then you are out on your ear.
    go and get it now!

  • file

    Unfortunately, Meryn Storey and his like, are living proof of the flaws in Darwin’s theories: surely a system of evolution that is supposed to result in the selection of the strongest/most intelligent, etc. going forward to the next generation, should not result in the birth of dinosaurs such as himself and Sammy’no global warming in Larne’ Wilson?

    It seems that the creationists, by default, have a point…:)

  • Why Christian creationism? Why not say, the ancient Egyptian version? Or explanations from other religions. This whole thing is silly. Let the museum explain the science, and let people’s own religions reconcile their beliefs with it, or tell their followers to ignore it. Fucking parity of esteem gone mad.

  • cynic

    I know, let’s have an invisible one. After all it’s all a matter of belief so what we need is an empty field somewhere where visitors can imagine the various exhibits

  • Pete Baker

    Garibaldy

    That’s more or less what I said about this story yesterday

    Celebrating Charles Darwin.

  • It’s laughable that the views of those who question evolution should be represented in the Ulster Museum. Those who favour particular religious explanations can display these in their places of worship, while the museum is free to (as in the museum statement) “house galleries and exhibitions of international significance interpreted in line with excellent scholarship and research. Within the permanent science galleries we will explain the conventional scientific theories internationally accepted by scholars and scientists to describe life on earth from the earliest evidence of fossils.”
    The views and burial place of Charles Darwin are irrelevant. The theory of evolution has been refined and improved in light of masses of new supporting evidence.

    As for the movie “expelled”, (it’s shockingly bad) it’s explained on Expelled Exposed.

  • cynic

    I know, let’s have an invisible one. After all it’s all a matter of belief so what we need is an empty field somewhere where visitors can imagine the various exhibits

    As for

    “Unfortunately, Meryn Storey and his like, are living proof of the flaws in Darwin’s theories”

    the problem is that we are witnessing natural selection in action. The UUP voting pattern is proof of this.

  • Sorry Pete hadn’t spotted that. I agree entirely.

  • Shore Road Resident

    Damian – I’d imagine Storey’s actions will have no effect on international investment at all, unless some US Christian CEO hears about it, in which case it might actually land us a factory…
    Your posting does reflect a general nationalist failing of seeing the world as a popularity contest. It’s not, which is frankly just as well for the Irish most of the time.
    If you’re concerned about lunatics wrecking the economic asylum, take it up with Marty Miller of the Belfast Media Group who regularly calls on people to contact US companies investing here and make trouble if they don’t locate in Sinn Fein “areas”.

  • dunreavynomore

    Sharon
    well said.

    new yorker,
    how does one become ‘competent’ to understand ‘souls’? this is the most silly of all arguments that certain people (clergy) are ‘competent’ in matters outside science! matters such as the origin of life or the universe are by their nature questions of science so how in the name of anything can a priest be more ‘competent’ than a scientist to understand it.

  • Catholic Observer

    What a horrendous idea. Mervyn Storey’s conception of creationism belongs in a history museam, not a science one. Scientists labour under no obligation to ‘represent’ anyone. Would Storey also believe that the theories of holocaust deniers should be represented in Holocaust museums? It is also quite concerning that he misunderstands the scientific definition of a ‘theory’ and what it encompasses; evolution may be a theory but so is gravity. His version of creationism is not a theory, at least under the scientific parameters: it can be neither observed, tested or falsified.

  • Simon

    This just makes us look ridiculous (well more ridiculous than usual). People round the world must be laughing their heads off at how backwards we are.

  • Salem

    I find it hard to equate creationism as a science – however i do think that there should be a small display for them within the Ulster Musuem.

    The musuem is a place for education and widening people knowledge of how different races or religions view the creation of the world. From those who beleive in Creationsim or Intelligent Design or those who choose to believe in the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster(ten points to those who can spot the joke one !)

  • Damian O’Loan

    Shore Road Resident,

    My post had nothing to do with nationalist/unionist politics. Your response is very revealing while being completely uninformed.

    I think the economic problems faced by West Belfast in particular show how effective their political representation has been. But let’s try to stick to the subject – think of how a national museum presenting creationism as equal in merit to the theory of evolution would be perceived internationally, alongside other headlines such as those inspired By Sammy Wilson. Why would any company choose to come here to see if we are producing world-class scientists?

    New Yorker,

    Those societies who operate according to religious doctrine don’t seem to be doing very well these days. I’d suggest NI has no interest in joining them, despite what its First Minister may think. There are more and more restrictions on free speech in the UK, but fortunately debate is still very possible. That does not mean we should give equal merit to creationism – it simply doesn’t deserve it.

  • Shore Road Resident

    Damian – Same reason they’d locate in the southern US, the mid-West, or Saudi or the Gulf States, or Nigeria for that matter i.e. any reason at all, other than local religious beliefs, which are generally irrelevant to such decisions.
    The idea that Mervyn’s Ulster Museum noticeboard might discourage international investment is laughable – it’s an opinion based entirely on your own parochial obsessions and prejudices, which I venture to suggest are driven by the fantasy that the whole world finds unionists as horrible as you do. In fact, the whole world couldn’t care less.

  • eranu

    sharon, have you seen Expelled? How is it shockingly bad? Are you just throwing mud at something you don’t like? i just had a quick look at that site and it doesnt explain anything really. it just tries to rubbish the scientists who disagree with evolution. they cant counter any of the points made in the film, such as how a cell is supposed to evolve, because they havent got an answer. they use the same dramatics the anti ID/creation scientists used in the film. eg ‘insults the science of evolution’ what is that about? you’ll notice that the site also talks about ‘scientists no longer feel any need to debate whether evolution took place; what they are doing now is working out the details.’ plenty of scientists are debating darwins theory. theres nothing like putting your hands over your ears and shouting ‘na na na na na’ to drown out anyone who might have a different idea!
    ‘Expelled’s inflammatory implication that Darwin and the science of evolution “led to” eugenics, Nazis, and Stalinism’ this is a false claim on the site. there is no ‘led to’ claim in the film. If I remember right in the film someone stresses the point that they are not claiming any ‘led to’ link. The film just shows how if you believe that life is an accident and there is no point to it, then its easier to accept ideas like killing a few undesirables to keep general society happy.

    in the film the scientists that are saying that it looks like there is an element of design in the life around us are going into technical detail. the scientists that are against ID are ranting, calling anyone who disagrees with darwins theory a moron, or stupid or lots of other not very scientific words. At the same time they cant provide an answer when questioned about the holes in darwins theory. Eg Dawkins saying that life could have started by being seeded by aliens. That’s intelligently designed creation right from dawkins mouth 🙂

    Anyways, people should watch the film and make up there own minds. It will definitely provoke a few thoughts 🙂

  • PhilPhD

    ‘double helix structure and the knowledge of DNA, where found as a result of Darwin starting the ball rolling’

    Don’t complain about people misunderstanding science and then say things like this: the double helix structure was discovered by a couple of chemists trying to find the molecular structure of a large biomolecule. Modern genetics are a result of Watson and Crick getting the ball rolling on this, but their discovery didn’t rely on Darwins theory of natural selection in the slightest.

    and it’s ridiculous to have a creationism display in a museum unless it is explicitly in the religion section.

  • fin

    “The Ulster Museum is to run a series later this year on evolution and fossils”

    has Mervyn actually thought about this, I’m guessing the fossils will be labelled as millions of years old, well past the 7000 years creationists believe the earth to be.

    “a creationist exhibition to be run alongside which explains the origin of life according to a literal reading of the Genesis account in the Bible.”

    what can you put into this exhibition apart from a bible and biblical depictions.

  • circles

    Eranu you said “you wont believe me but Dawkins actually talks about how life could have been started by being created by aliens”. Mad stuff indeed!!

    Every right thinking person would concede that compared to the superior logic and likelihood of an all present, all knowing, all capable, eternal and invisible superior sky being who knows exactly what each one of the 6 billion plus on earth are thinking right now and intervenes physically in the affairs of humanity (although has stoped doing this in recent years) that it would be absolutely laughable to suggest that maybe a meteorite brought some of the essential ingredients for life to start to our planet.

    Ho ho – those crazy scientists. Next thing you know they’ll be going on about that Spherical World Theory of theirs!!

  • Pete

    The museum’s response to this is sufficient and reassuring. I must say that I can’t wait for the next election to see some of these buffoons booted out of office.

    Actually (and I mean this sincerely) as a Unionist, if it came to living in a country that is led by these religious fruitcakes or a secular united Ireland… I’ll happily vote a nationalist party!

    Eranu, I have watched a good bit of Expelled and it is a simple cultural, creationist propaganda. It has been ripped to shreds by credible scientists and received terrible reviews (2.9/10 on RottenTomatoes – “Consensus: Full of patronizing, poorly structured arguments, Expelled is a cynical political stunt in the guise of a documentary.”)

    You seem to have watched the film and failed to engage your critical faculties.

  • Driftwood

    The ‘Expelled’ film is a joke,
    http://www.skeptic.com/eskeptic/08-04-17.html#part1

    Mervyn Storey and his ilk are just plain ignorant. And fearful that their ignorance is being exposed as nonsense. It is fear that undermines their stance. And they have every right to be fearful.

  • Iveagh man

    May a young earth Creationist enter this debate? I have no problem admitting that my view on creation is faith based, a reasonable and arguable position i believe but a faith position.
    I wish the evolutionists would be honest enough to admit that their position is also a faith position. It is not science. Science is repeatable and observeable, when has any scientist ever created a living organism from non living materials. NEVER, spontaneous life is not repeatable or observeable therefore it is not science. So lets stop calling evolution science. It is a philosophy, a religion if you will but not science.

  • Iveagh man

    May a young earth Creationist enter this debate? I have no problem admitting that my view on creation is faith based, a reasonable and arguable position i believe but a faith position. I wish the evolutionists would be honest enough to admit that their position is also a faith position. It is not science. Science is repeatable and observeable, when has any scientist ever created a living organism from non living materials. NEVER, spontaneous life is not repeatable or observeable therefore it is not science. So lets stop calling evolution science. It is a philosophy, a religion if you will but not science.

  • Pete

    “…when has any scientist ever created a living organism from non living materials. NEVER, spontaneous life is not repeatable or observeable therefore it is not science”

    You don’t understand evolution. It says nothing about how life go started, just how things evolved once it got started. You are arguing against Abiogenesis, which is completely different.

    If you do want to understand evolution properly, there are many online resources and a huge amount of very readable literature. “Your Inner Fish” by Neil Shubin is an excellent starting point.

  • Eranu, no matter how unlikely a theory may be, examples include creationism, vaccination as a cause of autism, or the efficacy of homeopathy, you can always find a few pet scientists to lend their support. That the vast majority of their learned colleagues and that all the evidence is against their ideas, does not dissuade them as they are usually aligned to their cause as a matter of faith over reason.

    You mention the part of the Expelled film in which Dawkins makes a facetious answer to a question on the origin of life, but this cannot possibly be linked to “intelligent design.” Dawkins work was on evolution, not abiogenesis. From wiki, “abiogenesis, or origin of life, is the study of how life on Earth could have arisen from inanimate matter. It should not be confused with evolution, which is the study of how living things have changed over time.”

    Those you mention with other ideas have only to provide comprehensive evidence to have their ideas accepted.

  • Fin,

    When you think of the fact that so many creationists consider the world to be less than 7,000 years old, the National Trust are probably relieved that nobody told Sammy Wilson that the Giant’s Causway is an extinct 23- million years old volcanoe.

  • Damian O’Loan

    Shore Road Resident,

    “Same reason they’d locate in the southern US, the mid-West, or Saudi or the Gulf States, or Nigeria”

    Unlike all the places you mentioned, there is no oil in NI, which is perhaps fortunate.

    So, NI must trade on its skills – as the MLAs often say. How do you sell those skills as effectively as possible when the leadership shows itself incapable of critical analysis should the findings conflict with their religious views?

    If we are to ask for higher wages than those paid in China, India or Morocco, we have to produce higher-skilled adults. So, sending children off to learn about creationism should be left to parents on a Sunday at church, and schools should teach them science. The relevant scientific paradigm with most evidence stems from Darwin, so pupils visiting the museum should learn about that. To offer anything else is an abuse of power.

    I await your defense of selective bible-reading.

  • Driftwood

    eranu (and others)

    someone posted this a while back

    http://ncseweb.org/taking-action/project-steve

  • Catholic Observer

    RE:http://ncseweb.org/taking-action/project-steve

    Although I would agree with the sentiment being expressed, only a monumental tit would walk around wearing a T-shirt with “Teach Evolution” written on it.

  • Shore Road Resident

    Damian, I carry no candle for the Blessed Baby Jesus. I just find your assertion that a creationist local politician will scare off foreign investors to be ludicrous.
    If our current deputy first minister doesn’t frighten them off, Mervyn’s Bible Story Hour isn’t going to frighten them off either.

  • Greagoir O Frainclin

    “I wish the evolutionists would be honest enough to admit that their position is also a faith position. It is not science. Science is repeatable and observeable, when has any scientist ever created a living organism from non living materials. NEVER, spontaneous life is not repeatable or observeable therefore it is not science. So lets stop calling evolution science. It is a philosophy, a religion if you will but not science.”

    Ha, Ah yeah, but there is a bit more evidence to prove evolution, let’s say, an awful lot, where as there is no evidence to prove god in the high heavens!

    The religious folk of the Irish Republic were somewhat a laughing stock to Northern Protestants for their devotion to the Catholic Church and all the trappings of moving statues, relics, rosary beads, etc…Stuff of superstition that kinda gave them some solace and hope in unfortunate and impoverished times as they thought, as it was all they had too, but nevertheless the “papists” were somewhat of a joke to our northern brethern.
    However those days are gone. Folk down south now (bar of course the elderly) don’t give a flying fuck about faith or the Catholic Church. And I doubt if they’ll be flocking back, in these credit crunch times either.
    Instead, it now appears that there is a substantial amount of ultra religious folk up north who still hold dear an attachment to such archaic beliefs, given the opinions here on Slugger about evolution. Not only that, but there are government ministers, the leader of the Assembly at one stage being a fundamentalist Christian and the leader of his own church. (And not forgetting the recent denial by the NI Minister of the Environment).
    The impression of northern folk now is not that of a secular business minded people but more of a stubborn and religious fundamentalist folk, out of tune with contemporary society of the UK and the rest of western world.
    Ironic now, that they are now somewhat the laughing stock of the island of Ireland.

    And I suppose some folk would raise a glass to that!

  • These evolution discussions on Slugger tend to go around in circles. Creationists come on here thinking that no progress has been made by science in the 150 years science The Origin was published. Then the rest of us have to rush in educating them.

    Fact: we’ve heard all the creationist arguments before, repeatedly, and they are still not convincing us. Creationists however haven’t heard all the evidence for evolution by natural selection.

    Every problem with his theory that creationists mention in 2009 was mentioned by Darwin himself in his book. He knew that a lot of work was needed, such as the discovery of the structure of DNA for example, to fill in the blanks. The excellent “What Darwin Didn’t Know” on the BBC a couple of weeks ago covered this well.

    We are closely related to every other living thing, as an analysis of DNA will reveal. And foetuses across species look surprisingly similar in the beginning. Evolution is observable; we see viruses evolving to our antibiotics as just one small example that is plain today. It’s repeatable; that documentary gave a fascinating example involving two separate and isolated lakes in Africa. The ‘missing link’ has been found.

    Basically, all the Ts have crossed and Is have been dotted. Evolution by natural selection explains the diversity of life, and explains why it is no surprise, once you have some sort of replicator, that humanity is one of the resulting species.

    Frankly, creationists, this is getting boring. The question of what sparked the first life is actually a bit boring, but yes it is important. A much bigger question, which wiser people should ask themselves, is why is there a universe in the first place? A bunch of rocks floating around space is MUCH more dramatic and awe inspiring than is the fact that some of those rocks turned into replicators.

    Given that the creation of the universe 15 billion years ago is the only issue worthy of philosophical discussion, why do creationists make such a fuss about the last 4.6 billion years during which the Earth existed and a rather pathetic self-important species calling itself Homo Sapiens huddled under their flimsy atmosphere trying to destroy that same atmosphere?

    Creationists, if they want to be consistent, should picket every scientific exhibition. “Boyle’s Law is true, but only ‘cos God says so”; however, this doesn’t have the same ring to it.

    Evolution by natural selection is just another boring scientific fact like the rest. Don’t embarass religion by wasting our time any more – get back to the big questions of the universe.
    Evolution vs. God is a sham fight.

  • Pete

    Sad but true Greagoir! Then again, I think the sectarian voting mindset of unionists has led to this position… We certainly haven’t been voting the most talented people to represent us have we.

    Lets hope this situation changes over the next few years!

  • kenny boy

    But why stop at Darwin? Creationists believe the world to be somewhere between 3003, 4004 or 10,000 years old. (Pick a number, any number) so not one of them could pass an O-Level in geology, astrology, ancient history etc. Copernicus, Galileo and the rest of them was wrong, the earth is flat because the bible tells me so

  • Neil

    I’ve participated in these debates here too many times to get sucked in again, plus it’s near time to get outta here and head home for the week end, but I have one thing to say.

    Arguing against people who can invoke magic (i.e. young Earth/Creationist/I.D.ers) is a waste of time, and all the logic in the world, up to this point, hasn’t shown them the errors of their ways, so you’re beating your head off a brick wall trying. Argue, but just for fun, or you’ll end up having a coronary.

  • Doctor Who

    catholic observer

    “Although I would agree with the sentiment being expressed, only a monumental tit would walk around wearing a T-shirt with “Teach Evolution” written on it.”

    A bigger tit might wear a Jesus saves or god is love t- shirt.

  • pauljames

    Nicely done Aaron

    The plaintive claims of several commenters echo Stephen Gould’s forlorn hope of “Nonoverlapping Magisteria” unfortunately my superstitious friends as soon as any religion falls back on supernatural claims by definition it steps outside its allocated magisterium. Catch 22 indeed.

  • Ulsters noy Irish

    what type of tit would wear a Doctor Who tee-shirt?

  • Sharon

    ““Although I would agree with the sentiment being expressed, only a monumental tit would walk around wearing a T-shirt with “Teach Evolution” written on it.”

    A bigger tit might wear a Jesus saves or god is love t- shirt. ”

    What’s wrong with big tits?

  • As Sharon above pointed out, the Ulster Museum sees itself to “house galleries and exhibitions of international significance interpreted in line with excellent scholarship and research.”

    But having just perused its new website, I remain depressed about the lack of a fine art museum in Northern Ireland.

    The Toledo Museum of Fine Art, from my original hometown and population about the same size as Belfast, has 30,000 items and blows the pants off any fine art exhibition the Ulster Museum has ever done, and from what I see, will ever do.

    I guess Ulster doesn’t do fine art, but folk and natural history will bring the pupils through the doors? Now they may even get a creationism exhibit, how wonderful.

  • Doctor Who

    Ulster noy irish

    “what type of tit would wear a Doctor Who tee-shirt?”

    Ceratinly not one who can´t spell not and doesn´t realise Ulster is in Ireland.

    Sharon

    Oh! im all for them, small ones too.

  • Reader

    Greagoir O Frainclin: The impression of northern folk now is not that of a secular business minded people but more of a stubborn and religious fundamentalist folk, out of tune with contemporary society of the UK and the rest of western world.
    And the other half are Socialists, judging by what the party they vote for claims.
    Alternatively; our two largest local parties are tribal headbangers, made up of self-selected fruitcakes beating the tribal drums to gather the votes of fools. The only real embarrassment is that there are so many local fools ready to vote for them.

  • New Yorker

    Creation is not only a religious issue, it is also a metaphysical issue: How does anything come from nothing, how does one thing change into another thing, etc. Science should not attempt to answer questions of that nature as it is beyond its remit. It would be within the Ulster Museum’s charter to present and debate the metaphysical issues involved, as well as the limits of science.

    Here’s a question for evolutionists: How did the earliest humans survive in an environment of stronger and faster animals?

  • pauljames

    Of course New Yorker we cant have uppity scientists asking questions that make a nonsense of your superstitions. Look what happened to that Galileo chap. BTW chimpanzees seemed to be doing rather well the last time I looked.

  • New Yorker

    pauljames

    The views of scientists on science are valid. When they ask and answer questions that are not science, then they only have the validity of the man in the street. The problem regarding discussions on Darwin is that some extend evolution beyond what it was meant to address. Social evolution is an example of overextending the principle of the evolution. That is when ‘scientists’ act uppity and propound hilarious concoctions some take as ‘gospel’.

  • pauljames

    New Yorker

    The views of the religious on religion are valid. When they ask and answer questions that are not religious then they only have the validity of the man on the street. The problem regarding discussions on God is that some extend religion beyond what it was meant to address. Any social pronouncment by (insert name of religion here) is an example of overextending the principle of religion. This is when priests/pastors/immans act uppity and propound hliarious concoctions some take as “science.”

    NOMA anyone?

  • Comrade Stalin

    LURIG:

    I am no great lover of the DUP but maybe Mervyn Storey has a point here.

    No, he doesn’t. He’s trying say that religion is an alternative to science. The trouble is, that it works both ways. Would churches ever be required to educate people on the “alternative views” to their own ? No.

    Many Christians know and acknowledge Darwins Theory but also believe that there might also be a greater creation behind this too. Some scientists DO NOT dismiss this thinking either so while we must surely promote scientific thinking we should also open people’s minds to other possibilities.

    Fundamentally, religion requires that your mind is closed to other possibilities. Most religions, including Christianity, talk of dire penalties for doubting whatever deity they worship.

    It is not unreasonable or crazy to put this thinking forward so what is the big deal and I say that as a committed Catholic.

    It is unreasonable, and it is crazy. Let’s make a deal. We’ll keep the science in the museum, and you can keep the religion in your church. If people want to find out about these “other views”, they can visit a church and check them out. Likewise, if the god-botherers ever want to open their minds to finding out some information for themselves rather than what is fed to them in a 2000 year old book, they can go to the museum. Seems like a reasonable compromise to me.

  • Comrade Stalin

    A question for the creationists. If evolution isn’t true, then can you explain why penicillin is in danger of becoming ineffective whereas previously it was ?

  • Reader

    Comrade Stalin: Seems like a reasonable compromise to me.
    And it would be if both were funded equally by the taxpayer. But they aren’t. Mind you – religious sentiment has more legal protection than scientific sentiment, so I suppose that’s balance of a sort.
    Instead, the real reason why science exhibitions should contain credible science instead of mumbo-jumbo is because they are ‘science’ exhibitions; which means there isn’t a short cut – the argument has to be won again and again, until creationism’s political weight declines to match its intellectual weight.

  • Driftwood

    Comrade Stalin
    Christianity is far from being the only creationist myth. it depends where on earth you grow up. If you grew up in Iran , well, there is a different myth. even ‘Christianity’ has many different versions. The Greeks and Romans and Scandinavians all had some great ‘Gods’. I like Thor and Wotan myself, being an old marvel comic fan.
    But (unfortunately) I had to grow up.
    Unlike most of the DUP and the Roman catholic church. reality intervenes, and some people prefer comic books. Ethics. Should people with an IQ above 100 take the comic books away from religious devotees?
    Is it not better to leave them with their delusion, and concentrate on policy makers,to shake mythology out of their job description?

  • joeCanuck

    If I don’t stop this pissing myself laughing I’m going to have to start wearing “Depends”. Can I claim these on my taxes seeing that it’s the “Government’s” fault?

  • abucs

    I actually like Charles Darwin, and respect the man tremendously. He made some mistakes with classifying blacks and mongoloids as sub-human, and what terrible things we should do do improve humanity, but he advanced our thought significantly in very many other areas.

    If he was alive today, i think he would be proud in many many ways but i do think he would also be alarmed at where his philosophy (not his science) was taken in the next 1 and 2 generations after his death.

    http://www.bun.kyoto-u.ac.jp/~suchii/DonEug.html

    http://www.britannica.com/blogs/2009/02/beyond-darwin-eugenics-social-darwinism-and-the-social-theory-of-the-natural-selection-of-humans/

    http://www.discovery.org/a/7251

    http://www.csustan.edu/history/faculty/weikart/fromdarwintohitler.htm

    There is science, there is the interpretation of science and then there are the results of that interpretation.

    It’s our materialistic interpretation of science, and thus its many results that is currently incorrect IMHO.

    Science – yes, materialistic interpretation of that science (atheism) – no.

    It is not only damaging to humanity, but it is not correct to begin with.

    Science is not atheism, atheism is not science.

    IMHO the materialistic interpretation of our science is incorrect and our efforts should be in helping people to see the difference and to refute the very recent efforts that have been made to tie atheism to science and create a false history of religions relationship to science.

  • Ian

    Oh my God! It was bad to hear of Sammy Wilson’s stupidity and worse to hear of Mr Storey’s view that Creationism should deserve equal merit in the Ulster Museum – theoretically a place of science and academic research NOT a church or chapel or some other centre for beliefs. Now Mr Storey has embarassed us even more by suggesting that The Giant’s Causeway shouldn’t be referred to a rock formation “millions of years old”. This is awful and we are to blame for voting for these numpties in the first place!!!

  • john donnelly

    Right Lads
    This is the story on this evolution lark.Religion IS based on reality you know.It IS based on facts .Jesus did exist for example.Religion is well able to comment on morality,philosophy and science. In fact theology is the queen of the sciences.So quit the crap about dichotomising religion and science.Science is just knowledge gleaned from experiment.
    Asfar as I am concerned if science posits natural selection and mutation as causal agents for us humans emanating from apes or chimps then it is defunct.Apes do not have the required genetic make up to change into humans over time.I dont disagree with adaptation or variation within the different kinds/species/genus/family but everyone can deduce from reality that cats will always be cats and dogs will always be dogs. One cannot change into the other and likewise by the same token a whale cannot change into a cow no matter how much time you allow.There has been no case of a mutation ever adding anything to the gene pool.Mutations are mistakes guys!So wise up the lot of you on here who are evolutionists. You are totally off beam and full of ignorance.Many scientists disagree with evolution.If you are a supporter of this theory then you are blind…pure and simple. Notice how I dont say there are no changes.Yes things change but charlie darwin extrapolated way too far.There are varatiuons within the different kinds of animals/plants etc.That is small change not the type of change that the macro evolutionist requires. Molecules do NOT turn into men.Get it straight!Wise up.Go to creationontheweb.com or in6days.ie and see if you can refute the scientific evidence against this lie called evolution.

  • Evolution does not assert that man descends from apes, merely that both had a common ancestor. As a teacher (according to your website) you should know that.

  • Ian

    Meanwhile back at the ranch…
    or The Causeway, to be precise…

    Do you think it correct that Creationists should suggest that the Causeway was created a few thousand years ago? Do you think that God created fossils and ‘aged’ the world, edited rock formations to make them look like they were really old etc etc?