Dr Johnson famously said of the Giant’s Causeway that it was “worth seeing, but not worth going to see”. Having been a few times I would have to concur with that judgement.
But now it seems it might again attract some visitors, if only as a monument to folly.
On a day that the scientific method, through the experimental discovery of what is surely the Higgs Boson, has scored a triumph that matches Le Verrier’s prediction of Neptune, another story about science is also in the limelight with the National Trust, who own the Causeway, giving the impression that the metaphysical speculation of fools and idiots has a scientific basis.
In the newly opened visitors’ centre for the Causeway, the Trust state:
“This debate [over creationism] continues today for some people, who have an understanding of the formation of the earth which is different from that of current mainstream science.
“Young Earth Creationists believe that the earth was created some 6,000 years ago. This is based on a specific interpretation of the Bible and in particular the account of creation in the book of Genesis.
“Some people around the world, and specifically here in Northern Ireland, share this perspective.
“Young Earth Creationists continue to debate questions about the age of the earth. As we have seen from the past, and understand today, perhaps the Giant’s Causeway will continue to prompt awe and wonder, and arouse debate and challenging questions for as long as visitors come to see it.”
Let’s be crystal clear here. There is no scientific “debate” over “Young Earth Creationism”, any more than there is over whether the Moon has oceans or the Earth is flat. In fact there is no real “debate” of any kind, because how can you debate rationally with people who are plainly idiots driven by a faith they say is beyond scientific testing to make statements about the nature of the physical world? The suggestion that this is a “scientific interpretation” of anything is beyond comedy, it’s an insult to the intelligence of every reader.
What is most reprehensible here is that the Trust have plainly done this because they hoped it would give them a quiet life politically as – as they rightly state – in so many many ways Northern Ireland has yet to join the nineteenth, never mind the twenty-first century and there are people (not many, but some) who believe in the literal truth of the first chapter of the Bible.
The National Trust are now seeking to defend themselves by saying they accept the science. Well then, why did they not stick to that and leave the fairy tales elsewhere?
- Giants’ Causeway: “This is, as far as we are aware, a first for the National Trust anywhere in the UK, and it sets a precedent for others to follow…” (sluggerotoole.com)
- Giant’s Causeway visitor centre interpretation (ntpressoffice.wordpress.com)
- Creationist view on show at new Giant’s Causeway visitors’ centre (newhumanist.org.uk)
- New Humanist Blog : Update: National Trust statement on Giant’s Causeway creationism controversy (newhumanist.org.uk)
- National Trust reference creationism at the Giant’s Causeway (guardian.co.uk)
- National Trust in Giant’s Causeway creationism row (independent.co.uk)
- U.K.’s National Trust promotes creationism! (whyevolutionistrue.wordpress.com)
- A poll to determine whether Northern Ireland sucks (freethoughtblogs.com)