Trojan Weasels

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Ted Nield on why the Trust had to withdraw its Gian’t Causeway text


Thanks to Mark Ribbands for the link

Originally published in Geoscientist – the independent Fellowship
magazine of The Geological Society of London.

In late July, the National Trust bowed to pressure to rewrite the interpretation boards it had lately installed at the Giant’s Causeway, Northern Ireland, which acknowledged the existence – particularly in the Six Counties – of a Young Earth Creationist (YEC) view of its formation. The Trust had come under intense pressure from groups of Christian fundamentalists, and alas made the mistake of bending a little too far backwards in accommodating them.

Scientists must never forget that anyone is free to believe whatever nonsense they like about the world, for their freedom is also our freedom. But that is not to say that we should accept the claims of fundamentalist believers that their version of creation myth has equivalent ‘scientific’ claim upon reality – and public attention.

It could have been worse. Scientists could take comfort that the panels clearly presented a proper scientific explanation first and relegated YECs to a subsidiary section about myths. The problem arose, however, not because YEC beliefs were mentioned (though that was too much for some) but because the Trust did more than nod to the existence of YEC beliefs when it stated: “This debate continues today for some people, who have an understanding of the formation of the earth which is different from that of current mainstream science.”
. . .

We would congratulate the Trust on its U-turn, were it not for our belief that it should not have been so naive in the first place.

Written By: Ted Nield – The Geological Society (UK)
continue to source article at geolsoc.org.uk

6 COMMENTS

  1. What the creationists do that should be illegal is label their myths  science .  That is like labeling urine-flavoured carbonated water as Champagne. Science has a very particular meaning.  It has standards of quality.  The creationists are deliberately mislabeling their pap, trying to get reputation of science to rub off on them. In the process they harm the reputation of science.  This is ironic given how they usually throw mud at science and scientists.

    These are not merely misguided individuals, they are crooks.

  2. The last line in the article says:

    “We would congratulate the Trust on its U-turn, were it not for our
    belief that it should not have been so naive in the first place”.

    I don’t get it. Is the article saying the Trust has done a u-turn on its u-turn?

  3. The article is from the September 2012 edition of Geoscience, the Fellowship magazine of the Geological Society of London. The article title is ‘Trojan Weasels’, but what you can’t see is the index text to the article, which reads, ‘Ted Nield on why the National Trust’s  Giant’s Causeway text had to be withdrawn’. 

    It appears that the author is only commending the National Trust’s decision to withdraw the text for review and I don’t think they’ve issued any statement yet on what they intend to do (issuing an apology might be a good start).

    The Geological Society issued a policy statement on Young Earth Creationism in 2008, which is worth a read, http://www.geolsoc.org.uk/gsl/

    And another one on climate change in 2010, http://www.geolsoc.org.uk/gsl/

    Phill

  4. I don’t understand how America has moved so far backwards so fast. I am only 27. When I was a child we went to church every Wednesday and Sunday. Both my parents taught sermons. By any measure a very religious family in a very religious small town.  Yet EVERYONE believed in evolution NO ONE believed the world was only 6000 years old. Everyone understood the bible was allegorical. I remember asking my father about a bible story that I didn’t understand. Now my father, a teacher and deacon of an evangelical baptist church mind you, sits me down and explains that I’m looking at it wrong. It doesn’t mean literally what it says. That primitive people thousands of years ago couldn’t read or write so they used colorful stories because they are memorable to pass on lessons. Much like the Easops fables I read i school. Now how do we go from that to were we are now?

  5.   phill marston
    The article is from the September 2012 edition of Geoscience, the Fellowship magazine of the Geological Society of London. The article title is ‘Trojan Weasels’, but what you can’t see is the index text to the article, which reads, ‘Ted Nield on why the National Trust’s  Giant’s Causeway text had to be withdrawn’.

    I think the point Phil, is that YECs infiltrate organisations or political committees, to insert their pseudoscience where they can, and wherever the ill-informed, careless, weak or gullible will let them.

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