NOT ONLY IN AMERICA

Question: What do you call a philistine in Northern Ireland?
Answer: The Minister of Culture.

From THE GUARDIAN:

Northern Ireland's born-again Christian culture minister has called on the Ulster Museum to put on exhibits reflecting the view that the world was made by God only several thousand years ago.

Nelson McCausland, who believes that Ulster Protestants are one of the lost tribes of Israel, has written to the museum's board of trustees urging them to reflect creationist and intelligent design theories of the universe's origins.

The Democratic Unionist minister said the inclusion of anti-Darwinian theories in the museum was "a human rights issue".

"I have had more letters from the public on this issue than any other issue," he said.

The minister said he wrote a "very balanced letter" to the museum because he wanted to "reflect the views of all the people in Northern Ireland in all its richness and diversity".

His call was condemned by the evolutionary biologist Professor Richard Dawkins, who said: "If the museum was to go down that road then perhaps they should bring in the stork theory of where babies come from. Or perhaps the museum should introduce the flat earth theory."

Dawkins said it was irrelevant if a large number of people in Northern Ireland refused to believe in evolution. "Scientific evidence can't be democratically decided," Dawkins said.

COMMENT: For goodness sake, it most certainly can't. Anyway, I thought everyone knew Dicky was in charge of deciding what is scientific truth and what isn't.

Two cuckoos in the same nest, if you ask me.

Thanks to Themethatisme for the link to this story.

Comments

NOT ONLY IN AMERICA — 23 Comments

  1. Regrettably, I find myself agreeing with Richard Dawkins on this one occasion – which is unsettling because, in the absence of irrefutable proof of his existence, I don’t actually believe in him.

  2. I agree with him ridiculing the cultural minister. But his “not democracy” statement is a bit rich. In England, peer review is often no more than a vote (restricted to “important” academics). The number of incidences where peer review has been proved not only wrong but downright vindictive is very high. As long as you have arrogant pigheads like Dorkins involved it will remain a very unscientific way of deciding what is and what isn’t true. I’m not saying it should, or can, be replaced. I am saying that we should be a bit more humble about truth claims decided by such a human system.

  3. Peer review is an ongoing process. Note that initial results and conclusions are either refuted or supported because other scientists (peers) have looked at and/or repeated them. Can it go wrong? Yes temporarily but it is better than any other method known for winnowing.

  4. Something that I read the other day lead me to realize that if creation were but a mere 10,000 years old, then, with the exception of what is here in the neighborhood of Sol’s own star system, the night sky would be very dark. The light from most objects in space would not have had the time to travel here for us to see.

  5. “I have had more letters from the public on this issue than any other issue,” he said.

    Do you suppose he got more than one letter?

  6. For a change Dorky is correct. And actually his sarcasm works.

    Peer review is another matter entire. Peer review told Goddard that rockets would not work is space. Yup! I guess all those satellites are not up there.

    It is a bit scary to think this sort of stupid anti-science politics is no longer confined to our Bible belt. I thought the only virus we had to worry about was HIV.

    FWIW
    jimB

  7. “I am saying that we should be a bit more humble about truth claims decided by such a human system.”

    Here, The Wiener is in full agreement, and would like to see more museums and textbooks providing instruction regarding the wiener-centric universe. I have explained to him that to gain any respect, the Wienerists (The Sausagists in the UK) will need to establish a society and create a website as the Dawkins, Creationists and the Flatearthers have done, at which point he seems to lose interest.

    Word Verification – “eates” — I think that The Wienerists area already taking control.

  8. I think that’s what I said, Erp. But, unfortunately, in every discipline, academics are the most arrogant and plain nasty (to each other) people on the planet. Dicky Dorkins’ small print might say what you say, but his mouth never does.

  9. I think you’ll find that the protestant celts were at it a long time before there was a Bible Belt. In fact, we got rid of most of the nutters by sending them to you (hence the Bible Belt). The ones in Northern Ireland are the descendants of those who couldn’t swim very far.

  10. Not forgetting, Mad Priest, that the ones who stayed behind were those members of the population who could not work out how to swim at all, and eventually twigged after many abortive attempts that they would have to simply put up with each other and the weather.

  11. Actually, I’d quite like an exhibit on the Flat Earth Society – it could illustrate how old theories are superceeded. It could also explain why heaven is “up” and hell is “down”. It could be allied to the picture of the earth resting on the back of the great turtle.

  12. And don’t forget: “It’s turtles all the way down!”

    Also, Dah*veed, your point about the night sky is simply first rate. I never thought of that – although, now that you mention it, it seems obvious.

  13. Dear Mr. McCausland–
    On behalf of those tribes of Israel that never got lost–we will never admit you are our relative, even if you were (which you aren’t, because everyone knows the Celts are descended from Japeth.)

    Sincerely yours

    Kishnevi

  14. “Nelson McCausland, who believes that Ulster Protestants are one of the lost tribes of Israel…”

    I am not Irish but I am a God-fearing Christian, so of course I have absolutely no clue how Irish Catholics could be lost heathen but Irish Protestants could be a lost tribe. If that’s true, however, it sounds like very good evidence for creationist and stork theory indeed.

  15. Northern Ireland protestants are definitely lost. They have been for centuries. But, the same goes for Northern Ireland catholics.

  16. I have absolutely no clue how Irish Catholics could be lost heathen but Irish Protestants could be a lost tribe

    I can’t help feeling there must be some connection with Jesus having visited Glastonbury. Perhaps one of the tribes followed him most of the way across Europe, hoping to be part of the crowd at the inaugural Glastonbury Festival, then at the point he continued on ahead to the West Country they circled round the roundabout one too many times and ended up in an Irish pub instead.

  17. …”they circled round the roundabout one too many times and ended up in an Irish pub instead.”

    It really needs to be said: Gosh, Cathy, it’s nice to have you hanging out here!

    (Too, too funny!)

    Hmm. Word verification is “hylorr”:

    Run! Run for your lives from the dreaded hylorr!