Causeway centre gives creationist view

Published Wednesday, 04 July 2012
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An exhibit in the new Giants' Causeway Visitors' Centre acknowledges the creationist view of how the world-famous stones were formed.

Causeway centre gives creationist view
The centre opened to the public this week. (© Pacemaker)

The National Trust said it wanted to "reflect and respect" the fact that some people contest the views of mainstream science.

Its state-of-the-art new complex, which opened on Tuesday, features an interactive audio exhibition showcasing the stories and the science behind the Giants' Causeway.

It looks at the origins of the basaltic columns on the Co Antrim coastline.

The trust said that the exhibit gives recognition to the fact that, for creationists, the debate about the age of the Earth is still ongoing.

A statement read: "The Giants' Causeway has always prompted debate about how it was formed and how old it is.

"One of the exhibits in the Giants' Causeway Visitors' Centre interpretation tells the story of the part the Giants' Causeway played in the debate about how the Earth's rocks were formed and the age of the Earth.

"This is an interactive audio exhibition in which visitors can hear some of the different debates from historical characters.

"In this exhibition we also acknowledge that for some people, this debate continues today and we reflect and respect the fact that creationists today have a different perspective on the age of the Earth from that of mainstream science."

The National Trust worked alongside the Caleb Foundation, which represents mainstream evangelical Christians in Northern Ireland, during the development of the centre.

Its chairman, Wallace Thompson, said he is pleased with the result of the engagement and the inclusion of the creationist view.

"We have worked closely with the National Trust over many months with a view to ensuring that the new Causeway Visitor Centre includes an acknowledgement both of the legitimacy of the creationist position on the origins of the unique Causeway stones and of the ongoing debate around this," Mr Thompson said.

"We want to thank senior National Trust officials who have worked closely with us over a prolonged period, and we are pleased that this constructive engagement has helped to bring about such a positive result.

"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."

Over 600,000 visitors come to see the Unesco World Heritage Site every year.

The £18.5m new centre, which takes the form of an underground complex with a sloping grass roof hiding it from view, opened its doors to the public some 11 years after the previous one was destroyed in a fire.


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621 Comments
John Lowe in Australia wrote (840 days ago):
I have to disagree with some of Maria Teodosio’s comments. Firstly, evolution is based on a belief. It is the belief that that the universe came to be as it is today through a godless process. Secondly, natural selection could only be described as random surely? As for Maria saying “There's no commitment to materialism, Has she read my previous comment where I gave this quote from Richard Lewontin, Professor of Zoology and Professor of Biology at Harvard University? “We take the side of science in spite of the patent absurdity of some of its constructs, in spite of its failure to fulfil many of its extravagant promises of health and life, in spite of the tolerance of the scientific community for unsubstantiated just-so stories, because we have a prior commitment, a commitment to materialism. It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world, but, on the contrary, that we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counter-intuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that materialism is an absolute, for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door.” Neither is Lewontin, a lone voice. Professor D.M.S. Watson, a much respected biologists in his day, wrote: “Evolution [is] a theory universally accepted not because it can be proven by logically coherent evidence to be true, but because the only alternative, special creation, is clearly incredible”. D.M.S. Watson, Adaptation, Nature 124:233, 1929. Finally, Renowned Canadian science philosopher Dr Michael Ruse admitted, “Evolution as a scientific theory makes a commitment to a kind of naturalism” but this “may not be a good thing to admit in a court of law.” Symposium titled The New Anti-Evolutionism (during the 1993 annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science). If Maria is prepared to examine evolutionary claims without insisting on an exclusively materialistic approach then she should be commended. However, she should spread the word among her evolutionary friends.
Maria Teodosio in portugal wrote (844 days ago):
evolution isn't based on belief, it's a fact - there's the fact "evolution" and the evolution theory. evolution by means of natural selection is not random at all. There's no commitment to materialism: there's science and there's religion, there are theories and there are assumptions/hypothesis. An hypothesis can't be treated as theory - it's less scientifically correct than a theory until it's demonstrated otherwise.
the dave in coleraine wrote (852 days ago):
I found the small nod to creation myth beliefs in an audio debate piece fairly inoffensive, even as an atheist. The new centre however is a hideous carbunble of polished black stone looking most like the industrial shuttering for a deep excavation site and a pile of souless grey concrete, with generic IKEA furniture and CGI cartoons inside. From a distance it loks like a quarry, and fails in any way to blend with the landscape as promised. It smells of an expensive gravy train gone very wrong to a lot of people locally who will be forced to look at it forever more. And this concrete monstrosity can't even ever burn down like the previous well loved visitor cente. It's massively ugly and completely blocks the way to our greatest tourist attraction. Well done to all eejits involved and now chaw-hawing in congratulations to each other :(
Mr J in NI wrote (855 days ago):
So I hear the causeway are doing a review of the creationist viewpoint in their displays. Can someone please explain the following... The causeway WILL do a review on the creationist argument. An argument which is based on science. Cosmology, physics, molecular biology all point towards a world and universe that was designed (not by chance). The causeway WILL NOT do a review of the evolution/darwinistic argument. An argument that is refuted by almost every facet of science and is nothing more than a lie. This is the same viewpoint that many atheistics themselves even refute. I could go on and on about how conscience for example cannot be explained in the slightest by evolution. How on earth can anyone see the sense in that? Science really is being rejected... myth is being permitted.
david cooper in Wales wrote (855 days ago):
I believe the moon is made of green cheese. It's obvious from its appearance in the night sky that it is made of cheese of some sort. The jury is still out on whether it is green or not. The suggestion that the moon is made of rock is just tired establishment orthodoxy which can be dismissed out of hand.
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