Trust defends NI creationist exhibit

Published Thursday, 05 July 2012
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The National Trust has insisted its decision to represent creationist views at the Giant's Causeway Visitors' Centre does not impact on its "entirely unequivocal acceptance of mainstream science".

Trust defends NI creationist exhibit
The centre opened to the public this week. (© Pacemaker)

UTV reported on Wednesday that the Trust had worked alongside the Caleb Foundation, which represents evangelical Christians in Northern Ireland, during the development of the £18.5m state-of-the-art centre.

As well as detailing the science behind the Causeway's formation 60 million years ago, the centre includes debates from historical figures- including the biblical view that the world is just 6,000 years old.

In a further statement on Thursday, the National Trust stressed that such views were only presented in a small part of the exhibition and reflected both historic debate and the views held by "some people today".

All of the information presented to visitors in relation to how the Giant’s Causeway was formed, and how old it is, clearly reflects mainstream scientific understanding that the Causeway stones were formed 60 million years ago.

National Trust

During an interactive audio exhibition, the historical figures of the rector of Clonfeacle Reverend Doctor William Richardson and geologist James Hutton debate the formation of the Causeway.

"I am a keen naturalist, so I have every sympathy for open-minded scientific enquiry. But as I say, I am deeply concerned that Mr. Hutton may mislead you with his theories on the age of the Earth," the rector is heard to say.

"We know from the Bible that the Earth is 6,000 years old - one has merely to count the generations between Adam and the birth of Our Lord.

"And for all his eminence as a geologist, and his standing with the Royal Society in Edinburgh, that makes Mr. Hutton's theory nonsense!"

Mr Hutton responds: "Now, now, Dr. Richardson - I am well aware that my theory is challenging, upsetting to many. I myself find it dizzying.

"Yet when I look at the evidence, at the slow and steady volcanic formation of rocks - occurring even as we speak - I am driven to believe that 6,000 years is a mere blink in the life of the Earth.

"I see no vestige of a beginning, no prospect of an end!"

The National Trust says it encourages people to view and listen to the interpretation and judge for themselves.

The Giant's Causeway world heritage site is visited by approximately 600,000 visitors every year.

The poll previously displayed on this page was removed on Friday 6 July 2012 at 11am (BST) due to obvious irregularities in the voting pattern. The irregularities were the result of a spam attack which threatened site performance. As a result, the poll has been removed.

© UTV News
Comments Comments
Hugh in Colerainea wrote (937 days ago):
How dare you label this a "Christian nation". Is it also a white nation? A heterosexual nation? A female nation?
Dave Mathews in Lisburn wrote (937 days ago):
There is no dispute worth talking about regarding creationism in the scientific community. Go ahead, look for yourself, and no, not just on creationist websites. It's no coincidence that creationists have so little understanding nevermind about what evolution actually is, but generally what science really is either. And it's incredibly depressing that people in the 21st century have the audacity to criticise evolution theory because it is a theory. Typical of the face-palming ignorance of these dishonest and/or unwary arguments. You don't know the definition of 'theory'; you're confusing it with 'hypothesis', which is what creationism is if anything. Germs are a theory. Atoms are a theory. Gravity is a theory. Electricity is a theory. You creationists simply can't grasp that EVERYONE understands what creationism is, but YOU don't understand what evolution is. Don't you see this is EXACTLY the same close-minded attitude that fought and indeed still fights against the sun orbiting the earth and the earth being flat?? But thanks to REAL science, not "but evolution is only a theory" nonsense, we no longer live in the Bronze Age.
stephanie mcclean in northernireland wrote (938 days ago):
There is a God he is all powerfull and go read ur bible if u dont belive
Carla in Belfast wrote (938 days ago):
It is great to see that the National Trust are representing the views of Christians at their new centre. The beauty of the Giant's Causeway is a glimpse into the amazing heart of a God Who loves every person so much that He sent His own Son to die for them. "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth" Genesis 1v1. God made the earth, and He made us. He has a wonderful plan for your life!
wesley hunter in comber wrote (938 days ago):
I. have 2 comments to add . 1 The National Trust real should take a look at their name ,when i last checked this was a Christian nation and the national trust only trust this nation on pay day. 2. When God looked at His handy work after 6 days He seen it was good so he rested on the seventh day. 1 week old man stood up a tilled Gods garden. Every plant every tree was 1 week old every rock every snow drop and bluebell all new .God did not use some ageing process to age what he had just made from nothing. Which in itself is a whole new thing unless you are the national who got a brand new centre at godly tax payer s expence , and do they givea little back like a gift to there great God. answer NO
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