Pharyngula

Europe is getting a wedgie

I’m glad someone at the New Humanist is catching on: that little bit of performance art at the Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland, in which the creationists got their falsified myth inserted into the National Trust’s exhibits, is exactly how they operate. Every little advantage is pursued in order to falsify the existence of legitimate support. As Paul Sims explains:

The reference to creationism at the Causeway may only represent a small concession to the creationist view, but what the National Trust needs to be aware of is that winning such small concessions forms a key part of creationist strategy. By encouraging organisations such as the National Trust to acknowledge creationist perspectives, it is possible that the Caleb Foundation are following the "Wedge Strategy", a tactic devised by creationists in the United States, most notoriously the Discovery Institute, in order to "permeate religious, cultural, moral and political life" with creationism and Intelligent Design.

Aware that they can not simply convert the American public to creationism overnight, the architects of the Wedge Strategy aim to persuade politicians, journalists and educators that the correct approach to "debates" around evolution and the age of the Earth is to "Teach the Controversy", giving perspective such as creationism and Intelligent Design a hearing alongside scientific theories. Through "Teach the Controversy", creationists hope that their perspective will acquire a greater presence in educational establishments and the media. In short, once one school, or one museum, or one newspaper, starts to deal with evolution alongside creationism, others will follow.

Exactly! Creationists are not stupid. Most people don’t know much about science, and rely on the word of authorities…so when an official government agency gives even a tiny sop of acknowledgment to bogus nonsense like creationism, it legitimizes their claims, enough to cause a little bit of doubt about the science, and a little nod of approval to lies.

You can’t give a millimeter. Just present the science honestly, and don’t pander to ignorance.

Comments

  1. #1 Phillip
    July 12, 2012

    “Creationists are not stupid”

    That’s actually the first truthful post I have seen in years at this site.

    Of course creationists are not stupid. We didn’t evolve from apes like you did. If you have ape brain material then you are not as smart as people who were created from the hand of the living almighty God. Sorry, but people who are related to monkeys are dumber than people created by God. That’s just life. Deal with it. If you got ape relations, then you think like an ape. Simple concept.

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  3. #3 Ian Kemmish
    July 12, 2012

    Well, firstly, the National Trust isn’t a government agency, it’s a trust. The clue is in the name.

    Secondly, even ten minutes exposure to the Internet should be enough to persuade you that “most people” distrust nothing more than they distrust “the authorities”.

    Thirdly, the whole point of the Giant’s Causeway is the various myths about its formation. What’s one more?

    If you want to come across as all responsible and smart and thereby dissuade people from becoming Creationists, posts like this are unlikely to be the way to go.

  4. #4 Paulo Matos
    Cambridge, UK
    July 12, 2012

    I have sent them a letter and got the following reply:

    Quote:

    Dear Sir/Madam

    Thank you for your email dated 11th July and for your comments.

    Below is our position statement, if you have any further questions please contact the regional office for Northern Ireland on NI.customerenquiries@nationaltrust.org.uk.

    Position Statement:

    The Giant’s Causeway visitor centre provides a state-of-the-art exhibition area which showcases the science and the stories of the Giant’s Causeway.

    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.

    For centuries the Giant’s Causeway has prompted debate about how it was formed and how old it is.

    One of the exhibits in the Giant’s Causeway visitor centre tells the story of the part the Giant’s Causeway played in the historic debate about how the earth’s rocks were formed and about the age of the earth.

    In this exhibit we also state that for some people this debate continues today.

    A National Trust spokesperson said: “The interpretation in the visitor centre showcases the science of how the stones were formed, the history of this special place and the stories of local characters.

    “We reflect, in a small part of the exhibition, that the Causeway played a role in the historic debate about the formation of the earth, and that for some people this debate continues today.

    “The National Trust fully supports the scientific explanation for the creation of the stones 60 million years ago.

    “We would encourage people to come along, view the interpretation and judge for themselves.”

    Kind regards

    Beth Culleton
    Member and Supporter Services Centre
    National Trust
    —–
    End quote.

  5. #5 Hrothgar4
    UK
    July 12, 2012

    I’m seriously questioning whehter I should return my NT Membership card to revoke my membership and enclose a copy of “The Greatest Show on Earth” saying “please read”!

  6. #6 chris
    Ohio
    July 12, 2012

    Ah, the proverbial camel’s nose in the tent.

    Frankly I’m shocked they allowed it. NI is very religious though. They probably see it as “equal access”.

    Chris

  7. #7 Len Langan
    Australia
    July 12, 2012

    Don’t throw the baby out with the bath water. It astonishes everyone that the believers in the new religion “Science” are as bigoted as the worst fundamentalist. You are all shouting “We don’t believe in God but we want to destroy Him” If other people want to believe and draw comfort from their faith why not leave them alone. After all you do not know that there is no great architect. The wonders of Creation are far beyond our comprehension and the long arm of coincidence stretches a longer fairy story than the belief in a Creative Being. It all happened by coincidence?
    Really? And you absolutely know that for certain do you?
    If you answer “Yes” you are a narrow, arrogant liar; because no one does.

  8. #8 Optimus monkey
    July 13, 2012

    There is science and medical science, the former seems to have some kind of rational behind it, most people support the idea we need it.

    The latter has been hyjacked by some kind of quasi medical religion that keeps inventing world pandemics and things like vaccines that have no EBM for efficacy and yet cost a packet to produce for no end health benefit.

    it keeps renaming diseases when novel drugs are produced to ‘get rid of it’ and when the drugs don’t work it’s the genes of the patients, never the drug at fault.

  9. #9 bismarket
    London, U.K.
    July 14, 2012

    The Giants Causeway, is so named because of a legend about a “Fight” between 2 “Giants” from Ireland & Scotland. (As far as i’m aware) NOBODY believes this is actually true. IF the Creationists are using this story to “Prove” Creationism, i say, have at it because i’ve NEVER (as far as i’m aware) met anyone dumb enough to fall for it that’s over 6Yrs old. NB; I use parentheses because i AM aware that Creationists are incredibly DUMB!

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