Just a quick post as I’m cycle touring and Internet access is infrequent.
Yesterday’s Guardian had an article describing the Culture Minister Nelson McCausland’s view that the Ulster Museum should better reflect creationist views. McCausland’s reported to have said that this is a “human rights issue”, as he claims that around a third of the Northern Ireland population hold creationist views, and he thinks that the museum should “reflect the views of all the people in Northern Ireland in all it’s richness and diversity”. This isn’t his only slightly odd belief – he’s reported to believe that Ulster Protestants are one of the lost tribes of Israel.
On a cultural and historical level inclusion of creationist views is perhaps acceptable – after all, in the 17th Century, Archbishop Ussher calculated the date of the Earth’s creation as October 4004 BC – but in relation to scientific exhibits such a view is risible.
McCausland’s views appear to be shared by his NI Assembly colleague Mervyn Storey, who’s reported to have been at the forefront of a campaign to promote creationism in Northern Ireland’s museums. More worryingly, Storey was the chair of the NI Assembly education committee, though by implication no longer holds that role. Is Mervyn Storey Northern Ireland’s counterpart of Texan dentist Don McLeroy?