Fundies in Stormont

politics rant, conservatives, politics

The USA has plenty of prominent fundamentalists in important positions, but for the most part the UK has seemed to avoid it. Except in Northern Ireland, where apparently the government is full of them. For example, Mervyn Storey, who threatened the Ulster Museum in Belfast with legal action if they went ahead with an exhibition on evolution, because apparently it’s discrimination.

Yep, because some people don’t believe in it, it’s discriminatory to even talk about it.

“They could be subject to a legal challenge under equality legislation within Northern Ireland if they chose to ignore alternative views that many people here in the Province believe in,” he said.

Firstly, it is not required for a museum to put on exhibitions about everything under the sun. I’d be surprised if the exhibition didn’t talk about alternative theories at all, but the exhibition is focusing on evolution.

The bit which pisses me off the most:

…and let’s stress it is still only a theory…

“Only a theory” demonstrates that he has no clue what a theory is; for a start, I’m not even convinced that creationism/intelligent-design are even theories at all. According to the United States National Academy of Sciences:

A scientific theory is a well-substantiated explanation of some aspect of the natural world, based on a body of facts that have been repeatedly confirmed through observation and experiment. Such fact-supported theories are not “guesses” but reliable accounts of the real world.

Creationism and “Intelligent Design” are not, by that definition, theories. They’re simply statements that this is how the world works. At best, they start with the assumption that God exists and then look for evidence to support that belief. That is not science.

(The National Academy of Sciences goes on to say “The theory of biological evolution is more than”just a theory.” It is as factual an explanation of the universe as the atomic theory of matter or the germ theory of disease. Our understanding of gravity is still a work in progress. But the phenomenon of gravity, like evolution, is an accepted fact”; that is, we know evolution happens, just like we know gravity happens; we just don’t quite understand all the details as to why.)