Ireland’s economy makes a bright spot on the Emerald Isle. Ireland no longer appears the backward, backwater it was for much of the 20th century, producing people angry enough to write fantastically.
Northern Ireland? How can one small island contain such contradictions? Today, when religiously-fueled backwardness rears its head, it’s more often from the counties of Northern Ireland, the counties England still rules. It seems that religionists in the northern counties want to keep their area away from the economic success of the south, fighting against almost all advances in economics, technology, and thinking.
That’s the case with the most recent outbreak of creationist tom foolery.
In a recent eruption, Democratic Unionist Party called for intelligent design to be given equal time in public schools. Better, one guy says, get rid of evolution in science classes altogether, according to a story in The Irish Times (the good reporting and writing still comes from the southern counties). Heck, he’d probably be happy to get rid of science classes altogether.
Mervyn Storey, who chairs the Stormont education committee, said his “ideal” would be the removal of evolutionary teaching from the curriculum altogether.
“This is not about removing anything from the classroom, although that would probably be the ideal for me, but this is about us having equality of access to other views as to how the world came into existence and that I think is a very, very important issue for many parents in Northern Ireland.”
Mr Storey has also challenged education minister Caitríona Ruane to apply her principles of “equality” to the issue.
“She tells us she’s all for equality; surely if that is the case, you can’t have one set of interpretations being taught at the expense of others,” he told the Belfast News Letter.
Creationists take a position that even the radical Sinn Fein disavows. When your advocacy is outside the bounds of the radicals, it’s time to reevaluate.
Northern Ireland is already riven by religiously-driven strife. Creationism wants to throw gasoline on that fire. Pray for the peacemakers and scholars to win.
(Full text of The Irish Times story below the fold.)
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