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National Secular Society

Challenging Religious Privilege

National Trust to review creationist material at Giant's Causeway exhibit

Posted: Wed, 18 Jul 2012 14:10

National Trust to review creationist material at Giant's Causeway exhibit

The National Trust has announced plans to review the controversial exhibit in the new Giant's Causeway visitors centre in Northern Ireland which gives credence to the creationist 'explanation' of the natural phenomenon on Northern Ireland's north Antrim coast.

The exhibit at the UNESCO World Heritage Site sparked controversy after it suggested there was ongoing debate over when the rocks were formed. The exhibit states "Young Earth Creationists believe that the earth was created some 6000 years ago" and "Some people around the world, and specifically here in Northern Ireland, share this perspective."

A statement from the National Trust Press Office said:

"Having listened to our members' comments and concerns, we feel that clarity is needed. There is clearly no scientific debate about the age of the earth or how the Causeway stones were formed. The National Trust does not endorse or promote any other view.

"Our exhibits, literature and audio guides for visits to the Causeway stones and this renowned World Heritage Site all reflect this. To ensure that no further misunderstanding or misrepresentation of this exhibit can occur, we have decided to review the interpretive materials in this section."

Stephen Evans, Campaigns Manager at the National Secular Society, said: "We welcome news that the National Trust has listened to concerns and decided to review this misleading material. It now has a chance to restore its reputation after risking its integrity in a misguided attempt to appease creationists.

"While we can accept that its intention was not to promote or legitimise any of these opinions or views, by capitulating to religious demands that is exactly what it has done.

"We must remain vigilant to ensure that those who seek to promote religious propaganda and misinformation in place of education do not get a foothold in the UK."

Tags: Creationism, National Trust