Monday, 22 September 2008

News Round

From the BBC Magazine;
Who are the British creationists?

Widely believed in the United States, creationism - the belief that God created the earth and man in six days - is enjoying a resurgence of support in the UK, say its believers and its critics.

At first glance the Genesis Expo museum, in the naval town of Portsmouth, looks like any other repository of natural history exhibits: fossils of dinosaurs and unusual rock formations.

But focus on the narrative of the information panels alongside them, and you start to realise this is a museum with a difference - one dedicated to the theory of creationism.

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From Northern Ireland here;
Creationism and the classroom: Alex Kane

I have been teased for the past couple of weeks by a political correspondent from a national daily (he used to be based in Belfast and continues to monitor the websites) about the ongoing battle in the News Letter's letters' pages between the creationists and evolutionists. "Only in Northern Ireland, Alex, only in Northern Ireland," he would chuckle down the 'phone.

. . .

The difficulty in all of this lies in where, exactly, you would place creationism within the curriculum. In historical terms it's not that long ago (and in creationist terms it's only yesterday) that the official Biblical line was that the earth was flat and the sun circled it. Down the centuries, hundreds of scientists, writers, intellectuals and artists were hounded, bullied and even executed for making claims which today are provable fact. On those grounds, alone, I would have very grave reservations about my children being taught creationism as a science.

Personally, I am much more comfortable with evolution, since it makes perfect sense to me that we would have adapted to environment and circumstances over tens of thousands of years. To deny that is to deny the mountain of evidence that exists in places like the Natural History Museum in London. It is to deny the whole basis of carbon dating. It is to deny geological and anthropological discoveries. We know from hard evidence (photographs and records) that people in many parts of the world are now taller and live longer than they did a century ago.

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Australian scientists were hopeful Tuesday that two tonnes of bones found in the country's northeast are the remains of a new species of dinosaur. 

A two-week dig in the west of Queensland state has uncovered bones in an area which three years ago yielded the fossilised remains of a late Triassic period herbivore dubbed Matilda.

From PhysOrg.

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