Monday, 2 July 2007

DUP dinosaurs target Darwinism

While there is no shortage of political dinosaurs roaming around the Assembly, their existence had not yet called evolutionary biology into question. That was until this week and the intervention of the DUP’s Mervyn Storey at a meeting of the education committee. He demanded that the minister bring forward proposals "to ensure that scientific explanations, other than Darwinian evolution, are taught in schools as scientific explanations". This was clearly a reference to the theory of "intelligent design" which dresses up divinely inspired creationism as science. Such theories have been comprehensively debunked by the scientific community, and even the federal courts in the US have outlawed it’s inclusion in science classes as unconstitutional.

The only thing more ridiculous than the DUP proposal was the response of the education minister. Rather than dismiss this as the nonsense it is Sinn Fein’s Catriona Rune accommodated it, assuring the DUP that in the revised curriculum there would "be greater flexibility for schools to include teaching of alternative theories to evolution". Under the spurious concept of concept of equality that prevails at Stormront theological claptrap is put on a par with scientific theory. However, this just one small part of a broader peace process in which reaction and bigotry are recognised and accommodated as legitimate. No wonder the DUP are satisfied with this settlement. Under its terms no one will be making monkeys out of them.

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