CREATIONISM AND THE NATIONAL TRUST
The Giants’ Causeway, Northern Ireland.
If any one of us were to build a wall and stand back and look at it and be proud of it even though we know we should have used something more adhesive than fresh air to hold the bricks together, then we would be understandably miffed if someone came along and removed a bottom brick so that the whole edifice threatened to fall down. We would be mortified: all that work collapsed into a pile of rubble. It might cross our minds, of course, that the wall wasn’t that well built in the first place, if the removal of one brick, one small and insignificant block of clay, could cause such a major collapse. But our overriding emotion might be one of anger, that someone else, seeing the frailty of our wall, should take just one teensy weensy little brick out of it and bring the whole lot down.
The above is an analogy of how I see the structure of the major religions on this planet of ours. Constructed in ignorance thousands of years ago, they have been hugged and clung to by generations as a crutch against all manner of things, and a darned good reason for wars and murder and mayhem and crusades on the way. And quite a long time ago a basic brick was eased out of the wall that is religious faith. You see, it was worked out, by careful examination of ancient texts, carefully adding the lifespan of this prophet to that king to that psalmist that the earth was created according to the description in Genesis around 4004BC. That’s a tad over six thousand years ago. A long time ago, but not a very long time ago.
Then reality came along. People looked at the earth they described as being created in 4004BC and wondered how so much could have happened in a mere six millennia, how rivers could have emerged from springs, flowed for ages and then changed their course, mountains risen from the depths, creatures been reduced to stone via the gift of fossilisation and gradually came to the conclusion that it must all have taken a great deal longer.
And the more it was looked at, the more evidence that was analysed in a scientific way and accurate results arrived at, the older the Earth seemed to be.
It wasn’t around 6,000 years by 4,500,000,000 years, and the joke is they reckon they may be out by plus or minus .05 billion years. That’s a projected inaccuracy of several times the total Biblical assumption of the age of the Earth!!!
Everyone knows I’m a cynic when it comes to religion. It’s something that was dreamed up in the middle east in the late stone or early bronze age and has, for no good reason so far as I can tell, been with us ever since. The ancient texts may be precious things but I would argue that their value lies more in what they are (evidence of historical literacy) than what they say because what they say is provable nonsense and anyway the older parts are more a pseudo-history and justification for deeds of a dubious nature than anything else. The ancients knew a thing or two about propaganda!
So why am I bringing this up now?
It’s the National Trust. A respected organisation that has responsibility for many monuments and buildings in the UK, properties that may well have decayed into ruins were it not for the care they lavish on them. And one of their sites is the Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland, and in order to disseminate information they have a visitor’s centre there, and at that visitor’s centre they have included the following explanation:
â€œLike many natural phenomena around the world, the Giant’s Causeway has raised questions and prompted debate about how it was formed.
This debate has ebbed and flowed since the discovery of the Causeway to science and, historically, the Causeway became part of a global debate about how the earth’s rocks were formed.
This debate continues today for some people, who have an understanding of the formation of the earth which is different from that of current mainstream science.
Young Earth Creationists believe that the earth was created some 6000 years ago. This is based on a specific interpretation of the Bible and in particular the account of creation in the book of Genesis.
Some people around the world, and specifically here in Northern Ireland, share this perspective.
Young Earth Creationists continue to debate questions about the age of the earth. As we have seen from the past, and understand today, perhaps the Giant’s Causeway will continue to prompt awe and wonder, and arouse debate and challenging questions for as long as visitors come to see it.â€
The influence of organisations like the National Trust is huge, and if it gives any kind of credence to the codswallop being perpetrated still by desperate believers in a faith that has no foundation in reality but who have seen the bricks of their false belief kicked away, one by one, then it is doing a great disservice to truth and, ultimately, to its own credibility.
Why, children, the young who are easily guided, might be started down a false path, and wouldn’t that be dreadful?
Â© Peter Rogerson 06.07.12