|The Giant's Causeway|
Wallace Thompson is a chirpy wee puppy from this Caleb Foundation outfit, who are basically a Christianist pressure group set up to promote an ugly right-wing version of extreme Calvinism in a society that is actively trying to move on from the sectarianism of its past. He's delighted that the National Trust have included creationist material in the interpretative centre, despite the fact that the Causeway is not mentioned in the Bible at all. Wallace and other creationists feel that the Universe (that's your home, folks) was created about 6000 years ago, because they adopt an astonishingly naive view of Hebrew folklore, and reject the findings of biblical scholars, geologists and biologists alike. On the day when science unveiled the Higgs boson, boyos like Wallace are attempting to drag us into a world of fantasy and dragons.
It has gradually become clear that the National Trust have been somewhat hoodwinked by the Caleb Foundation; it seems that all the NT were trying to do was to be "fair", while maintaining their position that the science behind the Causeway formation is firm. They were simply trying to acknowledge that creationists exist and have the views they do. On the face of it, this seems fair enough. However, what they failed to consider was how the creationists would use this little acknowledgement. It is born of naivety, not of malice.
The Caleb Foundation have used their inclusion to claim that the NT have recognised the "legitimacy" of their views, and therefore that there is a valid "debate" to be had; this allows them to claim that they are THE "umbrella group representing mainstream evangelical Christians", and by extension that Creationism is THE mainstream view of evangelical Christians, rather than the view of a crazy fringe.
The National Trust need to be very very clear on where they go next. They must immediately remove all references to creationist views from the material relating to the Causeway. If, upon review, it is felt that creationist views need a nod, this must be very clearly placed in the "Mythology, Folklore and Legend" section, along with the old stories of Finn MacCool, and alongside my personal favourite of the Giant Lava-secreting Bees. It is quite inappropriate for the National Trust to give the impression that this category of "explanation" is worthy of consideration as an "alternative" to a scientifically valid model.
I am very happy to discuss this with the National Trust if they'd like to get in contact (I'm @shanemuk on Twitter); I would suggest they engage the services of competent scientists who have expertise in dealing with creationists to assist in developing their materials. Remember, organisations like Caleb are dishonest; they are pushing the Wedge Strategy, in order to foster the illusion that there is a genuine debate ongoing in the scientific field. Don't let them away with this. And, National Trust, we know you are honourable and have nothing but good intent - and that you have developed a world class visitor attraction. Let's work together to bring the wonder and glory of Northern Ireland's amazing geological heritage to the world.