Causeway Creation Campaign
September 2007 saw another creationist ‘flareup’ in Northern Ireland, in the form of the Causeway Creation Campaign. It appears to be headed up be an itinerant minister, Stephen Moore, who describes himself as Campaign Director. Moore also appears to minister to the Dunluce Christian Fellowship in Portrush, about 10 minutes drive from the Giant’s Causeway. His wife is also a member of the committee but Moore has not revealed any other names, nor does the organisation have a web site of it own.
The campaign claimed to have 400 signatures after two weeks but had kicked off with letters to the First and Deputy First Ministers, as well as the 2 Junior ministers and 10 Departmental ministers in the Northern Ireland Assembly. Moore also claimed that he would be writing to the Northern Ireland Tourist Board, the National Trust, Moyle District Council (which runs the current Causeway visitor’s centre) and to all the MLA’s.
However, Moore has bigger ambitions to get Northern Ireland advertised to the world as backward. He claims that his Campaign intends to lobby the Ulster Museum to have a Biblical perspective included in any dinosaur display at the Ulster Museum in Belfast.
However, Moore doesn’t seem to be aware of the difference between creationism and Intelligent Design. He claims: “Not only do we desire to see this at the Giant’s Causeway but we want to see it replicated across museums and other tourist sites throughout Northern Ireland. We also desire to see the fact of ‘Intelligent Design’ being taught alongside the ‘Theory of Evolution’ in our local schools.”
Moore needs to make up his mind exactly what Intelligent Design is. It has nothing to do with geology and has no dispute with it. He also doesn’t seem to understand the difference between a fact (which Intelligent Design has never been claimed to be) and a scientific theory.
Moore is clearly a dunderhead when it comes to very basic science but, unfortunately, there appear to be like-minded MLAs in positions of power in the province committed to help his cause.
Dunluce Christian Fellowship’s web site repeats the Tas Walker Answers in Genesis nonsense about Giant’s causeway even down to failing to show where the false radiometric dating is.
Update Nov 2010: Moore's Causeway Campaign Committee appears to have disappeared; and the campaign is dead. The committee never seems to have been more than Moore and his wife. Nevertheless creationism in the Causeway visitor's centre is an active issue with the Democratic Unionist Party. The Causeway, of course, is a cause celebre for creationists world-wide including Tas Walker.
Moreover, thee is evidence to suggest that the Discovery Institute threw two of its top fellows into supporting Moore. According to Bill Dembski' blog in 2007, Dembski and Behe debated creationism in a Trinity College Dublin debate where Moore was also claimed to be arguing his case. Moore, it appears, didn't.
Mervyn Storey Puts Foot in it Again
Mervyn Storey, the Northern Irish creationist politician has again amply demonstrated his limited knowledge of even basic school boy geography. Speaking on BBC Radio’s Good Morning Ulster programme, he demonstrated his inability to understand that the Giant’s Causeway is a geological, not a biological feature.
“The problem to date has been that we only have a narrow interpretation from an evolutionary point of view as to how these particular stones were formed,” adding that the Causeway was the “result of a catastrophy, a colossal water catastrophy”. How he dreamed up this fantasy is unclear given that it is a volcanic not a sedimentary feature.
He claims that it points to a word wide flood. Storey had clearly been deriving his ‘knowledge’ from the web site of Answers in Genesis, arguing that radiometric techniques (as used by professional geologists world-wide, with huge success) are completely false and inaccurate.
According to Storey’s bio on the web site of the Northern Ireland Assembly and that of the DUP, he appears to have not received any formal full time education beyond secondary school level (finishing at 16).
Storey attended Ballymoney Secondary School, now Ballymoney High School, which only has students up until the age of sixteen. See http://www.niassembly.gov.uk/members/biogs_03/storey_m.htm and http://www.dup.org.uk/MervynStorey.asp
Storey used Answers in Genesis material on the radiometric dating of material from the Mount St Helen’s explosion. The Answers in Genesis material has, as usual with creationist claims, been pulled to pieces. See, for example, Young-Earth Creationist 'Dating' of a Mt. St. Helens Dacite: The Failure of Austin and Swenson to Recognize Obviously Ancient Minerals, by Dr Kevin R. Henke. It can be found at http://noanswersingenesis.org.au/mt_st_helens_dacite_kh.htm
In any event, the Mt St Helen’s data is irrelevant because it comes from, er, Mt St Helens, not the Giant’s Causeway. Perhaps the erudite Mervyn Storey might like to:
1. Explain why he hasn’t called for new radiometric dating of the Giant’s Causeway.
2. Why there is extensive laterite between the basalt strata.
3. Where can we see that process in action today and how long does it take to form.
4. Why the petroleum geologists in the world’s major oil companies don’t repeatedly and constantly mess up because the are using ‘useless’ radiometric dating techniques.
5. Why the management and shareholders of such companies have never noticed.
Source: BBC Northern Ireland Radio Good Morning Ulster programme 23rd October 2007 – the recording can be found at http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio/aod/networks/ulster/aod.shtml?ulster/gmu_tue# and the interview with Storey starts about 1 hour and twenty minutes into the programme.