Believing in science is pretty much an essential for anyone with significant influence over health policy, which is a shame for new Northern Irish health minister Edwin Poots. As an adherent of a fundamentalist version of creationism, the MLA for Lagan Valley does not believe in evolution.

So much so, in fact, that he attests to this in his official biography:

“Edwin is a young earth creationist and an opponent of the theory of evolution.”

So-called “young earthers” take a literal interpretation of the Genesis creation narrative as a basis for their beliefs, claiming that the planet is 6,000 to 10,000 years old as opposed to, erm, 4.54 billion.

Scrapbook looks forward to the return of barber surgeons to Northern Ireland.

  1. “Believing in science is pretty much an essential for anyone with significant influence over health policy, ”

    Science doesn’t require belief. It’s the best working theory based on the available evidence.

    Religion requires belief because their is no evidence to support its claims.

    Please learn the distinction.

  2. Siôn Jones says:

    How does he know he exists? – ‘Cogito ergo sum’ won’t do for him, because a moment’s thought would have persuaded him that creationism is a myth supported by a text of doubtful provenance , and evolution is a fact supported by a huge body of empirical evidence.

  3. Although I am of the view that creationism is utter bunkum it should be said that evolution and creationism are NOT incompatible, indeed at the time of Darwin neither the Church of England nor the Catholic Church had any problem with it. Having a belief in a creation myth does not mean you cannot accept that all organisms gradually change over a number of generations.

    But “not believing” in a scientific theory is just bizarre. Before anyone says “it’s only a theory”, that word, “theory” is very important. In ordinary everyday language it means supposition, a guess. The scientific word for supposition is a hypothesis. A theory in scientific terms is backed up by various means, such as mathematical proof, observation, or just plain logic. Evolution can be backed up by two of those means.

    I could choose to not accept the “theory” of universal gravitation. But it won’t make it any less true.

  4. “evolution and creationism are NOT incompatible”

    If you take creationism as the belief the earth is 6000 years old then they most certainly are.

  5. We’ll be watching Edwin very carefully. While he was Environment Minister, he very much kept his head down in relation to the creationism business; suffice it to say that if he lets his personal “beliefs” in this area degrade his performance (beyond the degrading performance most politicians seem to have :-), he will receive some education.

    BTW, I think a previous poster meant to say that *Christianity* is not necessarily in conflict with evolutionary science. Creationism most certainly is, whether it is badged as “young earth”, “old earth” or “intelligent design”.

  6. concerned pharmacist says:

    this is not a non story as this man is deciding how money is distributed to scientific endevour in northern ireland in health and yet doesnt believe in one of the theories on which biological sciences are based. the extent of ignorance in northern ireland really worries me. no wonder this country is in poverty.

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