Thursday, July 19, 2012

Giant's Causeway III - A New Hope

This is the third e-mail I've sent to the National Trust and the Caleban on the subject of Young Earth Creationism at the Giant's Causeway. Read part 1 and part 2 first if you like. Mervyn and Wallace are chair and vice chair of the Creationist Caleb Foundation, David works for the National Trust.

Dear David, Mervyn and Wallace,

Can it be true? Should we kill the fatted calf? I see that the National Trust has "decided to review the interpretive materials in this section [Giant's Causeway]." I cannot express the joy these words inspired in me - my Fian will be so happy to see that you're taking our constructive criticism seriously and considering adding our views with equal prominence to our fellow giant believers in the Caleb Foundation.

We've already discussed with you the examples of extreme strength displayed in the Old Testament, and in an earlier e-mail we went over some of the many mentions of giants in the text Mervyn and Wallace consider inerrant, so I think there's definite room for collaboration.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Giant's Causeway II - The Druids Strike Back

The National Trust took the time to send a standard form letter in response to Rígfénnid Geoff's inquiry. (Best to read this first for background.) WhyEvolutionIsTrue received the same, and their thoughts on the matter are worth reading. Below is  Rígfénnid Geoff's response.

Dear David,

Many thanks for taking the time to e-mail me. I suspect you've been rather inundated with mail and may not have had the chance to read mine fully. Your response suggests I am opposed to the National Trust including material favoured by Young Earth Creationists. Far from it! My fian and I were overjoyed to see such an open-minded approach taken, and we celebrated late into the night, knowing that this bold move on your part could be used by us as well as the Caleb Foundation as a foot in the door for our beliefs.

As I mentioned in my earlier e-mail I represent the Dublin branch of Na Fianna, an organisation devoted to maintaining the traditional ways of the poets, warriors, Druids and kings of old Ireland. We recognise and respect the valuable contributions made to society by those who take a purely scientific worldview, and fully agree that their understanding of the Giant's Causeway's formation should be given prominence at your site, even though we do not consider it the only valid view.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Resorting to violence

In two weeks' time I'll don some 16oz gloves and step into a boxing ring in the Stillorgan Park Hotel. For what will seem to me like an eternity but will seem to you more like three rounds, I'll do my level best to avoid getting punched repeatedly in the face.

Hopefully I'll land a few myself.

It should be a fun night - there'll be a full bar, lots of white collar fights, some amateur bouts and rumours of a celebrity referee. All proceeds on the night are going to support sport in the local community, and all coaches are volunteers.

I've enjoyed the training over the past two months - I've gone from someone who thought of Katie Taylor as "herself from the Lucozade ad" to someone who occasionally remembers to keep his chin down.

So, if you'd like to cheer me on, or if you'd just like to see me get punched in the face, get in touch. geoffsshorts atsign or a comment below will work. 20 quid a ticket, 10 quid with valid student ID, 8pm, July 21st, Stillorgan Park Hotel.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

One Giant's Leap for Creationists

I read with some disappointment that the Caleb foundation have persuaded the UK National Trust to include a Young Earth Creationist interpretation of the formation of the Giant's Causeway in Antrim. I decided to ask for equal time for a Druidic interpretation. I'll let you know if either group get back to me. (Side note - people tend to not reply to my e-mails.)

Dear friends at the National Trust and Caleb Foundation,

I write to congratulate you on your recent collaboration to ensure a Young Earth Creationist viewpoint is given prominence at the Giant's Causeway interpretive centre in Antrim. I'm sure you share my view that science has brought us many wonderful benefits and would not seek to stand against it. I feel you likely share my view that science is a useful tool, but that too often the blinkers of the majority opinion mean we see only one possible interpretation of the evidence.

I, too, represent a group that seeks to understand scientific discoveries with proper respect and in the context of my beliefs. Although not a Young Earth Creationist, or indeed a Christian, I have been impressed with the Caleb Foundation's ability to make a case against overwhelming scientific consensus, and the National Trust's willingness to be open to other viewpoints.

My group has experienced much the same discrimination and, dare I say it, mockery as the Caleb Foundation. I represent the Dublin branch of Na Fianna, an organisation devoted to maintaining the traditional ways of the poets, warriors, Druids and kings of old Ireland.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Hamza Tzortzis and The God Delusion

As regular readers of  this blog are likely aware, some two years ago Hamza Tzortzis released what he described as his response to the God Delusion. Back in February I happened upon it and noticed it bore marked similarities to the work of William Lane Craig. After PZ Myers featured my article, Hamza updated his piece to indicate it was a pastiche of Christian authors, including Paul Copan, William Lane Craig, J. P. Moreland, Frank J. Tipler, John D. Barrow, Keith Ward and Roy Abraham Varghese.

Thanks to an anonymous commenter I'm only now realising the delicious irony in his opening line:
"What I read were rehashed, incoherent and outdated arguments that made me realize that Richard Dawkins is not very well read in philosophy"
Emphasis mine, but I digress. Hamza and I had a pleasant Twitter chat after the events, during which he suggested I respond to the content:
After two years his collage of Christian authors stands at version 0.3: I jokingly responded that I would await version 1.0. Dawkins is well able to defend himself; writing further on the matter seemed superfluous. Still, there seems to be appetite for this stuff.

Particularly avid readers of this blog - likely those who make notes - will recall I wrote another piece on Islam, months ago, where I described exemplary behaviour from Muslim apologists despite extreme provocation. You'll note that before the physical and verbal abuse of these fine gentlemen started I was discussing Halal fish oil supplements. Softgel capsules are generally made from porcine gelatin and a gym friend of mine was looking for a Muslim-friendly alternative.