A DUP Assemblyman has urged one of Northern Ireland’s biggest museums to ‘balance out’ a forthcoming exhibition on evolution with a display about creationism.
The Ulster Museum is to run a series later this year on evolution and fossils, which is expected to incorporate the work of naturalist Charles Darwin, whose birthday 200 years ago is currently being celebrated.
Darwin’s views on the theory of evolution and natural selection shocked the worlds of science and religion when first published.
However, North Antrim MLA Mervyn Storey has called for a creationist exhibition to be run alongside which explains the origin of life according to a literal reading of the Genesis account in the Bible.
“All I’m saying is that there should be a balance because there are other views out there,” Mr Storey said.
“There are people who have a different view to Darwin on creation.”
Mr Storey, himself a proponent of creationism, said that he was entitled to express his views on the subject.
“I believe in creationism and intelligent design, I don’t believe in the theory of evolution”, he said.
Mr Storey also said that a failure by the museum to reflect the views of “other people” could raise the possibility that a legal challenge may be launched under equality legislation.
The museum, which is due to reopen later this year following a major refurbishment programme, responded last night with a statement which read: “The Ulster Museum... will house galleries and exhibitions of international significance interpreted in line with excellent scholarship and research.
“Within the permanent science galleries we will explain the conventional scientific theories internationally accepted by scholars and scientists to describe life on earth from the earliest evidence of fossils.
“This is consistent with approaches taken by museums of renown across the world.”
The very essence of the Darwin's theory