THE COLD WAR; Culture Minister Slams Museum in Creationism Row

The Mirror (London, England), May 27, 2010 | Go to article overview

THE COLD WAR; Culture Minister Slams Museum in Creationism Row


Byline: MAURICE FITZMAURICE; MICHAEL McHUGH

CULTURE Minister Nelson McCausland was accused of acting like a dictator yesterday over claims he tried to get the Ulster Museum to do more on the Orange Order and creationism.

But defending himself, the DUP MLA claimed one survey found that "as much as one third of people in Northern Ireland holds to either the creationism view or intelligent design".

He added the museum should consider "reflecting the views" of all people in Northern Ireland. Mark Taylor, director of the Museums Association, said it was not the Minister's place to interfere.

He added: "I have been working in museums over 20 years and I can't recall in the UK an example of such blatant political interference.

"It probably happened in Eastern Europe during the Cold War but it is pretty unprecedented."

Asked about the survey into people's beliefs in Northern Ireland, Paul Woolley, director of theology think tank Theos, told the Daily Mirror the 2009 poll found 25% of people here believe in creationism and 16% believed in intelligent design.

The poll claimed Northern Ireland has the highest proportion of people in the UK who believe in the two theories.

DUP sources said Mr McCausland was only reacting to concerns being raised by constituents and that the letter was leaked in an attempt to smear the Minister.

The source added: "He also mentioned the Ancient Order of Hibernian, so he can hardly be accused of being sectarian. …

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