MLA backs event promoting teaching children creationism

West Tyrone MLA Thomas Buchanan and Arlene Foster. Picture by Mal McCann  
West Tyrone MLA Thomas Buchanan and Arlene Foster. Picture by Mal McCann  

AN event aimed at promoting the rejection of evolution among children has been endorsed by an MLA who wants to see creationism “taught in every school”.

DUP Assembly member for West Tyrone, Thomas Buchanan, praised those behind the conference titled ‘Reaching Children in an Evolutionised World’.

The event, taking place at Bready Reformed Presbyterian Church in Co Tyrone on October 1, is hosted by Christian organisation Creation Outreach Ministries, and features speakers who believe in creationism – the claim that God literally created the world in seven days, as told in the Bible.

The event includes a talk presenting “the biblical case for the sound teaching of children” that will “offer helpful practical advice on how to counter evolutionary teaching”.

The conference has been criticised by the organisations Atheist NI and NI Humanists.

However, Mr Buchanan praised its organisers.

“I’m someone who believes in creationism and that the world was spoken into existence in six days by His power,” Mr Buchanan said.

“I commend those behind this event for bringing forward a programme of reaching out to children who have been corrupted by the teaching of evolution.”

The Assemblyman added: “I long to see the day when every school in Northern Ireland will stand up and teach creationism, and turn away from the peddled lie that is evolution.”

However, chair of Atheist NI, Colin Morrison, said any teaching of creationist beliefs to young people was “appalling”.

“This is exploiting the trust of children, whose instinct is to believe their elders. It harms their future life chances and mental health. It’s wrong, and I would appeal to schools to refrain from allowing any of this into the classroom,” he said.

Boyd Sleator, of NI Humanists, said: “There is no ‘theory’ of creationism akin to the theory of evolution. A theory is backed by evidence, which creationism doesn’t have. I’m totally opposed to any event that promotes teaching such beliefs to children."

Creation Ministries International was unavailable for comment.