Trust amends Causeway centre 'Creationist' exhibit

Giant's Causeway The Giant's Causeway is a Unesco World Heritage Site and features more than 40,000 interlocking basalt columns

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The National Trust has amended a controversial exhibition at the new Giant's Causeway visitor centre.

An audio exhibit revealed how people's explanation of how the Causeway was formed developed as scientific understanding improved.

Young earth creationists believe the Causeway was formed 6,000 years ago. The vast majority of scientists say it was formed 60m years ago.

The trust says it has always supported the "scientific view" of its formation.

The Causeway is a Unesco World Heritage Site and features more than 40,000 interlocking basalt columns.

The £18.5m centre was opened on 3 July.

The National Trust decided to carry out a review of the exhibit after the creationist element provoked what it termed a "wide and mixed response".

In July, an online campaign to remove it began.

A new piece of audio, approximately 20 seconds long, now replaces the previous recording.

Graham Thompson, project director for the Giant's Causeway, said the change would clear up "any misunderstanding there may have been".

Giants on causeway According to myth the Giant's Causeway was built by giant Fionn McCool

He said: "The National Trust only endorses the scientific explanation of the origins of the stones, yet recognises that others have alternative beliefs.

"The National Trust is content that this review is complete."

Previously the audio which accompanied the exhibit said that questions had been raised about the formation of the rocks.

"Young Earth Creationists believe that the earth was created some 6000 years ago," it said. "This is based on a specific interpretation of the bible and, in particular, the account of creation in the book of Genesis," it said.

"Some people around the world, and specifically here in Northern Ireland, share this perspective."

The new audio now says there is a "clear understanding among scientists that the heat of the earth was the driving force behind the formation of the Giant's Causeway".

It adds that the earth is "far older than had previously been thought".

"All the scientific evidence points to a volcanic origin for the columns of the Giant's Causeway, around 60m years ago.

"However, not everyone agrees with the scientific view. There are some people who believe - often for religious reasons - that the earth was formed more recently: thousands of years ago rather than billions."

According to myth, the Giant's Causeway was built by giant Fionn McCool.

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