Fintan O’Toole: Earth calling Edwin Poots – we have a problem

If the earth is only 6000 years old, all the science of the last 200 years is bogus

Edwin Poots:  If Northern Ireland ends up with a first minister for whom all the main scientific developments of the 19th and 20th centuries are bogus, the more excuse there is for British indifference. Photograph:  Edwin Poots/PA

Edwin Poots: If Northern Ireland ends up with a first minister for whom all the main scientific developments of the 19th and 20th centuries are bogus, the more excuse there is for British indifference. Photograph: Edwin Poots/PA

To have a decent society, we have to respect what people believe about the spiritual world. To have decent politics, we have to respect the facts of the physical world. As a religious believer, Edwin Poots is entitled to his own faith. As a prospective first minister of Northern Ireland, he is not entitled to his own facts.

This is not about intolerance of religious beliefs. It is about the need to recognise that discourse in a democracy has to be based on rationality and respect for evidence. 

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