Meanwhile, just when you think sanity is returning to politics in Northern Ireland, Dr Ian Paisley's DUP party are attempting to coerce schools into teaching creationism in science lessons as an alternative to evolution.
Tonight will see DUP councillors in Lisburn officially propose a motion that schools in Lisburn be encouraged to "teach alternative theories to evolution as the origins of the earth, such as Creation and Intelligent Design."
The proposal has been opposed by SDLP councillors and received a mixed response from Ulster Unionist members:
Cllr Givan from the DUP said: "I have never believed in the theory of evolution and, like many people believe in the teaching of creation. I believe science points to creation but our schools are teaching a very narrow remit and many exclude alternative theories to evolution. I have asked the Council to write to local schools encouraging them to give equality of treatment to other theories of the origins of life and how the earth came into existence." However, other committee members voiced their objection to the proposal. The committee's Vice Chairman, SDLP Councillor Peter O'Hagan, said: "I think it is a dangerous road to go down for Lisburn Council to be getting involved in school curriculum.
It's hard to imagine within the mainstream UK education system this loony attempt at undermining children's education would getting anywhere near to succeeding....unless of course, the schools involved were faith schools or city academies, in which case dogma can be given a special place over science. In reading a debate on this story on the Richard Dawkins web site I was rather amused by this response:
Mr Givan said: "I have never believed in the theory of birth by sexual reproduction and, like many people, believe in teaching that the stork is responsible. I believe science points to stork theory but our schools are teaching a very narrow remit and many exclude alternative theories to sexual reproduction. I have asked the Council to write to local schools encouraging them to give equality of treatment to other theories of the origins of life and how babies come into existence."