Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Church and State Don't Mix Like Chocolate and Peanut Butter

Around the web:
  • Canadian Transport Minister hopes that one day, in the future, the trains between Montreal and Toronto will run as fast as they did 35 years ago...
  • The Pope drops the ball on potentially thousands more Africans and South Americans by denying condom use can help stop the spread of AIDS...
  • Stimulants are addictive? Wha?

* * *

Our Minister of State - Science and Technology, the Hon. Gary Goodyear is on CBC today being grilled for potentially being a creationist. He refused to answer a question about believing in evolution on the grounds that he's "a Christian, and I don't think anybody asking a question about my religion is appropriate." Which is kind of disturbing from a Science and Technology perspective.

So then he does a follow-up with the Globe and Mail, who got the original story, clearing the air saying he believes in evolution, and clearly goes on to demonstrate he does not understand evolution at all:

"We are evolving every year, every decade. That's a fact, whether it is to the intensity of the sun, whether it is to, as a chiropractor, walking on cement versus anything else..."

Well, no. By definition, evolution happens over multiple generations rather than within lifetimes. Evolution also posits that we are the descendants of multicellular organisms that split from the algae a little over 500 million years ago, rather than having been more or less popped into existence in 4004 BC.

Dr. Marc Garneau - ex-astronaut, D.Eng. and Opposition Science Critic - says that believing in evolution is a personal choice, and Dr. Jacques Galipeau says he wouldn't have cared if the budget last month hadn't slashed research funding (if not in so many words). And they're right - I don't care what my boss believes in, just so long as I get paid. But you have to wonder just how passionate a guy can be about funding for biology and basic medical research when he doesn't believe in evolution...

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