Canada's science minister is a creationist

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93 Responses to “Canada's science minister is a creationist”

  1. Dan says:

    Christians really do need to get a grip. This was a harmless question to determine the Science Minister’s opinion about science.

    If you’re in a job interview, and someone asks you whether or not you’re qualified, do you start bleating that your religious beliefs are being questioned?

  2. Tensegrity says:

    @randee

    I don’t believe the Catholic Church has ever labeled creationism (the type espoused by American protestant fundamentalists) as heresy or anything like that, but my understanding (and wikipedia agrees) is that evolution is routinely taught in Catholic schools, because they teach, um, science.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evolution_and_the_Roman_Catholic_Church#Catholic_schools_and_evolution

  3. Kaboom says:

    @51 I agree with your interpretation. It’s worse than it appeared. Goodyear doesn’t understand what evolution is. That’s why he didn’t want to state his belief pro or con.

  4. Lauren O says:

    Chris @ #17 – Fucking seriously. No one asked him about his religion, they asked him about his job qualifications. I can’t wait to try this out on my current job search.

    Copy and paste your resume here:
    “I don’t think it’s appropriate to ask about my religion.”

    I can’t decide if it makes me feel better about America that we’re not the only place who has such dumb fuckers, or if it makes me despair that there’s no place to escape to.

  5. oxymoron69 says:

    So he belives in those hoax fuckin car mods eh?

    “When I was in high school, we were already tweaking with a coil that would wrap around the upper [radiator] hose and it got an extra five miles to the gallon. … So I’ve been there on this discovery stuff.”

    They were somehow wrapping a coil of some sort around a hose which coolant flows from the engine to the radiator and got an extra 5MPG?

    Riiiight, sounds like this guy will believe anything…
    Ol jesus is just the beginning of the crazy shit you could get this guy to believe in.

  6. carriem says:

    of course they’re figureheads. They are the very definition of figureheads.

    good lord, you think these guys are actually educated in their ministries??? When you hear the words “Cabinet Shuffle” what do you think that means? you think every MP in the Ministry just happens to be an expert in that field?

    Why do you think our governments can’t come up with a coherent policy on technology, or the internet, or anything?

    Who are these people: do you think they are experienced? Why do you think they are in charge?
    Jacqui Smith (U.K)
    Stephen Conroy (Australia)
    Jim Prentice (Canada)

  7. joelphillips says:

    The problem isn’t that we have a science minister who believes in creationism and that reading chiropractic papers and rubbing his car engine with snake oil give him insight into the scientific process. The problem is that we have any kind of minister who believes in that.

  8. professorpolymath says:

    It’s not a religious question in any way, shape, or form. It’s a question about basic scientific understanding.

    As a public servant whose portfolio is Science and Technology, he has a direct and clear responsibility to address questions of this kind.

    I fully agree that the person in this job needs to be a scientist. The public has every right to know, and every right to expect that he is qualified for the portfolio.

  9. Takuan says:

    Canada had every chance to get rid of these clowns last year – and failed. And I see no sign they’ll do better this year.

  10. Anonymous says:

    “I’m not going to answer that question. I am a Christian, and I don’t think anybody asking a question about my religion is appropriate”

    That’s not what I remember my pastor preaching on Sunday mornings. Strange thing for an evangelical (?) to say.

    Also reminiscent of the Scientology spokesman who confirmed the Xenu story last week:

    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/WO0903/S00280.htm

    “…saying that a non-Scientologist asking about Scientology’s core beliefs is an “offensive concept”, and that Baca was “just forwarding an agenda of hate.””

  11. zawan says:

    I don’t understand why people still don’t comprehend this whole creationist thing.

    So Evolution is a Fact in your head. What keeps you from understanding that a Supreme being is in control of said evolution??

    Don’t get why it has to be OR why can’t it be AND.?

  12. JoshuaZ says:

    The most serious issue here is not the refusal to answer. The most serious issue is that when he did answer he then gave a statement that demonstrated that he had no understanding of what evolution meant.

  13. mdh says:

    He’s colorfast?

    I may have been mistaken, he seems to be a poorly buffered solution. yuk yuk yuk.

    He may not believe in evolution but I think he’s becoming familiar with selective pressure.

  14. Cochituate says:

    When is the next election? When will the Governor-General’s little coup be over turned by the voters of the nation?

  15. Hawkviper says:

    I’m gonna take a step back and analyze the article for a moment. No where does the article espouse exactly what question was asked that prompted that response, only leading with the statement “he won’t say he believes in evolution.”

    Firstly, Creationism and Evolution are not intrinsically opposed, per se. One can believe that a higher power or some god created the universe and still profess the science of evolution (see the Catholics).

    I haven’t seen this reported beyond this single article, so I have to wonder if there’s not some journalistic chicanery going on.

  16. apoxia says:

    Like nuts n’ gum, two of my least favourite categories together at last: chiropractor n’ creationist. The fact that this man also includes Minister of Science on his resume makes me feel sick to my stomach.

  17. professorpolymath says:

    Acceptance of evolution notwithstanding, the Catholic church also has a loose cannon for a Science and Technology minister:

    “[AIDS] cannot be overcome by the distribution of condoms. On the contrary, they increase the problem.” -Pope Benedict, 17 March 2009

    The story at REUTERS:
    Pope in Africa reaffirms “no condoms” against AIDS

  18. remmelt says:

    Believe in evolution? There’s no believing involved, that’s the entire point. There’s no believing in the theory of gravity either. It’s just there.

    So in a way, he was right to answer a question about his beliefs with the given answer. Then again, my Devil’s advocate quota for this week is already up, so there.

  19. Saint Holiday says:

    The Cambrian Explosion practically destroys the theory of evolution as it is presented in the schools and textbooks. Darwin knew it.

  20. carriem says:

    wow.

    some of the comments here are incredibly hurtful and ignorant, which is highly unusual for bb.

    It is not mutually exclusive to be both a Christian and a scientist. #43 said it beautifully. Believing in an ominicient and all-powerful god will allow for anything. Since god is all-powerfull, there’s no reason to disparage parallel truths. come on, people, ever read X-Men?

    the minister was correct in saying that a question on his religious beliefs was inappropriate. Believing in Creationism does not mean you can’t be scientific. Faith is just that – a leap. It means trust in the unknown. implying that all Christians are Creationists is equally inappropriate. his job is not to create anything new, nor preach from a box: his job is to go to meetings and sign papers. He comes up with budgets and meets with the press.

    And finally, there is some *deep* misconceptions here on the role and education of chiropractors. Why are the comments here implying they are a bunch of witch doctors? They school for 5-6 years, are educated in medicine, kin., body mechanics, and are (in Canada) licensed and registered. In fact, they are schooled more rigorously than most “secondary” health practitioners. What exactly qualifies someone to take office and sign papers? you need a PhD to do this?

    Some of these comments are so short-sighted, and obviously hold a bitterness towards anyone sharing a faith outside of their own world-view. Pretty gross.

    For the record, i’m not a believer in god. I do believe in the freedom to CHOOSE your faith though, and not get whacked for it.

    Some people should grow up.

  21. Lord Xenu says:

    With all due respect to the evolution debate, I think that this guy’s got some more serious problems:

    One is that he thinks his religious beliefs are private and can get him off the hook as far as his job as Minister of Science is concerned. All very well and good, since we Canadians tend to view faith as a private thing, except HE’S A FREAKING CABINET MINISTER. What if his views on embezzling government funds are subject to certain religious eccentricities? Is religious belief the new catch-all excuse for dodging unpleasant questions about a politician’s performance?

    Two is that he think research can be exploited for profit. That isn’t how research works. That’s how technology works. Good research is about studying something interesting for as long as it takes and working out the applications later. This guy seems to think all research works like a business: take existing models and exploit them for quick profit. It’s an idea that’s misguided, kills scientific development, and forces all researchers to work on a timetable of months rather than years regardless of what their actual goals are.

    …I seem to have gone on a bit of a rant here. Sorry about this, but shit, it pisses me off that this government is the Canadian Bush and no one seems to notice or care.

  22. Kay the Complainer says:

    CarrieM, *some* chiropractors practice a science-based form of physical therapy. Some of them, however, think they can cure any and all diseases by cracking your back. I don’t know which kind Goodyear is, but since he’s also licensed in accupuncture, I would guess the latter.

    Believing in Creationism does not mean you can’t be scientific.

    Um, yes it does.

  23. padster123 says:

    Ok, so he came clean and admitted he believes in evolution. Not sure if “believe” is the right word here, but hey.

    What pisses me off is his original bleat: “I am a Christian, and I don’t think anybody asking a question about my religion is appropriate”.

    What? Why the hell do religious people think they are exempt from argument, from having to justify themselves, from being queried? Like the rest of us are?

    No special treatment for religion.

    If they get “offended” then… fuck ‘em.

  24. Anonymous says:

    Although Gary Goodyear has no business being the Minister of Science and Technology, I have to say that this whole news story is bogus.

    Goodyear never claimed to be a creationist, and never stated that he did not “believe in evolution”. All he did was refuse to answer a press question that he interpreted as the beginning of a line of inquiry into his private religious beliefs.

    He has a profound lack of tact, true, but that doesn’t necessarily make him a creationist.

  25. Jesus is my pilot says:

    And the Christian witch hunt continues on BB… must be more of that tolerance that makes some of you want to throw this guy out of his position.

    It’s unfortunate for everybody that science has become such a political football. As a Christian and a creationist I have no concerns with allowing the scientific method freedom to explore.

  26. duncan says:

    I feel so sad for Canadians… i have always thought that Canada would progress faster in the area of sciences, such as nano medicine, and other science and technology that is still being developed now, since Canada have a more relaxed and forward looking government. But by the looks of this, US might have a chance to catch up.

  27. noen says:

    Canadians should understand that Harper is a neocon and will bring to you all the joys that Cheney brought to the US. As well as Sarkozy in France, Blair in the UK and whatshisname (formerly) in Australia.

    Neocons follow Strauss and in that vein believe in pandering to religion in order to gain power. Neocons are “fascism lite”. They represent the same Will To Power that found it’s expression in the Nazi Party but they have learned important lessons in the mean time. How to be patient, how to use one’s opponents weaknesses against him and so on.

    They must be removed, branch and root.

  28. SamSam says:

    @CarrieM:

    The minister was correct in saying that a question on his religious beliefs was inappropriate

    This is the source of your confusion: it was not a question on his “religious beliefs,” any more than asking him whether he believed that the Earth is flat.

    If they had asked him whether he believed in God, or whether the world will end with the Lamb and Seven Seals, that would have been inappropriate. But that is not what was asked.

    There are questions about scientific facts, such as evolution and the roundness of the Earth, and, whether or not some religious people may disagree with the facts, they are still scientific questions, and very relevant to one’s position as Science Minister.

    I assume you would not want a Science Minister who believed that the Earth was flat, even if members of his religion did.

  29. Takuan says:

    lots of stem cell refugees from the Bush Taliban are heading home to America. If you think this is depressing, wait til you see what Harper has planned for the web.

  30. Ambivalent says:

    @38

    That statement is ridiculous. The Cambrian explosion took place over the course of almost 100 million years. Just because more diverse life came in to the fossil record during this period doesn’t mean that Evolution is disproved. It means that mutations seemed to be favorable to survival more often. It means that conditions during that period were more conducive to survival.

    I would agree that it could cast doubt if it occurred over a short period of time like 500,000 years or something. 100 million years. Shit. Rednecks evolved in the last 150-200 years. Guess that disproves evolution.

  31. carriem says:

    I respectfully disagree, KtC.

    I am assuming Creationists are called that because they belive the word was created by god in 7 days. Harking back to the belief that this same god is all-powerfull, can see everything and can do anything, it is entirely possible (meaning *everything* and anything is possible) to belive that this occurred AND that the world was created 7 billion years ago (or whatever). Faith is just that, and if you believe in the all-awesomeness of a god then anything is possible.
    I am a nuclear scientist and work with other scientists who happen to be Creationists. This leap of faith is how they explained these seemingly parallel lines of belief. i asked them because i thought Creationism does not allow for radioactive deacay, which we work with every day. IT doesn’t, but faith does. i believe this is called Duality.

    Again, misinformation is disappointing…
    Acupuncture saved my life. Scientifically, it targeted the nerve centres paralyzing my arms and allowed me to regain my mobility. My chiropractor treated me with acupuncture after “modern” science told me i was fucked. She knew how to treat me because of the science of nerves and bio-feedback she was taught. i am not saying *every* healer is bang-on, but just because it’s not mainstream doesn’t make it wacky.

    Being a chiropractor who studied acupuncture does not UN-qualify someone to sign papers and attend meetings. Ridiculous.

  32. John Markos O'Neill says:

    Of course, creationism and evolution can be reconciled, so I don’t see what all the brouhaha is about. I mean, a sufficiently omnipotent creator could create species, making it appear to all observers that species evolved.

    For that matter, the entire universe, including our memories, could have come into being an instant ago, and we’d be none the wiser. How would we know? Maybe everything will blip out in the next instant.

    What is being? What is space? What is time? Why is there anything rather than nothing? If there is a creator, what created the creator?

    If Copernicus had not reasoned that planets revolved around the sun, Ptolemaic astronomers could have refined their system to explain the phenomena to modern accuracy. Motion is relative. What is moving around what?

    Getting back to the point, a creationist science minister could simply say, “I agree that the evidence and the logical deductions scientists have discovered are sound science. Nevertheless, I believe in creationism as a matter of religion, not as a matter of science.”

  33. arnold78 says:

    @ 12 – “This is no worse than Gale Norton, a lackey for the resource extraction industries, being Secretary of the Interior under Bush.”

    . . . or someone who couldn’t pay his taxes being named Treasury Secretary?

  34. Anonymous says:

    In a related article:

    Researchers fear ‘stagnation’ under Tories

    http://www.globecampus.ca/in-the-news/article/researchers-fear-stagnation-under-tories/

    The article discusses a meeting between members of Canadian Association of University Teachers and the science minister. Here’s an excerpt to give you the gist of the meeting:

    “When CAUT [Canadian Association of University Teachers, a lobby group that represents 65,000 staff at 121 colleges and universities] staff said the Conservatives have a spotty record on science and noted they abolished the office of the national science adviser, Mr. Robinson said, the minister’s assistant screamed at them to shut up.”

  35. JoshuaZ says:

    Yeah, so now he’s clarified that he does accept evolution (see link @ #33). Unfortunately, his statement about his acceptance of evolution is incoherent:

    ““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, whether it is running shoes or high heels, of course we are evolving to our environment.”

    Seriously, what the hell? Unfortunately, this is so poorly written I can’t tell what he’s saying and I serious worries that it is a really poor attempt to go with the whole “I accept microevolution but not macroevolution” gambit. This is not cool at all.

  36. Brainspore says:

    I find it funny that Catholicism of all things is the most progressive on this front. They teach evolution in Catholic schools and not intelligent design. It is baffling.

    The Catholics have actually been on the forefront of science (compared to other religions, anyway) for some time now. It was actually a Catholic priest that founded the study of genetics in the mid-19th century.

    I suspect that the church had so much egg on its collective face from the Galileo thing that it decided it would be in its best interest not to be the enemy of “science” anymore. To this day the biggest disputes that Catholics have with the scientific community tend to be spiritual issues with no objective answer (i.e. “when does life begin”).

  37. Moriarty says:

    A chimp could “sign papers and attend meetings.” Are you claiming a chimp could be qualified to be Minister of Science? If so, why does such a position even exist?

  38. ArghMonkey says:

    How shameful for all Canadians.

    And this guy has POWER?!

    I swear im really close to giving up on my country …

  39. Dave Rattigan says:

    @45 Totally agree. Sounded like, “I’ll say I agree with evolution if you let me define it first.” Kinda weasely.

  40. dculberson says:

    “unashamed greed of the criminally retarded relatives to the south.”

    Arghmonkey, don’t be a jerk. You’ve just proven yourself to be ‘criminally retarded,’ whatever that means.

  41. darwinschurch says:

    RE; Its still just a theory.

    So is gravity!

  42. carriem says:

    @samsam:

    Thank you, yes, I see the misunderstanding. But I don’t see how it can be relevant as Science Minister, for the reasons I’ve outlined in my last post.

    I can see how it raises questions, though. But my point was the “witch hunt” attitude seen in these comments (echoed by #69).

    Look, the guy is a Minister of State in Science and Technology. What does this mean, what does he do? He opens schools and hospitals, attends meetings with industry, welcomes Stephen Hawking to the U of Waterloo, is PRO-genome project, and basically blathers to anyone who listens to give Canada more money for science research. And what, because he refused to answer a question on the age of the earth he should be burned at the stake?

    unfortunately, religion and belief is an easy target for anyone, Pro or Con. i thought it was taken too far, again, by people who think it’s ok to mock.

    So here’s another mind-twister:
    How is it possible to be PRO-”freedom of belief” (or religious freedom)and yet hold the opinion that your beliefs can and should be held against you? Another case for Duality.

  43. arkizzle says:

    Point 1- The Catholic church also declared, in the 11th congress, that the Pope IS God on Earth. So I am dubious about anything else they “declare”.

    Meh. they can declare anything they like. Just like I can. Henceforth, I am a bowl of petunias. (Oh no, not again!)

    Point 2- Just because someone declares themselves to be a Christian does not make him stupid. Any other religion has been accepted without qualms but Christianity seems to not be allowed.

    I think they’re all silly. Well.. ones with gods, anyway. I can just probably get behind Shinto, because it’s not so pyramid-scheme.

    Point 3- Many other public officials have made hard decisions and been castigated for them but only when a person publicly declares his belief in Christ is that made the whole reason for questionable results.

    It wasn’t about him declaring his belief in Christ. He was asked a question, pertinent to his position, and refused to answer based on religious grounds. No politician should be excused from answering relevant questions, to the people or the press.

  44. Anonymous says:

    It’s still just a theory

  45. John Markos O'Neill says:

    We evolve while traveling downwind faster than the wind, and eventually we will evolve right off this treadmill.

  46. Aloisius says:

    I find it funny that Catholicism of all things is the most progressive on this front. They teach evolution in Catholic schools and not intelligent design. It is baffling.

  47. Snig says:

    #68
    “Some of them, however, think they can cure any and all diseases by cracking your back. I don’t know which kind Goodyear is, but since he’s also licensed in accupuncture, I would guess the latter.”

    Kind of counterintuitive, but not generally really true about the acupuncture thing. The one’s who believe Adjusting Cures All Ills tend to not learn much of anything besides adjusting, as they feel no need to do anything other than adjust the spine.

    My concern on the creationist thing is kind of concrete. Say you’re building a bridge across rocky terrain. If your looking at stability of the region, I think you may come to different conclusions if you think the ground has been that way for 50,000 to a few million years, but different conclusions if you really only believe it’s 6,000 years old. Similarly, astronomers need to deal with the age issue, as much of the light of the objects we see at night are way greater than 6,000 years old. In biology and medicine our understanding of bacterial resistance to antibiotics is rooted in our understanding of evolution. The virulence of HIV is also partly explained by the high mutation rate of it’s polymerase, so knowledge and understanding of principles of evolution is important in order to understand it. Our understanding of other newly emerging diseases may also depend on us understanding these processes. I’m not saying smart people can’t be quite accomplished at many scientific fields while still holding creationist ideas, but believing creationism to be absolutely true and seeding doubt that is not justified outside of religon is not helpful to getting a cohesive understanding of science.

  48. Anonymous says:

    The thing about LYE is that it’s CAUSTIC – a pH of 14 or so, it’s BLUE.

    Also, he needs to be able to sign the right documents, and the pure-business attitude of *anyone* Harper would appoint will be problematic for pure science. Fortunately for those working in fields with higher prestige, ‘sexy’ trumps ‘practical’ — ultimately under the neocons, long term and practical work will not be approved, only profitable or prestigious.

    Still if he’s as ignorant as he sounds, someone with access could talk him into just about anything. We need Machiavellian lobbyists for good causes when the frat boys are running the school!

  49. sum.zero says:

    “Canada had every chance to get rid of these clowns last year – and failed. And I see no sign they’ll do better this year.”

    this. =(

  50. agoodsandwich says:

    it’s not that kind of theory…. Think “musical theory”.

  51. mdh says:

    What a hoser, eh?

  52. Chevan says:

    Nobody needs to believe in the theory of evolution. Science has nothing to do with belief. Evolution is just a framework for describing a system of change, not something that needs to be believed in to be true.

    The question shouldn’t be whether he believes in evolution. The real question whether he accepts as valid the decades of scientific research that use and are based on the ideas that form the theory of evolution.

  53. Anonymous says:

    @ Nanuq:

    “They’re too busy being bland and non-confrontational to care about basic issues in science.”

    Youtube Charlie Angus. There you will find the politician you are looking for. The man bites, calls out, and criticizes like all politicians should, but is too often ignored because this is, as you said, Canada.

  54. SamSam says:

    O… M… G…

    Did you read his follow-up???

    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, whether it is running shoes or high heels, of course we are evolving to our environment.

    Not only does this man not believe in evolution, actual evolution, that is, he’s completely ignorant as to what it’s supposed to be.

    We are evolving every year“? “Whether it is running shoes or high heels“? Does he think that this theory relates to something that happens in our lifetime? And is he confusing it with Global Warming?

    Perhaps he’s going to refuse to answer whether he believes in gravity next…

  55. flwombat says:

    Dude, he’s a chiropractor. He is already professionally anti-science!

    My country’s science minister, by contrast, is a psychic surgeon, and you know he had to go to a fancy science school to do surgery!

  56. presterjohn says:

    Are you proposing a litmus test?

    Complain about policy and legal dictates of such people, especially their anti-science actions, but litmus test style questions is not the right direction, IMHO.

  57. mexican cheese says:

    Me thinks that most all you all are missing the most vital point.

    Religion is a mortal sin.

    Anyone with a religious belief should not be fit for public office.

  58. nanuq says:

    To be fair, I can’t remember the last time I heard any Canadian politician of any political stripe make a public statement about evolution. They’re too busy being bland and non-confrontational to care about basic issues in science.

  59. David says:

    So sad, yet so funny.

  60. Alex_M says:

    A chiropractor?! For chrissakes what’s the POINT of having a Science minister if you’re not even going to put a scientist in charge of it?

    It’s not like it’s a heavy cabinet post with a ‘Ministry of Science’ behind it, to begin with.

  61. ArghMonkey says:

    @SUM ZERO – POST #49 – Thats right, we could have formed a coalition government but Canadians are apparently too “confused” by what a coalition government means to support the move, its just shameful.

    Canada, for all the good things we have going for us, seems to be the retarded half brother of Europe, we seem to want to follow the values of our more intelligent siblings in Europe while secretly craving the simple minded thinking and unashamed greed of the criminally retarded relatives to the south.

    As soon as Canada tosses out yank ideology and rid ourselves of these whack-job christians the sooner our middle class will thrive and our lives will get better, not perfect, just better.

  62. SamSam says:

    @ #50 Chevan:

    Nobody needs to believe in the theory of evolution. Science has nothing to do with belief. Evolution is just a framework for describing a system of change, not something that needs to be believed in to be true.

    What does that mean?

    Will you accept a lead scientist to run the space program who doesn’t believe in gravity? An airplane designer who doesn’t believe in aerodynamics? Those aren’t “frameworks” for describing things, they are actual hard theories.

    Evolution is not just a “framework” for “describing” change: it is a well-founded, intricate Theory that can make predictions and explain data. It’s not some “framework” that happily accepts your “description of change” and my “description of change” and everyone’s pet theories.

  63. lumpi says:

    Well, what are you waiting for? Fire him.

  64. carriem says:

    hahahaha Moriarty!

    so funny! :)
    You said chimp, not I, so no, I am not claiming anything of the sort.

    have you MET anyone in politics??? they’re all chimps, as far as i’m’ concerned. :)

    Here’s how our government works:
    Anyone with money can get elected. Now you’re an MP (Member of Parliament). From the MPs the Prime Minister selects his cabinet, to be Ministers of Whatever. Historically, in nearly EVERY western government, there is NO NEED for relevant experience to hold a post. I am not saying this is good, it just is. If it were any different you would have 2 problems:
    Either 1) Only people with relevant experience could get elected. Or people with PhDs. (Bush would never have made it.)
    Or 2) Ministries would be headed by non-elected people. (This sometimes happens.)

    If it were legal to elect a chimp, then your idea of having a chimp in charge would be more likely, but only if the PM asked him to do it.

    Basically, Moriarty, ANYONE can be a Minister of Anything. There are no qualifications because yes, anyone can do it. Welcome to Canada.

  65. Jerril says:

    #74:

    Look, the guy is a Minister of State in Science and Technology. What does this mean, what does he do? He opens schools and hospitals, attends meetings with industry, welcomes Stephen Hawking to the U of Waterloo, is PRO-genome project, and basically blathers to anyone who listens to give Canada more money for science research.

    Excuse me? Did you just say that Cabinet Ministers in Canada are figureheads?

    What this means, what he does, is direct the actions of government with regard to his portfolio. He is a person of power, with a significant influence on policy and direction.

    If all he had to do was stand around and wave, we’d appoint celebrities and pretty people to Cabinet positions, not the dried up cranky politicos that we actually get stuck with.

  66. rrh says:

    Is there some way we can make David Suzuki science minister? Or Bob McDonald?

  67. greypoet says:

    Point 1- The Catholic church also declared, in the 11th congress, that the Pope IS God on Earth. So I am dubious about anything else they “declare”.
    Point 2- Just because someone declares themselves to be a Christian does not make him stupid. Any other religion has been accepted without qualms but Christianity seems to not be allowed.
    Point 3- Many other public officials have made hard decisions and been castigated for them but only when a person publicly declares his belief in Christ is that made the whole reason for questionable results.
    Look at the person not the religion. Better yet, before you criticize, study the subject until you know its resonings.
    jim

  68. FoetusNail says:

    In situations like this, people in public office should have no right to privacy.

  69. Telecustard says:

    Are you proposing a litmus test?

    Sadly, all the basic facts and acid wits in all ‘creation’ will never change his colors.”

    He’s colorfast?

    Never mind. Either way, it’s a win-win. If his pH is a bit above 7, he’ll repel soil better. But if it should be even as low as 5, he would be excellent for fertilizing gardenias, or perhaps azaleas.

  70. Tensegrity says:

    This is no worse than Gale Norton, a lackey for the resource extraction industries, being Secretary of the Interior under Bush.

  71. noen says:

    Speaking of which:

    Why Young Earth Creationists Must DENY Gravity

    “Claiming the universe is only 6,000 years old requires one to deny gravity. See how.”

  72. MarkM says:

    Wow, a chiropractor as the Minister of Science. No homeopaths available? No scientologists (its got “science” right there in the name)? Why not a Harry Potter fan club president? How about a Feng Shui Master?

  73. DWittSF says:

    It’s a litmus test to ask if your Science Minister believes in science? Hoo boy…

  74. mdh says:

    Are you proposing a litmus test?

    Sadly, all the basic facts and acid wits in all ‘creation’ will never change his colors.

  75. Tommy says:

    @6: “Are you proposing a litmus test?”

    It’s not a litmus test. It’s a question of qualification, knowledge, and whether the guy is a freakin’ idiot.

  76. chris says:

    I think this guy is onto something. If you are asked ANY question just respond, “I’m not going to answer that question. I don’t think anybody asking a question about my religion is appropriate”

    Example:

    Question:
    What would you like for breakfast?

    Answer:
    I’m not going to answer that question, because I don’t think anybody asking a question about my religion is appropriate.

    FIN

  77. hubbledeej says:

    I’m not sure which is the worse descriptive term here: “creationist”, “chiropractor”, or “from Cambridge, ON”.

  78. robulus says:

    “Claiming the universe is only 6,000 years old requires one to deny gravity. See how.”

    Uh oh.

  79. redrichie says:

    This is madness, surely!?

    Why the b-h would you have someone who espouses the deeply un-scientific “theory” of creationism as a science minister? It’s my understanding that due to, amongst other things, Darwin spending decades amassing evidence for his theory (because he knew the impact that it would have and was worried) evolution is a theory which is continually enhanced by new discoveries (say, DNA). To the extent that even General Relativity (which I am given to understand is getting ragged in places) suffers more from new discoveries than the older theory of evolution.

    Perhaps the C of E will appoint Richard Dawkins as the Archbishop of Canterbury.

  80. GeekMan says:

    What the hell?!

    Why does the Canadian Conservative party continue to persist in pushing its neocon agenda on liberal-minded Canadians? Furthermore, why were Canadians stupid enough to elect this government?

    This kind of stuff may fly south of the border, but up here, we expect a separation of church and state. Canada is a culture of Christians, Muslims, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists and Atheists. When our government appoints a science minister, he should be A GOD-DAMNED SCIENTIST, not some priest in a labcoat.

  81. arkizzle says:

    Zawan,

    But why posit a bigger mystery to explain a smaller one? Why insert the extra step?

    Come, I have a teapot and a razor I’d like you to ponder..

  82. randee says:

    I missed the place where the Catholic Church declared creationism a pagan belief. I’m sure it’s out there but: Citation?

  83. fltndboat says:

    A little bit of Creationism makes sense. A little bit of evolution makes sense. Hitting each other with a belief club makes no sense at all.

  84. Snig says:

    If your guess on the age of the earth is off by an order of magnitude or more, you really have no science credentials. This is intensely embarrassing. I’m a chiropractor who often buys used copies of the “Selfish Gene” to give to friends, as a way of explaining how life works. There is an inverse correlation between intellect and how loudly a chiropractor proclaims his beliefs. He shouldn’t be in that position. I feel bad for Canada that they caught the neocon infection, hope they get better soon.

  85. Anonymous says:

    You have to wonder about Harper, too, don’t you? Didn’t he put someone from Nunavut in charge of the health portfolio, as well? And quackery is becoming more and more legal and insitutionalized in Canaduh–’it don’t matter if it don’t work’, as long as you’ve got a licence. Science orientated professionals–especially MDs–are left scratching their heads, wondering how their supposed to deal with the whole mess government is promoting.

  86. bobhughes says:

    The next question should be asked about dinosaurs. Did dino fossils come from millions-years-old dino bones? Or does that suddenly become an inquisition into his religion (in that the dino “fossils” are tricks to test his faith in the age of the Earth, and consequently to test his own faith in God)

    the people who claim to have the “most faith” so often seem to have the least idea of what faith really is

  87. Chevan says:

    @ #53 Chevan:

    >Will you accept a lead scientist to run the space program who doesn’t believe in gravity? An airplane designer who doesn’t believe in aerodynamics? Those aren’t “frameworks” for describing things, they are actual hard theories.

    Go read my post again, specifically where I say that evolution is NOT something that needs to be believed in to be true. To answer your questions, no, I absolutely would not accept those people, because gravity and aerodynamics do not need to be believed to be true; they’re ALWAYS true. Someone who believes otherwise needs to go to a library.

    Perhaps I could have used clearer language. When I said that evolution is a framework for describing change, I meant that it is a set of knowledge regarding biological processes and structures and how genetic information is moved and altered using those processes. I didn’t mean that it’s an open forum for any idea, I meant that it is the supporting base on which new ideas are tested.

  88. Dave Rattigan says:

    Yeah, the Pope says evolution is fine. And then says (today) that condoms will make the Aids crisis worse. Go figure.

    But back to your man in government. What an embarrassment to Canadians.

  89. Ambivalent says:

    I can’t grasp how a chiropractor was appointed to that position. It’s ridiculous. I’ll use a template simili.

    It’s like having a _______ to ________ . The blanks can be filled with whatever you want as long as they are ridiculously mismatched or diametrically opposed.

    i.e. It’s like having an armless person be the pitcher on your baseball team.

    (DISCLAIMER: I’m sorry if there are indeed armless baseball pitchers out there. This simili assumes that there is no pitching prosthesis in existence at this time to allow someone without arms to pitch. If such a device exists please ask the moderator to use the above mentioned template to generate another analogy)

    Anyway. Harper appoints cronies or religiously biased people. There is no other reason you would appoint a non-scientist to a position like that. I’m sure we could ask but we would be told that he won’t answer questions based on his religion. I wish I could use that. Hey Sean? Yes Boss? Why weren’t you at work yesterday? I refuse to answer questions about my religion.

  90. FoetusNail says:

    Discussing discipline with a young mother, I asked her if she thought most people are good. “That question depends on a person’s beliefs.” she replied.

    No, I said, it depends on looking around you and deciding whether most people you meet are good or bad.

    “That depends on your faith.”

  91. Steenhorst007 says:

    This is so embarrassing.

    Not only is our Minister of State for Science and Technology apparently a fundie chiropractor, but the discussion amongst my fellow citizens is appallingly anti-intellectual with my side (the scientist side) simply calling him a moron, and the other side loudly proclaiming how wrong Darwin was.

    Sorry if I’m stomping all over someone else’s comments, but I’d just like to point out somewhere, somehow that over 90% of the population of Canada believes in some sort of god and over 50% accepts evolution as fact (which it is). There’s a significant overlap in those two statistics.

    That being said, Mr. Goodyear is either a craven politician who doesn’t want to ruffle his religious constituents feathers or a an anti-science fundie who shouldn’t hold such a high scientific office. Anybody know how to get rid of a Minister?

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