I’m not buying it Gary

Gary Goodyear wouldn’t comment on evolution this morning, and he’s now added that it’s “irrelevant” to his role as Minister of State Science and Technology.

That’s right, the minister of science thinks scientific facts are irrelevant to his job.

His quotes in the first article to the Globe and Mail:

“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”…

“Obviously, I have a background that supports the fact I have read the science on muscle physiology and neural chemistry,” said the minister, who took chemistry and physics courses as an undergraduate at the University of Waterloo.

“I do believe that just because you can’t see it under a microscope doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. It could mean we don’t have a powerful enough microscope yet. So I’m not fussy on this business that we already know everything. … I think we need to recognize that we don’t know.”

Asked to clarify if he was talking about the role of a creator, Mr. Goodyear said that the interview was getting off topic.

So evolution necessarily entails a religious question for him? The only people who agree with that statement have interesting ideas about the age of the Earth.

Further, who’s claiming to know everything already? Not the scientists, or else they’d be out of work. There are some who claim to have the ultimate truth though…

But this is clearly the liberal press attacking a True ChristianTM, let’s see how he cleared this all up a little later on CTV’s Power Play (in the midst of continually dodging to try to plug Harper’s science plan):

Jane Taber: So you do believe in evolution. You believe in the theory of evolution. Let’s just get this off the table right now.

Gary Goodyear: We are evolving, every year, every decade. That’s a fact. Whether it’s to the intensity of the sun, whether it’s to, as a chiropractor, walking on cement versus anything else, whether it’s running shoes or high heels, of course, we are evolving to our environment. But that’s not relevant. And that’s why I refused to answer the question. The interview was about our science and tech strategy, which is strong…

Wait, say what?

Does he think the theory of evolution is used to explain why people change shoes when it’s hot or cold out? I agree that isn’t relevant to your job – but knowing what the theory of evolution and modern science actually says is completely relevant to the Minister of Science.

There are many creationists in Harper’s theocon caucus, and I think it’s high time to expose the anti-science bias that exists within the governing party of this country.

This isn’t a matter of religion, it’s a matter of public policy being based on evidence and reason.

10 thoughts on “I’m not buying it Gary”

  1. Adaptation occurs in populations, not individuals. What the Minister described is more akin to bastardized Lamarckism than the modern synthesis understanding of evolution. Besides, adaptation is not the part of the evolutionary theory that is rejected by creationists, it’s the fact of common descent and the unguided nature of complex life’s origin.

  2. Wrong.

    Adaptation occurs in segments of the population — masses of individuals — and spreads through the rest of the population vis a vis breeding advantage.

    In other words, organisms with the advantage survive to procreate in greater numbers, organisms without the advantage survive to procreate in smaller numbers. In time those not blessed with the advantageous adaptations die off.

    Furthermore, I’d point out that atheist darlings Brian Sapient and Kelly O’Connor echoed Goodyear’s ongoing-evolution sentiments very closely when they insisted we’re “just this year’s version of humanity”.

    But I guess it’s somehow OK when they make that argument.

    1. Brian and Kelly are like the bulldogs of atheism. Their arguments are crude and rude and often not as logically sound as they’d like to believe. They likely know a little more about evolution that Ray Comfort/Kirk Cameron, but I wouldn’t bet that much. I don’t aspire to any of them. So no, it’s not okay for them to be wrong.

      I think you’re also getting overly bogged down in semantics. I’m not suggesting that Mr. Goodyear ought to be an evolutionary biologist to be science minister, just that he recognize the importance of evolution to science, and not make stupid comments like the ones he made. Our Heritage Minister doesn’t make statements like “there were no people in North America before the Europeans came in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries” because it’s flat out wrong.

      Now, don’t you have a rock to crawl back under now that neo-conservativism is dying?

  3. Patrick:

    While you are correct, that still dodges the issue that creationists have no problem with adaptation: even the idiots at Answers in Genesis, who happen to be some of the most bone-headed YEC out there have a page explaining their acceptance of it: http://www.answersingenesis.org/creation/v14/i2/adaptation.asp . If a holocaust denier tries to claim he isn’t by saying he accepts WWII happened, that isn’t very convincing, is it?

  4. Hmmmm. Sounds an awful lot like “the absence of evidence is not evidence of absence”, in this case applied to Goodyear’s alleged creationist beliefs.

    The biggest problem being, of course, that it’s considered awfully unscientific to use that in order to make the assumption that Goodyear is a “creationist”.

  5. I don’t necessarily think Goodyear is a Creationist, just a politician who is quite ignorant of the facts in the job he is paid by the taxpayers to do.

  6. I don’t think that’s a sound deduction at all.

    Goodyear affirms his belief in evolution, goes on to say that evolution is a continuous process, then explains evolutionary process through adaptation. He may have done so clumsily, but that’s what he was doing — at least that’s how it seems to me.

    A person has to separate Goodyear’s adaptation comments from their context in order to make the argument that he’s ignorant about evolution. Anyone who does so willingly is making a bad faith argument.

    I’m sure some people didn’t recognize the context. It wouldn’t surprise me. That being said, I’m certain that others did, and I’m personally making sure they’re in for one fuck of a fight over it.

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