Well, things are certainly clear as mud now.
You’ll recall that Gary Goodyear, Canada’s Minister of Science and Technology, refused to state whether he ‘believed’ in evolution, stating:
“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,”
Well, last night on TV, the Minister ‘clarified’* his position, stating:
“Of course I do, But it is an irrelevant question”
It is not an irrelevant question, Mr. Goodyear. It speaks to your abilities to comprehend scientific fact, and to be a good advocate for science in the Federal Cabinet room. Failure to accept the fundamental underpinnings of modern biology is, I think, a fatal flaw in a Minister of Science and Technology.
But it gets worse; much worse.
MP Marc Garneau, the Liberal Party’s Science and Technology critic, then came out with this festering pile of crap in response to the whole situation:
“It is a personal matter. It is a matter of faith.… I don’t think it prevents someone from being a good minister”
This frightens me, because Marc Garneau, a former astronaut, should know better. It is absolutely in no way a matter of faith; it is a matter of accepting the overwhelming evidence, or not. It is not a personal matter, any more than accepting that DNA is the genetic material is a ‘personal matter’; you may be entitled to your own opinion, but you’re not entitled to your own facts.
And if the Minister did not believe in gravity, or was an HIV/AIDS denialist, I would put it to you that it would prevent him from being a good Minister. The same holds true for denial of evolution.
What a sad episode.
* – Why is it that politicians always have to ‘clarify’ things? I can’t recall the last time I ‘misspoke’ or ‘misremembered’ something, yet politicians seem to do it all the time.