Can A Creationist Be A Good Minister Of Science?
Understand: If creationism is your bag, go for it. I have no objections to anyone holding the beliefs they hold in this matter. However, may I put it to you that if creationism is your bag, and if you don’t believe in the boatloads of scientific evidence that state that evolution exists, that you perhaps aren’t best suited for a career – or a Ministry, for that matter – in science?
Take Gary Goodyear, Member of Parliament for Cambridge, Ontario, west of Toronto. Goodyear has been Minister of State for Science and Technology since 2008. Under this ministry, Goodyear is responsible for biotechnology and life sciences, information and communications technology, and general innovation, research, science and technology.
Goodyear’s background includes an undergraduate degree in Kinesiology and Psychology and a diploma from the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic college. Goodyear practiced as a chiropractor for over 20 years prior to entering politics. After becoming Science minister in 2008, Goodyear faced scrutiny over his viewpoints on creationism in 2009 in the wake of heavy government cuts that hit the scientific community. As reported in the Globe and Mail at that time, the executive director of the Canadian Association of University Teachers Jim Turk pointed out the basic incongruity between being the minister of Science and believing in creationism.
“The traditions of science and the reliance on testable and provable knowledge has served us well for several hundred years and have been the basis for most of our advancement. It is inconceivable that a government would have a minister of science that rejects the basis of scientific discovery and traditions,” he said.
Goodyear, for his part, steadfastly refused – and still refuses – to answer questions about creationism, saying that it’s part of his religious freedom and that questions about his beliefs are inappropriate.
However, this doesn’t mean that it’s not fodder for other candidates. Last week in the House of Commons and again on the campaign trail, Bloc Quebecois leader Gilles Duceppe pointed out that the Conservative Government had a science minister who was a creationist… “who believes that the Flintstones was a documentary.”
Are Goodyear’s viewpoints a liability for the Conservative Party of Canada in this election cycle?
Photo credit: Tkgd2007 on Wikimedia Commons