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Can A Creationist Be A Good Minister Of Science?

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?

 

Related Stories:

2011: The Year Of Creationism in Our Classrooms

40% of Americans Still Believe in Creationism

Students Suspended From Catholic School for Pro-Choice Activism

 

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Photo credit: Tkgd2007 on Wikimedia Commons

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170 comments

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10:37AM PDT on Sep 27, 2012

@Alexandra:

Creationism is not science. Period. That's why it shouldn't be taught in a science class. A philosophy class? Sure. A religious class? Definitely. But not a science class. I wouldn't go to a Sunday School class to teach algebra. Why? Because algebra belongs in a math course - not in church.

Evolution is a fact. The "how does it operate" is the theory. We know it happened, is still happening, and will continue to happen. We're still trying to understand all of the influences that steer evolution.

If you want to believe a god snapped his fingers 6000 years ago and poofed everything into existence be my guest.

But go to church to revel in that faith, not the local high school biology classes.

10:10AM PDT on Sep 27, 2012

IMHO, though not a science teacher myself, creationists tend to make better teachers as they're more likely to show that there are different explanations, theories, interpretations of the scientific facts surrounding the origins of humankind other than JUST give the evolution theory.

Whenever a SINGLE explanation/interpretation of evidence/facts is passed off as 'gospel' then we venture into the realms of brainwashing/indoctrination.

As Ainsley C said, has been my experience too. I was taught the theory of evolution as absolute provable fact at school - no alternative explanation possible. Not as a mere explanation/interpretation/theory of evidence/facts observed.

As Joseph U said: “Yes, because the Biblical creation account and Cutting-Edge Science are in agreement”

It was quite an eye-opening experience when I discovered that there are INDEED other cutting-edge scientific explanations/theories of the very same scientific evidence/facts observed.

It is a bit like a murder mystery. Since none of us had actually been there at the time this planet and humankind came into existence; we can have one detective being convinced of his theory at to how the murder happened and another detective having an opposite theory as to how the murder happened. It does not even mean either detective is ‘undetective’ (unscientific) in their theories. Simply they’ve come to different/opposite conclusions given the same facts/evidence.

7:37AM PDT on Sep 27, 2012

Anyone who believes in Creationism, or for that matter, anyone who expresses a desire to accommodate or support anyone who expressed a belief in Creationism, is completely unsuitable for oversight of a discipline that, through inquiry and testing, has already disproven every Creationist aspect of not just Biology, but Geology, Chemistry, Cosmological Physics, and so on.

7:35PM PDT on Jul 15, 2012

Science and evidence versus feeling and belief.. Goodyear is an embarassment/

10:50PM PDT on Jul 9, 2012

Goodyear needs to say goodbye to the portfolio. This man is not qualified to do the job.

1:15PM PST on Jan 4, 2012

As long as science is not compromised and one has the qualification to accept theories that are in opposition to ones own believes - anyone could in theory be a good minister of science. Unfortunatly - the real world does not work like that.
So - the job needs to go to someone better qualified, and more objective on the subject matter.

6:53AM PST on Jan 4, 2012

@Sharon:

I understand your line of thinking, and the argument from design is very seductive and appealing at first glance, but alas it is a fallacy. Too much to go into to explain why, but I'll defer you to Kenneth Miller, who gave an excellent lecture to a class that is available from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) and free of charge (on DVD). Check that out if you're open minded and would like to hear a proper rebuttal to the "design argument."

Mr Miller, in fact, was a primary witness on the stand at the infamous Dover, Pennsylvania case on whether Intelligent Design should be part of the school curriculum. You'll enjoy and lecture, it is lively, entertaining, and he fields all kinds of questions from the classroom.

5:15AM PST on Jan 4, 2012

bacterial flagellum.. First time I saw it I thought the drawing was an actual motor.. when I found out it was in cells.. shocker. But like a motor you can not take one tiny piece away and expect it to work. From that design I went on to other designs that could not spring into being .. found lots of them.
To me the design is exactly the same as the motors we use. They do not spring into being we had to design them and that was before we even saw the blueprint in our own cell. I love science even when it does not say what I want it to I still listen.

8:30AM PDT on Apr 23, 2011

He's a chiropractor. No offense to chiropractors, truly, but I am unnerved at his lack of qualifications. Just because I might teach Sunday school does not mean I should be setting policy on education. Scary.

10:29AM PDT on Apr 15, 2011

To Petra:

Sorry, but you obviously don't know what a "theory" is in scientific jargon. You are as clueless as the typical ignorant creationist in that regard. I suggest you look at the NAS definition and then get back to us, while you're at it, look up the NAS definition of "fact" as well.

When scientists use the term "Theory" it is an attempt to explain OBSERVED phenomena. When they speak of "Gravitational Theory" or "Atomic Theory" they aren't guessing that gravity or atoms exist, rather, the theory is an attempt to explain gravity and atoms.

The same is true for evolution. We know evolution is a fact based on the evidence, the Theory of Evolution is an attempt to explain that fact.

I could care less if someone believes in any god or not, as long as the science isn't compromised in any manner. I espcially detest religious zealots who deliberately distort the facts and mislead people, including their own flocks.

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Julie M. Rodriguez Julie M. Rodriguez is an arts, green living, and political writer based in San Mateo, CA. Her work... more
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