- Published on Friday, 27 March 2009 13:33
- Written by Bill Broderick
- Hits: 1557
I don't imagine that a prospective Minister of Science and Technology (or whatever) has to go through the kind of song and dance that I did to get my lowly government clerk position back in 1960. For a minister, it's not so much what you know but who you know that gets you the job. So now we have Gary Goodyear, a chiropractor of all things, in charge of the science and technology portfolio. Most chiropractors are fine people, I'm sure, but chiropractic is not a recognized science. Various chiropractic bodies have been trying to get their schools into universities for years, with very few takers. York University turned down a merger with the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College back in 2001, even though the chiro-folks offered $25 million as an inducement.
Back on Tuesday, March 17, when asked in a news interview if he believed in evolution, Minister Gary Goodyear refused to say. He said he was a Christian and questions about his religion were inappropriate. But later, during an interview on CTV's Power Play, he said, "Well, of course, I do, but it's an irrelevant question … We are evolving every year, every decade. That's a fact, whether it's to the intensity of the sun, whether it's to … 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."
His statement demonstrates that he doesn't know very much about the scientific theory of evolution.
Why is it so important that the Minister of Science and Technology have a good understanding of evolution-and other things scientific? Because as Minister, he is responsible for making decisions about funding science, encouraging scientific research, etc. If he doesn't understand science, how can he make intelligent judgments?
Of course, this government probably doesn't care about science. I say that because Prime Minister Stephen Harper appointed Preston Manning to his science advisory panel in 2008. I've met Manning personally and I like him. But among other things, he is founder of the Reform Party and an evangelical Christian, neither of which qualifies him to be a science advisor. Also, the Harper government has cut $128 million to three major granting agencies. Governments whose ministers are scientifically illiterate are not going to be able to come to grips with global warming, pollution, and the many other problems that are confronting us in the 21st century.
That's sad, because Canada has been a leader in numerous branches of scientific research over the years. But like George W. Bush down in the U.S., our Prime Minister does not himself have a good grasp of science. Unlike Barack Obama, who has surrounded himself with top-notch people in the various science disciplines, Harper has appointed pseudoscientists and politicians to help him understand science