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Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Goodyear's Bad Day

Here's a link to Chris Selley's article on The National Post website [Chris Selley's Full Pundit: Goodyear's bad day].

The article has links to several Canadian journalists. I'm pleased to see that many of them recognize the problem. We can't have a creationist Minister in charge of science.


  1. From the comment section following the linked article:
    Straightup: ...There are 3 categories and I suspect that Goodyear is amply familiar with them. Evolution/Darwinism, Creationism, and Intelligent Design.

    Certainly not. First, I would not acknowledge that Creationism and Intelligent Design are different categories; rather the latter is a political posture intended to advance the former. Second (and this one kills Straightup's view), Goodyear stated that he considers the question of evolution to be one of faith, whereas in the view of Intelligent Design this is a matter of science. They are just wrong about which direction the science points.

  2. Larry says "many [Canadian journalists] recognize the problem," but Chris Selley calls Colby Cosh a "filthy unbeliever." Is this Selley's idea of a joke, or is Selley part of the problem.

  3. I would say that Mr. Goodyears' (I refuse to give him the title of Dr. )anti-evolution leanings are the least of the problem. The man is a medical quack. Putting a quack as Minister of State for science, as one should consider medical research as science, is like putting a flat earther in charge of a physics program. Even Dubya appointed a real scientist, John Marburger, as his science advisor, even though he mostly ignored the advice.

    Compare that with President Obama who appoints a Nobel Prize winning physicist, Steven Chu as Secretary of Energy and whose science advisory council is headed up by a Nobel Prize winning research physician, Harold Varmus.

  4. Dear Darwin, anyone visiting this link really should read the comments section until the article (as Bayesian Bouffant did) because it's full of all kinds of stupid - with a few moments of lucidity. It's reading stuff like this that depresses me, because it's very difficult to envision how to improve public acceptance of evolution when most of their beliefs/arguments are 'not even wrong'.

  5. Sorry, that's 'under the article'.

  6. Let's not exaggerate Goodyear's power or influence. To say that he's "in charge of science" is not accurate.

    He's a "minister of state," one of 11 recently appointed. A minister of state has no department, and it's much more of an advisory position than an executive one.

    The theory is that a minister of state provides additional focus on a particular area. However, such positions are often seen as a way to give people a title without making them a full member of cabinet.

    As I understand it, ministers of state are seldom if ever members of any of the key cabinet committees, and often don't attend all cabinet meetings.

    In other words, even if Goodyear really wanted to damage science, he has very limited power to do so. Example - his name was associated with the recent cuts, but it would not have been his decision on the size or timing of the cuts.

    I'm not suggesting that there is no reason for concern, but it would help to keep things in perspective.