Saturday, March 21, 2009
50 year after the publication of ON THE ORGIN OF SPECIES, the most researched and defined theory in science still generates controversy and denial. This week it was Gary Goodyear, the Conservative MP for the riding of Cambridge.
Anne McIlroy of the Globe and Mail asked him if he believed in evolution. This was his response:
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.
In other words he's a bible-thumper in denial about evolution. It wouldn't matter except he's the federal Minister of State for Science and Technology.
He adds to his errors when he says:
I do believe that just because you can't see it under a microscope doesn't mean it doesn't exist. It could mean we don't have a powerful enough microscope yet.
I guess he's not familiar with Heisenberg's uncertainty principle and the photo electric effect. It's impossible, for instance, to look at an electron with an optical microscope. The electron moves when hit with light energy. Not to mention the fact the light wave is much bigger than an electron and misses it in most instances. So much for a powerful enough microscope.
When the first article appeared on Tuesday, it created a dust cloud. The minister then tried to clarify (see G&M article) or backtrack or, I'm not sure what to call it, except another goof, when he said this:
We are evolving every year, every decade. That's a fact, whether it is to the intensity of the sun, whether it is to, as a chiropractor, walking on cement versus anything else, whether it is running shoes or high heels, of course we are evolving to our environment.
He can't even get the concept of evolution correct. We don't evolve in response to a changing environment. We simply evolve as a matter of living and if those changes suit the environment and the individual lives to reproduce, those new traits get carried on through future generations.
In the United States under George W. Bush, the US administration implemented policies based on religious beliefs that reminded me and others of the dark ages--that vast period of history where an autocratic church controlled people's lives like Stalin.
The theory of evolution as first beautifully and intelligently put forward by Charles Darwin is a fact. Life evolves and it has for hundreds of millions of years. Get used to it. It's not going away.
Posted 2009/03/21 at 08h06ET in Theory of Evolution.