Anglican Samizdat

March 17, 2009

The New Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith

Filed under: Christianity,evolution — David Jenkins @ 9:21 pm
Tags: ,

The 21st Century’s Inquisition at work:

Science minister won’t confirm belief in evolution.

Researchers aghast that key figure in funding controversy invokes religion in science discussion.

Canada’s science minister, the man at the centre of the controversy over federal funding cuts to researchers, won’t say if he believes in evolution.

“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,” Gary Goodyear, the federal Minister of State for Science and Technology, said in an interview with The Globe and Mail.

A funding crunch, exacerbated by cuts in the January budget, has left many senior researchers across the county scrambling to find the money to continue their experiments.

Some have expressed concern that Mr. Goodyear, a chiropractor from Cambridge, Ont., is suspicious of science, perhaps because he is a creationist.

The interesting part of all this is that the headline in the Globe shrieks its outrage that Goodyear won’t confirm his belief in evolution. Obviously if evolution is a simple empirically verifiable fact, it wouldn’t be necessary to pull out Mr. Goodyear’s fingernails to extract a statement of belief: it would be impossible for him to deny it. For example, it is highly unlikely that Mr. Goodyear would cling to the potentially suicidal notion that he is immune to gravity and is capable of stepping off a high story building without hurtling to his death.

The truth is, evolution is a theory that describes the mechanism behind how species change; it does not explain life’s origin or its purpose. It has no way of determining whether the emergence of mankind was supernaturally guided or accidental; clearly a Christian would not believe it to be accidental. The rhetoric of scientism would deny the possibility of supernatural intervention, but that denial is an act of faith not of science, since the supernatural is outside the realm of science’s competence.

Now, back to pouring molten lead into Mr. Goodyear’s nostrils:

Jim Turk, executive director of the Canadian Association of University Teachers, said he was flabbergasted that the minister would invoke his religion when asked about evolution.

Jim Turk needs to do a little self-examination. For many scientists, evolution is a religion.

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