HAT: Letter re G. Goodyear to PM Harper

Dear Prime Minister Harper,

The Humanist Association of Toronto would like to express our dismay at the remarks last month made by the Hon. Gary Goodyear concerning the theory of evolution. When asked about his belief in regard to the biological theory, he at first declined to answer on the ground that he considered it a matter of religion. His subsequent statement that he did believe in evolution does not reassure us for two reasons. First, his clarification "that people are always evolving" leaves much doubt that he was referring to the biological theory explaining the diversity of life forms. Second, and most importantly, he has never to our knowledge retracted his implication that evolution is a matter of religion.

In his role as Minister of Science and Technology, Mr. Goodyear is responsible for funding scientific research in Canada. At the very least, a minister in that position ought to respect the ability of the scientific community to answer questions of a scientific nature. That he should regard one of science's greatest accomplishments as a religious matter, rather than a scientific one, is troubling. While the theory of evolution remains controversial in some circles, it has been the consensus of the scientific community for over a century, and has become the foundational paradigm of the biological sciences.

We therefore urge you to demonstrate your government's commitment to science by either firing Mr. Goodyear or transferring him to another portfolio where his inability to distinguish a scientific paradigm from a religious doctrine will be less relevant. Canada's science research programs ought to be overseen by a cabinet minister who fully appreciates the achievements of science.


Moses Klein
for the Humanist Association of Toronto

Marc Garneau, Liberal Party critic for Industry, Science and Technology
Jim Maloway, NDP critic for Science and Technology
Robert Vincent, Bloc Quebecois critic for Science and Technology
Humanist Association of Canada
Centre for Inquiry - Canada
Natural Science and Engineering Research Council of Canada
Royal Ontario Museum
Dr. Brian Alters, Director, Evolution Education Research Centre