Evolution Necessary for Scientific Discovery?

March 19, 2009

I work in the riding where Gary Goodyear represents the fine people as Member of Parliament in the Conservative minority government. Gary, a former chiropractor, has served as MP of Cambridge, Ontario  since 2004. He is a devout Christian and a member of Forward Baptist Church in Cambridge.

In Tuesday’s Globe and Mail in an article by Anne McIlroy titled, “Minister won’t confirm belief in evolution” we have the finest example of hardcore scientism and secular humanism determining who should serve in a particular office than I have ever seen. Goodyear is the federal Minister of State for Science and Technology. And while not a scientist per se, as a former chiropractor, Goodyear certainly took his share of classes in science in university.

What is the problem that the article is expressing? Essentially, when asked whether Goodyear believed in evolution his answer was “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 important.” What has irked the scientific community is that Goodyear has not confirmed nor denied a belief in evolution.

Jim Turk, executive director of the Canadian Association of University Teachers writes, “The traditions of science and the reliance on testable and provable knowledge has served us well for several hundred years and have been the basis for most of our advancement. It is inconceivable that a government would have a minister of science that rejects the basis of scientific discovery and traditions.”

The assumption is that since evolution is a scientific fact to deny so is to deny the very basis of scientific discovery and therefore Goodyear would be hurting scientific research in Canada. This is of course a non sequitor. Just because someone denies evolution does not mean they are opposed to scientific discovery. The historical reality is that most scientific inventors prior to Darwin and other evolutionists did not believe in evolution but in creation. The biggest issue though here is the continued confusion between facts and theories.

A scientific fact is an objective and verifiable observation. So, in some ways, evolution is a fact in that changes in populations of organisms can be observed over time (these facts only relate to micro evolution [change within a species] not macro evolution [change from one species to another]). The theory of evolution is quite another thing. The theory of evolution is what the scientific community has developed to explain those changes within a population of a species. Therefore, one can interpret those “facts” in a different way, i.e. from a creationist standpoint. One does not have to accept the theory of evolution in explanation of these facts.  It certainly does not mean that one must believe in the theory of evolution to be a firm believer in scientific discovery.

The real problem in this discussion is not whether one must believe in evolution to be the Minister of State for Science and Technology. The real issue is that people do not like Christians. And they especially do not like Christians who seek to consistently live out what they believe.

No one truly believes that there are not reputable scientists in the world who are Christians. The problem is they do not want them to truly be reputable scientists. So they complain, they chide, they do anything besides actually listen to what they have to say. Who are the ones that are against scientific discovery? It is the atheistic secular humanistic scientists who are against it as they do not approve of Christian scientists.

This is of course no surprise to Christians. Christians in the public sphere are always criticized and denigrated. Yet, they persevere and keep moving on. They continue to serve the scientific process because they serve God. And in the pursuit of God’s truth they pursue all truth. Some of the best scientists in the world are Christians, in my opinion, simply because they are scientists.

So, I am glad Goodyear is Minister of State for Science and Technology. He is a great man with a proven track record of faithfully representing the people who has a scientific background. He’s the perfect choice for this portfolio. And, he will be willing to ask the tough ethical questions that come up with regard to the scientific process. I for one am thankful for that. The scientific process is one that, for too long, has been allowed to go it their own without control or guidance. Having a scientific man who is a Christian working in this area will be just what we need to hold scientists accountable.

Goodyear is the man for this job and I applaud the Conservative government for giving him this portfolio. Now, all we need is for all the naysayers to be quiet and actually get to work on all those scientific discoveries that we need. In the end, I’m pretty sure we do not need to believe in evolution to find a cure for cancer or build the tallest building.