But it is a confused story, and the motives are unclear.
As the photo caption in 24 Hours (the Toronto subway’s biggest free source of litter), put it,
A group calling itself the Disgruntled Dinosaurs held a protest outside the Intercontinental Hotel yesterday to call attention to Science Minister Gary Goodyear’s refusal to confirm he believes in evolution. Goodyear – who was at the hotel to deliver a speech – clarified Tuesday that he does believe in evolution and initially refused to answer the question because it was “irrelevant” since his beliefs have nothing to do with government policy.
A Minister of the Crown who does not believe in treating his office as a personal fiefdom from which he can dictate his beliefs to us serfs?
To the stake with him, right! When a guy becomes Science Minister, he gets to impose his personal beliefs on all the rest of us, regardless of public policy. Right?
Oh, you don’t like that? I don’t like it either. Neither, it seems, does Gary Goodyear.
So … what really happened here?
The intelligent design controversy has had little impact in Canada, principally, in my view, because the way the public is divided on the subject is not on political lines.
Mike Strobel for the Toronto Sun had, I think, the right take on the controversy. Many were upset due to funding cuts to science and technology:
Scientists roasted Goodyear. Is this why the feds have cut research funding? Does Ottawa figure it’s cheaper to read the Bible?
Fumed one: “It’s the same as asking the gentleman, ‘Do you believe the world is flat?’ and he doesn’t answer on religious grounds.”
No, it’s not the same. We can bloody well see the world is round. But I can’t look at an ape and see myself. Except some Sunday mornings.
Anyway, at Front and Simcoe, the protest evolves into two college kids in Barney the Dinosaur outfits.
An unsuspecting Goodyear is in the InterContinental Hotel, telling the Economics Club how the Tories are boosting research in these tough times.
Warily, I approach the puff dinos. They identify themselves as the Disgruntled Dinosaurs. Man, I know how you feel, fellas.
They are U of T science students Adam Tempiy, 23, and Yves, uh, Smith, 24.
Hmmmm. Adam and Yves, eh? What a revelation.
You aren’t Young Liberals by any chance?
“No, no,” says Adam. “We just feel a creationist shouldn’t be science minister. It doesn’t jibe with his mandate. Does it start to skew his view?”
Wow, a dino-poet. I look around. The hotel swarms with TV trucks, cops and men in black with wires in their ears. For a couple of kids in Barney suits?
Puff dino fashion parade can be viewed here.
Goodyear, deciding to be the adult yesterday, told the Canadian Press (quoted in the CBC, the government broadcaster):
“We’re evolving all the time,” Goodyear said in an interview. “Of course I believe in evolution.”
Wow. Now we know what really caused the extinction of the dinosaurs. Puff Barney suits and wasting time on worthless causes, when you are a science student.
(Presumably, if you have really been accepted as a science student at the University of Toronto these days, you have a heavy course load, no?)
Local media sensed what was happening here, to their credit, and have largely failed to bite.
Go here for the rest.