Backwards land

18Mar09

In an e-mail, your favourite internet humourist Jay Pinkerton raises an important question:

Obama’s okaying stem cell research, and Canada’s denying the existence of evolution. Am I in backwards land?

I’m glad he brought this up, and not just so I can shamelessly crib our correspondence for a blog post once again. First off, I’m glad to see Obama’s giving the go-ahead to SCIENCE~! As he said, scientific miracles doesn’t just happen by accident — except of course, as Jon Stewart points out, penicillin, quinine, the cowpox vaccine, and a whole bunch of others.

Still, I bet Americans are looking forward to getting injected with a booster shot full of ground-up human embryos, just as Canadians have been doing on an annual basis for the last few years. It’s just a more effective way of staying youthful than bathing in the blood of virgins, we find.

It’s distressing to see that we might have to go back to the old ways that the anti-science brigade is in charge up here. (Who am I kidding? We never gave up bathing in the blood of virgins. We just don’t do it for the supposed medical benefits anymore.) But it’s to be expected; since Obama’s election, the Harper government in Canada is actually the last bastion of Bush-style North American conservatism, kind of the satellite state of Belarus clinging to communism after Russia gave it up. We’re like a Japanese soldier hiding out on a jungle island, refusing to admit we lost the war.

I like how Minister of Science and Technology Gary Goodyear defends his suitability to hold his post based on three years of university studying kinesiology. He left without completing his degree. We have a Minister of Science and Technology who never finished university. This is like if I’d dropped out of my philosophy program only to later become Minister of Philosophy, despite the existence of more qualified Canadian candidates like, say, Mark Kingwell or every single one of my philosophy instructors, ever.

And again, he studied kinesiology, and not to deride that field of study, but I must note that many of my former co-workers in the supplement industry hold kinesiology degrees. So they’re qualified not only to mix up a protein shake or draw up a personal-training program, but also to hold the portfolio of Minister of Science and Technology in the Canadian government. In fact, they’re more qualified than the incumbent.

But, to be fair, he also went to chiropractic college to become a qualified practitioner. That’s science, right? I mean, junk science is still a kind of science. While you might argue that that kind of background in quackery makes him better-suited to the Ministry of Waterfowl, I say that if you can’t get a phrenologist or an astrologer to hold the post of Minister of Science and Technology, you might as well go with a chiropractor. Oh, by the way, did you know a significant percentage of chiropractors oppose water fluoridation and vaccination?

I love the response from the scientist at McGill University, which breaks things down further, just completely deflating Goodyear like a flat tire:

It is the same as asking the gentleman, “Do you believe the world is flat?” and he doesn’t answer on religious grounds. Or gravity, or plate tectonics, or that the Earth goes around the sun.

Well-played, sir!



6 Responses to “Backwards land”

  1. 1 Grom

    We had the same here as the social party opposed the majority of law students in our parliament. So they put some construction and factory workers on their election lists. Who were stupefied by the legal jargon during debates and followed their election by doing nothing important for 4 years until they got replaced and the experiment quietly forgotten.

  2. 2 hilly

    You have still have virgins in Canada?

  3. 3 prhead

    Tell Jay we miss him.

  4. 4 jtl

    Just to pile-on the ultra-right Conservative movement a little more… let’s not forget Mike Harris’ first Minister of Education, John Snobelen, was a high-school dropout. Seems like par for the course for these jackasses.

  5. 5 Peter Lynn

    Thank you! I was racking my brain trying to remember which guy that was. I knew there was somebody like that who was grossly unsuited to his position.

  6. 6 Mully

    “Deflating Goodyear like a flat tire” – oh what a wit you are, Mr. Lynn


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