Will No One Rid Us of This Troublesome Priest?

I think I might want to be an American.

I don’t say this easily. The acid shit-soup aftertaste of the Cheney administration still burbles at the backs of our throats; deregulated dominoes continue to topple the world over; Rush Limbaugh is yet taken seriously by an alarmingly large army of devotees.

And yet, I can’t help feeling a bit like Taylor near the end of Planet of the Apes, wracked by cognitive dissonance in a world where the natural order of things has suddenly turned upside down.  For down there, science is in ascension.  Down there, finally, facts begin to trump ideology, and all those stem-cell-hoarding embryos are finally going to get what’s coming to them.  (And you really should check out John Oliver’s Daily Show commentary of a couple nights back on that subject; try this link if Canada’s idiot web censors keep you from streaming across the border.) Even the US’s atheist population, while still miniscule, has doubled in less than a decade2.  While up here, up here…

…this is so hard to say…

Up here, Canada’s Minister of Science is a fucking creationist1.  A man who refuses to tell us whether he accepts evolution because “I don’t think anybody asking a question about my religion is appropriate”.

That’s right.  The man who sits in judgment of all federally-funded scientific research in Canada believes that evolution is a religious issue.  Put that together with the policies enshrined by his boss and I hope you’ll forgive me, just this once, for invoking a deity.

God help us all.

1Despairing thanks to Caitlin Sweet for this link.
2Slightly less-despairing thanks to Anthony Easton for this one.

P.S.  And on an unrelated note, you’d think that all those Big Tough S&M bondage types would be a little less squeamish at the thought of pus-pockets erupting through cracks in one’s toenails.  Where I come from, Runner’s Toe is a badge of honor

This entry was written by Peter Watts , posted on Wednesday March 18 2009at 10:03 am , filed under rant, scilitics . Bookmark the permalink . Post a comment below or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

18 Responses to “Will No One Rid Us of This Troublesome Priest?”

  1. http://www.cbc.ca/technology/story/2009/03/18/tech-090318-gary-goodyear-evolution.html

    Looks like an attempt at damage control.

  2. You know, I had a whole big blog post written up about this. Yesterday. But I knew you’d do it better, eventually.

  3. …And done. With obscure references to Helter Skelter.

  4. Let me formally offer Canada my sincere condolences on your science policy minister, and express… *hee hee* and expressss… *hee hee hee*

    *regains composure*

    and express our heartfelt appreciation of your predicament at this hour of pro… *ha hahahahaha* *ehem* *cough cough*

    …our heartfelt appreciation of your predicament at this hour of profound disappointment. It is with heavy *heeheehee* *ehem* *turns around for a moment* *cough* *pause* *turns back around*

    It is with… with …with…

    BUAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAAAAAAAA! He’s a creationist! AHahahahahahahaha!! Har har har har har har har! *slaps knees* *rocks from side to side with mirth*

    I’m sorry. *ehem*

    Sorry about that, our brothers and sisters to the North. I, I should not have laughed. That was insensitive of me.

    Hail, Canda, and as you were. Carry on.

  5. Funny, I was just telling a Canuck a couple of days ago that I’ve heard he’s got people just as nuts as our Neocons. Must be a trend.

    Well, take heart. The Limbaughians aren’t winning much, except maybe the chance at inciting a few riots. Whoever they back will in all likelihood get trounced in the next election barring other major issues.

    It stinks that other places (and other sectors) don’t learn fast enough. Wall Street is still in Rove-mode denial about its problems and it’s going to take some time before they realize this is not the way.

    We’ve also got Glenn Beck (I’m sure you’ve seen it if you watch Colbert/Daily Show). That is one crazy mofo.

  6. What’s with this blog and the occassional mentioning of BDSM, bondage and similar niche interests? Colour me mystified.

    I think I might want to be an American.
    Better wait till the hyperinflation blows over. It’s even possible USA is going to get bankrupt before it gets better.

  7. Peter confessed:
    “I think I might want to be an American.”

    Really? Are you sure? Well, thinking is one thing…wishing, hoping, and trying is quite another…psst, the border is this a way…

    Peter said (with apparent hesitation)
    “…this is so hard to say…”

    It’s ok Peter, you are *cough* safe *cough* here *cough* on the *cough cough* ahem, um, oh…internet…er…cyberspace…rifters website…*blink blink*…*wink*

    Peter then blurted:
    “Up here, Canada’s Minister of Science is a *bleep bleep* creationist..”

    …And then there was NO light…

    Intelligent Design? Creation Science? Apes and Rib Bones? What? No big bang and primordial soup mixing?

    Peter said:
    “The man who sits in judgment of all federally-funded scientific research in Canada believes that evolution is a religious issue.”

    Boy, I bet Lucy, over there in Africa is really pissed off. No wonder Peking Man ran away, never to be found again. Better hang on to your mitochondrial evidence and grip your tailbone, it’s gonna be a bumpy ride.

  8. It’s more than a feeling, that we are, dust in the wind…and the stuff of stars.

    Peter revealed:
    “And yet, I can’t help feeling a bit like Taylor near the end of Planet of the Apes, wracked by cognitive dissonance in a world where the natural order of things has suddenly turned upside down.”

    Well Toto, I’m afraid we’re not in Kansas anymore…although there are some States of the Union, that is of America, that are STILL trying to pass “anti-evolution” legislation…shake those monkeys from the tree of humanity and let the all powerful Wizard of Oz take the credit for his “intelligent design”…shock the monkey, put your ruby slippers on and hightail it out of the Emerald City, into Gotham, towards the Dark City, taking a ride on a beautiful balloon, in red rain, calling Aunty M from the slopes of Kilamanjaro, walk into the heart of Africa and across the desert pavement cracked and parched, see the bones of the ancestors…Lucy, oh Lucy…

    Leakey, Goodall, Gorrillas in the Mist, Highland, Lowland, Chimp and Bonobo…in the shadow of man, the naked ape…Orangutan, Lemurs, Hobbitty like cave dwellers…Take Your Stinkin’ Paws Off Me You Damn Dirty Ape!

    Peter reckoned, eloquently:
    “For down there, science is in ascension.”

    Hopefully it is an ascension not at all like that which was celebrated, and experienced, in “Logan’s Run”…don’t want the Sandman running after me…science and religion…some are arguing that atheism IS a religion in and of itself…science as a religion??

    “When the moon is in the Seventh House, and Jupiter aligns with Mars, then peace will guide the planets, and love will steer the stars…” – 5th Dimension

    Astrology, Astronomy…Religion, Atheism…Creationism, Evolution…Reason & Rationality, Belief & Faith Devotion…

    “Harmony and understanding, sympathy and trust abounding. No more falsehoods or derisions. Golden living dreams of vision, mystic crystal revelation and the mind’s true liberation.” – 5th Dimension

    Peter pointed out:
    “Even the US’s atheist population, while still miniscule, has doubled in less than a decade…”

    Not surprising, and in the face of the religious trifecta of Abrahamic faiths causing the most friction, intolerance and violence across the planet, the “Big Three”, of Judaism, Islam and Christianity – what of Buddhism, Hinduism, Shintoism, Wicca, Paganism, Odinism, Sikhism, Huna, Church of Peyote, Magic Mushrooms, Crystals and Vortex, Voo-doo, Astral Flight, Shamanism, Scientology, Ancestor Worship, Earth Worship, Samaritans, Druze, Baha‘i, Mother Earth and Father Sky, Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster…

    Where I am, in my birthplace and ancestral homeland, many of us have a “healthy respect” for the Volcano Goddess who makes her home on the youngest island in this Pacific Oceanic Realm of the most isolated archipelago. For Pele is still “alive” in her fury of spewing fire and molten rock, rivers of orange lava streaming towards the ocean, meeting in explosive rock and boiled water, shaking the earth in her way to reveal her moods. We can find physical manifestations of her all around her home, especially Kilauea Volcano, where her tears of obsidian and hair of spun-glass filament strands, golden glinting olivine, are scattered about her dwelling, clearly marking her territory. Some still give Pele gifts of ti-leaf wrapped cooked pork and a bottle of vodka as an offering in hopes of her blessings.

    We learn of her stories when she had to fight off the amorous attention of the Pig-God, Kamapua‘a, by throwing her “Va-jay-jay” away from her, to distract Kamapua‘a, so she could make her escape. We also learn of how Pele in her jealousy of desiring the handsome Ohi‘a, in a rage, turned Ohi‘a into a tree, but other Gods felt sorry for him, and his true love Lehua, a beautiful maiden, who was therefore turned into a blossom by the sympathetic deities, so that Ohi‘a the tree has Lehua the blossom growing from him. The bark of the Lehua Ohi‘a tree is grayish, but when you cut and peel it, within is revealed as flesh colored with blood red veins and dots, and, the Hawaiians utilized this particular tree in “human sacrifice” rituals. It is said that if you pick a Lehua blossom from the Ohi‘a tree, it will rain for the skies cry because of the separation of the two lovers that Pele had condemned in her jealous rage. I don’t know about that, if it is true, but it does rain in the rainforest, where many of these trees reside, as do the scarlet ‘I‘iwi and the crimson ‘Apapane, two honeycreepers facing endangerment, found only within the Ohi‘a Lehua Forest. The Ohi‘a Lehua tree is also the first to grow within the lava covered devastation that Pele had wrought…

    Such stories and images, legends and beliefs, are part of the science that is interwoven in the Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park.

    One of my favorite books, that I had bought in 1993, “The Soul of the World: A Modern Book of Hours”, Edited by Phil Cousineau, Photography by Eric Lawton – in its introduction states – “If the world is, as the poet said, a ‘vale of soul-making,’ then perhaps the soul is a vale of world-making. Soul: the blue fire: the fire-roots: the roots of the gods: the gods of the hidden forces: the forces behind the world: the world of the soul.”

    Peter, as an atheist, what of “the soul”?

    (One does not need “religion” to have a soul…)

    “The soul is the name for the unifying principle, power, or energy that is at the center of our being. To be in touch with soul means going back to the sacred source, the site of life-releasing energy, the activating force of life, the god-grounds; to venture forth and confront the world in all its marvelous and terrifying forces…”– Introduction in “The Soul of the World: A Modern Book of Hours”, Phil Cousineau, Editor, Eric Lawton, Photographer (HarperSanFrancisco, 1993).

    Does the human soul exist without “God”? The human who dreamt of his soul, the soul who thought he was human…

    Does the soul exist without “God”? Is not the soul “the divine part” of humanity?

    Does Canada’s Minister of Science fear for his soul if he does not religious-ize science, at least “his science”?

    Sorry…in light of the tragic passing of Natasha Richardson…I am having deep and profound thoughts on life, death and the soul…meandering musings, and, yes, sorry, walls of words…

  9. Creationists keep trying to debunk evolution by arguing that there are no transition forms (missing links). But I think that our current government is proof positive that evolution is real.Goodyear, Harper and Day are perfect examples of transition forms between Lucy and modern man.

  10. Plus, we have Tom Waits, and you don’t.

  11. Man it sure doesn’t feel that great in America lately. We’re still dealing with a seriously trashed economy. It’s like the idiots running wall street were ripping up deck plates and minting useless shitty nickles out of them.

    Starting to get warm lately at least.

  12. At least there is one thing that Canada can be proud of. Our banks have been rated as the most secure and sound in the world. Our Prime Minister would love to take credit for this but just a couple years ago he was all in favour of de-regulating them so that they could effectively compete against the American banks.

  13. Harper IS a neocon after all.

    Items of possible interest:

    Prof. Robert Sapolsky on the Neurobiology of Primate Sexuality: Part 2

    cdk007’s channel at YouTube. cdk007 has a lot of videos on evolutionary biology countering various arguments of creationists. His latest, The Origin of Multicellular Life, is very good. Probably remedial for Peter but I liked it.

    Starting to get warm lately at least.

    Entirely too warm if you ask me. I have lived in Minnesota all my life. We just don’t have the kind of winters we used to. That bothers me, it should bother everyone. But it won’t. Personally, I think that we humans will fail the “Are you smarter than a bowl of yeast” test. Fear not, the lesson WILL be administered in a form we’re unlikely to forget.

    I guess that makes me an optimist.

  14. Seth Said:
    “Starting to get warm lately at least.”

    Brenda Said:
    “Entirely too warm if you ask me. I have lived in Minnesota all my life. We just don’t have the kind of winters we used to. That bothers me, it should bother everyone. But it won’t.”

    It would be good if more people were bothered…

    I can understand how those in colder climes would be glad for warmth, however it is the “warming” of the planet that is causing the unusual weather. Three areas, in the place where I live, are affected by global warming. (At least the Bush Administration had the “good sense” to establish the Papahanaumokuakea (broad place Creator Goddess “Papa” gives birth to islands) National Marine Monument…)

    Earth –Volcanoes National Park – Geology/Earth Science

    Sky – Mauna Kea Observatories- Astronomy

    Water –Biology/Ecology

  15. I admit to feeling proud of the US and ashamed of Canada the past election. It’s all very grim up here, what can I say. But I was brought up on a steady diet of patriotism-enforcing beer commercials that have left me unable to turn my back on my country.

    So instead I quietly ignore it.

  16. Hi there,
    Can i take a one small photo from your site?


  17. Sure. Long as you credit whoever I stole the photo from.

  18. Well, this does not surprise, considering the prime minister we have. I mean, I’m sure he’s doing what he thinks is best, but it seems common for Stephen Harper to look no further than the extent of his party’s policies as to how best to serve Canada. As for the minister of science, Harper has never denied his dedication to his faith, and why would he appoint someone who did not have the same basic attitudes regarding science as he does? I mean, if you are a religious person, and you don’t want someone putting forward ideas you don’t like, you’ll put someone who fits your needs more effectively.

    As for Gary Goodyear, his faith can have a huge bearing on what he recommends, and as such, is something that people should be aware of. If you have no tolerance for, say, stem cell research as a result of your faith, you’re far less likely to respond positively or even neutrally when that topic is raised.

    Kinda depressed that I did not vote conservative; at least that way I could honestly yell at my MP.