Attempt to provoke dialogue fails

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

Re: “It’s a shame to shut out science”
March 19, 2009

To the editor:
It appears that Jaela Bernstien’s attempt at provoking conversation between religion and science will fly drastically past the mark and instead promote confusion and ambiguity to those who are less informed than her.

March 19’s Gazette ran a piece by Ms. Bernstien who brought up two important issues going on in the world of science: Canadian Science Minister Gary Goodyear’s remarks that he should not have to be asked if he believes in evolution because he’s a Christian, as well as Joseph Ratzinger’s (a.k.a Pope Benedict XVI) culpable remarks that condoms in Africa increase the risk of HIV and that “spiritual and human awakening” are much better preventative measures.

The only credit I will give Ms. Bernstien is for at least shedding light on these two issues. However, my respect must stop here, for her analyses of the two topics were so far off and so backwards that readers who had not heard of the subjects previously will now have a warped view of the situation.

She begins by playing devil’s advocate for Gary Goodyear saying, “There is still much mystery surrounding evolution. Of course, there is room for supernatural involvement, and as a very spiritual person I actually lean towards this frame of mind.” I get the impression from reading an opinion like this that Ms. Bernstien has never taken an evolution course in her life, let alone read a biology textbook. If she thinks of herself as a spiritual person and therefore wants to believe a divine hand guided evolution along, fine. But she still has all her work ahead of her.

Charles Darwin provides an elegant explanation for the origin of life that has conclusively done away with the need for any sort of heavenly push in the right direction. I don’t care if she thinks fairies help organisms evolve; it takes a lot to make me cry. But to say “of course” there is room for the supernatural is to make a claim that she cannot possibly know and therefore has no right claiming knowledge of.
" Henry Gould
Biology IV

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