Monday, July 9, 2012

Look Out, First World! It's Catching!

Even the Canadian PEARL (Polar Environment Atmospheric Research Laboratory) is threatened.

Just a reminder that religious fundamentalism is growing and thriving everywhere in the world:


This week in Ottawa, Ontario, an international conference on evolutionary biology is being held. Scientists from North America and Europe will meet to discuss progress in biological research, further advances in evolutionary theory and many other topics of interest to practitioners of evidence-based science and the people who recognise its importance to humanity.

Ironically, however, the host country has been weathering an embarrassing number of popup storms in the officially clear skies of Canadian rationality and progress. Religious fundamentalists have "planted churches" in every province and territory, just as they have in the USA, and (just as they have in the USA) they have been patiently following a multi-year plan to "restore" Canada to Christianity (their own, narrow version, naturally). As in the USA, they started by undermining the foundation of modern, free society - public education - and as in the USA, their favorite targets are science and sexuality.

Canadian scientists march to draw attention to the suppression of evidence-based science.

"The cuts, according to the organizers' media release, are being imposed on critical research programs in Environment Canada, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, the National Research Council of Canada, Statistics Canada, through the closure of Experimental Lakes Area, the Polar Environment Atmospheric Research Laboratory and the First Nations Statistical Institute, and through the elimination of the National Science Adviser and National Round Table on Environment and Economy."

"There is growing concern in many quarters about what is being viewed as the government's excessive information control. Several organizations say they are concerned with what they call the silencing of Canada's federal scientists." Natalie Stechyson, The Ottawa Citizen.

Read the full story: Science community to protest research cuts....  Ottawa Citizen, July 8, 2012.

Also, while Canadians are rightly proud of their country's official recognition of the humanity and equality of LGBT people, there has never ceased to be a determined opposition to it (coming mainly from religious groups, as usual), and they are making gains:

Canada: Marriages of Foreign Gays are Invalid,  MSNBC, January 2012

Gay activist murdered in Halifax, Halifax Chronicle Herald, April 17, 2012.

Southern Ontario School board hires security after threats because of upcoming vote to ban distribution of Christian bibles in public schools  story.


Even in 2007, some Europeans recognised that creationism was posing a serious threat to education in European countries. In October of 2007, PACE (Parliamentary Assembly Council of Europe) adopted resolution 1580, The dangers of creationism in education.

Giant's Causeway creationism "controversy" in Ireland.

This opinion piece in the UK's The Daily Mail manages to be anti-science, anti-American AND tell readers that "no matter how fast and far we run from Him, we always seem to make our way back, rather like someone lost in the forest." From sneering condescension toward science and scientists (Carl Sagan...infantile?) to barely concealed, seething contempt for anything American, this piece is not to be braved without donning a hazmat suit. Oh, and it is dissing the potential discovery of the Higg's boson.


Pakistan's only nobel laureate, physicist Abdus Salam, is shunned in his home country and references to him are stricken from school textbooks. Salam did pioneering work in the effort to discover the subatomic Higg's boson (often misleadingly called the "god particle"). Story here.

Indian skeptic charged with blasphemy for rationally explaining a "miracle".  Friendly Atheist, April 14, 2012

Sanal Edamuruku's situation worsens. (The Humanist, July 4, 2012). After being hounded out of India for revealing the simple scientific explanation for a Catholic "miracle", Sanal Edamuruku has been the target of an international manhunt at the urging of the Catholic archdiocese in Bombay.

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