March 24 2009
Open Letter to Gary Goodyear, Canada's Minister for Science and Technology
Dear Minister Goodyear,
I will be performing a show called "The Rap Guide to Evolution" as part of the Vancouver Evolution Festival in a few weeks, and I would like to invite you to come to the performance free of charge. Allow me to explain.
I have read with interest the recent articles in the Globe and Mail about your misgivings towards Charles Darwin's theory of evolution ("Science minister won't confirm belief in evolution", March 17th). The Globe and Mail interviewer was very misleading when she asked whether you "believe in evolution", a question clearly designed to misrepresent Darwin's theory as a matter of personal belief rather than a scientific fact based on solid evidence. Hence, when you answered her question by saying "I don't think anybody asking a question about my religion is appropriate", you were only following her disingenuous lead.
However, your follow-up interview with CTV, ("'Of course' I believe in evolution", March 18th), suggests that the problem is a lack of comprehension rather than a lack of belief. Your chosen example of "evolution" was the ability to adapt by "walking on cement versus anything else, whether it is running shoes or high heels, of course we are evolving to our environment." By this measure, Mr. Goodyear, you are doing an excellent job of evolving your responses under the intense environmental pressure of media scrutiny. But you clearly don't understand Charles Darwin's theory.
However, I think your error is quite common and I have a simple solution: come see my show! I have spent the past few months researching and developing "The Rap Guide to Evolution", which explains and explores modern evolutionary theory through remixes, comedy storytelling, and rap poetry, making the theory simple, accessible, interesting, and fun to learn. The show was commissioned by Dr. Mark Pallen, a Microbiologist from England, who has consulted extensively on the scientific accuracy of the raps. Once you have nodded your head to the beat and laughed out loud at some of evolution's bizarre implications, you will have no reason to fear or avoid Darwin's ingenious theory any longer.
Here is what Science Magazine said about the show: "With lyrics that were sometimes sly, often hilarious, and always smart and thought-provoking, Brinkman married the fast, complex, literate delivery of Eminem with the evolutionary expertise and confrontational manner of Dawkins."
Click here to read the full review.
The Rap Guide to Evolution is presented by the Vancouver Evolution Festival (venues and details are below). I sincerely hope to see you there, both for the sake of your job security and Canada's international reputation, not to mention the reassurance of our scientific community.
Vancouver Evolution Festival Presents:
"The Rap Guide to Evolution" by Baba Brinkman
Friday 10th & Saturday 11th April, 8pm, Aisle 45 in Gastown (45 W Hastings at Abbott), doors at 7:30pm, running time 1hr.
Tickets $10 ($5 concession)
UBC Student Show
Thursday 9th April, 4pm, The Norm Theatre, SUB (Student Union Building)
SFU Student Show
Monday 30th March, 2:30pm, IRMACS Theatre, SFU (Burnaby Mountain Campus)
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