The other day I remembered Stockwell Day, a bigoted ignoramus who was briefly the leader of one of the right-wing political parties in Canada during the Conservative schisms before the party reassembled and ultimately gained power (eventually losing to Trudeau Minor’s Liberals). He’s probably most famous for making a complete ass of himself trying to look cool by driving up to a shoreline news conference on a Sea-Doo.
Day was justly ridiculed for believing that humans and dinosaurs co-existed. He meant a few thousand years ago, like the Flintstones. It came up in a CBC documentary, as described in Day Lashes Out Against Liberal Attacks and the CBC (CBC, 15 November 2000):
Day also accused the CBC of practising what he called “yellow journalism.” Day’s anger with CBC Television is over a documentary aired Tuesday night on The National.
The report looked at the relationship between Day’s religious beliefs and his politics.
It included an interview with an academic who said he attended a Day speech at Red Deer College where the Alliance leader said there was as much evidence to support creationism as evolution. The man said Day told the audience that the earth was 6,000 years old and that humans and dinosaurs co-existed.
Here’s an op ed, Creationism and Stockwell Day (Globe and Mail, 17 November 2000):
Where faith and science become incompatible is in the rigid refusal to accept the signposts of science where they conflict with articles of faith. In a documentary aired Tuesday on CBC-TV’s The National,the head of natural science at Red Deer College in 1997 said he heard Mr. Day tell a crowd that the world is only several thousand years old and that men walked with dinosaurs. While that may be consistent with the literal word of Genesis, it is inconsistent with the evidence uncovered by geologists and others, and subjected to tests and challenges, that Earth is billions of years old and that, The Flintstones notwithstanding, dinosaurs died off tens of millions of years before humans first appeared.
But the thing is … dinosaurs and humans did co-exist and in fact co-exist today. I heard dinosaurs when I woke up this morning. Last week I ate roasted dinosaur (with roasted squash sprinkled with harissa, and green peas—it was delicious). For breakfast yesterday I had a dinosaur egg sunny side up.
The origins of bird evolution were unsettled twenty years ago, and Stockwell Day had an incorrect understanding of most facts, but it turns out he actually was (though not the way he meant) correct.