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Irish science minister backs away from antievolution

The Irish minister of state for science is not going to appear at a launch party for a self-published antievolutionist book after all. The Irish Times (September 14, 2010) reports, "Minister for Science Conor Lenihan will not now launch a book in Dublin which describes evolution as a fantasy and a hoax, after the author asked him to withdraw in the wake of controversy on the web." John J. May, the author of the book in question, told the newspaper that he asked Lenihan not to participate in the event "because I am so embarrassed that the Minister for Science has been so insulted" by those critical of his involvement in the event.

Lenihan initially agreed to help to promote the book, The Origin of Specious Nonsense (Dublin: Original Writing, 2010), because May is a constituent of his. (In addition to serving as Minister of State for Science, Technology, Innovation, and Natural Resources, Lenihan represents Dublin South West for Fianna Fáil in Dáil Éireann, the lower house of the Irish parliament.) "[Lenihan] doesn't even believe in my central argument," May told the Times, and indeed Lenihan said that he "remained to be convinced" by May's arguments — while insisting that "diversity of opinion is a good thing."