Irish science minister boosts antievolution blarney


The Irish minister of state for science is to appear at a launch party for a self-published antievolutionist book, according to the Irish Times (September 13, 2010). Conor Lenihan, who represents Dublin South West for Fianna Fáil in Dáil Éireann (the lower house of the Irish parliament) and serves as Minister of State for Science, Technology, Innovation, and Natural Resources, is billed as launching John J. May's The Origin of Specious Nonsense (Dublin: Original Writing, 2010) at a September 15, 2010, event in Dublin.

In a sample provided on the book's promotional website, May writes, "It is sacrificing reason on the altar of treason to accept that the greatest construction of all time -- a human being with a brain [--] is the result of chance, random selection and destructive mutations. It is the irrational 3-legged chair of hopeless speculation that bears no resemblance whatsoever to reality and observable functioning perfect order. ... We are free to believe what we want, but I have chosen reason." The website also contends that "Thousands of reputable non[-]religious Scientists reject evolution as an unscientific hoax."

According to the Times, "Michael Nugent of Atheist Ireland said the Minister's appearance at the launch is an abuse of his position and an attack by the Government on both scientists and science education." Lenihan, for his part, told the newspaper that he was appearing not in his capacity as minister for science but because May is a constituent of his. Neither Lenihan (who previously worked as a journalist and as a telecommunications executive) nor May (who describes himself on his website as a self-educated polymath) appears to have a significant level of scientific education.