The Minister and evolution


Madam, – Not having heard much from Conor Lenihan on the much-vaunted smart economy, I was heartened to hear he had accepted an invitation to launch a book decrying the theory of evolution as the “greatest deceit in the history of science” (Home News, September 14th?).

This official endorsement will certainly help international investors separate the smart economies from the rest. – Yours, etc,



Co Wicklow.

Madam, – The Department of Enterprise, Trade and Innovation states that one of the objectives of Discover Science and Engineering is “Promoting a greater understanding of science amongst the public/society”.

The target audience for the programme includes school students, their parents and teachers, as well as the wider public. It is a pity that the target audience does not also include the Minister for Science. – Yours, etc,




Madam, – It is deeply depressing that Ireland is saddled with a Minister responsible for science who appears so profoundly ignorant of, and indeed apparently actively antipathetic to, one of the most beautiful, profound and biomedically important discoveries that science has uncovered.

His attendance at a “crankfest” would seriously jeopardise Ireland’s growing international reputation as a place where scientific research of high quality is valued and fostered. – Yours, etc,

Prof STEPHEN O’RAHILLY, Professor of Clinical

Biochemistry and Medicine,

University of Cambridge.

Madam, – What kind of world is it where the Minister for Science is able to accept an invitation to launch a book that decries evolution?

Should we have a Minister for Theistic Affairs who publicly denounces God? How about a Minister for Finance who doesn’t know how the banking system works? – Yours, etc,


Clifden, Co Kilkenny.

A chara, – Mr Lenihan’s decision to promote an anti-evolution book while he is Minster for Science illustrates everything that is wrong with Irish politics.

A senior elected official is more interested in looking after one of his constituents than showing an understanding of the matter he has significant responsibility for. What’s more important to get right? The duties of his job or the machinations to keep power?

– Is mise,


Turvey Walk,


Co Dublin.

Madam, – The main argument of the book Conor Lenihan agreed to launch is that life is so complicated, somebody much smarter than us must be looking after it.

It’s an unusual belief for the Minister to publicise, when the Government seems so keen to blame the current state of the nation on chance, randomness and unforeseen mutations. – Yours, etc,


Cornmarket Street,


Madam, – I have just read that Conor Lenihan intended to launch a book that seems to be one man’s eccentric opinions about evolution. It’s like a bad joke.

We have been through a lot lately in this country due to the incompetence and carelessness of the current Government, but this really takes the biscuit. This sends a signal that the country wants to head back into the mists of superstition and magic.

We are already an international disgrace and charity case. Mr Lenihan wants us to also become a laughing stock. – Yours, etc,



Co Laois.

Madam, — Michael Nugent of Atheist Ireland disapproves of Minister of Science Conor Lenihan’s appearance at the launch of a book arguing against belief in evolution. How times change! Fifty years ago we can imagine The Irish Timesreporting that representatives of religion are aghast at the idea of public figures appearing at launches of books promoting evolution!

It seems science has become the new orthodoxy and woe betide any humble person who takes a different view. The imposition of science over God is truly the exaltation of man, the created being, over and above his Creator.

Perhaps some scientists and humanists just cannot imagine any higher form of life than themselves. What arrogance! – Yours, etc,


St Michael’s Avenue,