Eoin Butler: writer, journalist and Mayoman of the Year

Tripping Along The Ledge


Published: The Guardian CiF September 17 2010

Why did Ireland’s science minister agree to launch an anti-evolution book?

The decision, since reversed, by Ireland’s minister for science, Conor Lenihan, to speak at the launch of a book that condemns evolution as a hoax is a damning and depressing indictment of Irish politics. But not, perhaps, for the reason readers might expect. Read the rest of this article here.

September 17th, 2010.

26 Responses to “Why did Ireland’s science minister agree to launch an anti-evolution book?”

  1. Andrew Says:

    Nicely put. Is the Guardian going to be a regular gig? They have the most delightfully enraged commenters there.

  2. Eoin Says:

    Thanks Andrew. Quite funny the number of people who appear only to have read the headline before leaving comments.

  3. CrazyForker Says:

    A great quote from the book…

    “Our Milky Way/Universe is so mathematically precise and orderly that we can predict an eclipse of the moon 176 years in advance to the 16th of July 2186, that’s 176 years in advance of today to the very second.. CHANCE? – NO.”

  4. Eoin Says:

    There a pretty funny account of the book launch here:

  5. CrazyForker Says:

    Ha. Thats some funny shit…hope he does a book tour.

  6. Bren Says:

    you look very happy in your guardian profile photo Eoin

  7. Eoin Says:

    That’s actually my Irish Times photo Bren. The photographer was telling me extremely dirty jokes while he took the picture.

  8. Bren Says:

    Ha, man there is some awful eejits commenting on there.

  9. CrazyForker Says:

    The Aristocrats?…

  10. Eoin Says:

    @ Bren – Hadn’t time to read them all but, yeah, irritating how many appear not to have read the article. I thought I had explained pretty clearly that creationism isn’t necessarily on the rise in Ireland. Yet about 50% reacting as if I’d said the exact opposite.

  11. Adrian Says:

    nice one Eoin. spot on

  12. JordyWordy Says:

    Nice one, and The Guardian….Swit swooo…seriously though, I love that paper but the comments on there are gold.

  13. David Says:

    You’re writing for the Guardian now? Nice wan kid!
    On a more general point, I’ve often wondered why in the UK you get politicians like David Cameron, Tony Blair and Gordon Brown who, regardless of what you think of their politics, are highly educated and articulate characters. Whereas in Ireland, so many of our politicians are of the Willie O’Dea/Conor Lenihan variety, who are locally oriented politicians seemingly lacking any grand vision. In fairness how many Irish politicians are there who are in any way inspiring? It seems to be the case that all of the talented people we produce head straight to the private sector and there is a distinct lack of a spirit of public service in this country, which persuades people like Cameron in the UK to go into politics. Obviously there are exceptions like Alan Shatter of Fine Gael, but they are few and far between.

  14. Andrew S Says:


    The likes of Cameron and Blair et al go straight from elite universities to policy units of their respective parties and after a few years learning about politics and policy working in Westminster they get given seats in ultra safe constituencies that require very little personal attention from them. The contrast with the Irish constituency set up could hardly be greater.

    And the good people of Ireland must shoulder much of the blame. Our clowns don’t elect themselves, y’know. Thousands of people put a ‘1’ beside the names of Jackie Healy-Rae and Michael Lowry etc. etc.

  15. Andrew S Says:

    Also, am agog at the comments to the piece on the Guardian site. Commentors furiously offering garbled and ill-informed opinions on epistomology and evolution with nary a whit of evidence that they are at all conscious of the utter futitily of it all.

    But then, this is nowt but a futile internet comment too!

    I must dash elsewhere: someone on the internet is wrong!

  16. massey Says:

    Your grandfather was a td in sligo, i thought ya were mayo all the way?

  17. massey Says:

    And you never say what party your grandfather was in. I assume he was one of the nice party????

    “The reason Fianna Fáil politicians get such massive personal votes in elections is that they’re genuinely nice people, sociable and obliging. Dreadful legislators, but you can’t have everything.”

  18. massey Says:

    That’s a quote from Guardian comments btw not from yourself.

  19. Eoin Says:

    @ Andrew S / David – my favourite anecdote about localism in Irish politics came from Conor Cruise O’Brien’s autobiography. At the time of the Suez crisis, O’Brien was a civil servant in Dept. of Foreign Affair. Liam Cosgrave was the minister. O’Brien had to help Cosgrave prepare a speech to deliver at the United Nations in New York.

    Cosgrave’s speech called for Arabs and Israelis to come together “in a spirit of Christian forgiveness.” O’Brien assume this was just a careless error. He crossed out the words and made some other corrections. Sent the chances down to Cosgrave, but when they came back the “Christian forgiveness” bit was back in. He deleted them again and they reappeared again.

    Eventually he realised Cosgrave didn’t give a flying fuck about the Arabs or the Israelis. His audience were the voters in his constituency who would read the speech in local paper. And the “Christian forgiveness” bit would be right up their street.

    @ Massey – My mother is from Sligo. The respectable side of the family. Her father was a Fine Gael TD. It was only when she married into the Butlers that it all went to shite.

  20. TheComicalHat Says:

    Um, funnily enough, I also met this fella at an Irish embassy do in Vietnam on Paddy’s Day… he presented some awards for our Gaelic football team (yes, we have one), but I know he was really there for the tea and cake. Oh and a feed of pints.

  21. Lisa Says:

    The Guardian now? Kudos.

  22. Eoin Says:

    Yes Lisa, as a dutiful liberal you must now genuflect next time you meet me!

  23. Lisa Says:

    Will do! Getting a Guardian byline is definitely one of those “you know you’ve made it when…” moments. I, meanwhile, am available to pre-order on Amazon so have been ego-tripping over that as well from NZ.

  24. Eoin Says:

    Deadly, I look forward to reading it!

  25. Lisa Says:

    Well as long as you’re not expecting the next Dostoevsky…

  26. Clicking Along The Ledge | Tripping Along The Ledge Says:

    […] #6 Conor Lenihan: Highly Evolved (September 17th) When our esteemed Minister for Science endorsed a book condemning evolution as a hoax, I wrote this comment piece for The Guardian. It got about a billion or so comments on CiF. No exaggeration like. […]

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