THE author of a book describing evolution as “a fantasy” said he is “revolted and disgusted” at abuse levelled at science minister Conor Lenihan, who was due to launch his book tomorrow.
Mr Lenihan was due to launch the The Origin of Specious Nonsense in a personal capacity on behalf of John J May, described by the minister’s spokesperson as “a friend and constituent”.
However, last night Mr May said he had asked Mr Lenihan not to launch the book and said he was disgusted at the treatment endured by Mr Lenihan in a country that was supposed to be tolerant of all views.
“I am revolted and disgusted by the way my friend Conor Lenihan is being vilified so I have asked him not to launch my book. My book merely presents a different opinion. However, the abuse he is receiving by text and email is outrageous. I have received similar abuse but I can take it,” he said.
The decision for a science minister to be present at the launch of the book had been treated with scorn by members of the scientific community internationally. Writing in his blog, biologist and associate professor at the University of Minnesota Morris PZ Myers described Mr May as a “barmy, ignorant crank” and hit out at Mr Lenihan’s “foolishness”.
On his website, Mr May points out he has written his “non-academic” book on the basis that he has read Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species and counted 1,550 suppositions.
In his book, Mr May says: “Anyone who teaches evolution is either ignorant or deliberately suppressing the known scientific facts”.
Mr May also labels evolution “a toxic poisonous mind virus” which “cripples sanity, promotes myths, obscures reality and elevates matter above a maker”.
Michael Nugent of Atheist Ireland said the minister’s planned appearance at the launch was an attack by the Government on science.
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved