“…laughing at unionists is not the revenge that Booby Sands had hoped”.

Today Newton Emerson gives the most plausible explanation as to why Unionism is finally out punching and out pacing political nationalism I’ve read since the start of Slugger O’Toole. It’s a real keeper. What follows is highlights. You really do need to read the whole thing… My Irish News colleague Fionnuala O Connor has asked why unionism seems comparatively “perked-up” beside “stale nationalism”. The answer may be something many unionists do not believe in – evolution. As an unpopular people … Read more

“anthropomorphising the results from flies is difficult to suppress…”

I’m sure there’s no significance at all in the timing of this story…  As the somewhat excitable BBC science report’s headline has it – “Sex-starved fruit flies turn to drink” In an article in Science, researchers suggest that alcohol stimulates the flies’ brains as a “reward” in a similar way to sexual conquest. The work points to a brain chemical called neuropeptide F, which seems to be regulated by the flies’ behaviour. Human brains have a similar chemical, which may react … Read more

Ireland, the UK, evolution, wealth and belief

There was a good graph out this morning on belief in evolution versus GDP in various nations, interesting how the US is the biggest outlier in the data set by a significant margin. Also interesting is the UK compared with Ireland; the UK is pretty much bang on the trend line and Ireland shows a significantly higher degree of scepticism at about 10% lower in terms of evolutionary belief, now what does that tell you? Niall Fealty

Good heavens! You’re the science minister…

At least Edwin Poots was only the culture minister…  The Fianna Fáil junior minister “with special responsibility for science”, Conor Lenihan, may believe the party has been “very damaged”, but he’s also got reason to thank his lucky stars for the recent controversy about Brian Cowen’s under par interview. At the start of the week the Irish government’s Minister for Science had been due to officially launch an anti-evolution book, “The Origin of Specious Nonsense” [Link? – Ed] You can google it yourself. … Read more