Professor Steve Jones: Why I think religion is a bad thing

10 June 2013

8:45 AM

10 June 2013

8:45 AM

Steve Jones is Emeritus Professor of Genetics at University College London. Some of his previous books include: The Language of Genes, Y: The Descent of Men, The Single Helix, and Darwin’s Island.

Jones’ latest book is called The Serpent’s Promise: the Bible Retold by Science. The title suggests that Jones uses the Bible as a starting point to explain the world of science. In the preface, he says that the book is an attempt ‘to stand back and take a fresh look at the sacred writings in a volume that tries to interpret some of [the Bible’s] themes in today’s language.’ Really, this is a clever marketing ploy: the theme of religion and science is a hook to make this book shift more units. The book does, however, offer some very interesting observations about evolution, disease and ontology, as well as asking a number of interesting scientific questions that have a philosophical context, such as: how long will the human species survive until the universe expands and starts again?

I met Jones in his office at the Darwin Building at University College London. Our chat covered many topics, including his reflections on genetics, religion, and politics.

You say the Bible plays a prominent role in the history of science because many great scientists were believers. Can you talk about this idea?

Well you go back to people like Isaac Newton, it’s absolutely clear that he was much more interested in the book of God’s words, which is the Bible, than the book of God’s works, which is the universe. He wrote much more on the former than the latter, much of which seems like the ravings of a schizophrenic, but that doesn’t alter the fact that he was a great genius.

It’s interesting that [Pierre-Simon] Laplace, who was also interested in calculus, took the opposite approach. When Napoleon asked Laplace why there was no mention of God in his book about the structure of the universe, Laplace replied: ‘I have no need for that hypothesis’. In other words, in the short period between Newton and Laplace, really, we had moved into the modern world.

When great geniuses like Newton and [Joseph] Priestly were around, they were part of a culture where much of their explanatory machinery had to do with religion. Now most of us — in the western world at least — are not. I find it rather distasteful that so much effort is put into British education with a faith basis, given that most of us, to be honest, have no faith at all.

In one part of the book you state that ‘evolution is a series of successful mistakes — and a far greater number of failures — in the endless battle against the world outside. It’s tactics — once its machinery lumbers into action — seem in retrospect almost inevitable’. What do you mean by this?  

Once [evolution] gets started it’s almost impossible to stop. So if you stop running, you will go extinct. It’s an endless circular relay race, and in the end, most runners drop out, they go extinct. But they have been replaced by more efficient mechanisms, which continue the race. The power of evolution is a factory for making almost impossible things. Look at the human eye, or the human fingernail, for example: it’s almost impossible to imagine that could emerge without being designed. But the key word here is almost.


Speaking about the nature vs. nurture debate, you argue that they are intertwined, and that usually they cannot be separated. In this sense does the debate lack meaning?

Yes. I mean that is the most central point about genetics. People tend to think that your very being is like a cake, with a slice called nature, [your genes], and a slice called nurture, which is the environment. But this is not how it works. You cannot slice up the cake of intelligence, the cake of height, of criminality, and so on. The honest answer is we don’t and cannot know. One of the most heritable attributes in British society is wealth. If you are born rich your kids are rich, if you are born poor, your kids are poor.

So wealth has nothing to do with genes, right?

Well it is possible that some of it has to do with genes, but it’s also possible that a huge amount of it has got to do with environment. But the debate about nature vs. nurture makes no sense. I can’t believe that Roman Abramovich has got a gene that makes him uniquely rich.

You argue in your book that genetics, like the church, promised more than it can deliver. And that the influence of the double helix on man’s destiny is far more ambiguous than it once seemed reasonable to assume. Can you expand on this point?  

Well the history of genetics is very strange. In some sense it’s the only science that hasn’t got a history. Because if you look at chemistry, or physics, or any of the other disciplines, you can take them all back. There is a kind of roadmap. But genetics is not like that. Before Mendel, there was nothing. There were lots of strange beliefs without evidence. The thing about genetics is that what is obvious is nearly always wrong.

But the guy who got it right was [Gregor] Mendel. But of course Mendel was ignored. His theories were rediscovered in 1904, then within ten years, Mendel’s rules, which were shown to apply to human diseases, started to be applied to things like criminality, and violence. People then began to use that information, to push us to the horrors of the Second World War. Many of those who set up the Wannsee Conference, which implemented the Final Solution, were people who worked in the discipline of what we would now call genetics. They called it race hygiene. Now I don’t want to damn present day genetics with the same brush, but it’s worth remembering that we are dealing with sensitive stuff here.

Do you think that technology is hindering our understanding of certain things in science? For example how the mind works?

I see big parallels between modern brain science, and modern genetics, in that they are both entranced by the technology that they use in what they can do. Brain science has all these various scans you can do, which is very entrancing. But it’s easy to fool yourself. You’ve got a great cloud there where you are not really finding anything out. And it’s just reshuffling, and reorganising itself every generation. My own view is that brain science hasn’t come to terms with that. That technology is fooling us that particular bits do particular things. But at the moment the technology is ahead of the understanding, and that is always a big mistake.

You also say that differential reproductive success is as central to the evolutions of religion, as it is to that of life itself. Could you talk about this briefly?

This is a slightly surprising observation, but it’s true. It’s clearly the case that one of the reasons behind the success of particular faiths, as opposed to religions as a whole, is that they out reproduce other social systems. I’m no expert on church history, but it is often said that one of the reasons for the great success of early Christianity is that as a social system, it was far superior to the barbaric Roman world, which was basically a male orientated world where women really had no importance at all. Girl babies were killed. The early church, for good and honest reasons, saw that this was bad. So they gave women much more power than the Romans did. As a result, their populations grew.

So where populations grow, there is usually a sign of an increase in a religion?

Yes, look at Africa today, where the population growths are enormous. This happens to a lesser extent in South America, and ironically not at all in the Middle East. In Iran, which is a strongly faith-based-society, they have westernized themselves to such an extent that they have taken the non-believers route to reproduction.

Even within Europe, believers of whatever persuasions, tend to have more children than non-believers. But that can change very quickly. Look at Ireland, for example, where it has changed dramatically in the last fifty years.  I live in hope that it will change dramatically in Africa too.

There is a good quote from David Hume that you use in the book, which says: ‘Generally speaking, the errors in religion are dangerous, those in philosophy only ridiculous’. Do you agree with that? 

I don’t think many philosophers have stabbed each other to death, whether they are for Nietzsche or for Bertrand Russell. But plenty of people have, who argue about the utter minutiae of faiths, Sunni and Shia, for example. Many of them have killed each other, with a feeling that they are doing right.

This is also true with Christianity.  They are absolutely sure that they are right, and the other side is wrong. And that is where the problem lies. That in the end is what drives me away from religion: there is a mystery that you don’t particularly share. And everybody who doesn’t agree with that mystery deserves to be killed. That is the pragmatic reason, not the philosophical reason, why I think religion is a bad thing.

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Show comments
  • davcot

    Islam will be the root cause for the extinction of our species.

  • terence patrick hewett

    It may be instructive to consider why atheist thought appears to be resolutely buried in the 19th century. The atheist world is a world that is described by the Classical Physics of Isaac Newton (Principia Mathematica 1687), the equations of James Maxwell (A Treatise on Electricity and Magnetism 1873) and Charles Darwin (On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection 1859). These ideas, their precursors, their extrapolations and their interpretations have been repeatedly turned over during the last 120 years by such luminaries as Wells, Huxley, Chesterton, Belloc and many, many others. Although both Newton and Maxwell are mathematically derived, they and Darwin may be easily understood by the non-mathematical given a bit of perseverance; Newton can be understood by using readily observed everyday phenomena. They are all empirically deduced and accepted. That is, until the apple cart was well and truly upset by Albert Einstein’s theories of Special Relativity (1905) and General Relativity (1915). To add insult to injury, a pair of corner boys called Erwin Schrödinger and Niels Bohr proceeded to smash up the cart and kick everything into the ditch. The implications of Relativity which deals with the extremely large, and Quantum Physics which deals with the sub-atomic, are unlike Classical Mechanics, and not easily understood. To us, who exist in a world proscribed by Classical Physics, they are counter-intuitive and are only really understood in mathematical terms. We enter strange, sometimes multi-dimensional worlds where gravity, mass and time do odd things or may not exist at all; we have to question the very nature of time itself. Interestingly it is religion, whose stock in trade is the contemplation of the infinite, who have adapted most readily to this. Atheism has chosen either to misinterpret or in the case of Quantum Physics to ignore it. All it has produced is Moral Relativism, a misinterpretation of Relativity which distressed Einstein intensely; regretfully Darwin is similarly being misapplied. Justifying the existence or the non-existence of God is not the business of science; physicists, if they think about it at all, simply regard it all as not proven. However they would be dishonest if they didn’t admit that the ultimate objective is to know all there is to know; in other words, to know the mind of God (literally or figuratively). The sum of human knowledge so far, is a grain of sand in a desert of sand; and given that Quantum Mechanics, Classical Mechanics and Relativity do not equate with each other, everything is up for grabs. Darwin gives no explanation of Quantum Physics but Quantum Physics is starting to explain Darwin; Google “why does matter exist” and have a jolly good time. The survival of the human race demands we keep our eyes firmly on the Cosmos, and atheism although a perfectly respectable intellectual position, (although Huxley maintains that only for agnosticism), is notable for its low expectations of humanity and the poverty of its ambitions.

    • Alex

      What on earth are you on about? That’s a terrible straw man you are constructing there.

      • terence patrick hewett

        The answer to yr question is: that physicists know that we don’t know very much about very much.

        • Fred Scuttle

          So I guess we have to invent a new god to explain it.

          • terence patrick hewett

            Prof. Michael Lockwood has published a book titled The Labyrinth of Time; explaining relativity, quantum physics and the ideas of Newton, Boltzmann, Einstein, Schrödinger, Penrose and Hawking in a non-mathematical fashion. As Huxley said “the universe is queerer than we think: it may be queerer than we can think”

  • Jackthesmilingblack

    Isn’t it high time that all religions were consigned to the dustbin of history? Violent superstition disseminated to gullible losers that can’t handle handle mortality.

    • Repeal the Act!

      Include the WWF-UK and its Green toff religion. In to the recycle bin perhaps.

  • terregles2

    How can anyone say that they understand and know without doubt there is no such thing as some kind of spiritual being that has some connection to our planet. Those who say there is definately no God are surely as misguided as those who say there definately is a God.
    Is a strong belief in athiesim not just another kind of faith. Science can answer so much but it still cannot answer everything.
    Most religions preach peace kindness and love. if the followers do not follow the message that does not make the message bad.
    The truth is that none of us know what happens after we die and the people who believe that they are going to meet God will always be the winners. if they are wrong and there is no afterlife then they will never know.

    • margaret benjamin

      God is Spirit Jesus said in Johns Gospel You are one spirit soul & body. Breath & Spirit are the same thing. you have a soul , and body. Anyone will tell you that. After we die you say The spirit goes from the person and returns to God from were it came. because you choose to reject the truth and stay away from it dosnt mean its not true.Im talking one God, one supreme being.

      • Fred Scuttle

        Your imagination figment of choice would have been totally different had you been born in india.

    • Icebow

      I tend to describe myself as a deist, in a Hindu sort of way. I find it simplistic to talk of God’s existing or not existing (re Upanishads); rather, God is that which allows for existence, in the sense of Absolute Consciousness.
      This of course will cut no ice with the downvotey materialists stalking around this thread, who are by no means as intelligent as they think.

      • AlfTupperDarlin

        Icebow: “This of course will cut no ice with the downvotey materialists stalking around this thread, who are by no means as intelligent as they think.”

        Wrong on both counts, it would appear.

        “I tend to describe myself as a deist, in a Hindu sort of way.”

        I would suggest you are more of a pantheist. The pantheism of the eastern religions and of Spinoza’s Judaism (which would doubtless have lead to his death had they been published during his lifetime) are far more rational than the theism and deism of the west.

        Einstein famously came out as a Spinozan pantheist in letters he wrote in 1954.

        • Icebow

          Deism, pantheism, vitalism, hylozoism — all good.
          Don’t get me started on Einstein!

      • Fred Scuttle

        I see you are very keen on tossing out insults. Does that make you feel superior?

        Are you a Rupert Sheldrake fan?

    • Fred Scuttle

      “Those who say there is definately no God are surely as misguided as those who say there definately is a God”.

      So to say there are definitely no fairies is equally misguided.

      • terregles2

        I appreciate what you are saying and I accept that religions are made up of stories that do not stand up to any close scrutiny. I still though think it is a bit arrogant to state that there is no God and close your mind to any doubt. Nobody can prove that there is a God just as science cannot prove there is not.
        I do not accept the religious version of God sitting up in heaven but when I look at the natural beauty of this planet and the miracle of nature where the smallest tiny fly is woven into the food chain and the beautiful balance of nature I could not be arrogant enough to say that there is no spiritual being somewhere woven into the beauty and the wonder of the natural world.
        I could well be wrong perhaps there is nothing after death but until anyone offers conclusive proof one way or the other I will keep an open mind.

        • Liberanos

          Spirituality sits uncomfortably with reason, I’m afraid. There is nothing in nature which is not material.
          Love, hate, perception, fear, all are simply the result of electro-chemical reactions in our brain. They are so innately material that a blow to the head or even a drug can wipe them forever.
          There is magic and there is reality. God belongs to magic, and there’s nothing wrong with a bit of magic to ward off fear of oblivion.
          But it has nothing to do with truth.

          • terregles2

            Magic to ward off fear of oblivion. I am not so sure that the thought of oblivion is frightening. For example I think it is more frightening to perhaps face an afterlife than it is to slip away into unconsciousness.
            I agree with you that most things can be explained by science and logic but I have still had a couple of things happen in my life that cannot be explained by science or any other reason. One day they might be but until then I keep an open mind.
            If our emotions are no more than an electro chemical reaction in the brain then by that analysis nobody should ever be put on trial for any wrongdoing. That logic would put us one the same level as animals with no power to make any moral judgements.
            I think it is hard not to feel spiritual when we listen to certain pieces of music or see a sunset.
            Science has given us a wonderful world but in terms of understanding the human brain or the power of the mind it is still in the dark.

            • Liberanos

              Well made points. But we ARE animals, and our moral judgements are simply the result of a community of advanced, electro-chemical cerebral reactions. They change considerably over time.
              The warm, awed feelings we get from a beautiful sunset or a late Beethoven string quartet are electro-chemical. There is no little man sitting in our brain being impressed. One small jolt of electricity could instantly have us hating every photon or note.
              In this universe only the material exists. The rest, whatever its name, is magic.
              This view can seem incredibly bleak. And countless generations before us have created wonderful, magical constructions and beings to protect us. But I believe there is also freedom in reality. And in facing truth.

          • terregles2

            If emotions are merely electro-chemical reaction in the brain I look forward to the cure for bereavment.
            The unbearable pain when someone you dearly love dies is a pain that is beyond unendurable. It is a pain so intense that it does fade in time, but it only fades it never truly leaves us.
            The drug that can banish that pain would be more than a winner………. it would be miraculous.

            • Liberanos

              It is the wretchedness of bereavement…which, sadly, I know so well…that drove mankind to create the magical, invisible kingdom where we all come alive again.
              There are many drugs capable of modifying or removing the reaction to loss. It is, after all, an entirely physical phenomenon. We choose, I think rightly, to spurn most of them, in favour of retaining the completeness of the memory.

              • terregles2

                I have never known anyone benefit from drugs after a bereavement. Quite the reverse. Some have become dependent on anti depressants. I think the over prescription of prescription drugs and indeed the production of these drugs is one area where science has done as much harm as they have good. One day we will look back on present day medical treatment for some illnesses and view the treatment as barbaric.
                I do not believe that any drug can ease the pain of a loved one dying and believing that we will meet again one day does little to help ease the pain.

                • Liberanos

                  You’re completely right about the over-prescribing of anti-depressants.
                  But since any reaction or emotion can be controlled by drugs, we can obviously ease the pain of bereavement…if we choose to.
                  We normally choose not to alter our brain circuitry in this way, for very good reasons.
                  My main point is that the process we label an emotion is an electro-chemical one, and is therefore entirely material. It has to be. There is nothing else.
                  However, I fear I’m in danger of repeating myself, so if you’ll forgive me, I’ll move on.
                  I’ve very much enjoyed our discussion.

    • JoeDM

      “Is a strong belief in athiesim not just another kind of faith.”

      Atheism is not having a belief or faith.

      To claim tha atheism is another faith is rather like saying that not collecting stamps is a hobby.

      • terregles2

        Sorry I probably did not put that well. What I meant was that athieists have a strong belief that there are no deities and therefore all faiths are misguided.

        Yet some athieists seem to put a lot of faith and belief in science.

        • Fred Scuttle

          Atheism is a lack of belief in gods. Like theism, but with one or a few gods less.

          Do you have a strong belief for everything you don’t believe in?

          • terregles2

            Well I have a strong belief that intolerance exists but I don’t believe in it myself.
            That is why although I do not believe in any religion myself I would not try to persuade others who believe in a religion that they are wrong.

    • Alex

      “How can anyone say that they understand and know without doubt there is no such thing as some kind of spiritual being that has some connection to our planet. ”

      Because there is no evidence of such a being.

      “The truth is that none of us know what happens after we die and the people who believe that they are going to meet God will always be the winners. ”

      Except that they have spent their lives worshiping nothing. All that time spent being religious they could have used to do other things.

      I prefer accepting things which have evidence rather than believing in make-believe things just to feel good.

      • terregles2

        If they have wasted their time in worship well people waste their time in all sorts of ways. Some waste time in drug and alcohol abuse. Some waste time sitting in front of a tv for hours on end or lying about not doing much.
        If some people want to hang about in a church if it makes them happy well where is the harm. Many churches also do good things in the community amongst the homeless etc.
        I don’t believe or disbelieve in a God because nobody can prove it either way.
        We all get through this life the best way we can and if some find comfort from believing in religion in many ways they are the lucky ones.

  • Nele Schindler

    Atheism is a strange and disquieting form of mental illness. It expresses itself beautifully, but always with a whiff of hopelessness and self-deceit.

    • Liberanos

      When primitive man stared at the sky and wondered if the answer to the awfulness of his mortality lay up there in the stars, he had the excuse of ignorance and irrationality.

      In the twenty-first century, there’s no excuse.

      • Nele Schindler

        As I said, beautifully expressed – touchingly bonkers. 🙂

        • Jackthesmilingblack

          Priests: The head lice of humanity.

        • Liberanos

          Everyone on earth has a perfect right to adopt the coping mechanism they prefer, to protect them from the wretched fact of oblivion.
          For some, the belief that another, invisible, them leaps from their body when they die and goes to live with a kindly wizard in a magical kingdom far away, is completely consonant with everyday life and sanity.
          But for the magic, which we now call divine or supernatural, to be considered real, reason must be fanciful.
          And that surely cannot be.

      • RobertC

        So do we stop funding NASA?

    • Fred Scuttle

      All gods are man made. There are no exceptions.

    • JoeDM

      And believing in some sort of sky-fairy is not self-deceit !!!!

    • AlfTupperDarlin

      Nele Schindler: “Atheism is a strange and disquieting form of mental illness.”

      It is clear to any rational being who spends a few moments to think about it that the “god” of the Western religions is created by man in man’s image and the the man in question is quite definitely male and not very nice either.

      If you’re struggling I would suggest you dig up an Observer article written by Michael Frayn in 1968 called “A Question of Character”. The first line is brilliant but all of the article is very good –

      “Canon Montefiori’s suggestion that Christ was homosexual was bound to create a stir, if only because psychologists think this comes from having an inadequate father”.

  • margaret benjamin

    The bible is as is The eternal everlasting word of God.
    Religion and the word of God are a separate Issue, I have never been religious. Growing up I thought of God as something so far away that you would never get their.Many years ago I had some setbacks with my heath. I was told about God as if it were a comfort blanket .
    Foe weeks I was in and out of thinking seriously if God really exists! If so why cant we see him,why is the world so bad awfull things happen,endless questions. A friend called to see me and brought a bible with her as a gift.
    Cutting a long story short I tried to pray but didn’t know how to,read one or two lines from one of the Psalms, put this bible down and called on God.As I went to put my kettle on I knew something had happened to me, didn’t know what but I felt different on the inside.Over the months I could not put the bible down, nobody preaching at me,when I got to the end, I started at the beginning again.23yrs later I can say with confidence God is very much Alive as is Jesus Christ. Now im not religious so if someone speaks from a biblical point of view Iv trained myself to stay in the boundaries of the scriptures as the Lord made clear his word would guide me.

    • Chris Ranmore

      “23yrs later I can say with confidence God is very much Alive as is Jesus Christ”

      But that’s clearly a dishonest claim – since you have nothing more than your feelings to suggest this. There’s so much dishonesty and delusion in religion. So many liars for Jesus.

      • margaret benjamin

        Thank goodness I don’t have to rely on feelings.

        As I said please make a distinction between God and religion .

        So many liars for Jesus? I wouldn’t know about that So many so called experts who know nothing today going into great lengths to try and prove that G-d dosnt exist, Well he does and looks at your reaction but to tell you from just my point of view would be unfair.
        When someone calls on G-d and starts to seek him then I believe he reveals himself to those who want to know him Remember he is greater than our hearts.and one day you will have no choice.

        • Fred Scuttle

          There is no distinction. Gods are the imaginary beings that most religions are based on.

          • margaret benjamin

            You know you really are a pratt!

            God not gods another clueless idiot who argues for the sake of it. A sufficient I don’t know would have done, But a fool is known by his many words.

            • JoeDM

              Well if there is one, why can’t their be two or three, or an infinite set of gods.

              • AlfTupperDarlin

                JoeDM: “Well if there is one, why can’t their be two or three, or an infinite set of gods.”

                Given all-knowing as part of the definition of god there is actually a mathematical proof that if god (an all-knowing being) exists then there is only one god.

                The proof is simple (from a mathematician’s point of view at least).

                Suppose there are more than 1. Let them play a non-zero sum game. Contradiction. Therefore there cannot be more than one.

            • Fred Scuttle

              No reasoned reply available so out comes the the old ad hominem.

              Lady, your god or g-d is merely one imagination figment out of hundreds, all with exactly the same evidence or likelihood of existence. None whatsoever.You might as well pray to a towel rail.

    • JoeDM

      But which god?

      Us humans have invented so many down the ages.

  • Mark Bailey

    The last paragraph is worse than sophomoric. Is Steve Jones really saying that Christians like me think he deserves to be killed because he disagrees with us? To state it is to show it for the nonsense it is.

    Less hyperbolic, but more annoying, because more pernicious, is Prof. Jones’s continuous creation of strawmen in The Serpent’s Promise: the Bible Retold by Science to enable his arguments to work.

    • Icebow

      The likes of him and Dawkins like their targets soft.

      • Fred Scuttle

        Dawkins has had a good go at Islam, if that’s what you are hinting at.

        • Icebow

          He did, and I was aware of this departure from type. I imagine he’s been noted in certain quarters.

        • JoeDM

          Jones has also had a go at islamics. In particuar he has commented on their double standards when it comes to science.

          His example he has repeated a number of times of those who attend his classes on genetics and evolution, then produce excellent exam results and go on to do good research in genetics. When he asks them if they actually believe in evolution they answer no !!!

          • RobertC

            What is you point?

            It can be a belief system, but that is not science at all. The science is never settled, as the Global Warming Alarmists already know!

            You can also believe that quantum mechanics and relativity are not reality, as they are so incomplete, yet still understand them and pass lots of exams in the subjects.

            Understanding a theory does not mean you believe it is reality.

    • David Thompson

      You may not be that type of Christian, but there are evangelical/fundamentalist that believe anything that is contrary to their belief system is a threat and just like most of that cadre, misogynistic, xenophobic, and homophobic beliefs are consider gods will. Then there is the whole creationist, 6-day earth, man and dinosaurs walking together. In the US this type of thinking represents 51% of the population, according to Pew report. That’s just scary, because they try to get people like them in political office. Next it will be the dark ages again and burning the heretics at the stake.

      • Nele Schindler

        There aren’t. If an Evangelical (like me) tells you that homosexuality is a bad idea they’re neither homophobic, nor gay-bashers, nor backward. I think it’s a dreadful idea to gossip, or commit adultery, or smoke a pack a day. I still have lovely friends who’ve done all of this.

        It’s the atheist world that doesn’t do nuances, not Christians.

        • Sean Cruise

          That’s an Evangelical like you. Not all Evangelicals are like you. Christianity has no unified form and Christians have no unified concept of God: they don’t all interpret the scripture the same. I’ve come across Christians who want the death penalty for adultery, abortion, homosexuality & blasphemy. I’ve come across Christians who literally want to poison everything with their particular brand of religion – and censor anything that differs.

          Thankfully, I’ve come across many Christians who don’t.

          The professor is correct: there are Christians – and those of other religions like Islam and even Judaism – who see themselves as right. They see everything in black and white – and anything that differs from that they see it as the enemy: something that must be controlled and destroyed.

          And it’s a shame, because they damage what could be a very peaceful religion: one that could be ignored(like astrology in the newspaper) by those who don’t believe, or enjoyed by those who get something from it.

        • AlfTupperDarlin

          Nele Schindler: “If an Evangelical (like me) tells you that homosexuality is a bad idea
          they’re neither homophobic, nor gay-bashers, nor backward.”

          Quite possibly, but stupid and / or ignorant is another matter altogether.

          Since homosexuality exists in both the human and animal world in this Darwinistic age it clearly serves some good/useful purpose and has done through the ages.

          It is likely that younger relatives of homosexuals benefit from the homosexuals’ lack of offspring far more than they do from heterosexual relatives.

          Out of curiosity, how do you handle the fact that homosexuals have played a major role in the spread of Christianity from St Paul, the first Christian gay, through to the kiddie-fiddling priests who have formed the backbone of the Catholic church for more than a hundred years?

          • RobertC

            “Since homosexuality exists in both the human and animal world in this Darwinistic age it clearly serves some good/useful purpose and has done through the ages.”

            What a strange belief system.

            Surely, it’s survival of the fittest, and those with common sense and basic knowledge of plumbing?