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Religion has never been good for our health

By Brian Holden - posted Friday, 15 June 2007

If the Catholic Church had not equated science with heresy for over a millennium, we could have had a cure for cancer a century or more ago. Now the local Church is attempting to block therapeutic cloning.

By the time the Roman emperor Constantine opened the doors for the expansion of the Catholic Church in 313, it was already a large bureaucracy. Gradually mind-control got into full swing and the scriptures were (without the Lord’s permission) augmented with policy to support executive power. Then, in 1546 when the Church was doing nicely out of history’s most outrageous racket, up jumped the spoiler Martin Luther.

Of course, religion was still with us and the Protestant perspective quickly demonstrated that it had a mean streak of its own. Nevertheless, biological enquiry was now able to get moving.


The ground-breaker

Charles Darwin had what modern day science guru Daniel Dennett describes as the greatest single idea that any one person has ever had. That is a big wrap for a man with a pass BA degree. In 1859, he completely changed the way we looked at ourselves in one stroke. The year 2007 should be renamed AD148.

His concept of natural selection took the magic out of the life process and replaced it with a mechanism. Armed with a confidence that we could now go on to discover everything about that process, research in medicine and agriculture took off. Although misery made it easier for Catholics to get into Heaven, the new-born biology set out to wage war on it.

What is happening now in this country

From the confusing dance it does around the topic, it is hard to know where the Catholic Church stands on human evolution. There is no such ambiguity in the Pentecostal camp. These people flatly refuse to connect the modern health care they enjoy in 2007 with the spirit of inquiry which was released by Darwin’s revelation in 1859 that the life process was not God’s secret.

Although the local Catholic Church is a significant force in welfare, its executive is currently attempting to throw up an obstacle in the way of biological research. As this is the science which has rescued us from the brutal life-experience of our ancestors - the Church, of course, will lose. As if oblivious to its history of a long line of unshakable dogmas which had to be quietly dropped, the Church just keeps sticking its head up to have yet another pie thrown in its face.

To all theologians bogged down in the intellectual gymnastics required to believe the unbelievable, I advise that there is only one way forward. The books should go into the bin and the focus should be on the lessening of human suffering. If there is a God, then I am sure that you will not be overlooked on Judgment Day. If there is no God, then what a worthwhile life you have led!

The panic following Dolly the Sheep

Do we want a laboratory mass-producing Saddam Hussein they cried? The “they” appeared not to be church-goers so much as those who simply had no idea what they were talking about. The plain fact was that Saddam was just one amoral person out of hundreds of thousands (there is probably one in your workplace). It was the set of circumstances that allowed this one amoral person to get to the position he did to do the damage he did.


The “they”, of course, would have no idea that we already have humans with carbon-copies of DNA. We call them identical twins and the friendship they have for each other is the most harmonious of all friendships.

Reproductive cloning in humans attracts up to 15 years imprisonment. Reproductive cloning as in the Dolly case is not therapeutic cloning which is the focus of all that follows.

Are you a young person in a wheelchair with a damaged spinal cord?

You are going to have to wait a few years as therapeutic cloning is still at the experimental level and fraught with technical difficulties. Your current problem is that your spinal tissue can no longer repair itself.

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About the Author

Brian Holden has been retired since 1988. He advises that if you can keep physically and mentally active, retirement can be the best time of your life.

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