God is in the details
Scientists working at a research facility in England claim they have identified the gene that makes us believe in God.
Working with genetically modified mice, the scientists found that animals without the co-called 'God gene' were less afraid, more inquisitive about the world around them and were better at solving problems. The godless mice also tended to sleep more on Sundays.
When faced with the same problems, mice bred so that the God gene was dominant were more likely to sit around waiting for something to happen. If the scientists intervened, the god-fearing mice would cower in groups, roll over in apparent ecstasy or simply die of shock.
In later experiments, the scientists removed the same gene from dogs and found that they were no longer obedient and in some cases approached the intelligence levels of cats.
A study of the human genome revealed an identical gene that is usually paired with genetic markers for long arms and low brows.
The scientists have requested anonymity for themselves and the institution for which they work, fearing a backlash from both fundamentalist believers and militant atheists.
"At first sight, this would seem to be an evolutionary anomaly," said Christopher Hawkins, the scientist, controversial columnist and award-winning author of Screw God: why believers are nutjobs. "After all, what is the evolutionary advantage of selecting for fear and subservience? However, it is clearly a way of making people obedient to a leader — probably someone without the gene — in times of crisis. This is another example of how society and our own intellectual development have outpaced our genetic makeup. We simply not longer benefit from this adaptation and, in time, we will see it disappear. Should only take a million years or so."
However, not everyone agrees.
"This is the clearest sign yet of God's existence," said evangelical minister and billionaire, Seth Kredulous. "If there's a gene that makes us believe, it must be because God put it there. He wants us to love, obey and fear him and this is His way of making sure we do."