If you haven’t already, it’s time to face the facts: evolution happened. Or rather, it’s still happening—humanity has been aware for hundreds of years now that our species and all others evolved from older, more primitive ancestors. Granted, evolution has not historically benefitted from a wealth of scientific evidence, but with the advent of modern scientific tools such as DNA sequencing, along with an ever increasing catalogue of ancient fossils, we can safely conclude the direction in which all the evidence points. Since the time of Charles Darwin, who himself admitted that his hypothesis lacked sufficient empirical verification, the evidence for evolution has become so overwhelmingly conclusive that the scientific community now almost unanimously regards it as a fact of nature.
Last September, Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu (more favourably known as Mother Teresa) was canonised by Pope Francis before tens of thousands of adoring fans, despite the controversial and injurious legacy which she left behind. You cannot blame the supporters of Bojaxhiu for their ignorance about her dangerous shortcomings, as she was consistently displayed by the media and the Church as a samaritan who devoted her life to serving the poor, attracting a universal admiration which, as Hitchens put it, “few have since had the poor taste to question”.¹ But there is an example of one of Agnes’ more questionable viewpoints which has not only escaped the blanket of corrupt misrepresentation and hyperbole which surrounds her, but remarkably is also a source of much contemptible praise from many of those who she manipulated with her fraudulent demeanour and unwarranted political influence. The example I am referring to is her stance on the use of contraceptives. I wish not, however, to focus this discussion on the sexual advice of this particular virgin, as I’d rather steer the conversation towards the institution from which her irrational beliefs originated: the Catholic Church.