Lord May, the president of the British Science Association, said religion may have helped protect human society from itself in the past and it may be needed again.
Speaking on the eve of the association’s annual conference, the committed atheist said he was worried the world was on a “calamitous trajectory” brought on by its failure to co-ordinate measures against global warming.
He said that no country was prepared to take the lead and a “punisher” was needed to make sure the rules of co-operation were not broken.
The former Government chief scientific advisor said in the past that was God and it might be time again for religion to fill the gap.
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