I like CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Company) radio. I listen to it when
I'm working in an empty suite. Today, they had an interview with
Cristof Koch, who was a close personal friend of Crick. Crick, the
famous molecular biologist who, along with James Watson, discovered the
double helical structure of the "genetic molecule" or DNA.
Not only was Crick knighted for his discovery of the structure of DNA,
he also won the 1962 Nobel Prize in Medicine for his discovery. At the
time, he was working at Churchill College in London, which was named
after Sir Winston Churchill. Apparantly, the Anglican Church considered
the discovery of the structure of DNA to have been a discovery of such
importance that they thought it appropriate to build a church at
Churchill College to recognize that this was the place where the key to
life had been discovered. They wanted to get Crick onboard since he was
the central player in the whole discovery, but Crick had been a life
Westminister Abbey sent Crick a letter promoting the idea of building a
church at Churchill College and wanting him to endorse the building of
that church, but Crick would have none of it. He wrote back saying it
was preposterous to build a building dedicated to superstition in a
place dedicated to learning and understanding.
So, Westminister Abbey decided to get Winston Churchill involved in
recruiting Crick. Churchill sent Crick a letter saying that the new
church, if built, would be:
a) built strictly with private donations, no government tax money would
go into building of the church,
b) open to all faiths and religions. Anyone of any religion would be
welcome in the church, and
c) no faculty or students would be required to attend the church.
Crick replied to Churchill's letter suggesting that it would be equally
appropriate to build a brothel at Churchill College, and that the
brothel should be:
a) built strictly with private money; no government tax money would go
into building of the brothel,
b) open to all faiths and religions. Men of any faith or religion would
be welcome in the brothel, and
c) no faculty or students would be required to frequent the brothel.
And, Crick sent along a personal cheque for $100 saying he wanted to be
the first to contribute to the construction of the new brothel at
And, that was the end of the correspondence between Sir Francis Crick
and Sir Winston Churchill on that issue.
No church was ever built at Churchill College in London.