The odds that God exists have been cut drastically says Tim Dowling

Wake up to a new dawn! Overnight, the global situation has changed immeasurably, and undoubtedly for the better. There may still be tough times ahead, but at least we can now see there is a path to follow, toward a future of peace, prosperity, equality and justice for all. Unless McCain
won. If that's the case, you can stop reading.

It may well be that only God can save us now - if there is a God - and while that may be hard to prove, there is fresh reason for optimism: the odds that He exists have been slashed, by no less an authority than Paddy Power.

The bookmaker started taking bets in the run-up to the launch of the Large Hadron Collider, because physicists hoped it might prove the existence of the God particle, which isn't quite the same thing, but never mind that. When the collider was shut down for repairs the odds on God's existence started to lengthen, at one point to 33-1, but a recent atheist advertising campaign (featuring ads on buses that read "There's probably no God") has apparently prompted a spate of protest betting, forcing Paddy Power to cut its odds dramatically, to just 4-1.

This isn't incontrovertible proof of course, but bookmakers don't prosper by getting these things wrong. If it turns out there is a God, we can start petitioning Him to command banks to lend to each other at competitive rates, and if there isn't, well, that would certainly explain a lot. The nice thing is either way somebody is going to win some money. That's the spirit!

Recession-busting tip: A five-litre jug of horse shampoo can be had for as little as £22.99. Not only will it keep your own mane shiny, but you can also use it to clean jerseys, and anything made of horse.

What's going cheap right now: Car mats (set of four), hammers, dented cabbages.

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