On September 5th, 2014, Alistair Newton decided to give up his Atheist beliefs after failing a basic science class.
“I simply stopped questioning everything,” he told a small crowd of curious bystanders attracted by the shiny new camera of our news organization. “And when you have no basic understanding of the world, no explanation of how it functions, the only possible thing to do is stop believing that there is no God.”
Alistair’s profound change of beliefs came as the next step of his otherwise very peculiar life.
He was born in 1969, in a family of rocket scientists. To their great surprise, he immediately spoke. His first words were: “Boy, was this an awesome example of peristaltically-driven squeeze through a narrow elastic channel! Weird, and real tight, but it got me all the Lactobacillus I need. Thanks, Mom! You did an awesome job!”
Not only was Alistair born with a full ability to speak, but he could also read, write, and do multivariable calculus in his head.
Alas, this was the highest form of intellectual accomplishment he would ever achieve, because as soon as he was out of the womb, he started to retrogress. Year over year, he would lose some advanced form of analytical ability. By the age of five, he could no longer manipulate tensors in his head. By the age of ten, he had lost some of his line integration skills. By his mid-twenties, his trigonometry was disappearing at an exponential rate and he was reduced to only being able to do basic high-school algebra.
With the retrogression of his analytical skills came a corresponding retrogression of his belief system. As a kid, Alistair had been a strong proponent of equality and freedom. He respected people’s beliefs, and promoted a philosophy of tolerance and understanding. But as his ability to calculate molar ratios vanished, so did his belief that women should get equal pay at the workplace. As time went by, Alistair lost his understanding that skin color, religion, or sexual orientation are not indications of anyone being less human. While earlier in life he had seen his own Atheist beliefs as a logical, but not superior way of searching for transcendence, by his late 30s he had started to develop distinct hatred towards Muslims and Jews based on his own growing sense of superiority.
His own knowledge and understanding of the world continued to shrink. One day, concerned that he could no longer understand the idea of Gravity, he decided to take a science class at a community college, so he could restore his disappering knowledge.
He took one, and he failed it. He came out of his final exam, lightheaded, confused, and said: “I don’t get it. If the Earth is indeed round like some claim, why don’t people fall off at the other side?”
“There is only one explanation,” he said. “The Earth is not actually round. This is all a lie and a conspiracy perpetuated by a handful of heretics which aim to bring anarchy to the world. The Earth is flat, and it is supported by a giant elephant, who, in turn, balances on the back of an even larger turtle.”
A week later, Alistair decided to give up his Atheist beliefs, and start to profess that there is only one truth that we are not to question and that we should follow blindly, because it is the Way.
There was sadness in his mother’s eyes when we asked her to share her feelings.
“I love him very much,” she said. “He is my son. He has had a very unusual life, and I am grateful for every moment of it. It’s been painful to watch him retrogress, but I suppose life is what it is in its randomness.”
We asked what she thought will happen next.
“I don’t know,” she said. “I suppose he will turn racist, and sexist, and eventually hate everyone and everything.”
We have since heard that Mr. Newton, currently in his mid-fourties, has become a registered member of the Tea Party.
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News Sense News is a satirical blog that aims to criticize and ridicule human ignorance and narrow-mindedness.