The Franciscans
of Our Lady
Of the Holy Family
Return
The Parable of the Atheist and the Bridge
Once upon a time, an atheist was walking through a nature reserve. ​​
Noticing the flight of a hawk, he was struck by the beauty of its glide, the hollow bone structure to reduce weight, and the wing structure. Of course he reminded himself of the chance happening of snow flake symmetry. Recalling his "hope" that there are trillions of universes out there - he reassured himself that this all happened by chance. He continued on the path quite content with his logic.
Going further he happened to see wild hens in the distance. Being an observant atheist he noticed how the mother hen was turning over the eggs. He knew of course that hens do this to allow the developing chick to be in constant free fall. At this stage, if it attaches itself to the side of the shell it would become deformed and die. He reminded himself of the symmetry of the snow flake while recalling his belief in the existence of trillions of universes. It's better to believe that chaos created all this rather than God - it's more comfortable this way. However, how fortunate for the chick that all those chance mutations occurred over and over again. 

He thought of the mutations that had to take place in the genes in the process of evolution that were needed at the right moment to not only produce an egg but to also give the mother hen the instructions to turn the egg over several times a day. Everything happened just in the nick of time. He reminded himself that if there is no God then it's a lucky throw of the dice - pure chance that the hen started to turn the eggs over and not turn over the nearby rocks or rooster.

​​(In the picture above the larva sack is resting on the mollusk - it looks like the bait fish)  


He came upon a river and saw a particular species of mollusk. Being very intelligent he took pride in knowing that this mollusk – which has no eyes – keeps its larvae in a sack that resembles the bait, yes the bait that a specific fish enjoys eating.
Larvae in sack about to be eaten 

He also recalled that unless that specific species of fish eats the “bait” the mollusk larvae will die. It needs the gills of the host to survive. He liked the idea that there are trillions of universes out there - so this is going to happen anyway. The role of the dice can bring about the most amazing results - all in the nick of time. Of course, the mollusk will never realize this - all those mutational accidentals and all. Thank God there are trillions of universes out there to make it reasonable not to believe in God.

​​He paused. Of course, if God had guided this process, then he would have to consider WHY GOD MADE HIM. He thought to himself, "There would be accountability to God." The atheist enjoyed being his own god. He comforted himself with what Carl Sagan had told everyone in his movie about aliens, "No, no tests." Yes, he thought to himself, "no test", no accountability. It's far better to think that aliens exist and not God. Then, I can avoid the issue of personal moral accountability to the Divine Creator. It's best to look for signs of alien communication then a loving God revealing Himself to us - in this way I can do things my way. He continued on his way. 

Finally, the educated atheist came to a beautiful ravine with a wood bridge spanning it. Just as he was about to cross over, he saw some sticks on the ground to the side of the bridge underneath a large tree. They seemed to be arranged in the form of a message - a warning. “Danger this bridge may be structurally flawed.” The atheist being a reasonable man, who liked the idea that there are trillions of universes out there, said to himself, sooner or later tree branches will accidentally fall this way. No need to think intelligence was behind this. Why complicate life? As a student of Natural Selection - I find this not beneficial to me so I reject this as a sign of intelligence. Appreciating his enlightened view of life he crossed the ravine. He arrived safe at the other side and continued on with his life.

About an hour later the Park Inspector arrived on the scene and began inspecting the bridge. There was a loose bolt which he immediately tightened. Back at the office he saw the assistant. “The bridge is safe now." The assistant smiled. “I decided to make a sign. If I turned out to be wrong concerning the safety of the bridge I could tell the people how foolish it is of them to think

intelligence formed those sticks into a message on the ground. It far better to believe that the message happened only by chance. With trillions of universes out there – eventually branches of trees will accidentally fall that way.”

As the Park Inspector was walking away he turned and asked, "By the way, whatever happened to your brother who was on trial for lottery fraud? After all, winning twelve in a row is suspicious of intelligent intervention." The assistant gave an even bigger smile. "They threw the case out. My brother reminded them that there are trillions of universes out there, it just happens that way - the logic so overwhelmed the court that it ended the case." After all who needs reasonable cause and personal moral responsibility when we have all those universes out there - and he continued on with his life content with his logic. 

The Park Inspector went home. He was saddened by what he heard from his assistant and others like him such as Dawkins. They of course were deceiving themselves and others. The concept of multiuniverses was not new. At first it was suggested that the universe explodes out in the big bang and then crashes back in on itself in the big crunch -over and over again. That concept was proven false and rejected by Penrose and Hawking. Now atheists grasp at straws, dropping science so as to cling to fantasy - imaginary parallel universes to escape our universe and its 14 billion year time limit.

It sounded like opium to avoid reality - the science of mathematical probability and what is REASONABLE. It was foolish for the judge and jury to throw the case out saying it's realistic that the assistant's brother could win the lottery 12 times in a row. It was folly for people to look at the warning left by the assistant and say it's just accidental - that the branches fell that way. It is sheer folly to look at the blind mollusk - to see that it has created a perfect fish lure for its larvae to hide in - and not see God's hand in this.  For one to believe that this is all chance happening is fool's gold. The real issue is that the atheist does mind that God exists.

The Park Inspector too had seen the majestic glide of the hawk, the mother hen turning the eggs over, the amazing design of the mollosk's sack. It was all amazing and wonderful. That night he got down on his knees. He thanked God for the greatness of His Love and Wisdom. He went on with his life at peace and with joy and in truth.

The Lord give you peace 

Father Patrick of the Immaculata FLHF