Once upon a time, deep within the infamous Southern Bible Belt, there was a small highschool, in which there was a teacher named Andrew Smith, a straight, cisgender, white, male, fundamentalist Christian, and trusworthy highschool teacher with a largely defensive weapon of brain.[note 1] He taught an Intelligent Design "science" class, in which he had been trying all semester to prove that his God was real every single year. However, virtually all of his students, having all been raised in the buckle of the Bible Belt themselves, were already Christian to begin with. However, he didn't know this, and so he thought that he had actually convinced them. For twenty years, he had been teaching this class. Sure, some had argued in class at times, but no one had ever 'really gone against him' (you'll see what I mean later). But little did he know that his luck would soon run out...
It was the first day of the school year that would mark Mr. Smith’s twentieth year of teaching Intelligent Design. As soon as everyone entered his classroom and hastily chose their seats just as the bell rang for First Period to start. He then greeted his class: “Greetings, class. I am Mr. Andrew S. Smith,” he said, instinctively grabbing a piece of chalk and writing his name on the chalkboard. He continued, “Former pastor, former televangelist... and your Intelligent Design teacher for this year. Now first off, I would like to elaborate on one important topic in this class: Atheism. Atheism is the denial of the obvious fact that God exists. There is no proof or evidence that this immoral and weak worldview is accurate and correct.[note 2]
The highschool teacher challenged his students with this question: "Is atheism true?" A student bravely replied, "Yes, it is!"
"You really don't believe in God?" Mr. Smith asked the young heretic.
"No sir", he replied, to which the entire class burst out laughing.
The teacher answered rather smugly, "Well, you can't prove that he doesn't exist, now can you? You are to either prove to me that he doesn't exist, convert to Christianity, or YOU WILL GET AN AUTOMATIC F GRADE.[note 3] The young man became quiet, intimidated by the teacher’s threat. Catching this, Mr. Smith felt rather pleased with himself, and boasted to the class that he had once again soundly thrashed yet another stupid commie.
But just then, an older, braver, wiser student (who also happened to be an atheist) got out of her seat, standing up for her fellow freethinker. She said, "Actually sir, I'd like to answer that one.” *CHALLENGE ACCEPTED*
"Of course," replied the teacher. "But if you fail..."
The girl replied, "First of all, burden of proof does not work like that. You are the one making the positive claim, so it’s you who needs to prove your claim- and you may not like it, but so far, no religion in history has ever done that- not even yours."
Mr. Smith sneered, "Attempting to shift the burden of proof now, are we? You may as well deny that 2+2=4!"
Trying to ignore the sheer idiocy of the teacher's argument, the girl continued, "If we had to believe in this God of yours just because we 'can’t prove that he doesn’t exist', then going by that logic, we would also have to believe in Santa Claus and the Flying Spaghetti Monster, since we 'cannot prove that they don’t exist'".
Mr. Smith, seemingly waving off the argument, asked the young heretic, "That’s great, but what if you’re wrong? Aren’t you afraid of Hell?", his smug grin growing wider. However, what the girl said next shocked him and the entire classroom:
“Oh, but what about all of the other possible Hells that you might be sent to for not believing in say, Thor, Zeus, Allah, or Yahweh.”
Mr. Smith's eyes went wide for a second. Now getting desperate, the the teacher tried to win the debate with his signature argument: "Well if that's the case, then why were people like Stalin, Mao, and Pol Pot atheists like you are? They commited every last one of their atrocities in the name of atheism! They are living proof that evil is the absence of God! It is just like darkness and cold, a word that man has created to describe the absence of God. God did not create evil. Evil is not like faith, or love that exist just as does light and heat. Evil is the result of what happens when man does not have God's love present in his heart. It's like the cold that comes when there is no heat or the darkness that comes when there is no light."
The brave young lady silently snickered at both the teacher's lie and his false analogy. She replied, "Woo! Okay. I thought he was omnipotent? If that's the case, then why would he allow people like Stalin Mao, and Pol Pot to even be evil in the first place? How come there are quite a few of us godless heathens who are good? I mean, look at Bill Gates! Look at me, and all of the good things I've done without his help!"
His blood turning to ice at her sound logic, Mr. Smith stammered, "B-because he g-gave us f-free will for s-some reason?"
*FINISH HIM*[note 4]
Barely holding back laughter, the girl said, "Well if he gave us free will, then why does he punish us for using it? Which begs the question- why would he do such things if he's all-loving? If he has a "plan" for us, and is omnipotent, then why can't he just take back that rule? And finally- it just does not follow that he would want to "save" us from what he will do to us if we don't worship him".
The triumphant grin on Mr. Smith’s face slowly faded away into a scowl. "Here, I-I'll prove to you that God exists! If he's real, then this piece of chalk will not break when it hits the floor!", he said, dropping his chalk onto the floor. Much to Mr. Smith's dismay, it shattered into several pieces; he was wrong. His face going purple at this humiliating defeat, Mr. Smith angrily stormed out of the classroom without a backward look.
After he left, the girl took his place at the front of the classroom, and proudly announced to her newly-deconverted classmates: “And now my friends, we will be learning about the real story of how our species came to be: Evolution.. By now everyone was chanting her name, eager to be enlightened.
The young lady's name? Rosalind Franklin![note 5]