It was three o’clock in the morning when a scientist rowed his small wooden boat on to the Long Island Sound. He wanted a clear view of the greatest shooting star experience in a hundred years. When he was half a mile from shore, he laid down, and stared upwards. The streaking lights across the sky were even more vibrant than he had imagined. There was something about seeing pieces of debris burning up in the earth’s atmosphere that thrilled him to his core. Unfortunately, his viewing experience was interrupted.
For without warning, a white speedboat zoomed past him, creating a wave that nearly tipped his boat.
“Can’t you see me here,” the scientist said bravely. The boat swung around, and headed back towards him. “Now I’m in for it,” he thought, bracing for another wave. But instead, the boat slowed down as it moved closer, and switched its deck lights on. The scientist looked up to find two twin forms silhouetted in light.
“I apologize,” said Twin 1.
“Don’t lie,” said Twin 2 to Twin 1, “You did it on purpose. I told you it was too dangerous.”
“We had to get his attention,” said Twin 1 to Twin 2, “I merely used the most obvious way possible.”
“It’s wrong to use fear,” said Twin 2, and both turned back to the scientist.
“We’re here to debate,” the twins said simultaneously.
“I’m Wisdom,” said Twin 1.
“And I’m Belief,” said Twin 2.
“If you don’t mind, I was peacefully watching the stars before you two came along. It would be great if I could get back to that, please.” Twin 1 had other plans, he took out a rifle, and shoots at the hull of the scientists boat. Water started flooding in immediately.
“Now you have to come with us,” said Wisdom, lifting the scientist effortlessly out of the boat.
“Don’t worry,” said Belief, “He won’t shoot you. It wouldn’t be practical.”
“What is this all about?” asked the scientist nervously.
“We are star enthusiasts,” said Wisdom, “We’re all made of stars, you know.”
“Yes,” said the scientist. “Hydrogen and Helium to be exact.”
“Absolutely,” said Wisdom.
“But that can’t really be all, can it?” said Belief, “Why should the universe have formed intelligent life if not to look beyond the obvious.”
“It didn’t set out to form intelligent life,” said the scientist, “for all we know, intelligent life was just a mistake.”
“That would have to be a pretty big mistake,” admitted Wisdom, “considering that must be million to one odds of any life forming on any planet let alone the intelligent kind.”
“Then you also have to wonder where the hydrogen and helium came from,” said Belief.
“Well, it’s very possible that we could learn the answer any day now,” said the scientist.
“Wouldn’t we have to figure out what caused “The Big Bang” first,” said Belief.
“Not necessarily,” said Wisdom.
“But most likely,” said Belief, “and even if one hypothetically figured out what caused “The Big Bang,” one would still have to figure out what caused the process that caused “The Big Bang.” Eventually it has to end somewhere.”
“And you think it ends at a divine creator?” said the scientist.
“I’m not sure,” said Belief, “but I would like to think that humanity has a higher purpose.”
“But you have no proof,” said Wisdom, “Why can’t you see my way of thinking for a change.”
“I’m sure you’ve both heard of Occam’s razor,” said Belief, “It states that ‘the simplest answer is usually correct.’ All I’m saying is that when it comes to the universe there are no simple answers, only more questions. So, the way I see it, the idea of a divine creator, or creators, is just as probable as anything else.”
“So, your telling me that my occupation is useless,” said the scientist.
“On the contrary,” said Belief, “The advancement of science brings us closer to understanding the source of our existence. To turn our backs on science would be blasphemous.” Belief looked up at the sky. “Why do you think Wisdom and I go hand in hand? It’s because we foster each other.” Wisdom nodded and took up the ship’s wheel. In seconds, the boat sped back to shore. Belief lifted up the scientist this time, and set him down on the sand.
“Don’t forget us,” said Wisdom. “Without people like you, rocks would just be rocks,” and with that, the white ship turned around and sped into the distance, blending with the sky.
“So, what happens next?” wondered the scientist, and in that exact moment, he could swear the universe winked at him.
This story was written by Alex Schattner (7/21/12)