Charles Roswell — a prominent atheist, astrophysicist, and author of the niche bestseller “The Specter of God: Justifying Disbelief” — ended his life late last night by self administered overdose of sleeping pills.
While Dr. Roswell was best known in freethinking circles because of his aforementioned book, he was much more popular for his fierce debating skills in televised debates. He wasn’t a stranger to controversies, and he caused quite a stir by his remarks while debating with a famous TV evangelist, who asked him if he’d still deny the existence of God if He were to present Himself, to him (Roswell) one fine day? Roswell, in his characteristic style had insisted: “If ever I see God, I’ll enlist myself into a mental asylum. And I believe, so should you”
According to his colleagues, Dr. Roswell was suffering from a severe depression recently. Colleagues hinted that it (the depression) had something to do with the news of a Cambridge undergrad publishing the proof of non-existence of God using mathematical induction.
The proof, which was published first by the prestigious scientific journal, The Mathematical Belief, is currently being checked for its veracity by a team of mathematicians. The proof is being verified using deep simulation technique (a proof technique which has its share of skeptics, but is generally well accepted practice in the scientific community), with the help of a computer grid spanning the globe. The deep simulation is expected to give a very-very-highly-probabilistic validation of the proof in an year’s time. The deep simulation will continue to run possibly infinitely.
According to his colleagues, Roswell, who allegedly could not take the suspense anymore, was distraught that a mere undergrad had managed to prove in an elegant (but possibly non-provable, if you discount deep simulation) few lines, what he had been trying all his life, with little success. It probably was the final straw that pushed him to take this extreme measure.
“He believed that the proof was right”, said his colleague and best friend Dr. Ailbe Kahn, who is a skeptic himself. Kahn is very cynical about proofs that need deep simulation for validation, and wondered if Roswell was right in ending his life over one such proof. “He just believed in it. And in the end, that belief killed him”, he said.
“With God’s existence disproved, finally, there is nothing left for me to do”, Roswell said in his brief suicide note.