Dear Richard Dawkins,
I just wanted to thank you for opening my eyes to science and to the solved and unresolved mysteries of the universe!
Really, I'd like to thank you from the bottom of my heart!
My short little story is actually pretty simple: I never was a religious person and nor have I had an urge to become one, rather I have been an agnostic most of my life (that is: till now), but this year I read your book "River out of Eden" (translated into estonian) and after that "The Ancestor's Tale" (original)... and it facinated me - every page or at least every chapter was full of discoveries! Also the lecture-series "Growing up in the Universe"; and many other lectures by you (that I've found on the Internet)... and all this also directed me to such thinkers/scientists as for example Calr Sagan, Daniel Dennett, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Christopher Hitchens, Sam Harris;
and also made me realize that instead of calling myself an agnostic, I really am an atheist.
Also one "movie" for realizing the latter (about being an atheist) was the documentary "Why I Am No Longer a Christian", although I never was a Christian and never will be. But nevertheless, all these things have literally opened my eyes to the wonders of science!
Right now I'm studying philosophy in Master's level, after graduating I'm planning to continue my (PhD) studies on the filed of "cultural studies" (hopefully, if everything goes as planned); or in the same field which is philosophy. So asking and answering philosophical and non-philosophical questions has been somewhat of a habit for many years... but, again, I must say, that your books showed me The Poetry of Science as never before!
Everywhere I go and everywhere I look I feel a sense of wonder and excitement; yes, the wonder of being here, alive and having a chance to discover the world around us!
A random example: photography, and therefore being interested how do the lenses work... and so on. A lot and almost everything is explainable and all this is so interesting!
I'd also mention that I really appreciate your talent and job of introducing the knowledge of scientific discoveries to people all around the world! You truly are a person who changed my life and made me see life from a different perspective; and I still feel - about four months after reading "The Ancestor's Tale" - as if I read it yesterday... as if this world was "created" yesterday (withour a creator, obviously)... and now I'm here, we are all here and have the oppurtunity to open our eyes and look and discover the wonders of our planet and of ourselves... and share this knowledge with eachother!
Above all, your books provided me a sort of "root of certainty"... that one should always look for scientific reasoning if one wants to be sure of something; and this root exists in science; and is also filled with Wonder and Poetry how our universe works. Before reading your books I wasn't aware of this as I am now.
You see, I don't have enough words to describe my appreciation and thankfulness!
PS: I apologize for my english if I had some mistakes because english isn't my native language.
And again: truly, thank you for everything!!!
Silver Teinbas (28)