Converts, Wed, Jan 30 2013 #(1015)

Jan 30, 2013

Dear Professor Dawkins,

After spending some time reading the posts on Converts Corner, it seems my story is becoming more and more typical. What could be more encouraging than that? Just like others here, I have finally thrown off the yoke of my conservative christian upbringing. Raised as a Lutheran and educated at a conservative university (Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN), I, like many Americans, have been taught my entire life to revere faith as the highest moral standard. The majority of the professors who taught me evolution invoked God as it's causation in many of their lectures! When I attempted a discussion about The Selfish Gene with one prof. in particular, he replied, “Dawkins? A great scientist to be sure, but his other philosophies are nonsense.” Little does he know that his comment piqued my curiosity, causing me to investigate your writing further, and eventually leading to my conversion to atheism!
For years I have labeled myself agnostic because I could not answer the question, “Why are we good?” Your chapter of The God Delusion by that name was the final piece of the puzzle for me.
You have persuaded me to attempt to become a champion of science and rational thought. Although I know you cannot hope to respond to every email you receive, I still wish to thank you, from the bottom of my mind, for helping to set me free. Judging from all the posts on Converts Corner, it looks like I'm not the only one!

Sincerely,
Andy Van Laan
Chicago, Illinois
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