I would like to add my name to the ever-growing list of those lured from the flock by your writings. I must admit I was already on the road of doubt when I encountered your book, “The Blind Watchmaker,” in my Introduction to Philosophy class freshman year of university.
I was raised in a moderate Christian church (The Presbyterian Church, USA) and was the youngest church officer (“deacon”) I know of, ordained at age 14 to take part in the leadership of my congregation. By age 18 I was no longer going to church regularly, but I was still participating in some activities like choir and youth meetings. I grew increasingly skeptical through discussions with friends who were fundamentalist, as I realized the faith I was brought up in was founded on a “pick and choose” system lacking authority. I began to search for authority outside of religion, because the authority offered within it, that of the fundamentalists' reading, struck me, ironically, as so immoral and destructive.
My freshman year of university gave me 24-hour access to the internet and that eye-opening philosophy class. I read about science, skepticism, and rationality voraciously, and your book cemented it all. My professor's obvious endorsement of the text and my classmates' lame arguments against your systematic and thorough support of a universe without an intelligent designer encouraged me to make the final step and label myself an atheist. The authority moderate Christianity is lacking I have found: it is in the laws of nature, the power of time, and the unfailing and elegant system of logic and reason. I have since shared your book with my father and grandfather, closet atheists both, and I know your writings have helped them, in private moments, to come to terms with what they know is the truth.