Richard, I have always held a secular world view and I have always loved science. I own all of your books and love your writing.
This conversion is not about me, but a friend of mine. My friend is the same age as me (18), but we have radically different lifestyles. He is reckless, he smokes, he drinks regularly, he dropped out of school, he takes drugs, he is unemployed and living off government welfare. He's also a wonderful guy and fun to be around!
Four months ago I left him in my room while I got ready for a night of drinking. When I returned I found him reading the preface of your book The God Delusion. It was quite a shock to see him with a book, but even more astonishing when he asked to borrow it.
I didn't expect much when I lent him the book. A few days later on a trip to the East Coast, I was shocked when Daniel brought your book with him to read.
He later began a discussion on a range of topics including the existence of god and speculation about evolution. He asked me lots of questions and claimed that he had never read something as inspiring as The God Delusion.
To my aghast over successive weeks Daniel returned the God Delusion and asked if he could borrow more of your books. So I lent him The Ancestor's Tale, The Devil's Chaplin, The Selfish Gene, Unweaving the Rainbow, River Out of Eden, The Blind Watchmaker and also Root of All Evil? I was so surprised but he has now read all of them and watched the DVD.
Daniel is of course, the same old Daniel. His primary motivation is still sensory and his lifestyle has hardly changed, except that now he seems inspired! Daniel continues to talk to me about your books and he has claimed that they have put his life into perspective. Daniel has become inquisitive about Science and is always discussing it, clearly excited by the explanations Science provides.
Recently he has contemplated studying Biology and finishing his secondary education.
We often hear stories in the media about religion inspiring young people. It's the story of a street kid coming to grasp a 'greater truth'. Richard, I think you have achieved the very same outcome, only this time it was through books of science and not faith.