Dear Professor Dawkins,
My name is George Mink, and I am a native of Philadelphia Pennsylvania. Over the years, most particularly having been raised by a Roman Catholic school, I have developed a growing distain for all thing religious, especially when it is applied to making decisions which otherwise require critical thinking. While your works, such as The God Delusion, have reinforced my convictions, I cannot say that it was your work, in particular that has made up my mind.
This having been said, I am inclined to look at the possibility of a higher power(weather one calls it a God, the gods, or even the notions put forth by Erich Van Daniken. I feel, that with a scientific mind, we must be open to the probability that something beyond our current comprehension has a metaphorical hand in life and the universe itself. From a scientific point of view, we must always be skeptical, and remember that lack of evidence is not proof of the contrary. I side with Thomas Paine’s work THE AGE OF REASON. Furthermore is it so farfetched, when considering the implications of String Theory, that there may be entities that have the ability to pass into, and effect the four dimensional reality we can perceive? The Universe is full of mysteries, Professor, and while do not believe in Religion (or more accurately, the organized institution of religion) I am not stonewalling my imagination to the notion that there may be entities on other planets, in the surplus 8-11 string theory dimensions that may have played a part in the origins of every myth. The fact that evil, power and money seeking individuals used this to control people, is besides the question of the existence of a god in one form or another in existence.
This is why, though I call myself an atheist, I have problems with that label. Atheism betrays the same certainty as shown by religious fanatics. I am aware that many believe that science and religion cannot co exist, but I have my doubts on this theory. For example, the Judeo-Christian Bible states that God fashioned man from the dust. It is now known that nearly every element in the human body came from a sun that exploded countless eons ago. Is dust not dust? Having seen your appearance on Bill Maher last week, I was taken aback a bit when I heard the notion that people thousands years ago would have no knowledge of the creation of man and the earth. I would remind us of the burning of the Great Library of Alexandria. The countless Mayan codices’, and, the vast repository of knowledge horded by the Vatican. They are, doubtlessly evil people, exploiting people, and keeping us in the darkness.
In closing, I am an atheist, but I prefer the term “ARELIGIOUS.” This way I can do as you say, if one day I were proved wrong: Clap my hands raw, at having been proven wrong. Thank you for your work, and you are a brave man for stepping forward and delivering knowledge. How can I get one of those “We are all Africans” T-shirts.
P.S. I think the Qu Ran states Salt water and fresh water do not mix, due to the fact that consuming salt water is grossly detrimental to one’s health. In such a primal culture, people would undoubtedly have put that into their religious laws, just as the consumption of pork and shell fish, due to great chance of dying of trichinosis, as they had no refrigeration way back when.