Hello Mr. Dawkins
I suppose I am a convert of a slightly different nature!
I have always been interested in the arts and literature as well as the wonders of nature and felt that they all kind of went hand in hand, aesthetically speaking. In my secondary school the realms of art and science were kept very much separate and when one day my odious chemistry teacher remarked that the arts/humanities were ‘Mickey Mouse subjects’ he served to widen that gap even further for me. From then on I (mistakenly) regarded science and its students as a square, uptight, conservative bunch with no appreciation of the beauty in things or words, and to be honest the students at my school did nothing to dispel this!
And I’m afraid to say that that impression stayed with me for many years. Apart from the obvious exceptions such as David Attenborough and Douglas Adams etc., the lines were very rarely blurred for me. After reading The God Delusion I came to realise that the wonder of nature is science, the beauty of the whole world we see around us is science and science is nature and art. My whole life all the things I’ve ever been interested in to a degree are actually scientific! What a revelation, an epiphany almost. Moreover it seemed I had a new inspiration for my art in a scientist called Richard Dawkins, alongside all the long dead painters and writers! Everything was viewed anew, and I can only thank you for making me realise that of course the two subjects are compatible, inextricably so in some cases.
As atheists we can embrace and appreciate this astonishing world with relish because of the knowledge we possess; as artists and scientists we can work together to ensure that more people realise just how special the whole of life is.
Wendy Bardsley, London.