Dear Professor Dawkins,
In august 2009 I read “The Greatest Show On Earth”. At the time I was living in central florida. I was shocked by your claim that 40% of americans did not accept the theory of evolution, but rather took the bible as a literal account of the origin of our species.
I started broaching the subject of evolution with my neighbours, and to my great dismay discovered that many did not believe in the speed of light. A star that was 5,000 light years away was truly there, but a star that was over 6,000 light years away was put there by satan, since it couldn’t exist. A certain bishop 1600 years ago had added up all the generations referred to in the bible and came to the conclusion that the universe must have existed for less than 6,000 years. This, then, was their reasoning for not accepting the distance of the stars. Any talk of evolution was unwelcome.
My husband and I put the house up for sale, sold it quickly, and moved to south florida, close to a university. I have yet to meet someone here who doesn’t accept the speed of light as a constant. In fact, I’m so inspired by Professor Dawkins that, although in my mid-fifties, I’ve decided to go back to university full time to study physics. I have a master’s of flute performance, so I need quite a few make-up courses in math. I look forward to a new career.
Thanks so much for this wonderful book. I look forward to reading all the rest.