At the beginning of The God Delusion you said it would be likely that I would become an atheist. I have to say that after the splendid mid Atlantic isolation aboard the good ship TS Pelican of London on its maiden Atlantic crossing with its fantastic night time views of the heavens,Bill Bryson’s Short History of nearly everything and The Greatest Show on Earth, I am still agnostic!
No one in their right mind could argue with any of your conclusions and I applaud both yours and Bill Bryson’s dissertations.However, at a recent I.Mech.E. meeting at Jodrel Bank we learned how their science is being progressed in Australia. Here the electronic quietness is going to allow greater penetration of the cosmos. When, during the question session, I asked the learned presenters:”Have you told Richard Dawkins about all this”, the atmosphere turned distinctly cold.Among the gathering there did seem an antipathy toward your ideas. Or was it just for the sake of social quiet?
Anyway it set me thinking about what might have happened before 4.5 billion years ago.How can you be sure that something didn’t intentionally initiate some experiment. Something that may or may not have forecast the randomness of the results. It seems perfectly plausible that there is still plenty on which to pontificate beyond the billion stars and billion galaxies. At the end of The Greatest Show on Earth you intimated that nothing is certain about this “beyond”. Based on this reasoning my agnosticism remains and I would welcome your argument to the contrary.
Whatever or whoever caused all this,The Greatest Show on Earth is well named. Having read it I feel uplifted. Based on Your friend The Rational Optimist let us hope that it continues to be just that, The Greatest Show on Earth.
Your kind help would be greatly appreciated so that I may point our 8 grandchildren in the right direction.
My very best wishes, Gus Fergusson, Mid Wales.