Hi Richard and everybody else 🙂
I had to comment on here, I’m not a ‘convert’ I was brought up an atheist, but always encouraged to think and find things out for myself. If I had decided that the evidence was for creationism and decided to become religious, that would have been fine, although I expect my Dad would have teased me =p. My Dad gave me ‘The Selfish Gene’ to read when I was a teenager, he was a bio-chemist and worked at Christies Hospital before deciding to train as a teacher. He was always a scientist though, and of course being a ‘daddy’s girl’ so was I. Many friends of mine hero worship models and ‘celebrities’, top of my list are two Richard’s: Feynman and Dawkins!
When I was 16 and had just taken my GCSE’s I had, what I thought was, a very definite idea/map of how my life would go – A-Levels, University to study B.Sc. Biology, then an M.Sc & obviously a PhD (and a nobel prize of course =p!!). Unfortunately life happened, my Dad died in 1999 and my brain went ‘wonky’. It now appears that I have a genetic predisposition to brain ‘wonkiness’ (in the form of clinical depression) but at least this means I can finally get it under control :). Some how I have ended up with a Diploma in Care Studies, which is very nice, but not quite to plan, I’m 32 so I’m already 16 years late =).
As soon as I can (need to save some money) I’m going to go and take my A-Levels (Biology, Chemistry & Physics) and see what happens next. In the mean time, being an autodidact anyway, I’ll just keep reading and learning and staying awake into the early hours trying to figure things out (my Dad was very good when it came to this, he was always up late, he liked the peace and quiet to work in, after we had all gone to bed. And could usually put things straight or point me in the right direction. Unfortunately my cat, although a very good listener and an expert on how to stalk and hunt a shrew, isn’t much help with questions such as ‘why did humans evolve to lose their fur?’. I can’t help thinking that he thought that one was actually quite a pertinent question, especially as at the time I was under a quilt and three extra blankets, with a hot water bottle and still shivering (he was quite comfy in his ‘inbuilt thermals’ :)!).
I’m going to stop typing now because I’m waffling on. Not a convert, but an ardent supporter, always have been, always will be (the only class I ever got into trouble in, as a child and a teenager was R.E and I very distinctly remember being sent to see the headmaster when I was about 6, for arguing with my teacher about humans being animals) keep up the good work and thank you for explaining so many wonderful things in your books (and for bringing my Dad back home – metaphorically of course – with every read)!