The Background: I am 21, have been going to church sporadically for 7 years, my mother was brought up catholic but abandoned her faith aged 12 for a career in science, I was brought up without religion (but not necessarily athiest), I have a degree in English Literature and am currently studying for a BSc in Life Sciences which is where my passion lies.
I was perusing www.richarddawkins.net for the first time and spent some time exploring Converts Corner. Many letters resonated with me, not because I am strongly ‘Good’, ‘Bad’ nor, I hope, ‘Ugly’, but because the pull of my rational, scientific brain has always antagonised my spiritual and comforted sense of self that finds solace in the idea that there is ‘someone’ watching out for me. I was ‘born again’ at 14 with the nurturing of my boyfriends strongly religious family and I really do enjoy going to church, however, the more I studied and read and thought and thought, the more I find myself questioning what possesses me to believe in something that is literally, unbelievable. My mother is a clinical scientist and has instilled a love of science, and accompanying scepticism of religion, from a young age which only added to the science-good-religion-bad side of the argument. I hate to disappoint you, this is not a tale of religious un-conversion, but nor is it awash with accusations of brainwashing and atheist propaganda; instead I want you to know that I feel, having just finished The Selfish Gene, and The Oxford Book of Modern Science Writing (not totally influential on this particular subject but definitely relevant), equipped to come to a decision regarding my position on religion and science. I feel my ‘God’ fading into the space between the lines of Darwin’s The Origin and fear that, after finishing The God Delusion (which I fear will close the book on this subject), that is where it will stay – a fictional character paled into insignificance by the overwhelming and entirely convincing truths of the universe. Whether I accept that inevitability right away or attempt to rekindle my religious flame is yet to be known, but I want to thank you for educating the layman on the truths of science and man, and inspiring many to delve deeper into a world of science, previously inaccessible to the common man.