Until I was 18, I had never missed a church service since birth, and all my summers from 6th grade on were filled with brainwashing J-camp fun. I was the all-american poster “christian-child”, and my mother was proud. She was proud until I became curious. I once asked as a young girl, “Wouldn’t the dinosaurs have eaten Adam and Eve?” Perhaps I was too curious, for my mother scolded me for questioning God’s word. How silly of me, I thought. Dinosaurs aren’t in the Bible, this absolute, undeniable truth. Today, I only feel silly for not pushing the matter further, for not asking more questions. For many years there was always an inkling in the back of my mind that something just wasn’t right.
Eventually with age my curiosity caught up with me, but either no one could give me answers, or I was denied the right to know. At the age of 17, I registered for a Biology class in High School in hopes of finding answers, but to now avail. Many of the students in my predominantly white southern school were devout Christians and would break the teacher down with unnecesary creationist comments and protests. I was barred from learning at public school, so I searched elsewhere and as luck would have it I came across your lectures; “Growing Up in The Universe”. I learned more about the world and the universe in one hour than I had my entire life. From that moment on, I fell deeply, madly in love with science and soon after began to fight religion with all my might.
As a closet Atheist, I remember once asking a ride to the library, so I could borrow “The God Delusion”. My parents were horrified. My mother accused me of trying to find “ammunition to use against” her and her religion. Very well, I thought. After secretly getting the book myself I braved up and I admitted to her a few days later that I didn’t beleive in God and revealed to her that she would now have to kill me. She was baffled. I showed her the instructions to do so in the book of Deuteronomy and asked, “is that ammunition enough?”
I am grateful that I was able to shake off the “anesthetic of familiarity” and marvel at this world and every living thing in it, but I am especially grateful for your work. I provided my own curiosity, but only a learned man such as yourself could have given me such brilliant and comprehesive answers. I am now married to a man as devoted to science and as militant to Atheism as I am, and for that I may just have to thank a God I don’t believe in.
Thank you for answers, Richard.