Dear Mr. Dawkins
If you want to reward your teacher, tell him how much you’ve learnt.
I’d like to thank you for three things. Here they are, in order from
least to most important.
1) You made me realize that the set of beliefs I adhered to is
actually atheism. Took me some time to admit it.
2) The selfish gene. I did know the basics of evolution theory before
I read it. Your book made me realise how stunningly simple it actually
3) Inspiration. The “argument from beauty” made me wish there would
really exist such masterpieces like Michelangelo’s Science Museum
Ceiling or Mozart’s Expanding Universe. Then I thought, if I want such
things to be, why wouldn’t I create them myself? Admittedly, I can’t
make Michelangelo’s Science Museum Ceiling nor Mozart’s Expanding
Universe, because I’m not Michelangelo and I’m not Mozart. But I’ve
got a great chunk of imagination and a fascination for science,
fantasy and literature. I’m writing stories and I’m having loads of
fun with it. To be honest, I was already writing and having fun before
I read the “argument from beauty”, but it does give me loads of
inspiration and motivation.
I’ll give you a little suggestion of my own.
Somewhere in the God Delusion there’s the argument that a designed
universe would look vastly different from an evolved one. You said it
would be interesting to see and compare both universes, but that this
isn’t possible as we’ve got only one.
May I suggest you to look into fantasy and science-fiction universes?
The creators of these universes, the authors, are gods in every
aspect. They can alter the laws of physics, strike characters with
disease and death or cure them if they want to. They are also
supernatural. They exist outside the book.
As an avid fantasy and science-fiction reader and wannabe writer, I
found a nice trend in these designed, fictional universes. You can
divide them roughly in two chunks.
There are the “trickle-down” ones, the ones who are designed to
represent a created universe. The earlier in the history of a
“trickle-down” universe, the grander and wiser the people are. Old
wisdom is always more accurate than modern science. Of course, in the
beginning there are gods, also “inside” the book. Here are a few
Tolkien’s Middle-Earth: goes down from the age of the gods through the
age of the elves towards the age of man.
The bible’s universe: just compare the life-lengths of the people in
the time of Adam and the ones in the time of Jesus.
Then there are the “evolutionary” ones, the ones which are designed to
look like an evolved universe. It’s a bit ironic, but if an author
wants to set a story in a evolved, godless and magical universe, why
not? Here, a build-up of knowledge exists. There may or may not be
gods inside the book. If there are gods, they are of the superhuman
and not supernatural variety.
Wells’s “The time machine” has one of these.
I didn’t find fantasy ones outside my own yet. There I’ve got
universes creating new ones through black holes. Thanks again Mr.