I was 10 years old at the end of the Second World War, and I was absolutely fascinated by the atomic bomb. I read everything I could find on the subject, and used to listen to the reports of tests on the radio. So this certainly got me interested in science – anything with that much power must have had something to it.
When I was 16 years old, my mother took me to Manhattan and we attended a show at the Hayden Planetarium. After that, I was hooked on astronomy and especially the prospects for space travel. I read all I could find on that subject, and would sit for hours looking at the solar system paintings by Chesley Bonestell, such as Saturn As Seen From Titan.
I dreamed of travelling in space, and being the first man on the moon. I worried that I would be too old. It turned out that I was too young.
But physics and astronomy wasn’t the whole story. I became fascinated by evolution, and read all about it. It just made so much sense to me. When I tried to explain it to others in my heavily Catholic neighbourhood, they accused me of heresy. But I was able to show them books by priests that showed it was okay for a Catholic to believe in evolution. Anyway, I became an atheist.
Victor Stenger is author of books including God: The Failed Hypothesis - How Science Shows That God Does Not Exist (buy this book from Amazon (UK) or Amazon (USA)), and The Comprehensible Cosmos: Where Do the Laws of Physics Come From? (buy this book from Amazon (UK) or Amazon (USA)). See his website.