I graduated with honors from both a Texas high school and a Methodist university. When I got to graduate school, I had never heard of evolution. When we got to the Victorian Age in Survey of British Literature, I had to learn quickly on my own about evolution. My roommate, one of the most brilliant people I've ever known and a classmate at the Methodist university, was an atheist. I was shocked and asked him why he played the organ at church. His answer was, "I like to play the organ." He loved to invite the religious door knockers in to have a a long discussion. Then I learned, of the scores of students in graduate school in English and on the faculty, almost none of them believed. I had to start thinking and investigating and studying.
In my mid-twenties I began teaching English at a university with thirty-eight members in the English department. Practically no one believed! At thirty I was teaching at a university with eighty in the department. Again practically no one believed. Some were church goers but only because of culture and tradition.
At the age of thirty-two, I admitted that I do not believe. The bible is mythology. After another ten years, "I could say outloud, "I am an agnostic with heavy leanings toward atheism." What we learn at our mother's knee is hard to unlearn. I see no evidence of a god except original cause.
What caused my conversion? Study of evolution and the admission that so much of the bible is ridiculously absurd. Admission that organized religion causes much harm. The admission that I knew no religious person whose intelligence I totally respected or admired.
I totally accept evolution; I totally reject the bible as myth. However, I would never try to change a religious person's mind. These people need a heavenly father to help them through the difficulties of life and promise them a glorious afterlife. Religion is their pain killer to get through life--the opiate of the masses. I think of them as ignorant in some ways, but their ignorance gets them through life. I see prayer as a balm against fear and pain--a form of self-hypnotism. I actually envy believers.
I can prove nothing. This is just my story.