Today I had an email exchange with my publisher, in which we decided to revert back to the original title, The Religion Virus. We'd decided a while back to change it to The Evolution of Religion, because in addition to atheists, we'd like to appeal to people who are still religious but seeking new answers. Our thinking was that The Religion Virus was a bit too in-your-face, a bit too much of a direct affront to people's religion. But several people, including some friends of my mother, who are exactly the demographic we're hoping to find (religious but inquisitive), said they very much liked The Religion Virus as a title, and that they were much more likely to pick up a book with that title than one called The Evolution of Religion, which sounds like a history book or something.
Then, coincidentally, I was accosted on the beach by two Christian women during my evening bike ride, when I paused to enjoy the sunset. I made the mistake of letting them engage me in a dialog, but quickly realized it was hopeless. They were so thoroughly infected with the virus, their condition is "terminal." In the span of a few minutes, they used practically every meme that I discuss in depth in my book: Biblical inerrancy, Heaven and Hell, the fatherly loving God, ... one after the other, in just a few minutes, they demonstrated in very vivid terms, that they were thoroughly infected with these powerful ideas.
It was very discouraging for me to see the religion virus in action in such stark reality; sometimes I feel like it's hopeless, that irrationality and superstition will be with us forever. But then I remembered: That's why I wrote the book. If I can help just a few people, then it will have been worth it. If it becomes popular and helps a lot of people, then I'll have contributed, in my small way, to a better world.