I got my first piece of "hate mail" (for lack of a better term yet) yesterday. Unfortunately I marked it as spam then deleted it - because really, why keep that sort of negativity around, but I'm sure with my chosen career path there will be more to come.
This email referred to the abomination I study, namely evolution, and why I'm a terrible, deceitful person for studying and teaching it. Sigh...
I barely remember the contents because, after reading blogs like Pharyngula by PZ Myers, I've learned that there a lot of crazy people in the world, who just want to holler and hoot about anything, who just like to get riled up. My conclusion is it is best to let them cry it out. No skin off my back.
Am I terrible for admitting that I was just a little proud that someone thinks I'm enough of an intellectual force that they should send me such a note. (Am I blushing?!)
I find it more difficult to talk with people I know and love who think what I study is invalid. Not because I want everyone to love the things I do, but because they don't accept evolution because they don't really understand it. And with most people, I feel like it is difficult to talk about science, or evolution, or the news, without coming off like a pompous ass. How do get it across that "No, I don't think I'm smarter than you, I just have had the good fortune of spending a lot of time studying some of these things, and I want to share it with you because I think you will find it interesting and I know you are bright enough to understand it, even if I'm not so great at explaining it"? Too much?
Here are some people who are much better at explaining evolution than I am: Evolution Resources from the National Academies.