In the autobiographical narrative I linked, Rupert shows himself early on to be a much more solid atheist than you were in your early years. As a boy, he refused to accept confirmation and join the church,and certainly didn't rock the Darwinian boat as he rose to prominence in biology.
His transformation happened away from Britain--in India--and he described some of his experiences along the way in a very humorous way. I think that he needed to get away to get perspective on his life. If he had grown up as a scientist here, I think things would have been very different--in good ways and bad ways.
I never had to take atheism very seriously, while taking a certain amount of agnosticism for granted. For him, declaring himself a Christian was like a gay person coming out of the closet. I think both Sheldrake and Dawkins have developed personal epistemologies quite similar to each other and most scientists in the United States.
It's taken me a long time to realize that.
It also helps me understand better how you could get so lost.