Freshman biology did not make me an atheist.
It was doing research with real scientist that exposed me to evolution in a way that I finally understood it. They were not polemic at all. They just non-judgmentally heard my questions and answered them. It did not take much. There is one 5 minute conversation I had that stunned me. They explained Kimura’s work on introns vs exons, as a test of neutral theory. I was surprised at how easy it was to understand, and such a clear test of common descent.
I’d never heard about this from ID or YEC, and realized this was from 40 years previous. It did not convince of evolution immediately, but it did clarify that I was not getting an accurate representation of evolution from ID and YEC. They were not telling me the whole story. Just 5 minutes of conversation between a student and a couple professors changed everything. They were not polemic, and non judgemental. They did not even care to convince me to change my mind. They just gave me clear evidence, and explained it clearly.
Despite what you think, none of this pushed me to atheism. None of this conflicts with what I know of Jesus, and what I read in Scripture.