Most people recognize Greg as a punk icon, the lead singer of the legendary punk band Bad Religion, though many people don’t know is that he is a professor of Life Sciences and Evolution at UCLA. In Anarchy Evolution: Faith, Science, and Bad Religion in a World Without God, Graffin weds his experiences in punk culture and the academic world, and explores the deep connection between art, religion, and science. Early this evening, Greg offers “Office Hours”, when you’ll have a chance to ask him questions about the book, his teaching work, and how his experiences in punk culture tie in with his academic pursuits
“I’ve always had a problem with authority.”
As an adolescent growing up when “drugs, sex, and trouble could be had on any given night,” Graffin discovered that the study of evolution provided a framework through which he could make sense of the world. In this provocative and personal book, Graffin describes his own coming of age as an artist, as well as the formation of his naturalist worldview on questions involving God, science, and human meaning.
“Humble, challenging, and inspiring....For Graffin, the appeal of both worlds was that, at their best, they challenged authority, dogma and given truths and opened up space for the anarchic process of creativity.” -- Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“Graffin is one of those rare people who seem to have combined two lives into one. He’s one of a small but growing number of atheists in the United States willing to talk about the damage they believe religion can do.” -- Paste
Greg Graffin, born in Madison, Wisconsin, obtained his Ph.D. at Cornell University in zoology, and his master's degree at UCLA in geology. He has served as a lecturer in life sciences and paleontology at UCLA. 2010 marks the 30th anniversary of quintessential Los Angeles punk rock pioneers Bad Religion, and to kick off the yearlong celebration the band performed music spanning their storied career at multiple-night shows at House of Blues in Los Angeles, Anaheim, San Diego and Las Vegas. Having just completed their 15th studio album, they’ve finished a tour of Europe, and are now on tour in the US and Canada. Formed in 1980 in the suburbs of Los Angeles by teenage friends, Bad Religion have become synonymous with intelligent and provocative West Coast punk rock and are considered one of the most influential and important bands in the genre. Over the past three decades the band has continually pushed social boundaries and questioned authority and beliefs armed only with propulsive guitars, charging drumbeats, thoughtful lyrics and an undying will to inspire and provoke anyone who will listen.
Graffin’s co-author, who can’t be with us this evening, is Steve Olson, the author of Mapping Human History: Genes, Race, and Our Common Origins, which was one of five finalists for the 2002 nonfiction National Book Award and received the Science-in-Society Award from the National Association of Science Writers. He has been a consulting writer for the National Academy of Sciences as well as other organizations, and his writing has been featured in Atlantic Monthly, the Washington Post, Scientific American, and Wired, among other publications.
Official Website: http://www.booksmith.com/
Added by jc_at_work on November 3, 2010