What Do Salman Rushdie and the Lead Singer of Bad Religion Have in Common? February 26, 2008

What Do Salman Rushdie and the Lead Singer of Bad Religion Have in Common?

They’re both recipients of the Outstanding Lifetime Achievement Award in Cultural Humanism given out by the Harvard Humanist Chaplaincy and the Harvard Secular Society.

Rushdie received the award last year. Greg Graffin, the lead singer/songwriter for the punk band Bad Religion, will be receiving it on April 26th.

Before you dismiss Graffin as being in a different (lesser?) league from the noted author, take a look at an excerpt from his bio:

Before becoming a professor at UCLA, Graffin received his PhD in Zoology from Cornell University, where he founded the Cornell Evolution Project, the first major study of the beliefs of the world’s leading evolutionary biologists regarding traditional religion, naturalism, and the philosophical implications of their scientific work. Graffin has publicly declared himself to be an atheist, and he has expressed his passionate views on faith and religion in his music while exploring them in his research.

Very cool.

If you’re in the Cambridge area at the end of April, tickets are available for the ceremony. More information is here.

[tags]atheist, atheism[/tags]

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  • John Paraiso

    Sorry for posting it here, yet I just like to take the opportunity to thank Mr. Hemant for sending me a copy of his book. I will greatly treasure it. More power to you.

    John Paraiso

  • Wow, I had no realization of the lead singer of Bad Religion actually being an intellectual. That’s utterly incredible. I’ll have to try them out a bit more.

  • Shane

    I also found a book called “Is Belief In God Good, Bad Or Irrelevant?: A Professor And A Punk Rocker Discuss Science, Religion, Naturalism” that is the correspondence between Greg Graffin and some religious guy . They try to convince each other and apparently have a fairly deep exchange. I haven’t read it, but would like to if I could find a copy.

    I was also kind of surprised to find out that Graffin was actually also a “Life Sciences” professor.

  • I guess I’m a real fanboy; I actually bought his dissertation when he first put it out. It’s called “Monism, Atheism and the Naturalist Worldview: Perspectives from Evolutionary Biology.” Bad Religion’s thoughtful lyrics have always brought out my inner-anthropologist.

  • Erik

    I’ve read the book “Is Belief In God Good, Bad Or Irrelevant” and it’s pretty good. I would recommend it. It’s different than the other books out there like The God Delusion and God Is Not GREAT.

    Also, my roommate a while back bought Greg’s dissertation a while back and I read through it.

    He’s very much a spokesperson for intelligent atheists. I wish more people realized it.

  • It is great that Graffin is getting the award, I’ve been following him for a while. I’m not a big fan of music of Bad Religion (although my atheist basis means i keep giving them a chance) but some of the lyrics are wonderful.

  • This is brilliant news – Graffin is one of the few people I’d call a “hero” of mine. Bad Religion’s music is just incredible – the intellectual calibre of the lyrics cannot be matched by anyone. HIs book is decent too – although its edited by the Christian chap, so is full of Bible verses, but they’re easily ignored.

    I just wish he’d come and play some gigs in Britain.

  • Alycia

    He sounds really cool. Too bad I don’t like his band at all.

  • wow, Bad Religion has been one of my favorite bands for nearly 20 years….his books are amazing too.

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