Synopses & Reviews
“Take one man who rejects authority and religion, and leads a punk band. Take another man who wonders whether vertebrates arose in rivers or in the ocean….Put them together, what do you get? Greg Graffin, and this uniquely fascinating book.” —Jared Diamond, author of Guns, Germs, and Steel
Anarchy Evolution is a provocative look at the collision between religion and science, by an author with unique authority: UCLA lecturer in Paleontology, and founding member of Bad Religion, Greg Graffin. Alongside science writer Steve Olson (whose Mapping Human History was a National Book Award finalist) Graffin delivers a powerful discussion sure to strike a chord with readers of Richard Dawkins The God Delusion or Christopher Hitchens God Is Not Great. Bad Religion die-hards, newer fans won over during the bands 30th Anniversary Tour, and anyone interested in this increasingly important debate should check out this treatise on science from the god of punk rock.
"Take one man who rejects authority and religion, leads a punk band, and is highly successful at it. Take another man who wonders whether vertebrates arose in rivers or in the ocean, and is fascinated by evolution, creativity, and Ice Age animals. Put them together, and what you get? Answer: Greg Graffin, and this uniquely fascinating book." Jared Diamond, Pulitzer-Prize-winning author of Guns, Germs, and Steel and Collapse
"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." Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
"Graffin and Olson manage to weave the seemingly disparate concepts [of evolution, naturalist thought and punk] together into a satisfying narrative." LA Weekly
"Bucking authority and the religious views of his family, Graffin explains how he has developed a personal philosophy that celebrates the power of nature." Nature
"A worldview eloquently expressed." Chicago Tribune
“[Graffin] explains how evolution can be a guide to life.” Scientific American
“Whether youre a believer, an atheist, an agnostic, or anything in between, this is a necessary book.” PopMatters
“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)
Most people know Greg Graffin as the lead singer of the punk band Bad Religion, but few know that he also received a PhD from Cornell University and teaches evolution at the University of California at Los Angeles. In Anarchy Evolution
, Graffin argues that art and science have a deep connection. 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, he describes his own coming of age as an artist and the formation of his naturalist worldview on questions involving God, science, and human existence. While the battle between religion and science is often displayed in the starkest of terms, Anarchy Evolutionprovides fresh and nuanced insights into the long-standing debate about atheism and the human condition. It is a book for anyone who has ever wondered if God really exists.
A provocative look at the collision between religion and science by Graffin, a founding member of the cult punk band Bad Religion as well as a lecturer at UCLA.
About the Author
Greg Graffin was born in Madison, Wisconsin, and is the lead vocalist and songwriter of the legendary punk band Bad Religion, which he cofounded in Los Angeles in 1980. Graffin obtained his PhD in zoology at Cornell University. He has served as a lecturer in life sciences and paleontology at UCLA. He splits his time between Ithaca, New York, and Los Angeles.
Steve Olson's Mapping Human History was a National Book Award finalist and won the Science-in-Society Award from the National Association of Science Writers. Olson has also written for the Atlantic Monthly, Scientific American, and Science. He lives in Bethesda, Maryland, where he coaches the math team at a public middle school.