Greg Graffin

On this date in 1964, Gregory Graffin was born in Racine, Wis. He graduated from Cornell University with a Ph.D. in zoology in 2003. (His thesis examined religion’s effect on humanity and involved asking evolutionary biologists if they believed in god; almost 90% of those surveyed did not.) Graffin co-founded the punk rock band, Bad Religion, in 1980, which journalist Jeff Nall, writing for Freethought Today, called “likely the bestselling, openly atheistic rock band in American history” in Oct. 2004 {http://ffrf.org/legacy/fttoday/2004/oct/nall.php}. The irreverent band’s symbol is a cross that has been slashed out, similarly to a “no smoking” sign, and their songs include “Atheist Peace.” Along with performing and recording with Bad Religion, Graffin teaches Life Sciences for UCLA. He has two children.

Graffin calls himself a naturalist, according to a November 2006 Wired magazine article. In 2008, Graffin was awarded the Outstanding Lifetime Achievement Award in Cultural Humanism from Harvard University’s Humanist Chaplaincy. In 2006, Graffin co-wrote the book, Is Belief in God Good, Bad or Irrelevant? with Preston Jones. Graffin wrote: “There is only this life, so live wonderfully and meaningfully.”

“If you can believe in God, then you can believe in anything. It’s a gang mentality.” Greg Graffin, wired.com, November 2006.

—Greg Graffin, wired.com, November 2006

Compiled by Sabrina Gaylor

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