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Anarchy Evolution: Faith, Science, and Bad Religion in a World Without God Hardcover – September 28, 2010
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Graffin is a rare breed, indeed. He is a longtime punk rocker with the group Bad Religion who happens to have a PhD in zoology and is currently teaching evolution at UCLA. With the assistance of cowriter Olson, Graffin attempts to draw parallels between punk rock and various other subjects, including naturalism, evolution, and faith. Throughout, the author recounts events and perspectives from his life in punk, but he fails at times to keep his reminiscing in check. The book often reads like an autobiography, interlaced with scientific and philosophical observations. He does offer several thought-provoking chapters on atheism (a label Graffin eschews), natural selection, and the afterlife. Still, some of Graffin’s analogies may leave readers puzzled. In the chapter describing his particular brand of faith, Graffin compares the unspoken rules of mosh-pit conduct with evolutionary biology. With that in mind, the question is not whether punkers with an affinity for science will appreciate this book but whether anyone else will. Definitely a book that is as unique as its author. --Wade Osburn
“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, is fascinated by evolution, creativity, and Ice Age animals. Put them together, what do you get? Greg Graffin, and this uniquely fascinating book.” (Jared Diamond, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Guns, Germs, and Steel and Collapse)
“A worldview eloquently expressed.” (Chicago Tribune)
“[Graffin] explains how evolution can be a guide to life.” (Scientific American)
“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)
“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)
“Anarchy Evolution sets out to draw connections between evolution, naturalist thought and punk, an undertaking that might sound rife with the potential to be reachy—or preachy. But Graffin and Olson manage to weave the seemingly disparate concepts together into a satisfying narrative.” (LA Weekly)
“Whether you’re a believer, an atheist, an agnostic, or anything in between, this is a necessary book.” (PopMatters)
Top customer reviews
The clear and evocative writing by Graffin and co-author Steve Olson (author of the National Book Award-nominated Mapping Human History: Genes, Race, and Our Common Origins) bring the reader into a conversation that gets at why people think as they do about the world around them -- and how they should think about that world in the face of incontrovertible science. Along the way, Graffin and Olson explore the many shades and varieties of belief and non-belief, and, unlike the recent spate of angry-atheist tracts, their book is not dismissive of those who see the work of a deity in everything around them, but rather makes the case that those beliefs cannot be squared with science and are not needed to explain the workings of the universe.
I found the book had a nice balance of biographical, philosophical, and scientific ideas.
In summary, an entertaining and thought-provoking book that I'm glad I purchased and read.
I don't agree with his opinion about the importance of evolution on the development of a specie. I prefer the classical position, as such Richard Dawkins wrote in on of his latest books. But this is how we make science, isn't ?
If you liked this book, you will certainly love the " Your Inner Fish: A Journey into the 3.5-Billion-Year History of the Human Body (Vintage) "
Thanks Greg for this wonderful group of "memes", I wish everyone shared the same way to look for the natural world
ps: Kindle dictionary helped me a lot