Greg Graffin, the lead singer of Bad Religion, also teaches evolution at UCLA and is the author of a new book, Anarchy Evolution: Faith, Science, and Bad Religion in a World Without God. He tells CNN‘s Gabe LaMonica about his naturalist beliefs:
LaMonica: Voltaire said, “God is a comedian playing to an audience too afraid to laugh.” Is that not your view of nature?
Graffin: *laughs* No, I don’t think so. See that implies there’s a design and of course Voltaire was a deist and a famous one at that and I think he thought that there was some design but I would say that there is no design to nature.
LaMonica: But you certainly have a pedantic sense of humor. You say, “As far as I’m concerned, if a philosopher or theologian wants to interpret scientific data as divine, he or she has a right to do so. (Maybe they can write with a quill pen, too!).”
Graffin: That’s because it seems comedic to me that even modern people think that the debate is such, and maybe it is with the atheist debates, that you can’t believe in God and believe in evolution.
I’m saying that there were many great naturalists before Darwin’s time who were very pious people and who knew more about nature than most of us. These were great naturalists; people I would admire for their knowledge of natural science given the time. But that was at the turn of the 18th Century, in the first decade of the 1800s, and what I’m talking about is that there are people today who still want to think like that, basically ignoring any contributions that Darwin made to the subject.
If they want to do that, it’s perfectly valid, but they’re using a philosophy called natural theology that was popular before Darwin came along.
[Listen to the full interview at CNN]