Here, we’ve compiled a list of the best Greg Graffin Quotes. Let’s look at these pieces of wisdom. We definitely have something to learn from them!
I wouldn’t say there’s a need for the Spice Girls, but I’d say there’s a place for the Spice Girls. There’s certainly a place for them, but you don’t promote the Spice Girls at the expense of promoting what I think are good role models for girls. You need to create some kind of equality.
Most songwriters who have been lucky enough to have their song on the radio or be heard widely don’t know anything about science. The best songs have a strong dose of metaphor. Most songs about science don’t have that. Like ‘She Blinded Me With Science.’ It’s a stupid song, no offense to Thomas Dolby.
So much of the habitat destruction and pollution is based on the simple principle that we somehow have been given free license over other species to degrade the planet.
Bad Religion’s tradition has always been to try and provoke people but hopefully lead them to a better sense of who they are and what they stand for. That’s supposed to make them feel better.
Science is very vibrant. There are always new observations to be found. And it’s all in the interest in challenging the authority that came before you. That’s consistent with the punk rock ethos that suggests that you should not take what people say at face value.
As a scientist, of course, we have to believe there is no supernatural. There are only natural entities in the universe. And those are the things that we study as natural scientists.
I was in a choir as a kid. It was from those early days that my outlook on harmonies and arrangements were nurtured. I always took that with me, even on the earliest Bad Religion record, which strangely was only about six years after that.
You can look at Bad Religion, and, really, almost everything I’ve ever done was an exercise in creativity. I’ve always had a desire to challenge and question authority, and that’s where the fire inside comes from. I challenged authority out of a desire to make things better, not to be nihilistic about it.
A fossil is so powerful. It’s moving. This is my ancestor. The naturalist is moved by the fossil… not the cross.
I don’t bill myself as an atheist but as a naturalist. Naturalism is a belief system. A lot of scientists bristle at that. We all have to believe we can find the truth. Evidence is my guide. I rely on observation, experimentation and verification.
Bad Religion has never been about criticizing people who are Christian. But we’ve always been about pointing out the irony and contradictions in Christian theology and the more extreme versions of Christians that seek to challenge modern secularism.
Almost everyone shuts down when science becomes too technical; you’ve got to infuse it with entertainment and storytelling to make it effective. From high school on, science is taught in a very dry manner, which isn’t as potent.
Ideologically, the pursuit of science is not that different from the ideology that goes into punk rock. The idea of challenging authority is consistent with what I have been taught as a scientist.
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.
I grew up playing football since the day I could walk; some of my greatest memories of childhood are playing touch football in all kinds of weather with my best friends. That’s a part of the American experience that no corporation can destroy.
My science teachers always encouraged their classes to ‘go out and discover something’ because all scientific endeavors depend on observation and experimentation. Through such pursuits, anyone can find something new to science, and if it’s truly novel, the entire edifice of science might have to be restructured.
Whether you reach a lot of people or have a profound impact on a few people, their memories of you are your afterlife.
If you can believe in God, then you can believe in anything. It’s a gang mentality.
Every place has its own punk flavor, but they all borrowed ideas from SoCal. It’s still a vibrant scene creeping into every crevasse of youth culture. When you hear grunge, you think of the ’90s, but when you hear L.A. punk, it’s timeless.
The thrill of science is the process. It’s a social process. It’s a process of collective discovery. It’s debate, it’s experimentation and it’s verification of claims that might be false. It’s the greatest foundation for a society.
From a very early age, I was in tune with pop radio, and most of this listening was done driving. We had an old ’67 or ’65 Buick LeSabre, and whenever we would drive around, I would actually stick my head right against the speakers in the back and sing along to the music.
Unfortunately, the average guy on the street believes that studying evolution leads to atheism.
I was never raised with the traditional story of creation in religion, and because of that I think I had a lot of questions. And evolution, the evolutionary narrative, helped provide some of that for me.
I’ve always been on a quest to use science in an artful way.
The naturalist worldview is a good way to feel grounded and feel part of something that isn’t based on fairy tales. It’s based on observable facts in the human and in the biological history of the planet. I think that can be a source for comfort.
The trick is: how do you talk about natural selection without implying the rigidity of law? We use it as almost an active participant, almost like a god. In fact, you could substitute the word ‘god’ for ‘natural selection’ in a lot of evolutionary writings and you’d think you were listening to a theologian.
I guess rock stars are role models for the kids who listen to that music. My role models have all been geologists – you know, the guys who are doing fieldwork until they’re 70.
I bill myself as a naturalist because if you say you’re a naturalist, it gives people a conversation point to talk about what you actually do believe in, instead of when you say you’re an atheist, and it’s really just a statement of what you don’t believe in.
I would say there’s a lot of similarity between folk and punk. It’s written for the common man.
I don’t mind if other people call me an atheist, but I call myself a naturalist. Atheism doesn’t tell you much about what I do believe in; the term naturalist opens up the discussion better.
If you go back far enough and get a wider enough picture of history, we have let go of many things that follow a religious narrative. We don’t burn witches anymore. Most people would consider that barbaric. We don’t sacrifice human beings, which was a religious act practiced by numerous cultures on this planet.
I got interested in palaeontology and vertebrate history – sparked by books on human evolution – then vertebrate evolution. Studying with palaeontologists kindled my interest in fieldwork.
Science is the first expression of punk, because it doesn’t advance without challenging authority. It doesn’t make progress without tearing down what was there before and building upon the structure.
The thread of culture that runs through the entire history of punk is also a dedication to challenging the authoritarian.
The vocal arrangements are a big part of the formula for a Bad Religion song – layered harmonies and background vocals. So when I start to describe the elements of Bad Religion’s sound, it starts to sound like a Christmas choir.
One of the things that all religions have is a narrative of doomsday. There has to be some kind of overarching fear of the future. If there wasn’t, none of the religions could invoke this important thing – that science has no evidence of, by the way – called free will.
People are still very uncomfortable with the idea that humans are not specially created species. I believe we are a fantastic species. But we are not created specially. That’s very hard for people to accept in their day-to-day routine.
I’m trying to champion the naturalist’s worldview and show it’s not as heathen as most religious people would make it out to be.
I want some fact-based evidence about where we came from. Things we consider mysterious need not be attributed to a deity.
I struggled to keep one foot in music and one in academia. I had worked on my Ph.D. for three years full time before I realized Bad Religion could be a legitimate career.