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When Punk Rock and Science Collide

By Dan Totten

Punk rock is a nihilistic representation of individuality and self-reliance at its most extreme, and a fun takedown of society’s conventions at the other end of the spectrum.  Science is the quest for knowledge and understanding through experimentation and observation. The two are often thought of in completely separate spheres, which is funny because science was punk from the moment the first person asked, “What are those sparkly things in the sky?”

Author Greg Graffin
Greg Graffin is the lead singer and a songwriter in Bad Religion.

Punk is not just about being angry and rebellious.  It’s about being skeptical and questioning the status quo.  It’s about not taking things at face value without proof. That’s exactly what science is. Nowhere is this connection embodied better than in the lead singer of Bad Religion, Greg Graffin, who also holds a PhD in Zoology from Cornell University.

Graffin, at the age of 15, was a founding member of the band, and has been at it since 1979 aside from a short break in 1985-86.  During this time he was also getting an undergraduate degree in anthropology and geology from UCLA, a master’s degree in geology also from UCLA, and ultimately his PhD.  He has taught classes at both UCLA and Cornell. Continue reading When Punk Rock and Science Collide