Bad Religion frontman Greg Graffin has spent a lot of time being a scientist the past decade, and his band has had a pretty prolific decade! They released five albums between 2000 and 2010 (including our personal fave The Process of Belief) and Graffin put out a solo disc in 2005 that blended his own work with 18th and 19th century American folk songs. At the same time, Ph.D Graffin lectured in life sciences and paleontology at UCLA and published Anarchy Evolution: Faith, Science and Bad Religion in a World Without God, a best-selling science memoir.
Graffin is so beloved and respected in scientific circles, paleontologists have recently named an ancient bird fossil in northwest China after him: "Qiliania graffini." Punkest. Bird fossil. Ever. Dr. Jingmai O'Connor, one of the researchers who found the bird, explained, "The species name is in honor of Dr. Gregory Graffin, Ph.D: paleontologist, evolutionary biologist, professor, rock star, and inspiration to numerous budding and established scientists around the world." We'll drink to that, even though Graffin won't -- he is still straight edge!
"I am so happy that they have given me the privilege of having an important fossil bird named in my honor," Graffin said in a statement. "My love of birds now must pass to the Cretaceous and the wonderful finds from China that [the authors] are elucidating." Sure, dude, whatever that means. This fall, he'll be teaching evolution at Cornell University, but keeping room in his schedule for rock: "I have a colleague who is a gifted geneticist, Richard Harrison, who will be co-teaching with me. I only have to lecture on Tuesdays and Thursdays. That leaves plenty of time to head overseas on the weekends!"
[Photo: Paul Warner/WireImage.com]
- Greg Graffin