Vote on Quote for Greg Graffin Lifetime Achievement Award

Here are the 2 finalists for the quote to be engraved on the award we’re presenting to rock star & scientist Greg Graffin (of Bad Religion) on Saturday. #1 Seems to me to directly express the purpose of the award, and has the benefit of being by Rushdie, the first recipient and after whom the award is nicknamed. But the 2nd quote is pretty good too and specifically mentions Graffin’s 2 areas of expertise: evolutionary biology and music. Maybe we can use both but that would preclude having a line such as “In admiration of your three decades of creating inspiring Humanist music, and of your profound commitment to the promotion of science and education.” Which quote do you like? Or should we go with both and throw out the statement?

Quote #1: Not even the visionary or mystical experience ever lasts very long. It is for art to capture that experience…to be, for a secular, materialist culture, some sort of replacement for what the love of god offers in the world of faith.

–Salman Rushdie

Quote # 2: The capacity to blunder slightly is the real marvel of DNA. Without this special attribute, we would still be anaerobic bacteria and there would be no music.

–Lewis Thomas (renowned author and cancer scientist)


  1. Dwayne Stange

    April 24, 2008 @ 12:38 pm


    I find the second quote to be more inspiring, as it is both specific to the two fields mentioned and generic enough to encompass all of humanity.

  2. Dan Robinson

    April 24, 2008 @ 2:35 pm


    I like the first quote, which solidifies the “Rushdie award” idea and addresses the purpose particularly well.

  3. Andrew Maher

    April 24, 2008 @ 5:50 pm


    I vote for number 1.

  4. Jon Dreyer

    April 25, 2008 @ 11:31 am


    If it’s not too late, I vote for #2. They are both very good, but one can read #1 as presupposing some god’s existence and considering art as some sort of boobie prize for those who can’t manage the “real thing”. (I don’t believe Rushdie meant for it to be read that way, but still…)

  5. Acetylene Torch Basics

    November 26, 2009 @ 3:35 pm


    Best idea.

  6. bobhull

    July 11, 2011 @ 4:42 pm


    Is the poll still open on this one?

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