Things I Do (Or At Least Think About)
Much of what I do fits comfortably under the categories of research, blogging, or writing books (The Big Picture, The Particle at the End of the Universe, From Eternity to Here, Spacetime and Geometry). Here are some other things I dabble in when I have the time.
I am an atheist, although I prefer "naturalist" because it seems like a more constructive and forward-looking term. Furthermore, I believe that conventional Western religious beliefs are straightforwardly incompatible with what science has taught us about the universe. And I think it matters -- religion is an important force both socially and philosophically, and getting these things right is important to how we live our lives. But I also think it's possible (and advisable) to speak respectfully to people with whom we disagree, and I've attempted to live up to that ideal myself.
I have two longer articles on the subject: "Why (Almost All) Cosmologists are Atheists," based on a talk I gave at a conference on "God and Physical Cosmology," and "Does the Universe Need God?," prepared for the upcoming Blackwell Companion to Science and Christianity. I participated in a debatesponsored by the Skeptics Society, pitting Michael Shermer and myself against Dinesh D'Souza and Ian Hutchinson. I was also part of a panel discussion on the Discovery Channel a special in which Stephen Hawking proclaimed the death of God. In 2004 I co-taught (with Shadi Bartsch) a course on the history of atheism at the University of Chicago.
In October 2012 I organized a small workshop, "Moving Naturalism Forward," which brought together philosophers, biologists, physicists, and others to talk about ongoing challenges. Complete videos of the proceedings are now available.