Taner Edis

Truman State University — Kirksville, MO

Taner Edis was born in Istanbul, 1967, to Turkish and American parents. After completing his undergraduate work at Boğaziçi University, he received his Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins University in theoretical physics. Currently professor of physics at Truman State University, his present research interests focus on the philosophy and history of science.

Fascinated by the plethora of supernatural and fringe science beliefs around him, and concerned about the rise of Islamist politics in Turkey, Edis first got involved with skeptical inquiry into religious and paranormal claims during his graduate studies. He has since written and spoken extensively on such subjects, particularly on the topic of anti-evolutionary thought. His writing has characteristically combined scientific rigor with an ability to reach a broad audience.

His books include The Ghost in the Universe: God in Light of Modern Science, an accessible defense of a naturalistic view of the world; Why Intelligent Design Fails: A Scientific Critique of the New Creationism, co-edited with Matt Young; Science and Nonbelief; and An Illusion of Harmony: Science and Religion in Islam, which is a unique examination of science, religion and pseudoscience in a Muslim context. His most recent book, Islam Evolving: Radicalism, Reformation, and the Uneasy Relationship with the Secular West, examines conflicts between Islamic and secular liberal political outlooks. 

While working on his writing, Edis also finds devious ways to get his students to understand physics, and with his wife, serves as a slace to some very self-satisfied cats. He is also a great fan of science fiction, where playing fast and loose with the laws of physics is not only acceptable, but positively fun. 

He can be reached via e-mail

Topic(s): Biology, Philosophy, Physics & Mathematics, Religion, Skepticism

Sub-topic(s): Evolution, Naturalism, Astrophysics, Religious criticism, Paranormal & fringe-science claims