Massimo Pigliucci bigraphy, stories - chair of the Department of Philosophy at CUNY-Lehman College

Massimo Pigliucci : biography

January 16, 1964 -

Massimo Pigliucci ( born January 16, 1964) is the chair of the Department of Philosophy at CUNY-Lehman College. He is also the editor in chief for the journal . He is an outspoken critic of creationism and advocate of science education.


The following are a few of his numerous articles. Some may be found at the Internet Infidels' Secular Web. Additional articles can be found on his web sites (see "External Links" below).


  • (Basic Books, 2012, ISBN 978-0-465-02138-3)
  • (University of Chicago Press, 2010, ISBN 978-0-226-66786-7): This book presents a number of case studies on controversial topics in order to examine how science is conducted, how it is disseminated, how it is interpreted, and what it means to our society.
  • (with Jonathan Kaplan, University of Chicago Press, 2006, ISBN 978-0-226-66837-6): A philosophical examination of the fundamental concepts of evolutionary theory and practice.
  • (Oxford University Press, 2003) ISBN 0195160436: A collection of technical essays on the evolution of complex biological organs.
  • Denying Evolution: Creationism, Scientism, and the Nature of Science. (Sinauer, 2002) ISBN 0-87893-659-9: This book covers the evolution-creation controversy, better science teaching, and why people have difficulties with critical thinking.
  • Phenotypic Plasticity (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2001): A technical volume on research concerning nature-nurture questions.
  • Tales of the Rational (Freethought Press, 2000): A series of essays on atheism, straw-man arguments, creationism and the like.
  • Phenotypic Evolution (with Carl Schlichting, Sinauer, 1998): A technical volume on the current status and future prospects of evolutionary theory.


Pigliucci was born in Monrovia, Liberia, although he was raised in Rome, Italy. He has a doctorate in genetics from the University of Ferrara, Italy, a Ph.D. in biology from the University of Connecticut, and a Ph.D. in philosophy of science from the University of Tennessee. He is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and of the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry.

Pigliucci was formerly a professor of ecology and evolution at Stony Brook University. He explored phenotypic plasticity, genotype-environment interactions, natural selection, and the constraints imposed on natural selection by the genetic and developmental makeup of organisms. Early in his career, he received the prestigious Theodosius Dobzhansky Prize from the Society for the Study of Evolution. As a philosopher, Pigliucci is interested in the structure and foundations of evolutionary theory, the relationship between science and philosophy, and the relationship between science and religion.

Pigliucci writes regularly for Skeptical Inquirer on topics such as climate change denial. He has also written for Philosophy Now and maintains a blog called "Rationally Speaking'. He has debated "deniers of evolution" (young-earth creationists and intelligent design proponents), including young earth creationists Duane Gish and Kent Hovind and intelligent design proponents William Dembski and Jonathan Wells, on many occasions.

Pigliucci is an atheist, and while he considers atheism a perfectly respectable metaphysical position, he believes that science does not necessarily demand atheism, because of the distinction between methodological and philosophical naturalism and the distinction between matters of fact and value judgments. He believes that many scientists and science educators fail to appreciate these differences.

Pigliucci serves on the board of NYC Skeptics and on the advisory board of the Secular Coalition for America. He also co-hosts its official podcast, Rationally Speaking, with Julia Galef.

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