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 The Johns Hopkins University in 1994, in theoretical and computational condensed matter physics. Working in diverse areas, from atmospheric modeling with collaborators at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory to the philosophy of machine intelligence, he is currently professor of physics at Truman State University, Kirksville, MO.
Fascinated by the plethora of supernatural and fringe science beliefs around him, and concerned about the rise of Islamist politics back 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.
Edis’s first book, The Ghost in the Universe: God in Light of Modern Science, an accessible defense of a naturalistic view of the world, was published by Prometheus Books, and received the Morris D. Forkosch award for “best humanist book of 2002.” With Matt Young, he co-edited Why Intelligent Design Fails: A Scientific Critique of the New Creationism (Rutgers University Press, 2004). In 2006, his Science and Nonbelief (Greenwood Press) appeared. Most recently, he wrote An Illusion of Harmony: Science and Religion in Islam (Prometheus Books, 2007), which is a unique examination of science, religion and pseudoscience in a Muslim context.
While working on his writing, Edis also finds devious ways to get his students to understand physics, serves as a slave to some very self-satisfied cats, and grumbles about his wife being away at conferences too often. 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.