Edward O. Wilson
A Harvard University professor for four decades, biologist Edward O. Wilson has written 21 books, won two Pulitzer Prizes and discovered hundreds of new species. Considered to be one of the world's greatest living scientists, he is often called the father of biodiversity. Wilson coined the phrase “scientific humanism,” a philosophy that relies on scientific reasoning rather than spiritual sources as a basis for moral reflection. He has stated that scientific humanism is the only worldview compatible with science’s increasing knowledge of the world and the laws of nature, and it is best suited to improve the human condition. He also argues that religion and belief in God are the products of religion. He does not believe religious beliefs should be rejected but contends their usefulness come from showing how they have evolved to improve the human condition, not from an inherent spiritual worth. For his promotion of scientific humanism, the American Humanist Association named Wilson Humanist of the Year in 1999.