John Michael Crichton was born in Chicago, Illinois and raised in Roslyn, New York. He died of throat cancer in Los Angeles in 2008.

One might assume that Crichton, as a man of science, would be an atheist. However, when directly asked if he believes in god, Crichton said he did.1 Crichton was, though, a lifelong skeptic and perhaps his attitude towards these issues could be best summed up in his own words:

I am certain there is too much certainty in the world.2

Crichton is often considered a deist,3 who was in wonder of the complexity and nuance of the natural world.4

Crichton often criticized aspects of science for essentially being a religion. In Crichton’s view (and any scientist worth his salt), science is based on hard evidence and religion is based on faith, belief, the spreading of untruths, and propaganda. Crichton criticized the SETI project, particularly its justification through the Drake equation5 and, more controversially, global warming as a religious idea based on faith.6 He said:

Today it is said we live in a secular society in which many people—the best people, the most enlightened people—do not believe in any religion. But I think that you cannot eliminate religion from the psyche of mankind. If you suppress it in one form, it merely re-emerges in another form. You can not believe in god, but you still have to believe in something that gives meaning to your life, and shapes your sense of the world. Such a belief is religious.7

For many people today, Crichton believed, that religion is environmentalism.

Non-rhetorical politics?

Despite his pointed enviro-sketicism, Crichton was still a staunch Democrat. Between 1990 and 1995, Crichton donated almost $10,000 to the Democratic party–and no one else.8 But, as in nature, Crichton realizes that politics is complex—much more complex than Republicans and Democrats. He said:

The effort to promote effective legislation for the environment is not helped by thinking that the Democrats will save us and the Republicans won’t. Political history is more complicated than that.9

Regarding society and media and politics and fear, Crichton was again skeptical, understanding that fear is a political weapon and that people were falling for it over and over throughout history. He urged the human race to get over it and “stop scaring ourselves.”10

And of course, Crichton dabbled in politics in his books and, continuing the previous point, particularly in his work State of Fear.11

  1. The religion of Michael Crichton, science fiction author. Adherents. []
  2. Michael Crichton Quotes (Author of Jurassic Park). Goodreads. []
  3. Deists: Belongs To. Times of India. []
  4. Michael Crichton and the Irreducible Complexity of the Natural World. Ricochet. []
  5. Michael Crichton and SETI. William M. Briggs. []
  6. Environmentalism as Religion: Michael Crichton. Bristol Blog. []
  7. Evolution Quotes. Bevets. []
  8. Michael Crichton’s Federal Campaign Contribution Report. Newsmeat. []
  9. Michael Crichton. Wikiquote. []
  10. Let’s Stop Scaring Ourselves. Parade. []
  11. Book Review: State of Fear by Michael Crichton. Technorati Politics. []