Douglas Adams

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Douglas Adams was a British author best known for his quirky science fiction novel The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. During his life, he won three Golden Pans and several other awards.[1]

He was born in Cambridge, UK, in March 1952 and died of heart attack in May 2001. He was an environmental activist, an avid technologist, and described himself as "a radical atheist."

In 1990, Adams traveled around the world with zoologist Mark Carwardine to write Last Chance to See, a book about endangered species and the people who work to help them.

Richard Dawkins, a close friend and fellow atheist, dedicated his book "The God Delusion" to his memory. On Adams' death, Dawkins had the following to say about his friend:

"Science has lost a friend, literature has lost a luminary, the mountain gorilla and the black rhino have lost a gallant defender (he once climbed Kilimanjaro in a rhino suit to raise money to fight the cretinous trade in rhino horn), Apple Computer has lost its most eloquent apologist. And I have lost an irreplaceable intellectual companion and one of the kindest and funniest men I ever met."[2]


The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy was based on his scripts for the radio series of the same title. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy started as a radio show on BBC in 1978 and has later been converted into novels, a TV-show, movies, a record album and a computer game. One character (or creature) is the namesake of Yahoo's automatic foreign-language translation service, - originally from Altavista.

Now it is such a bizarrely improbable coincidence that anything so mind-bogglingly useful could have evolved purely by chance that some thinkers have chosen to see it as a final and clinching proof of the non-existence of God. The argument goes something like this: "I refuse to prove that I exist," says God, "for proof denies faith, and without faith I am nothing." "But," says Man, "the Babel fish is a dead giveaway isn't it? It could not have evolved by chance. It proves that you exist, and so therefore, by your own arguments, you don't. Q.E.D." "Oh dear," says God, "I hadn't thought of that," and promptly vanishes in a puff of logic. "Oh, that was easy," says Man, and for an encore goes on to prove that black is white and gets himself killed on the next zebra crossing. Most leading theologians claim that this argument isn't worth a pair of fetid dingo's kidneys, but that didn't stop Oolon Colluphid from making a fortune with his book Well That About Wraps It Up For God. [1]

Hitchhiker was followed by The Restaurant at the End of the Universe, Life, The Universe, and Everything, So Long, and Thanks for all the Fish, and Mostly Harmless. He also wrote two books about a figure named Dirk Gently: Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency and Long Dark Tea-time of the Soul.

At the time of his death Adams was working on his eighth novel The Salmon of Doubt, which in its incomplete published form centers again on Dirk Gently, although Adams had spoken about the possibility of changing it to another Hitchhiker novel. The book also contains several short stories and essays, including discussion of the author's atheism.


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