About Dale


DALE McGOWAN has one foot in arts, the other in sciences, and the other in nonreligious life. He double-majored in music and evolutionary anthropology at UC Berkeley, then studied film scoring at UCLA before conducting a college orchestra while earning a Ph.D. in Composition from the University of Minnesota.

While an associate professor at St. Catherine University, Dale taught interdisciplinary courses centered on writing and critical thinking, as well as music theory and music history.

His books to date have focused on nonreligious life, including Sharing Reality: How to Bring Secularism and Science to an Evolving Religious World (with Jeff Haley, 2017) Parenting Beyond Belief (2007, 2nd ed. 2016), Raising Freethinkers (2009), Voices of Unbelief (2012), Atheism For Dummies (2013), In Faith and in Doubt: How Religious Believers and Nonbelievers Can Create Strong Marriages and Loving Families (2014), and the satirical novels Calling Bernadette’s Bluff and Good Thunder. 

Beginning in 2006, Dale served as US Communications Coordinator for Nonviolent Peaceforce, a global civilian peacekeeping organization. In 2009, he founded the humanist nonprofit Foundation Beyond Belief. Under his leadership, FBB became the world’s largest humanist charity, raising over $2 million for philanthropic projects worldwide, launching a network of more than 125 humanist volunteer teams in the U.S., and creating groundbreaking disaster recovery and international service programs for the nonreligious community.

Dale was named Harvard Humanist of the Year in 2008 and FBB’s Humanist Visionary in 2015.

Dale has served as managing editor for Patheos, the world’s largest website for multi-belief opinion, and as executive editor for Science Times, Science World Report, and Nature World News.

Dale and his wife Becca, an award-winning elementary teacher, live near Atlanta with their three children.

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