A PENARTH author has published a 'provocative' new book on the science versus religion debate.

Robert W. Griffiths released 'Slaying the Dragon - An everyman's rejection of God and religion' last month.

The book covers a wide array of topics ranging from the big-bang theory to the biblical heaven; Jedi religion to Jesus' ministry; Muslim martyrdom to the Mormons; Noah's Ark to neuroscience; and Stalin to the supernatural soul. It is a broad critique of the negative influence religious faith has - in Griffiths' view - had, and continues to have on society.

Griffiths, originally from Ystradgynlais, said: "Many of the prominent and successful anti-religious books of recent times have been written by scientists, philosophers and former theologians.

"This made me realise that there is a gap in the market for a highly accessible case against religion and God's existence, written by a more ordinary guy, reflecting upon his personal experience of becoming a confident atheist.

"I'm keen to show that atheism, an ethos so often maligned and misunderstood, is a very positive outlook on life, particularly in this era of scientific enlightenment.

"I haven't pulled any punches in the book," added the masters graduate, who has lived in Penarth for seven years.

"It is likely to be controversial, and I will remain unapologetic to those who might be offended by my descriptions of religious belief as 'ludicrous' and 'delusional'. The freedom to choose religious belief in this country goes hand in hand with the freedom to criticise it."

The book is available for £9.95 from most book stores.

It can also be ordered online from the publishers website www.ylolfa.com with free postage and packaging; or from www.gwales.com or www.amazon.co.uk