I didn’t mean to suggest that you’d know him simply because he happens to be an athiest, but he is be one of about 4 or 5 outspoken guys who are famous for their views (and books) in that particular arena - like Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris and Daniel Dennett etc…
He was on 60 Minutes (or some similar show) about a month ago. He looked terrible and said he had stage 4 cancer, adding that there is no stage 5. Not that I’m glad to see him die or anything, but he led a very, very unhealthy life. I agreed with some of his opinions and strongly disagreed with others.
Ive always enjoyed reading him. I didn’t find his religious stuff all that interesting, because most of what he said had already been said more persuasively by other people. I really enjoyed his literary essays and the wealth of historical and contextual knowledge he brought to the table. And his acerbic style was a joy to read. I’m sorry he is dying so young and I hope he passes in peace and dignity.
What does an unhealthy life have to do with this kind of cancer, though? I don’t know much about esophageal(sp) cancer, but it’s not like lung cancer that could be caused by smoking, or a heart attack that could be caused by shitty eating habits. My grandma died of esophageal cancer, because she had a lot of reflux issues and they eroded her esophagus. But her problems were not related to poor diet, at least not in recent years.
While the connection between HPV and oral and throat cancer (aka Head and neck cancer) is well-established – I have a cousin with this type of cancer – it is a completely different disease from esophageal cancer. One primary difference is that head and neck cancer is completely curable when caught early, while esophageal cancer has an extremely poor prognosis and is not usually caught until very late.