• The ‘New’ Atheism: 10 Arguments That Don’t Hold Water?: A Refutation, Part 8

    Chapter 8: An endangered species?

    A8 ‘…good scientists who are sincerely religious in the full, traditional sense,’ both in the United States and in Britain, ‘stand out for their rarity and are a subject of amused bafflement to their peers in the academic community.’

    Poole takes up what I would consider to be a fairly trivial point about the lack of religious scientists in The God Delusion. However, the fact is that many studies do confirm largely what Dawkins reports. But I am getting a little ahead of myself. Poole writes,

    I find this statement surprising. Not only are there many scientists who have religious interests, but many such academics have formed societies to engage in scholarly studies of, and produce publications about, the interplay between science and religion. (67)

    He then lists several of these societies and the number of members. For brevity I will not copy the list of each association but the total number of religious scientists in each. The total comes out to 3,721. (68)

    There are several studies throughout the years which show that scientists who are religious are fairly rare. A study done in 1998 in Nature showed that 60.7% expressed “disbelief or doubt.” [1] A second study done in 2007 concluded that “52 percent of scientists surveyed identified themselves as having no current religious affiliation.” As for the labels “evangelical” or “fundamentalist,” under “2 percent of the RAAS population identifies with either label.” [2] Finally, a study done in 2009 showed that only 33% of scientists believed “in god,” while 18% don’t believe in a god but do believe in a “higher power.” 41% don’t believe either. [3]

    While it could be considered debatable what exactly “rare” means in this context the fact is that scientists are overwhelmingly non-religious.

    1. Leading scientists still reject God – accessed 6-9-13

    2. Scientists May Not Be Very Religious, but Science May Not Be to Blame – accessed 6-9-13

    3. Scientists and Belief – accessed 6-9-13

    Category: Uncategorized


    Article by: Arizona Atheist