RE: The more they learn, the less they believe

Dan Berger (
Tue, 4 Aug 1998 13:29:25 -0400

Allan Harvey observed,

> I suspect more of this difference is due to a lower
> likelihood
> of Christians in science achieving "leading" status. Things today are
> not like they were early in the century when talent and a little hard
> work could bring a scientist to "leading" status. Now, it
> tends to take
> talent, a *lot* of hard work, and often a good amount of
> self-promotion.
> Because Christians will (we hope) have other priorities
> besides worldly
> success, they will be less likely to exhibit the sort of
> single-minded,
> non-humble, workaholic pursuit that tends to be required
> (there are, of
> course, exceptions) to make a scientist "leading". My semi-informed
> guess is that this sort of self-selection is the biggest
> reason for the
> disparity in the numbers.

I can vouch for this. My dissertation advisor (an atheist) has seen his
chemistry -- and some of his chemical prestige -- suffer because of his
hobby, numismatics. He is a world authority in the field, and while he is a
Fellow of the Royal Society and has won the Kipping Award in silicon
chemistry, he doesn't publish as often as he might if his "bedtime reading"
weren't taken up with numismatics. This is probably roughly the same amount
of time that a Christian scientist would devote to prayer and Bible study.

Frankly I don't know how Fritz Schaefer (or Francis Collins) does it.

Dan Berger