Re: scientists' religious beliefs (was: Evolution's Imperative)

Kevin O'Brien (
Sun, 21 Mar 1999 19:35:44 -0700

>Kevin O'Brien wrote:
>> ...Christians outnumber atheists in the sciences...
>Do you have a reference for this? According to Larson and Witham in
>"Scientists are still keeping the faith", Nature, April 3, 1997 (as quoted
>in, only 40% of
>American scientists believe in the kind of God that hears prayers and
>grants immortality. (For biologists, the figure is only 30%.)

And in these same polls the percentage of scientists who claim to not
believe in any god whatsoever is usually only 5% to 10%, which (using your
poll results) would at least number Christians 3 to 1 over atheists.

>Scientists who call themselves Christians might outnumber scientists
>who call themselves atheists (in America), but what about agnostics?

First of all, I was answering Vernon's implied charge that evolutionists are
by nature atheists by pointing out that in fact there are more Christian
evolutionists than atheist evolutionists. As such, agnostics are irrelevant
to my point and Vernon would probably lump them in with atheists as still
refusing to believe that evolution can be falsified.

Secondly, I would dispute the implication that a scientist who does not
believe in a God who answers prayers and grants immortality is an agnostic.
There are Christians who are deists, for example.

Thirdly, even if atheists and agnostics outnumbered Christians in
evolutionary science, would you not agree that they still would accept the
falsification of evolution, if it were ever to occur?

Kevin L. O'Brien