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

Rich Daniel (
Thu, 8 Apr 1999 12:23:33 -0400 (EDT)

Sorry this reply is so late. I tried to do some research, but couldn't
find anything relevant.

> >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%...

I couldn't find any poll where such a question was asked. Can you give me a
reference? (I did find one poll which said that 87% of Americans were
Christians of one sort or another, but I expect that number is very much
different for American scientists.)

> >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?


Cordially yours,
Rich Daniel