Religious Beliefs of Scientists

The NYTimes has an excellent series of articles on the evolution and intelligent design debate, recently stirred up again by remarks by President Bush and Bill Frist. Today's Times has a fantastic article about religious belief among scientists. Two interesting statistics: 40% of American scientists believe in God, specifically a God to whom they can pray and expect to receive an answer; but only 10% of "elite scientists" (in this case, members of the National Academy of Sciences) believe in God.

I suppose that I am rather surprised by this second statistic. I have certainly encountered a great deal of skepticism about religious organizations among the physicists that I know. Consequently, I would not be surprised to find out that many physicists believe in a general Deism, or that their practice of religion would be limited to such pluralistic forms as Unitarianism. However, even in my lab there are 3 graduate students (including me) who are practicing Catholics. So, I am also well aware of scientists who seem to reconcile their faith with science. I guess there are fewer of us than I thought.

For the NYTime's complete coverage of the Evolution debate, go here.


2 Responses to Religious Beliefs of Scientists

  1. 6126 David January 8, 2012 8:19:pm

    Hello Blake - I suppose by now you must be Dr. Johnson. I'm very interested in the question of how scientists who are religious reconcile their faith with science, as you put it in this old post. What are your thoughts on this today? Thanks.

  2. 7562 Ali Berry March 25, 2012 5:52:am

    Hi. I think the question should be asked in another way: do scientists arrive to a conviction that there is a Creator, rather than if they do believe in one or another religion. In my belief, science has already shown that the extreme perfection of the Universe lead our consciousness to believe in God.. The other point is that Whether or not scientists are interested in the subject: there is a difference between agnosis (not willing to know, or not interested in knowing)and atheism. So studies regarding this subject should considerate that, other way they are biased. Ali Berry. Beirut. Lebanon.

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