Field of Science


There has been a lot of debate in recent years about whether scientists should believe in God, and whether 'creationism' should be taught in schools or not. Without saying 'the facts speak for themselves', I would like to mention the results of an opinion poll taken in 1998, whose results were published in the prestigious scientific journal Nature (along with the journal Science, arguably the most prestigious science journal in the world). Especially illuminating is the opinion of the Biologists. For further details, please take a look at the original cited article.

Leading scientists still reject God

Nature, Vol. 394, No. 6691, p. 313 (1998) © Macmillan Publishers Ltd.

Edward J. Larson
Department of History, University of Georgia,
Athens, Georgia 30602-6012, USA

Larry Witham
3816 Lansdale Court, Burtonsville,
Maryland 20866, USA

"Our chosen group of "greater" scientists were members of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS). Our survey found near universal rejection of the transcendent by NAS natural scientists. Disbelief in God and immortality among NAS biological scientists was 65.2% and 69.0%, respectively, and among NAS physical scientists it was 79.0% and 76.3%. Most of the rest were agnostics on both issues, with few believers. We found the highest percentage of belief among NAS mathematicians (14.3% in God, 15.0% in immortality). Biological scientists had the lowest rate of belief (5.5% in God, 7.1% in immortality), with physicists and astronomers slightly higher (7.5% in God, 7.5% in immortality). Overall comparison figures for the 1914, 1933 and 1998 surveys appear in Table 1 below".

"As we compiled our findings, the NAS issued a booklet encouraging the teaching of evolution in public schools, an ongoing source of friction between the scientific community and some conservative Christians in the United States. The booklet assures readers, "Whether God exists or not is a question about which science is neutral"[5]. NAS president Bruce Alberts said: "There are many very outstanding members of this academy who are very religious people, people who believe in evolution, many of them biologists." Our survey suggests otherwise."

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