Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Does It Matter That Many Scientists Are Atheists?

Strange Notions

One fact that concerns some Christians and elates some atheists is that 93 percent of the members of the National Academy of Sciences, one of the most elite scientific organizations in the United States, do not believe in God. Atheist Sam Harris says that, “This suggests that there are few modes of thinking less congenial to religious faith than science is.”

Should Christians be concerned that so many of these intelligent people don’t believe in God? I don’t think so, and here’s why.

Check the numbers

First, the National Academy of Sciences represents a small number of scientists. The Academy itself comprises only about 2,000 members, while there are more than 2 million scientists employed in the United States as a whole. This means that the NAS only represents about one-tenth of one percent of all scientists in the nation. Using this statistic alone to prove scientists are overwhelmingly atheists would be inaccurate.

A more accurate description comes from the Pew Research Center, which reported in 2009 that 51 percent of scientists believe that God or some higher power exists, while 41 percent of scientists reject both of those concepts. In addition, while only 2 percent of the general population identifies as atheist, 17 percent of scientists identify themselves with that term.

But now we have to consider another important set of factors: Is it science that turns people into atheists? Or is it atheism that turns people into scientists?

Read more at http://www.strangenotions.com/atheist-scientists/

Trent HornWritten by

Trent Horn holds a Master’s degree in Theology from the Franciscan University of Steubenville and is currently an apologist and speaker for Catholic Answers. He specializes in training pro-lifers to intelligently and compassionately engage pro-choice advocates in genuine dialogue. He is also completing his first book, tentatively titled, Answering Atheism. Follow Trent at his blog, TrentHorn.com.


  1. The link to Strangenotions.com to read more of the article produces a 500 error.

  2. Is the National Academy of Sciences known to be largely composed of atheists and perhaps consequently Christian scientists are less likely to want to be members?