Monday, October 6, 2008

God Delusion

found that among Nobel Prize laureates in the sciences, as well as those in literature, there was a remarkable degree of irreligiosity, as compared to the populations they came from.
A study in the leading journal Nature by Larson and Witham in 1998 showed that of those American scientists considered eminent enough by peers to have been elected to the National Academy of Sciences [equivalent to being a Fellow of the Royal Society in Britain] only about 7 percent believe in a personal God. This overwhelming preponderance of atheists is almost the exact opposite of the profile of the American population at large, of whom more than 90 percent are believers in some sort of supernatural being. The figure for less eminent scientists, not elected to the National Academy, is intermediate. As with the more distinguished sample, religious believers are in the minority, but a less dramatic minority of about 40 percent...What is remarkable is the polar opposition between the religiosity of the American public at large and the atheism of the intellectual elite.
- Richard Dawkins, The God Delusion, pp.126-7