What percentage of scientists are atheists?

image credit: Pew Research Center

Statistics shown above was published in 2009. I don’t think the numbers changed significantly between 2009 and 2020. The study was based on a survey conducted among the members of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. 

According to this study, just over half of scientists (51%) believe in some form of deity. It seems that in this group (American Association for the Advancement of Science) 41% are atheists. Among the physicists and astronomers 46% are atheists.

It is also interesting to see that a significant number of scientists lose faith as they get older? Hmm! Is this a generational thing or a change in individual perspective as a result of aging? Statistics shown above do not go into the details of that.

I argue that if the study was conducted worldwide the percentage of atheists among the scientists would be smaller than 41%.

I have met many scientists who are believers. I am a scientist and I believe in God. I also believe in the spiritual dimension of human beings. This means that I believe in soul. I believe that our souls are reflections of the singular Cosmic Consciousness.

Most scientists are agnostics. When it comes to difficult questions like “What is soul?” “What is consciousness?” “Is there a spiritual dimension of human beings?” “Is there a spiritual realm?” they simply say they don’t know. This is not atheism. This is agnosticism. There is a huge difference between atheism and agnosticism.

There are also many deists among the scientists. Deists believe that God is not interfering in the affairs of the universe. I am not a deist. I am theist. I believe that God is showering us with infinite love and God is certainly involved in the affairs of the universe.

I am theist but my personal synthesis of spiritual philosophy is quite different from organized religions. There are many scientists like me. They have been forming their personal religions and they don’t believe in organized religions anymore. It is wrong to label these scientists as atheists.



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