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Are Scientists and other highly educated people less likely to be religious?

If they are religious, how does that work with the knowledge they've learned? It would seem to contradict.


Asked by Anonymous at 6:45 AM on Nov. 20, 2010 in Religious Debate

This question is closed.
Answers (40)
  • I think scientific minds ARE less likely to have strong religious faith, however NOT because of their knowledge. Scientific minds are very analytical, they need physical proof of things - black and white tangible proof before they are generally willing to exist. Generally, when it comes to the spiritual, that proof simply isn't available with the technology & understandings we have today. So I don't think it's got anything to do with their knowledge or understanding, but simply their way of thought.

    Now, all that said, there are a great many strides in Metaphysical, Paraphysical & Paraphycological Scientific fields, all of which contain a great many very religious Scientists... Although I'm no professional, these tend to by my fields of study, and I've found that a general understanding of these fields actually supports a strong spiritual belief - although spiritual doesn't necessarily equal religious...

    Answer by SabrinaMBowen at 12:06 PM on Nov. 20, 2010

  • au contrare, out of the top ten scientists in the world, eight of them believe in a god, or other form of higher power.
    i don't know where that quote came from, can someone let me know if that's still accurate?
    i've never understood why people associate religion with ignorance and stupidity. especially because i've always been taught to expand my mind, not just in my religious studies, but my vocation and schooling. i've been told that many, many times. i'm interested in seeing where this question will go.

    Answer by AngryBob at 6:58 AM on Nov. 20, 2010

  • I am both a scientist and a Catholic. The two spheres don't contradict each other - science is the study of the natural world and religion is the method in which people choose to relate and interact with the life force responsible for generating the natural world. Actually, the more I have learned through my scientific endeavors, the deeper my faith has become.

    Answer by Dr.Donna at 8:23 AM on Nov. 20, 2010

  • Einstein said you cannot have Science without God. Science helps you figure-out how things work and allows you to truly appreciate God's brilliance.

    I have 2 degrees (working on #3), and am a devout Catholic.

    Answer by SamKJones at 8:56 AM on Nov. 20, 2010

  • Your first mistake, OP, is that you suffer from the delusion that all religion must be biblical, which then discounts the vast majority in favor of focusing in on the one that just happens to be the majority in the US. Your second is that you obviously don't have a remotely thorough knowledge of the beliefs and dogma of every religion, but again, only the biblical one for which you have tunnel vision. And then on top of that, you seem to be edging towards not only forcing all religions to be Christianity, but to be Young Earth Christianity, which isn't even a majority of all US Christians.

    Since it's obviously you aren't interested in any actual information about how all the other religions on the planet are perfectly compatible with science, and how some are even responsible FOR science and its development, you might as well run along and go troll a breast feeding argument instead.

    Answer by NotPanicking at 11:39 AM on Nov. 20, 2010

  • OP - I don't think you are really interested in an answer. I think you are actually interested in exposing the ignorance or delusions behind a belief in God. You are absolutely correct - anyone can make up people, places and little rules, and religion doesn't have to be any different than someone making up fables. That, however, doesn't make the personal relationship I have with God evaporate.

    I explained to you how science and belief can exist in the same person. You clearly reject this notion - but more from the perspective that you can't understand how anyone could believe in God, not from your perception of mutually exclusive states. I do not need to you understand my faith, but it would be nice if you were honest about your intentions, rather than finding another clever way to expose the ignorance and idiocracy you see in belief. At least that's what your opinion looks like from my screen.

    Answer by Dr.Donna at 10:36 AM on Nov. 20, 2010

  • No, I think a lot of highly educated people are religious or believe in a higher power of some kind. 

     I'm not a scientist and I don't know how you define "highly educated", but I'm reasonably educated, however I believe in God and science, to me they don't conflict at all.  Most people believe in a higher being of some sort even people who aren't religious.


    Answer by RyansMom001 at 7:56 AM on Nov. 20, 2010

  • Not being religious OR a scientist, I couldn't really guess. The same could be asked of religious people who practice medicine, I think... is what they are doing going against god, or is he working through them? Interesting question.

    Answer by Koukla12905 at 6:59 AM on Nov. 20, 2010

  • Science and religion aren't mutually exclusive or incompatible. Even without the concept of "cognitive dissonance". Many allow their religious beliefs and scientific understandings overlap. Faith and science has always worked hand in hand for me. I'm actually reading "Science and the Study of God: A Mutuality model for Theology and Science", and while I don't agree with everything he posits, I do believe that it is both possible and necessary to align our spiritual and scientific understandings.

    Religion isn't (or isn't meant to be) about literalism, its about a transcendent truth, one that is greater than the words on the page. When that is understood, things in the text - like a 6 day creation - are realized to be merely a way for us to be presented with a greater truth that transcends the idea of creation taking literally 6 days. Its not about the what the words on the page SAY, but what they really MEAN and try to convey.

    Answer by bandgeek521 at 9:13 AM on Nov. 20, 2010

  • *to overlap, lol I need coffee. :)

    Answer by bandgeek521 at 9:15 AM on Nov. 20, 2010