The Greatest Show on Earth Excerpt

posted May 25, 2011, 2:06 AM by Garrett Fogerlie

By Garrett Fogerlie

"In 1998, Larson and Witham polled the cream of American scientists, those who have been honoured by election to the elite National Academy of Sciences . Among this select group, belief in a personal God dropped [as compared with the average person where belief in God is above 70%] to a shattering 7%. About 20% call themselves agnostic, and the rest are atheists. Similar figures obtain for belief in personal immortality. Among biological scientists elected to the National Academy, only 5.5% believe in a god. I have not seen corresponding figures for elite scholars in other fields such as history or philosophy, but it would be surprising if they were very different.