Stats on religion and scientists 'nothing new' says Catholic biochemist
Dr. Michael J. Behe
Dr. Michael J. Behe

.- Responding to an LA Times article published Tuesday regarding the lack of religious scientists in America, Dr. Michael J. Behe told CNA that the statistics were “nothing new.”

According to the LA Times article, only 51 percent of scientists in America believe in a higher power compared to 95 percent of American adults. Additionally, close to half of American scientists claim no religious affiliation while only 17 percent of American adults have no religious affiliation.

“About a hundred years ago a similar survey was taken,” said Dr. Behe, professor of Biochemistry at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Despite all of the changes and scientific advances in the last century, the old survey, says Dr. Behe, “showed roughly the same percentages.”

When asked for the explanation behind the apparent lack of religious scientists, Dr. Behe told CNA that there are a variety of factors.

“Some scientists want to explain all of reality and if God exists, then there are limitations to their work and they can't explain everything,” said Dr. Behe, who added that others “go into science because they feel an antagonism towards religion and they want to explain things in another way.”

Dr. Behe also discussed the concept of social pressure in the scientific community.  If one is raised in a religious household and enters a community where religion is “shunned or looked down upon,” scientists tend to acclimate to the environment. Calling lack of belief among scientists a “professional disease,” the professor gave the example of lawyers becoming alcoholics. “Some lawyers become alcoholics and some scientists become atheists,” he explained, saying it can be “a side effect of the work they do.”

Dr. Behe warned against the idea that these statistics somehow prove that increased scientific knowledge diminishes the need for religion or the belief in God. “If there was scientific evidence against it, then number of scientists who believe in God would be close to zero.”

Rather, Dr. Behe continued,“there are plenty of scientific reasons to think that the elegant machinery that has been discovered in life could not have arisen by some chance process.”

What scientists have discovered about the universe in recent decades is that “the universe is very finely tuned to support life,” Dr. Behe told CNA.

“If a person looks at the scientific evidence objectively,” said Dr. Behe, “the past half century or so it's become much stronger pointing towards the conclusion that something outside of our universe is needed to explain what we find in our universe.”

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages


Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis visits poor neighborhood and meets with young people from Argentina
Pope Francis celebrates Mass at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida
Denver rally draws hundreds in support of religious freedom
Pope Francis prays over a sick man in St Peter's Square
Denver women's clinic will offer natural, Catholic care
Interview Clips: Barbara Nicolosi speaks to CNA
US Cardinals press conference at North American College
Pope Benedict to retire to monastery inside Vatican City
Pope cites waning strength as reason for resignation
Hundreds convene in Denver to urge respect for life
New Orange bishop encourages Catholic unity in diversity
Chinese pro-life activist calls for reform, international attention
At Lincoln installation, Bishop Conley says holiness is success
Mother Cabrini shrine reopens in Chicago after a decade
Ordination of 33 deacons fills St. Peter's with joy
Cardinal says "Charity is the mother of all the virtues"
Augustine Institute expands evangelization effort with new campus
Bishops recall 'Way of St. James' as chance to trust in God
Los Angeles cathedral's newest chapel houses Guadalupe relic

Liturgical Calendar

April 25, 2014

Friday within the Octave of Easter

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Jn 21:1-14


Daily Readings

Saint of the Day

St. Mark, the Evangelist »


Homily of the Day

Jn 21:1-14


Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
Text only

Follow us: