New study reveals the percentage of scientists who believe in God is the same as 1916 count

New study reveals the percentage of scientists who believe in God is the same as 1916 count

The same percentage of scientists believe in God today as did some 81 years ago, a new study shows.

The new study conducted by noted historian Edward J. Larson of the University of Georgia in Athens asked 1,000 scientists including biologists, physicists and mathematicians, if they believed in God.

Some 40 percent of the scientists said they do believe in God. The number is the same percentage found in the famous 1916 survey conducted by noted psychologist James Leuba.

Leuba thought belief in God would drop among scientists as education improved, but he didn’t have any polling evidence to support that claim, said Larson.

That’s why Larson took another look at it in the new study, which is designed to reproduce the 1916 project. The new results are published in the journal, Nature.

Larson’s survey followed the same procedure as the 1916 study. Like Leuba, he drew 1,000 names randomly from a reference book of American scientists, choosing biologists for half of his sample and splitting the remainder among mathematicians and physicists or astronomers.

The recent survey also excluded other scientists like ecologists and geologists.

Both surveys give a strict definition of God as one who communicates with mankind and is the one who people can pray to “in expectation of receiving an answer.”

About 15 percent of the scientists polled in the 1916 study and the current survey said they were agnostic or had “no definite belief.”

About 42 percent in 1916 and about 45 percent today said they did not believe in God.

Most Americans (93 percent), however, believe in God, according to recent Gallup polls.

COPYRIGHT 1997 Johnson Publishing Co.

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