Saturday, September 22, 2007

A fellow journalist's thoughts on neuroscientists and God

A journalist friend, David Warren writes,
I have met few neuroscientists in my time, but I have met a couple, & it just struck me that each was seriously religious. Ditto, brain surgeons. Whenas, almost every common-garden biology prof or grad student I've encountered was stark raving atheist. ... Well, I am famous for my small statistical samples.

The same thing seems to distinguish microbiologists & geneticists: this propensity, which I suspect is founded in what they study, to be religious. Whereas, people who study textbooks, as opposed to nature, tend not to be.

The more obvious, & demonstrable divide continues to be between scientists of any speciality "teaching" in universities, & research scientists, mostly employed in corporate-sponsored institutions, where results count. The former give the impression of being wall-to-wall "post-modern," the latter wall-to-wall "born-again." And the distinction is once again between those who study nature, & those who study personal gratification.

It would be fun to see a "large" statistical sample. One does run into neuroscience grad students who are atheists, after all. On the other hand, there is Mike Egnor.

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