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Godless professors?

Gene ExpressionBy Razib KhanOctober 28, 2006 12:44 PM


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There is a working paper out which reports on the nature of the religiousness of the professoriate. Some data of interest.... * Proportion of professors with "No religion" - 31% (vs. ~10% for the general public) "I don't believe in God" - 10% (vs. 2.8% for the general public) "I don't know whether there is a God, and I don't believe there is a way to find out" - 13.4% (vs. 4.1% for the general public) "I don't believe in a personal God, but I do believe in a Higher Power of some kind" - 19.6% "I find myself believing in God some of the time, but not at others" - 4.4% "While I have my doubts, I feel that I do believe in God" - 16.9% "I know God really exists and I have no doubts about it" - 35.7% Proportion of "atheists and agnostics" (first two categories above) Elite doctorate granting institution - 36.6% BA granting institution - 22.7% Community College - 15.2% Psychology - 61% Biology - 61 Mechanical Engineering - 50% Economics - 40% Political Science - 40% Computer Science - 40% Proportion exhibiting "No doubt that God exists" Accounting - 63% Elementary Education - 56.8% Finance - 48.6% Marketing - 46.5% Art - 46.2% Criminal Justic - 46.2% Nursing - 44% Views on the Bible.... "Actual Word of God" 6.1% "Ancient book of fables, legends, history and moral precepts" 51.6% "Inspirted word of god" 42% Major caveat, the author makes it clear that the disciplinary results are probably biased by the type of institution. For example, it seems plausible that a Community College is more likely to have members on the faculty in Art, Accounting or Finance than Mechanical Engineering. One interesting finding is that though theism is alive and well in the professoriate, literalism is very weak. This goes toward one contention which I have made several times: the bias for supernaturalism, and religion in general, is far stronger than a bias for literalism or a particular specific religious orientation. Related:God and the social scientists.

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