General Question

SundayKittens's avatar

Are there any highly-regarded scientists/mathematician-type folk who identify themselves as religious or spiritual?

Asked by SundayKittens (5834points) September 2nd, 2010

This question is NOT AN OPEN INVITE to bash either side, pleassssse.

Another question prompted me to do some reading about Stephen Hawking, and it states that he is an atheist. Not a surprise, but it got me thinking…I’ve never read about any major minds in the scientific/mathematic fields that profess a faith in a higher power, nor do any of the professors I know.

Do you Jellies know of any..collegiate level or higher?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

15 Answers

nikipedia's avatar

Francis Collins, the director of the NIH. He also led the Human Genome Project. He considers himself an evangelical Christian.

harple's avatar

Found this on google…

JilltheTooth's avatar

I’ve known a couple of high powered scientists who are deeply religious but don’t tell their empiricist peers for fear of ridicule and of losing credibility. Nobody very famous and I wouldn’t tell on them anyway! :-P

mammal's avatar

Well Charles Darwin was, in fact, it was his beliefs that hindered the publication of Origin for many years, now he was a man who had the decency and integrity to suffer the conflict of two belief systems without dogmatically eradicating the other merely for the sake of a peaceful soul.

kevbo's avatar

Our very own mattbrowne.

iamthemob's avatar


Thanks – that was cool.

Einstein is a classic example – of course, I wonder how accurate we can be when we say that people who lived in times where it was perhaps punishable or otherwise dangerous to claim there was no God (Galileo is a famous indicator – excommunicated for his findings which indicated a conflict with Christian dogma without even saying anything about his faith). Are those examples helpful in the end?

nebule's avatar

erm… I think David Chalmers is pretty scientific and he certainly comes across as pretty spiritual…

SundayKittens's avatar

You guys are awesome!

tragiclikebowie's avatar

I know of a few books that astrophysicists and other sciencey people have written on the idea of God – you can probably find them in the Science section of Barnes and Noble.

CaptainHarley's avatar

Albert Eienstein believed in God.

answerjill's avatar

Although they are not yet-renowned, I have a bunch of young Orthodox Jewish friends who are mathematicians, physicists, etc. They all got their PhD’s from MIT and Harvard and I imagine that at least some of them will gain renown as they grow into their respective fields. (Actually, I have no way of knowing if they are renowned or not, since I am in a totally different academic discipline).

BonusQuestion's avatar

Yes. There are plenty of religious very well respected Mathematicians. Alex Lubotzky and Hillel Furstenberg are two that I personally know and can remember off the top of my head.

P.S. Go to any Math/CS conference on combinatorics that is held on a Friday late afternoon. Watch for how many people exit the conference room for Sabbath.

Christian95's avatar

Can you be more specific on what you mean when you say “spiritual” and “religious”?Are you referring to those you believe in a personal God(like Christian) or are you referring just to those who believe in a higher being?
If you’re referring to those who believe in a higher being than every agnostic scientist falls into this category and there are lots of agnostic in science.But being an agnostic is far from being spiritual because you believe there’s a higher being who just set the initial conditions of the Universe but that’s it you don’t believe he interferes anymore with it after he started it so an agnostic is not the kind of guy who worries for his afterlife(because he doesn’t believe in one),says prayers asking God to help him in any way.
In my opinion agnostic shouldn’t be the scientist you’re looking for @SundayKittens I think you’re searching for Christians and other like religions.
I don’t know any religious scientist,all I know is that there are very few such scientist at the top of the scientific hierarchy because the most of them are atheist or agnostics.

laureth's avatar

This article about Einstein and God might help here. There’s a difference, I think, between the personal, involved God that many religions preach about, and the distant, Deist, impersonal, “God is the Universe” sort of stuff that Einstein seemed to groove to.

Answer this question




to answer.

This question is in the General Section. Responses must be helpful and on-topic.

Your answer will be saved while you login or join.

Have a question? Ask Fluther!

What do you know more about?
Knowledge Networking @ Fluther