Atheism and academia

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The abstract for the 2009 academic journal article The Religiosity of American College and University Professors which was published in the journal Sociology of Religion (which is published by the Oxford University Press) indicates:

For more than a century most U.S. colleges and universities have functioned as secular institutions. But how religious are American college and university faculty in their personal lives? We answer this question by analyzing data from a new, nationally representative survey of the American professoriate. Contrary to the view that religious skepticism predominates in the academy, we find that the majority of professors, even at elite research institutions, are religious believers. We go on to examine the distribution of faculty religiosity across institutions, fields, and other variables, and identify a number of issues that future research—sensitive to the fact that religious faith and academic life, at least in the American context, are by no means mutually exclusive—should take up.[1]

Harvard Magazine indicated in 2007:

Though comparatively low, the percentage of nonbelievers in academia is still much higher than the percentage of self-described nonbelievers found among the general public. That figure is only about 7 percent, according to the nationwide General Social Survey, issued by the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago...

Just as surprising to the researchers was the range of belief across institutions and fields of research. Although nearly 37 percent of professors at elite research schools like Harvard are atheist or agnostic, about 20 percent of their colleagues have “no doubt that God exists.” At community colleges, in contrast, 15 percent of professors are atheist or agnostic, and 40 percent believe in God. These differences exist because of professors’ backgrounds and inclinations, says Gross. Professors who come from higher socioeconomic classes and are drawn to research over teaching or service—characteristics more common among academics at elite institutions—tend to be less religious.

A professor’s field of research or discipline is also predictive, he adds: psychologists and biologists are most likely to be nonbelievers (61 percent are atheist or agnostic), followed by mechanical engineers, economists, and political scientists. The most likely believers are professors of accounting (63 percent have no doubt that God exists), followed by professors of elementary education, finance, art, criminal justice, and nursing.[2]

In 2001, the atheist and philosopher Quentin Smith declared:

Naturalists [atheists] passively watched as realist versions of theism … began to sweep through the philosophical community, until today perhaps one-quarter or one-third of philosophy professors are theists, with most being orthodox Christians…. God is not 'dead' in academia; he returned to life in the 1960's and is now alive and well in his last academic stronghold, philosophy departments."[3]

In 2004, Professor Alister McGrath, professor of historical theology at Wycliffe Hall, Oxford University declared, "The golden age of atheism is over."[4]

Christian apologetics is the defense of the Christian faith through logical and evidence based arguments. Because of the rapid growth of Christianity in the developing world where people often have modest incomes, there is a large pent up demand for theological/Christian apologetic higher education which has spawned various initiatives such as Trinity Graduate School of Apologetics and Theology which offers free/low cost training in these academic disciplines.[5][6]

Due to global desecularization and the historic unpopularity of atheism in much of the world, the global demand for atheistic education in higher education, such as atheistic philosophy, is significantly less strong and faces diminishing prospects in the future (See: Global atheism).

For more information please see:

Hostility towards religious conservatives in academia and quality of educational outcomes

See also: Academia and intellectual development and Values within academia

Research indicates that religious conservatives face discrimination in hiring within academia.[7][8]

In addition, college is clearly not delivering the goods in terms of intellectual development for a large percentage of its students. An American study found that forty-five percent of students achieved no significant improvement in their critical thinking, reasoning or writing skills during their first two years of college. After four years, 36 percent displayed no significant increases in these so-called "higher order" thinking skills.[9] Students, particularly those who made poor curriculum choices, are increasingly angry that college does not adequately prepare them for the marketplace and leaves them with a pile of debt.[10] Furthermore, Vox Day and others point out that many academics quality of work related to science is frequently substandard.[11] Creation Ministries International argues that the recent epidemic of scientific fraud within the scientific/academic community is related to atheistic and evolutionary morality/ideology (see: Atheism and morality).[12][13]

In addition, there appears to be a higher education bubble that will burst.[14] The Wall Street Journal reported in 2013 that the percentage of Americans going to college has been decreasing for 3 years in the USA.[15]

The low quality of work done by many atheist academics combined with their hostility towards religious conservatives is not surprising given that atheism/agnosticism lack proof and evidence that they are valid, while the Bible and Christianity have an abundant amount of evidence supporting their veracity (see: Christian apologetics).

Atheists and agnostics rarely point out that universities such as Harvard, Princeton, Oxford, Cambridge, and many others were founded by Christians.[16][17] Also, the scientific revolution occurred in Christianized Europe and many of the fathers of various branches of science were Christians (see: Christianity and science).

Presently, there appears to be a higher education bubble that will burst.[18]

Atheism, academia and bestiality

See: Atheism, academia and bestiality

See also


  1. The Religiosity of American College and University Professors, Sociology of Religion, Oxford University Press, 2009
  2. Faculty Faith, Harvard Magazine, 2007
  3. Theistic critiques of atheism by William Lane Craig
  5. Global survey documents theological education trends, Anglican Community News Service, September 19, 2013
  6. Why Free Graduate Theology Programs
  7. Suspicions Confirmed: Academia Shutting Out Conservative Professors by Rachel Alexander, June 10, 2014
  8. Quick, "Let’s Discriminate Against the Creationists!" by Apologetics Press
  9. Study of college education and critical thinking skills
  10. Forbes - Higher education bubble
  11. The Short Answer is Not Much These Days
  12. Why the epidemic of fraud exists in science today by Jerry Bergman
  13. Morals decline linked to belief in evolution by David Catchpoole Published: 5 July 2000; republished 21 October 2009(GMT+10)
  14. College enrollment shows signs of slowing which means less post high school evolutionary indoctrination. Also, the ever shrinking role of tenured evolutionist professors and evolutionary biologists