Existence of god

Belief in god (by scientists)
Approximately 5.0% of American scientists (2011) believe in the existence of God, down from a 27% belief a century ago (1916); whereas, conversely, 62% of the lay public believes in a personal God (2000).
In culture, the existence of god, or belief in the existence of god, is an age old philosophical question that remains germane to modern scientific discussion.

Recent polls, of North American citizens, show that fewer than 5.0% of scientists believe in god; whereas, conversely, 62% of the public believes in god or a personal god.

This large discrepancy, especially prevalent in the US, seems to the be the result of the dictum that there should exist a “wall of separation between church and state” in matters of funding, which is a sort of unwritten constitutional law first stated by America’s third president Thomas Jefferson, in 1802.

A result of this, is that the subject of the overlaps of science and religion, e.g. discussion of human origins, are sort of unwritten "taboo topics" of discussion in the minds of US high school and college teachers, avoided like the plague, for fear of job loss, funding loss, reputation derision, among other repercussions.

As the second following table shows, of the 27.2% of US citizens (in 1998) who obtained a bachelors degree (or higher), only 6.4% complete a degree in engineering or the physical sciences, subjects where thermodynamics tends to be a core requisite, which translates to the conclusion that fewer than 1.7% of modern day Americans have fundamental understanding of the physical science that governs the universe. [10]

Scientist's belief
The following are the 1998 polled views of America's so-called leading or "greater" scientists, the members of the National Academy of Sciences, on personal belief or disbelief on God and immortality: [8]

American National Academy of Sciences
(1998)
Disbelief in God
Disbelief
in immortality
Doubt
(or agnosticism)

of belief in God
Doubt
(or agnosticism)

of belief in Immortality
Belief
in God
Belief
in Immortality

Physical scientists
(physicists and astronomers)
79%76.3%13.5%
7.5%7.5%
Biological scientists65.2%69%32.3%
5.5%7.1%
Mathematicians



14.3%15%








Overall:72.2%76.7%20.8%23.3%7.0%7.9%

The official opinion of the NAS, according to a 1998 booklet published under the direction of NAS president Bruce Alberts: [9]

Percent Belief in God by Scientists

bachelors degrees
Left: Percentage of American scientists who believe in God based on the combined studies of Leuba (1916/33) and Larson and Witham (1998). [8] Right: Percentage of US bachelors degrees obtained in 1998. [10]

“Whether God exists or not is a question about which science is neutral.”

This statement, supposedly meant to appease conservative religious adherents, however, is in direct conflict with the Clausius postulate, which states that the entire universe is governed by the two laws of thermodynamics, which is the actual official opinion of modern hard science.

Science
The topic of god, although purely a defunct scientific theory to the learned person, is intertwined with science to the effect that various branches of science are slowly replacing religious belief.

Key scientific books have played a role in this, particularly Polish astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus’ 1543 On the Revolution of the Heavenly Orbs (established that the earth is not at the center of the universe), English physicist Isaac Newton’s 1687 Principia (established the mechanical equations of the universal movement), English naturalist Charles Darwin’s 1859 Origin of Species (established that humans were not created by god, but by evolution), German physicist Rudolf Clausius’ 1865 The Mechanical Theory of Heat (established the two laws of the universe), American chemical engineer Libb Thims' 2007 Human Chemistry (established that humans are molecules whose actions are governed by the laws of chemistry and physics), etc., have been slowly eroding at public belief in the existence of god, but that however, there remains to be complete replacement for core tenets of religions, e.g. life after death, by scientific theory.

Global beliefs
The following chart shows the 2005 global beliefs on God, spirit or life force: [11]

Religious beliefs (by country) (new2)

Dawkins levels
See main: Dawkins scale
In modern age, circa 2010, curious, a large percentage (84%) still people believe in god or some variation of this, and the question of ‘is there a god?’ is one of the big philosophical conundrums on the mind of the average person. One popular god belief scale (level 1-7), shown below, was put forward recently by English evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins, in his popular 2006 book The God Delusion. [1]

Level
Belief in the Existence of God
(Dawkins categories)

1Strong theist. 100 percent probability of God. In the words of C.G. Jung, ‘I do not believe, I know.’
2Very high probability but short of 100 percent. De facto theist. ‘I cannot know for certain, but strongly believe in God and live my life on the assumption that he is there.’
3Higher than 50 percent but not very high. Technically agnostic but leaning towards theism. ‘I am very certain, but I am inclined to believe in God.’
4Exactly 50 percent. Completely impartial agnostic. ‘God’s existence and non-existence are exactly equiprobable.’
5Lower than 50 percent but not very low. Technically agnostic but leaning towards atheism. ‘’I don’t know whether God exists but I’m inclined to be skeptical.’
6Very low probability, but short of zero. De facto atheist. ‘I cannot know for certain but I think God is very improbable, and I live my life on the assumption that he is not there.’
6-7 “I count myself in category 6, but leaning towards 7. I am agnostic only to the extent that I am agnostic about fairies at the bottom of the garden.” (Richard Dawkins, 2006)
7Strong atheist. ‘I know there is no God, with the same conviction as Jung ‘knows’ there is one.’
8Do not prefer to be associated with term ‘a-theist’ to the same extent that I do not prefer to be associated with the term ‘a-fairyist’ in the sense that I am an adherent to a disbelief in tooth fairies.
9(add view)
10 "Know there is no god (or spirits or life forces) with such certainty and conviction that I would be willing to stake my life on it"

To note, range of level 10 was added on by American chemical engineer Libb Thims in a 2009 discussion with a YouTube physicist Philip Moriarty. In Thims' view, the situation is summarized as follows:

"Consider the entire discussion to be something akin to a flat earth theory debate; albeit a topic that irritatively seems to rear its head, recurrently, in modern scientific discussions concerning human activity. A human being is molecule, whose synthesis, movements, and future are governed by scientific laws. God is a defunct theory of olden days, used to reconcile questions that were then unanswerable; whose current following or belief, for 72 percent of the world’s populous (religions), is nothing but reformulated Egyptian mythology, centered around the 5,000 BC story of the birth of the sun god Ra out of the land mound Nun."

In the discussion, Thims queried Moriarty as to his possible underlying religious motives, regarding his objections to human chemistry and human thermodynamics, commented: “I am what Richard Dawkins would classify as a level 6 ‘agnostic’ - agnostic in the sense that although I cannot prove that there is or isn't a god, there are an infinite number of possibilities I can't definitively disprove.”.

IQ vs Percent Belief in God (c)
2008 study of 137 countries shows that those with an IQ < 90 have a 97% probability of believing in god; whereas if those with an IQ > 100 have a 77% probability of believing in god; and those with IQ > 105 have a 71% probability of believing in god. [4]
Thims commented back, after reading the Dawkins scale: “In the Dawkins scheme, I would be level 10, but I don’t like the word atheist (I like the word scientist better). I've read over 50 books on religion (currently practiced, and active (about 18 main varieties), mythology, Egyptology, etc., and I know very clearly as to the background of most of the 10,000+ gods to have come and gone as well as the active ones. In the future, I might do some modern clarification videos on these topics (e.g. is there a god, what happens when you die, good vs evil, etc.), but I am somewhat hesitant, as these get very emotional for many.” [3]

In 2010 Russian physical chemist Georgi Gladyshev commented to Thims on this scale: “I believe, like you, I am closer to the 10 point range.” [5]

To exemplify that this topic rears its head in origin of life discussions, Gladyshev includes a two-page discussion on the role of divine initiation in his chapter on the evolution of living systems, in which he builds his theory “without the concept of God”, instead putting his "belief in "the general laws and exact theories created by Rudolf Clausius, Willard Gibbs, and other classics of modern science.” [6]

IQ, education, and religiosity
Several studies have shown a statistical relationship between religiosity and education level, or religiosity and IQ. American skeptic aficionado Michael Shermer, in How We Believe: the Search for God in an Age of Science, describes a large survey of randomly chosen Americans that he and his colleague Frank Sulloway carried out, who found that religiosity is negatively correlated with education (more highly educated people are less likely to be religious) and that religiosity is negatively correlated with interest in science. [1] In this context of IQ vs belief in god, the following opinions on the theory of god, are expressed by the listed 200+ IQ group, ranked with a score of pass/fail if this question were on an IQ test:


Person
IQ
Religious Beliefs
Score

SidisWilliam Sidis
(1898-1944)
200-300● At age 6, was a confirmed atheist.
● At age 21, when asked in court if he believed in god, he replied “No” and clarified that evolution was his god; when pressed further about this he stated that he did not believe in the “big boss of the Christians”, but that he did believe in something “that is in a way apart from a human being” (The Prodigy, pg. 144).
pass

Einstein 75 (older)Albert Einstein
(1879-1965)
160-225● At age 75, gave his opinion that “the word of God is nothing more than an expression of human weakness"; described the Bible as “pretty childish”; and stated that “all religions are incarnations of the most childish superstitions.” [56]pass

Michael KearneyMichael Kearney
(
1982-)
200-325 ● Quote: “You have to be focused on the things that make you a human and not a golden god. You have to focus on just living.” (link) ?

Marnen Laibow-Koser 75Marnen Laibow-Koser
(1975-)
268● At age 4, engaged in “mystical behavior”; saw his recently deceased Aunt Bessie being carried up an a flight of stairs, assisted by two old ladies, while at the funeral reception (although no one else could see these invisible stairs or invisible ladies), but supposedly described Bessie’s funeral dress and arrangement exactly and communicated with her, even though he had never really met here (Nature’s Gambit, pgs. 187-203).
● At age 34, stated "once again, God / the universe / whatever has reminded me that you get what you want (or what you think you want) when you're not really looking for it." (link)
fail

Christopher LanganChristopher Langan
(1952-)
174-210 ● Began to question god as a child; later returned to god, and is currently writing a treatise called the cognitive theoretic model of the universe, a type of intelligent design themed argument for the existence of god.
● At age 48, commented “Regarding evolution and creationism, the linkage is simple: Biblical accounts of the genesis of our world and species are true but metaphorical, our task is to correctly decipher the metaphor in light of scientific evidence also given to us by God.” (link)
fail

Sho YanoSho Yano
(1990-)
200 ● Name means “happiness with god” (link).
● At age 14, commented that “I’m gifted. I got my gift from God, and I think I better not waste it” (link).
fail

Grost 75Michael Grost
(1954-)
200 ● Grost mostly likely believes in god. In the biographical book of him (Genius in Residence, 1970) written by his mother, when he was 16 (and old enough to object), the first page opens to a description of describing Michael as a “miracle of God”, and the last page concludes with “may we offer those successes my son has experienced in the past, and God willing, those successes he may experience in the future …” fail

Savant 75Marilyn vos Savant
(
1946-)
186-228 ● Quote: “Suppose you have bet on horse number 1 in a 3 horse race in which there is no favorite. After you have placed your bet, omniscient god, who, of course, knows the horse destined to win and how you have bet tells you, ‘It’s not going to be horse number 3’. Depending on God’s other attributes, e.g. whether God seeks to guide people towards the right decisions, you should probably switch to horse 2 if you have the opportunity.” (link)
● Quote: “Religions cannot be proved true intellectually. They come from the heart—and your parents—not the mind.” (link)
fail

Rick RosnerRick Rosner
(1960-)
140-250 ● At age 7, in his own words, “when my parents returned, they found me spinning clockwise (so that I wouldn't accidentally travel backwards in time) and chanting to God. I was taken to a child psychiatrist and given more IQ tests, including parts of a Stanford-Binet.”[59] fail

References

1. Dawkins, Richard. (2006). The God Delusion (pgs. 50-51, pg. 102). Houghton Mifflin Harcout.
3. (a) YouTube messaging (Sep 04 2009): Libb Thims to English thermal physics professor P.M: “In the Dawkins scheme, I would be level 10, but I don’t like the word atheist (I like the word scientist better). I've read over 50 books on religion (currently practiced, and active (about 18 main varieties), mythology, Egyptology, etc., and I know very clearly as to the background of most of the 10,000+ gods to have come and gone as well as the active ones. In the future, I might do some modern clarification videos on these topics (e.g. is there a god, what happens when you die, good vs evil, etc.), but I am somewhat hesitant, as these get very emotional for many.”
(b) YouTube messaging (Sep 07 2009): P.M. to Libb Thims: “Re. YouTube message - there is no ‘Level 10’ in the Dawkins scheme. I was brought up in a very devout Catholic family and ‘kicked against’ religion from the age of nine (when I began to ask questions about the ludicrous concept of transubstantiation in Catholicism). You may therefore understand my irritation at the inference that my arguments are religiously driven. Please try not to throw around accusations of that type in the future when there is no evidence to support them.”
4. (a) Lynn, Richard, Harvey, John, and Nyborg, Helmuth. (2009). “Average Intelligence Predicts Atheism Rates Across 137 Nations” (abstract), Intelligence, 37(1): 11-15.
(b) Religiosity and intelligence – Wikipedia.
5. Email communicate from Georgi Gladyshev to Libb Thims on 22 Mar 2010.
6. Gladyshev, Georgi. (1997). Thermodynamic Theory of the Evolution of Living Beings (section: 1.3: The Origin of Life and the Role of Divine Initiation, pgs. 7-8). Nova Science Publishers.
7. Religion in the World (2000) – Gallup International Millennium Survey.
8. Larson, Edward J. and Witham, Larry. (1998). “Leading Scientists Still Reject God”, Nature, 394:313, Jul 23.
9. Alberts, Bruce. (1998). Teaching About Evolution and the Nature of Science. NAS Press. Washington, DC.
10. (a) National Science Foundation, Division of Science Resources Studies, Science and Engineering Degrees: 1966-98, NSF 01-325.
(b) In March 2000, 25.6% of US citizens graduated from college. Source: Digest of Education Statistics, 2001.
(c) In 2004, 27.2% of US citizens graduated from college: Source: US Census bureau (bachelor’s degree or higher: by state) – StateMaster.com.
11. (a) Anon. (2005). “Social Values, Science & Technology” (pdf), Special Eurobarometer 225 (pg. 11). Report.
(b) Country abbreviations – SustainableSources.com.

External links
Existence in God – Wikipedia.

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