When President Barack Obama announced in 2009 that he would nominate renowned geneticist Dr. Francis Collins as director of the National Institutes of Health, a number of scientists publicly questioned whether the nominee’s devout Christian faith should disqualify him from the position. This observation is not mine, it is that of the very well-respected Pew research center and is noted in respected publications like the New York Times.
I find it amazing that such bigotry exists among some in the scientific community. This is a group that should be focused on science, facts and numbers and not allowing bigotry to guide leadership decisions. But the fact that some scientists hold this view, that is, openly promote discrimination against anyone with a belief in God, answers (to a point) a complaint some atheist are quick present: Why is the percentage of those who say they believe in God lower among scientists than among the general public.
Given that such discrimination exists, and given there is no professional reason for a scientist to proclaim his or her faith while in a laboratory, wouldn’t you expect some scientists to choose to remain silent about their belief, especially when grant money and prestigious positions are on the line?
I’m not saying Christians should disobey God and keep their faith to themselves; I am saying that the anti-Christian bigotry some atheists claim does not exist is very much alive and well. Too, this bigotry is partially responsible for the higher percentage of those identifying as atheists in science compared to the general public. This is not to say bigotry is the only thing preventing men and women of science from making an open profession of faith. Bigotry, even among well-educated people, is not the way to promote truth.
What are your thoughts?