Famous Scientists and Technologists Who Were or Are Atheists

List of Atheists in Science and Technology – (19th, 20th and 21st centuries):


Several of the most recent famous atheists who have published “bestseller” books:

“Victor J. Stenger, Ph.D., is adjunct professor of philosophy at the University of Colorado and emeritus professor of physics and astronomy at the University of Hawaii.  He is the author of the New York Times bestseller God: The Failed Hypothesis, and many other books, including Quantum Gods, The Unconscious Quantum, Has Science Found God?, The Comprehensible Cosmos, Timeless Reality, Physics and Psychics, and The New Atheism.”

Bertrand Russell, Why I Am Not a Christian (and other essays on religion and related subjects), Edited, with an Appendix on the “Bertrand Russell Case” by Paul Edwards (A Touchstone Book: Published by Simon and Schuster: New York), 1957.

Christopher Hitchens, God is not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything (Reading Group Guide, 12 Hachette Book Group, Inc.: New York), 2007, 2009

“A spate of atheist screeds has arrived in the bookstores lately, but Hitchens’s may be the best since Bertrand Russell’s “Why I Am Not a Christian” (1927), laying out the essential arguments with force and precision.  He makes his case in elegant yet biting prose we have come to expect from him.  His style is erudite. … yet manages to be accessible to the casual reader.”

Associate Press

“Hitchens is a master at exposing the elements of stagecraft … an equal opportunity embarrasser … His indictments are trenchent and witty.”

–  Boston Globe

“Impressive … entertaining … a serious and deeply felt book. … His erudition is on display—impressively so.”

New York Times Book Review

“Funny and entertaining … If Christopher Hitchens did not exist, it would be necessary to invent him.”

…. Cleveland Plain Dealer

“Merciless … quite comical … trenchent and witty … [This] book is a treasure house of zingers worthy of Mark Twain or Mencken.”  – Daniel C. Dennett, Boston Globe

[Of his religious upbringing, Hitchens had this to say: “When I go to the mosque, I take off my shoes.  When I go tothe synagogue, I cover my head.  I once even observed the etiquette of an ashram in India, though this was a trial to me.  My parents did not try to impose any religion: I was probably fortunate in having a father who had not especially loved his strict Baptist/Calvinist upbringing, and a mother who preferred assimilation–partly for my sake–to the Judaism of her forebears.  I now know enough about all religion to know that I would always be an infidel at all times and in all places, but my particular atheism is a Protestant atheism.  It is with the splendid liturgy of the the King James Bible and the Cranmer prayer book–liturgy that the fatuous Church of England has cheaply discarded–that I first disagreed.  When my father died and was buried in a chapel overlooking Portsmouth–the same chapel in which General Eisenhower had prayed for success the night before D-Day in 1944–I gave the address from the pulpit and selected as my text verse from the epistle of Saul of Tarsus, later to be claimed as ‘Saint Paul,’ to the Philippians (chapter 4, verse 8):

‘Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report: if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.’

“I chose this because of its haunting and elusive character, which will be with me at the last hour, and for its essentially secular injunction, and because it shone out from the wasteland of rant and complaint and nonsense and bullying which surrounds it.  The argument with faith is the foundation and origin of all arguments about philosophy, science, history, and human nature.  It is also the beginning–but by no means the end–of all disputes about the good life and the just city.  Religious faith is, precisely because we are still-evolving creatures, ineradicable.  It will never die out, or at least not until we get over our fear of death, and of the dark, and of the unknown, and of earch other.  For this reason I would not prohibit it even if I thought I could.  Very generous of me, you may say.  But will the religious grant me the same indulgence?  I ask because there is a real and serious difference between me and my religious friends, and the real and serious friends are sufficiently honest to admit it.  I would be quite content to go to their children’s bar mitzvahs, to marvel at their Gothic cathedrals, to respect their belief that the Koran was dictated though exclusively in Arabic, to an illiterate merchant, or to interest myself in Wicea and Hindu and Jain consolations.  And as it happens I will continue to do this without insisting on the polite reciprocal condition–which is that they in turn leave me alone.  But this, religion is ultimately incapable of doing.  As I write these words and as you read them, people of faith are in their different ways planning your and my destruction, and the destruction of all the hard-won human attainments that I have touched upon.  Religion poisons everything.”

John M. Robertson, Pagan Christs: Studies in Comparative Hierology (1911) , 2nd Edition, Revised and Expanded (Watts & Co.; London), 1911

Part I: The Rationale of Religion, Section 1: Origin of Gods from fear–from love–Beloved Gods the Christs of the world’s patheon; Section 4: Scientific view of the ‘religious consciousness’ ; Section 5: Dr.  James G. Frazer’s definition–its inadequacy; Section 11: The beginning of the end of religion–Early interweaving of cosmology and ethics; Section 12: Historic view of the ancestor-worship; Chapter II: Comparison and Appraisement of Religions, Section 3: Polytheism and Monotheism; Section 4: Hebrews and Babylonians, Babylonian influences on Judaic thought; Section 5: Forces of Religious Evolution;; Section 6: The Hebrew Evolution, Rise of the cult of Yahweh, the attempted reforms of Josiah; Section 9: Analogous cases in Greece, Babylon, Egypt, Persia, and Jewry; Part II: Secondary God-Making, Chapter I: The Sacrificed Savior-God, Section 2: Theory and Ritual of Human Sacrifice, Section 6: The Cannibal Sacrament, Section 7: The Semitic Antecedents, Section 13: Special Features of the Crucifixion Myth, Part III: Mithraism, Section 4: Evolution of Mithra, Section 6: Symbols of Mithra, Section 8: The Creed, Section 9: Mithraism and Christianity, Section 10: Further Christian Parallels, Section 12: Absorptio in Christianity; Part IV: The Religions of Ancient America, Section 1: American Racial Origins, Section 2: Aztecs and Peruvians, Section 3: Primitive Religion and Human Sacrifice, Section 5: Mexican Sacrifices and Sacraments, Section 9: The Religion of Peru; Appendices: A: The Eating of the Crucified Human Sacrifice, B: Dramatic and Ritual Survivals, C: Replies to Criticisms:; The Hibbert Journal, The Rev. Alfred Ernest Crawley, The Rev. Dr. St. Clair Tisdell, The Rev. Father Martindale, Dr. J. Estlin Carpenter, Professsor Carl Clemen

Kersey Graves, The World’s Sixteen Crucified Saviors: Christianity Before Christ (Cosimo Classics: New York), 1875, 2007

“Many are the cases noted in history of young maidens claiming a paternity for their male offspring by a God.  In Greece it became so common that the reigning king issued an edict, decreeing the death of all young women who should offer such an insult to deity as to lay to him the charge of begetting their children.”



About Harold L Carter

Bachelor of Science, Columbia University Masters degree, Ohio State University Undergraduate National Officer, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Eastern Asst Vice President, when a student at Columbia University Profile Photograph: Mom & Me, when I was a graduate student
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s