3 List of atheists (science and technology)

List of atheists (science and technology)

cience and technology


* Peter Atkins (1940–): English chemist, Professor of chemistry at Lincoln College, Oxford in England. [When asked by Rod Liddle in the documentary The Trouble with Atheism "Give me your views on the existence, or otherwise, of God", Peter Atkins replied "Well it's fairly straightforward: there isn't one. And there's no evidence for one, no reason to believe that there is one, and so I don't believe that there is one. And I think that it is rather foolish that people do think that there is one."cite episode
title = The Trouble with Atheism, UK Channel 4 TV
episodelink = The Trouble with Atheism
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airdate = 2006-12-18
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* Julius Axelrod (1912–2004): American Nobel Prize winning biochemist, noted for his work on the release and reuptake of catecholamine neurotransmitters and major contributions to the understanding of the pineal gland and how it is regulated during the sleep-wake cycle. ["Although he became an atheist early in life and resented the strict upbringing of his parents’ religion, he identified with Jewish culture and joined several international fights against anti-Semitism." Craver, Carl F: "Axelrod, Julius", "Complete Dictionary of Scientific Biography" Vol. 19 p. 122. Detroit: Charles Scribner's Sons, 2008.]
* Sir Edward Battersby Bailey FRS (1881–1965): British geologist, director of the British Geological Survey. ["In religious matters he was an atheist." A.G. MacGregor: "Bailey, Edward Battersby", "Complete Dictionary of Scientific Biography" Vol. 1 p. 393. Detroit: Charles Scribner's Sons, 2008.]
* Sir Patrick Bateson FRS (1938–): English biologist and science writer, Emeritus Professor of ethology at Cambridge University and president of the Zoological Society of London. ["A confirmed agnostic, he [Bateson] was converted to atheism after attending a dinner where he tried to converse with a woman who was a creationist. "For many years what had been good enough for Darwin was good enough for me. Not long after that dreadful dinner, Richard Dawkins wrote to me to ask whether I would publicly affirm my atheism. I could see no reason why not." " Lewis Smith, 'Science has second thoughts about life', "The Times" (London), January 1, 2008, Pg. 24.]
* Patrick Blackett OM, CH, FRS (1897–1974): Nobel Prize winning English experimental physicist known for his work on cloud chambers, cosmic rays, and paleomagnetism. ["The grandson of a vicar on his father’s side, Blackett respected religious observances that were established social customs, but described himself as agnostic or atheist." Mary Jo Nye: "Blackett, Patrick Maynard Stuart." "Complete Dictionary of Scientific Biography", Vol. 19 p. 293. Detroit: Charles Scribner's Sons, 2008.]
* Susan Blackmore (1951–): English psychologist and memeticist, best known for her book "The Meme Machine". [In a Point of Inquiry podcast interview, Blackmore described religion as a collection of "really pernicious memes", "I think religious memeplexes are really amongst the nastiest viruses we have on the planet". Blackmore also practices Zen Buddhist meditation; later, when she was asked: "And you find this practice of Zen, the meditative practice, completely compatible with your lack of theism, your atheism...?" She replied: "Oh yes, I mean, there is no god in Buddhism...". [http://www.pointofinquiry.org/susan_blackmore_in_search_of_the_light Susan Blackmore - In Search of the Light] , Point of Inquiry, December 15, 2006 (accessed April 1, 2008).]
* Sir Hermann Bondi KCB, FRS (1919–2005): Anglo-Austrian mathematician and cosmologist, best known for co-developing the steady-state theory of the universe and important contributions to the theory of general relativity. ["Since his childhood in Vienna Bondi had been an atheist, developing from an early age a view on religion that associated it with repression and intolerance. This view, which he shared with Hoyle, never left him. On several occasions he spoke out on behalf of freethinking, so-called, and became early on active in British atheist or "humanist" circles. From 1982 to 1999, he was president of the British Humanist Association, and he also served as president of the Rationalist Press Association of United Kingdom." Helge Kragh: "Bondi, Hermann", "Complete Dictionary of Scientific Biography" Vol. 19 p. 343. Detroit: Charles Scribner's Sons, 2008. Accessed via [http://gale.cengage.com/servlet/GvrlMS?msg=ma Gale Virtual Reference Library] April 29, 2008.] [In a letter to the "Guardian", Jane Wynne Willson, Vice-President of the British Humanist Association, added to his obituary: "Also president of the Rationalist Press Association from 1982 until his death, and with a particular interest in Indian rationalism, Hermann was a strong supporter of the Atheist Centre in Andra Pradesh. He and his wife Christine visited the centre a number of times, and the hall in the science museum there bears his name. When presented with a prestigious international award, he divided a large sum of money between the Atheist Centre and women's health projects in Mumbai." [http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/2005/sep/23/guardianobituaries.mainsection Obituary letter: Hermann Bondi] , "Guardian", September 23, 2005 (accessed April 29, 2008).]
* Paul D. Boyer (1918–): American biochemist and Nobel Laureate in Chemistry in 1997. [Boyer, Paul. " [http://ffrf.org/fttoday/2004/march/?ft=boyer A Path to Atheism] ". Freedom From Religion Foundation. Retrieved February 3, 2007.]
* Calvin Bridges (1889–1938): American geneticist, known especially for his work on fruit fly genetics. ["...he always remained true to his own concepts and ideals and did not dissimulate. His open designation of himself as "atheist" in "Who's Who in America" and his opposition to the invasion of the Soviet Union by the Allies..." H J Muller, 'Dr. Calvin B. Bridges', "Nature" 143, 191-192 (04 Feb 1939).]
* Ruth Mack Brunswick (1897–1946): American psychologist, a close confidant of and collaborator with Sigmund Freud. ["Although in her youth she had shared her father's Zionist sympathies, she was not otherwise involved in Jewish affairs and was by conviction an atheist." 'BRUNSWICK, Ruth Jane Mack (Feb. 17, 1897-Jan. 24, 1946)' in "Notable American Women: 1607-1950." Retrieved August 01, 2008, from [http://www.credoreference.com Credo Reference] ]
* Sean M. Carroll (1956–): American cosmologist specializing in dark energy and general relativity. [ [http://preposterousuniverse.com/writings/nd-paper/ Why (Almost All) Cosmologists are Atheists] ]
* Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar (1910–1995): Indian American astrophysicist known for his theoretical work on the structure and evolution of stars. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1983. ["In his later years, Chandra had openly admitted to being an atheist which also meant that he subscribed to no religion in the customary sense of the word." Vishveshwara, S. 2000. [http://www.ias.ac.in/currsci/apr252000/generalia.pdf "Leaves from an unwritten diary: S. Chandrasekhar, Reminiscences and Reflections"] , "Current Science", 78(8):1025-1033.]
* William Kingdon Clifford FRS (1845–1879): English mathematician and philosopher, co-introducer of geometric algebra, the first to suggest that gravitation might be a manifestation of an underlying geometry, and coiner of the expression "mind-stuff". ["I once wrote a book about the Victorian crisis of faith and entitled it, borrowing from a poem of Hardy's, God's Funeral. I included Carlyle, [...] as well as the out-and-out atheists such as W K Clifford [...] ." A N Wilson, 'Browning's faith kept the snake wriggling underfoot', "Daily Telegraph", August 20, 2001, Pg. 19.]
* Frank Close OBE (1845–1879): British particle physicist, Professor of Physics at the University of Oxford and a Fellow of Exeter College, Oxford, known for his lectures and writings making science intelligible to a wider audience, for which he was awarded the Institute of Physics's Kelvin Medal and Prize. [When describing a total solar eclipse, Close wrote: "It was simultaneously ghastly, beautiful, supernatural. Even for a 21st century atheist, the vision was such that I thought, "If there is a heaven, this is what its entrance is like." The heavenly vision demanded music by Mozart; instead we had the crickets." Frank Close, 'Dark side of the moon', "The Guardian", August 9, 2001, Guardian Online Pages, Pg. 8.]
* Francis Crick (1916–2004): English molecular biologist, physicist, and neuroscientist; noted for being one of the co-discoverers of the structure of the DNA molecule in 1953. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1962. [Francis Crick, "What Mad Pursuit: a Personal View of Scientific Discovery", Basic Books reprint edition, 1990, ISBN 0-465-09138-5, p. 145.] ["How I Got Inclined Towards Atheism" [http://www.positiveatheism.org/india/s1990a01.htm] ] [Mark Steyn identify Crick as an atheist. See: [http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/200410/steyn The Twentieth-Century Darwin] by Mark Steyn, published in The Atlantic Monthly, October 2004.] ["Francis Crick was an evangelical atheist." [http://biology.plosjournals.org/perlserv/?request=get-document&doi=10.1371/journal.pbio.0020419&ct=1 Francis Crick's Legacy for Neuroscience: Between the α and the Ω] ] ["Instead, it is interlaced with descriptions of Crick’s vacations, parties and assertions of atheism — occasionally colorful stuff that drains the intellectual drama from the codebreaking." [http://www.nytimes.com/2006/07/30/books/review/30dizi.html?_r=1&oref=slogin Genome Human] ] ["There is Crick the mentor, Crick the atheist, Crick the free-thinker, and Crick the playful." [http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?artid=546341 Entertaining Dr Crick] ] [Crick, 86, said: "The god hypothesis is rather discredited." [http://www.telegraph.co.uk/connected/main.jhtml?xml=%2Fconnected%2F2003%2F03%2F19%2Fecfgod19.xml Do our genes reveal the hand of God?] ]
* Sir Howard Dalton FRS (1944–2008): British microbiologist, Chief Scientific Advisor to the UK's Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs from March 2002 to September 2007. ["She advised him that he risked being called up, and suggested an unusual way to avoid the draft - by becoming a priest, one of the categories exempt from military service. Dalton discovered a little-known religious group called the Universal Life Church of California which for $25 would "ordain" anyone. He duly sent off a cheque and within days was delighted to learn that he was now a bona fide Minister of Religion. It became a running joke and his friends frequently addressed letters to the Reverend Howard Dalton; as a life-long atheist, he particularly relished the irony of his new title." 'Obituary of Professor Sir Howard Dalton, Microbiologist who became Defra's Chief Scientific Adviser just after the foot-and-mouth outbreak', "Daily Telegraph" January 15, 2008, Pg. 25.]
* Richard Dawkins (1941–): British zoologist, biologist, creator of the concepts of the selfish gene and the meme; outspoken atheist and popularizer of science, author of "The God Delusion" and founder of the [http://www.richarddawkins.net/ Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science] . [Dawkins identifies himself as an atheist in his article "A Challenge to Atheists: Come Out of the Closet," "Free Inquiry", Summer 2002. Excerpt reprinted at [http://www.positiveatheism.org/hist/quotes/dawkins.htm Positiveatheism.org] ]
* Arnaud Denjoy (1884–1974): French mathematician, noted for his contributions to harmonic analysis and differential equations. ["Denjoy was an atheist, but tolerant of others' religious views; he was very interested in philosophical, psychological, and social issues." "Denjoy, Arnaud", "Complete Dictionary of Scientific Biography" Vol. 17, p.219. Detroit: Charles Scribner's Sons, 2008. ]
* Paul Dirac (1902–1984): British theoretical physicist, one of the founders of quantum mechanics, predicted the existence of antimatter, and won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1933. [Werner Heisenberg recollects a friendly conversation among young participants at the 1927 Solvay Conference about Einstein's and Planck's views on religion. Wolfgang Pauli, Heisenberg and Dirac took part in it. Among other things, Dirac said: "I cannot understand why we idle discussing religion. If we are honest — and as scientists honesty is our precise duty — we cannot help but admit that any religion is a pack of false statements, deprived of any real foundation. The very idea of God is a product of human imagination. [...] I do not recognize any religious myth, at least because they contradict one another. [...] " Pauli jokingly said: "Well, I'd say that also our friend Dirac has got a religion and the first commandment of this religion is: God does not exist and Paul Dirac is his prophet." cite book | authorlink = | title = Physics and Beyond: Encounters and Conversations | publisher = Harper & Row | location = New York | isbn=0061316229] "... I [Pauling] am not, however, militant in my atheism. The great English theoretical physicist Paul Dirac is a militant atheist. I suppose he is interested in arguing about the existence of God. I am not. It was once quipped that there is no God and Dirac is his prophet." cite book | author = Linus Pauling & Daisaku Ikeda | title = A Lifeling Quest for Peace: A Dialogue | year = 1992 | publisher = Jones & Bartlett | isbn = 0867202777 | pages = page 22]
* Albert Ellis (1913–2007): American psychologist who in 1955 developed Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy. [Nielsen, Stevan Lars & Ellis, Albert. (1994). "A discussion with Albert Ellis: Reason, emotion and religion", "Journal of Psychology and Christianity", "13"(4), Win 1994. pp. 327-341] .
* Leon Festinger (1919–1989): American social psychologist famous for his Theory of Cognitive Dissonance. ["Festinger, a professed atheist, was an original thinker and a restless, highly motivated individual with (in his words) "little tolerance for boredom". " Franz Samelson: "Festinger, Leon", "American National Biography Online", Feb. 2000 (accessed April 28, 2008) [http://www.anb.org/articles/14/14-00887.html] .] .
* Richard Feynman (1918–1988): American theoretical physicist, best known for his work in renormalizing Quantum electrodynamics (QED) and his path integral formulation of quantum mechanics . He won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1965. [Feynman was of Jewish birth, but described himself as "an avowed atheist" by his early youth in [http://ffrf.org/day/?day=11&month=5 Freethought of the Day] , Freedom From Religion Foundation, May 11, 2006.] ["Having abandoned the tenets of Judaism at 13, he never wavered in his gentle atheism, nor in his determination to stay away from matters about which he had opinions but no expertise." John Morrish reviewing the collection of Feynman's letters "Don't You Have Time to Think?", 'Particle Physics: The Route to Pop Stardom', Independent on Sunday (London), July 24, 2005, Pg. 21.]
* Sigmund Freud (1856–1939): Father of psychoanalysis. [" [Freud and Jung] were close for several years, but Jung's ambition, and his growing commitment to religion and mysticism — most unwelcome to Freud, an aggressive atheist — finally drove them apart." " [http://www.time.com/time/time100/scientist/profile/freud.html Sigmund Freud] ", by Peter Gay, "The TIME 100: The Most Important People of the Century".]
* Erich Fromm (1900–1980): renowned Jewish-German-American social psychologist, psychoanalyst, and humanistic philosopher, associated with the Frankfurt School of critical theory. ["About the same time he stopped observing Jewish religious rituals and rejected a cause he had once embraced, Zionism. He "just didn't want to participate in any division of the human race, whether religious or political," he explained decades later (Wershba, p. 12), by which time he was a confirmed atheist." Keay Davidson: "Fromm, Erich Pinchas", "American National Biography Online", Feb. 2000 (accessed April 28, 2008) [http://www.anb.org/articles/12/12-01941.html] .]
* Christer Fuglesang (1957–), Swedish astronaut and physicist. [ [http://www.dn.se/DNet/jsp/polopoly.jsp?d=2597&a=593360&previousRenderType=6 "Atlantseglaren från Bromma vill tänja gränsen mot rymden"] , "Dagens Nyheter", December 10, 2006.]
* Vitaly Ginzburg (1916–): Russian theoretical physicist and astrophysicist who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2003. He was also awarded the Wolf Prize in Physics in 1994/95. ["I am an atheist, that is, I think nothing exists except and beyond nature." [http://nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/physics/laureates/2003/ginzburg-autobio.html Ginzburg's autobiography at Nobelprize.org] ]
* Stephen Jay Gould (1941–2002): American paleontologist, evolutionary biologist, and historian of science, one of the most influential and widely read writers of popular science of his generation. ["Mutual respect means that religion and science should neither yearn for some mushy New Age synthesis nor ignore each other completely but engage in serious, sometimes heated, discussion and debate. This may seem a surprising ideal for a Jewish agnostic inclining to atheism who has fought long and hard against "creation science", but Gould develops it with his usual eloquence and wealth of intriguing examples." Matthew J Reisz, 'From Chaos to Last Trump', "Independent on Sunday" (London), February 11, 2001, News, Pg. 49.]
* Susan Greenfield, Baroness Greenfield, CBE (1950–): British scientist, writer and broadcaster, specialising in the physiology of the brain, who has worked to research and bring attention to Parkinson's disease and Alzheimer's disease. [What I don't like about Richard [Dawkins] is not so much what he knows or doesn't know as the dogmatic way in which he says things. I think that is a poor advertisement for science, because the whole thing about being a scientist is that you shouldn't be prejudiced, you should have an open mind. So, I don't believe in God but that is a belief, not some thing I know. I believe I love my husband, but I couldn't prove it to you one way or the other. How could I? I just know I do. My particular belief is that there is no Deity out there, but I can't prove it and therefore I would not have the temerity to tell other people they're wrong. The coinage of proof is not appropriate for belief­ and Dawkins thinks it is. But if you keep an open mind, that doesn't mean you swallow anything whole. As someone has said, 'Believing in anything is as bad as believing in nothing.' ' [http://www.damaris.org/content/content.php?type=5&id=334 Brain Teaser: Susan Greenfield talks to Peter McCarthy] ', "Third Way", November 2000.]
* Jonathan Haidt (c.1964–): Associate professor of psychology at the University of Virginia, focusing on the psychological bases of morality across different cultures, and author of "The Happiness Hypothesis". ["Religions are technologies that are evolved over millennia to do this and many religions are very effective in doing this. I'm an atheist, I don't believe that gods actually exist, but I part company with the New Atheists because I believe that religion is an adaptation that generally works quite well to suppress selfishness, to create moral communities, to help people work together, trust each other and collaborate towards common ends." Jonathan Haidt, [http://voxday.blogspot.com/2007/11/interview-with-jonathan-haidt.html Interview with Jonathan Haidt] , "Vox Popoli" November 19, 2007 (accessed April 14, 2008).]
* E. T. 'Teddy' Hall (1924–2001): English archaeological scientist, famous for exposing the Piltdown Man fraud and dating the Turin Shroud as a medieval fake. ["The three laboratories unanimously agreed that the cloth dated from between 1260 and 1390, a date consistent with its known history—but which demolished the notion of its being the burial shroud of Christ. Hall, who made no secret of his atheism, had no hesitation in enjoying the public attention that this definitive result attracted." Robert Hedges, [http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/76120 'Hall, Edward Thomas [Teddy] (1924–2001)'] , "Oxford Dictionary of National Biography", online edition, Oxford University Press, January 2005 (accessed May 2, 2008).]
* Sir James Hall (1761–1832): Scottish geologist and chemist, President of the Royal Society of Edinburgh and leading figure in the Scottish Enlightenment. [" 'Unequalled stability and sweetness of disposition' are said to have been among his domestic virtues, while in politics and religion he was 'a declared democrat and avowed atheist' ("The Times")." Jean Jones: [http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/11965 'Hall, Sir James, of Dunglass, fourth baronet (1761–1832)'] , "Oxford Dictionary of National Biography", Oxford University Press, September 2004; online edition, October 2006 (accessed May 1, 2008).]
* Beverly Halstead (1933–1991): British paleontologist and populariser of science. ["He and the Bishop of Oxford staged another version of the great debate between Thomas Henry ('Darwin's bulldog') Huxley and Bishop ('Soapy Sam') Wilberforce that followed the publication of Darwin's "Origin Of Species". The present Bishop defended the new Darwinian orthodoxy, but Dr Halstead, an atheist, took the line that the former Bishop of Oxford had been quite right to oppose Darwin's thesis. But that too was entirely characteristic. He told me that he was a member of the Athenaeum only because it had a painting of Darwin in the lobby." Tim Radford, 'A passion for dinosaurs: Obituary of Beverly Halstead', "The Guardian" (London), May 2, 1991.]
* G. H. Hardy (1877–1947): a prominent English mathematician, known for his achievements in number theory and mathematical analysis. ["Hardy... was a stringent atheist..." [http://www.eastbayexpress.com/2003-04-30/culture/divine-calculations/full Hit Play on Ramanujan] , by Lisa Drostova, "East Bay Express", April 30, 2003. Retrieved October 7, 2007.] ["The first Bombe to be delivered was named "Agnus" by Turing: a joke that atheist Hardy might have made..." [http://www.turing.org.uk/publications/cambridge1.html Alan Turing — a Cambridge Scientific Mind] , by Andrew Hodges, Cambridge Scientific Minds (Cambridge University Press, 2002) Retrieved July 2, 2007.]
* Stephen Hawking CH, CBE, FRS, FRSA (1942–): British theoretical physicist, Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at the University of Cambridge, and a Fellow of Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, known for his contributions to the fields of cosmology and quantum gravity, especially in the context of black holes, and his popular works in which he discusses his own theories and cosmology in general, including "A Brief History of Time". ["Then, in 1999, his former wife published "Music To Move The Stars: My Life with Stephen", in which she detailed the grind of being married to someone who needed constant care while she also looked after a young family (Hawking has three children and a grandchild); of how her Christian faith clashed with his steadfast atheism; of how she felt increasingly sidelined as his fame grew following the book's publication. [...] It is worth noting that he is not above manipulating people's thinking about him to his benefit. The last line in "A Brief History Of Time" is famous for saying that, if we could tie together the equations describing the universe, we would "know the mind of God". But, as his former wife says, he is an atheist. So why is the deity making an appearance? The obvious answer is that it helps sell books." Charles Arthur, 'The Crazy World of Stephen Hawking', "The Independent" (London), October 12, 2001, Features, Pg. 7.] ["He is in the money now, and this seems to have bought him the opportunity for a kind of emotional turbulence. He has left his wife, Jane, the true heroine of his story, sustained in her care of him and their children by a profound belief in God. Though "A Brief History of Time" brings in God as a useful metaphor, Hawking is an atheist: he cannot believe that the articulate radishes of a minor suburb of the universe merit divine attention. If there is a God he can be found through mathematics, not prayer." Anthony Burgess, 'Towards a Theory of Everything', "The Observer", December 29, 1991, Pg. 42] . ["Jane took much of her dramatic hope at the time from her faith, and still sees something of the irony in the fact that her Christianity gave her the strength to support her husband, the most profound atheist. 'Stephen, I hope, had belief in me that I could make everything possible for him, but he did not share my religious - or spiritual - faith.' " Tim Adams, 'A Brief History of a First Wife', "The Observer", April 4, 2004, Review Pages, Pg. 4.]
* Peter Higgs (1929–): British theoretical physicist, recipient of the Dirac Medal and Prize, known for his prediction of the existence of a new particle, the Higgs boson, nicknamed the "God particle". ["Officially, the particle is called the Higgs boson, but its elusive nature and fundamental role in the creation of the universe led a prominent scientist to rename it the God particle. The name has stuck, but makes Higgs wince and raises the hackles of other theorists. "I wish he hadn't done it," he says. "I have to explain to people it was a joke. I'm an atheist, but I have an uneasy feeling that playing around with names like that could be unnecessarily offensive to people who are religious." Ian Sample, 'The God of Small Things', "The Guardian", November 17, 2007, Weekend pages, Pg. 44.]
* Lancelot Hogben (1895–1975): English experimental zoologist and medical statistician, now best known for his popularising books on science, mathematics and language. ["A reader who has suffered me so far will have realised how much of my mental energy had been hitherto absorbed in a fruitless search for an intellectually compelling rationale to rescue some fragments from the wreckage of my family faith. The mood of liberation I experienced when I finally discarded the last remnant of theism was no less exhilarating than that of Bunyan's Pilgrim when the burden of sin fell from his back. [...] In retrospect, the final steps seem as sudden as they were painless. [...] As I looked upward [at the night sky] , I realised that the sole prospect was limitless expanse of unthreatening and impersonal emptiness — but for unapproachable galaxies — of a universe without purpose of punishment or reward for a lately arrived animal species, free to make or mar its own destiny without help or hindrance from above." Lancelot Hogben, "Lancelot Hogben: Scientific Humanist: An Unauthorised Autobiography", edited by Adrian and Ann Hogben. Merlin Press, 1998.]
* Nicholas Humphrey (1943–): British psychologist, working on consciousness and belief in the supernatural from a Darwinian perspective, and primatological research into Machiavellian intelligence theory. ["He has worked with monkeys in laboratories and in the wild. He has been a media don, a campaigner against nuclear weapons and the holder of a chair in parapsychological research who was dedicated to debunking even the possibility of telepathy or survival after death. He is an atheist, and the man who suggested to Richard Dawkins the analogy of viruses of the mind for religions; yet nowadays he talks as if spirituality were the thing that makes us human." Andrew Brown interviewing Humphrey, 'A life in science: The human factor', "The Guardian", July 29, 2006, Review Pages, Pg. 13.]
* Sir Julian Huxley FRS (1887–1975): English evolutionary biologist, a leading figure in the mid-twentieth century evolutionary synthesis, Secretary of the Zoological Society of London (1935-1942), the first Director of UNESCO, and a founding member of the World Wildlife Fund. ["Despite his atheism Huxley could appreciate Teilhard de Chardin's vision of evolution, and like his grandfather T. H. Huxley he believed progress could be described in biological terms." Robert Olby, [http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/31271 'Huxley, Sir Julian Sorell (1887–1975)'] , "Oxford Dictionary of National Biography", Oxford University Press, Sept 2004; online edition, May 2007 (accessed May 2, 2008).]
* Frédéric Joliot-Curie (1900–1958): French physicist and Nobel Laureate in Chemistry in 1935. [ [http://www.makingthemodernworld.org.uk/people/BG.0087/ makingthemodernworld.org.uk] ] ["Raised in a completely nonreligious family, Joliot never attended any church and was a thoroughgoing atheist all his life." Perrin, Francis: "Joliot, Frédéric", "Complete Dictionary of Scientific Biography" Vol. 7 p. 151. Detroit: Charles Scribner's Sons, 2008.]
* Steve Jones (1944–): British geneticist, Professor of genetics and head of the biology department at University College London, and television presenter and a prize-winning author on biology, especially evolution; one of the best known contemporary popular writers on evolution. ["Scientists in Britain, where the film will premiere at next month's London Film Festival, with general release in December, dismissed the intelligent design lobby's expropriation of the film. Steve Jones, professor of genetics at University College London and an atheist, said: 'I find it sad that people with intrinsically foolish viewpoints don't recognise this as a naturally beautiful film, but have to attach their absurd social agendas to it.' " David Smith, 'How the penguin's life story inspired the US religious right: Antarctic family values', "The Observer", September 18, 2005, News Pages, Pg. 3.]
* Harold Kroto (1939–): 1996 Nobel Laureate in Chemistry. [Harold Kroto claims to have four "religions": humanism, atheism, amnesty-internationalism and humourism. [http://nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/chemistry/laureates/1996/kroto-autobio.html] ]
*Alfred Kinsey (1894–1956): American biologist, sexologist and professor of entomology and zoology. ["Kinsey was also shown to be an atheist who loathed religion and its constraints on sex." [http://www.washingtontimes.com/culture/20040907-113843-7598r.htm 'Kinsey' critics ready] , Cheryl Wetzstein, "The Washington Times". Retrieved February 2, 2007.]
* Richard Leakey (1944–): Kenyan paleontologist, archaeologist and conservationist. [cite book|last=Leakey|first=Richard|authorlink=Richard Leakey|coauthor=Virginia Morell|others=design by Kathryn Parise|title=|pages=p. 257|origyear=2001|origmonth=September|id=ISBN 0-312-20626-7]
* Sir John Leslie (1766–1832): Scottish mathematician and physicist best remembered for his research into heat; he was the first person to artificially produce ice, and gave the first modern account of capillary action. ["In these years Leslie was an unsuccessful candidate for the chairs of natural philosophy at the universities of St Andrews and Glasgow respectively. He failed at the former because he was then an extreme whig and an atheist who deplored the Erastianism of many of the Scottish clergy." Jack Morrell, [http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/16498 'Leslie, Sir John (1766–1832)'] , "Oxford Dictionary of National Biography", Oxford University Press, 2004 (accessed May 2, 2008).]
* H. Christopher Longuet-Higgins FRS (1923–2004): English theoretical chemist and a cognitive scientist. ["By that time Longuet-Higgins had become a convinced atheist, although he still respected many of the features of the Church of England." John Murrell, [http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/93593 'Higgins, (Hugh) Christopher Longuet- (1923–2004)'] , "Oxford Dictionary of National Biography", online edition, Oxford University Press, January 2008 (accessed May 1, 2008).]
* Samarendra Maulik (1881–1950): Indian entomologist specialising in the Coleoptera, who worked at the British Museum (Natural History) and a Professor of Zoology at the University of Calcutta. ["He attempted to adopt a scientific attitude in his approach to all problems. His views were liberal, and he was an atheist." Leslie Bairstow, 'Dr. S. Maulik', "Nature" 166, 422-423 (09 Sep 1950).]
* John Maynard Smith (1920–2004): British evolutionary biologist and geneticist, instrumental in the application of game theory to evolution, and noted theorizer on the evolution of sex and signalling theory. [From a "Humanist News" interview in Autumn 2001: Interviewer: What is your attitude to religion now? JMS: Ever since reading (J. B. S. Haldane's book) "Possible Worlds" I have been an atheist, and a semi-conscious atheist before that. I think there are two views you can have about religion. You can be tolerant of it and say, I don't believe in this but I don't mind if other people do, or you can say, I not only don't believe in it but I think it is dangerous and damaging for other people to believe in it and they should be persuaded that they are mistaken. I fluctuate between the two. I am tolerant because religious institutions facilitate some very important work that would not get done otherwise, but then I look around and see what an incredible amount of damage religion is doing. [http://www.humanism.org.uk/site/cms/contentViewArticle.asp?article=1738] ]
* Ernst Mayr (1904–2005): a renowned taxonomist, tropical explorer, ornithologist, historian of science, and naturalist. He was one of the 20th century's leading evolutionary biologists. [ [http://www.wsws.org/articles/2005/may2005/mayr-m03.shtml An appreciation of biologist Ernst Mayr (1904-2005)] ]
* Sir Peter Medawar (1915–1987): Nobel Prize-winning British scientist best known for his work on how the immune system rejects or accepts tissue transplants. ["... I believe that a reasonable case can be made for saying, not that we believe in God because He exists but rather that He exists because we believe in Him. [...] Considered as an element of the world, God has the same degree and kind of objective reality as do other products of mind. [...] I regret my disbelief in God and religious answers generally, for I believe it would give satisfaction and comfort to many in need of it if it possible to discover and propound good scientific and philosophic reasons to believe in God. [...] To abdicate from the rule of reason and substitute for it an authentication of belief by the intentness and degree of conviction with which we hold it can be perilous and destructive. [...] I am a rationalist—something of a period piece nowadays, I admit [...] " Peter Medawar, 'The Question of the Existence of God' in his book "The Limits of Science" (Harper and Row 1984). ]
* Jeff Medkeff (1968–2008): American astronomer, prominent science writer and educator, and designer of robotic telescopes. ["I met Jeff at The Amazing Meeting 5.5 in Fort Lauderdale in January. We became friends and I read his blog within hours of each posting. He was a programmer, an astronomer, a pro-bono science educator, a hard-nosed skeptic and an atheist. This random blow against a friendly and generous guy is a typical example of the non-plannedness of things." Martin Rundkvist, [http://scienceblogs.com/aardvarchaeology/2008/08/jeff_medkeff_19682008.php Jeff Medkeff 1968-2008] , "Aardvarchaeology" blog, August 4, 2008 (accessed August 5, 2008).]
* Jonathan Miller CBE (1934–): British physician, actor, theatre and opera director, and television presenter. Wrote and presented the 2004 television series, "", exploring the roots of his own atheism and investigating the history of atheism in the world. [ [http://www.bbc.co.uk/bbcfour/documentaries/features/atheism.shtml "A Rough History of Disbelief"] Official BBC site describing the series] On the filming of The Atheism Tapes with Jonathan Miller: "We had been friends for a number of years, and had discussed a great many topics, but we had never, except glancingly, ever spoken about religion. We knew about our shared atheism, but the subject didn't seem to warrant much attention; in the Miller-McGinn world it was a non-existent topic. [...] It is often forgotten that atheism of the kind shared by Jonathan and me (and Dawkins and Hitchens et al) has an ethical motive." [http://www.colinmcginnblog.com/index.php?entry=entry080204-085440 Atheism Tapes] , Colin McGinn, on his blog. (Accessed April 1, 2008)]
* Peter D. Mitchell (1920–1992): 1978-Nobel-laureate British biochemist. Atheist mother, and himself atheist from age 15. [Nobel Biography [http://nobelprize.org/chemistry/laureates/1978/mitchell-bio.html] .]
* Jacques Monod (1910–1976): French biologist who won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1965 for discoveries concerning genetic control of enzyme and virus synthesis. ["In his final chapter de Duve turns to the meaning of life, and considers the ideas of two contrasting Frenchmen: a priest, Teilhard de Chardin, and an existentialist and atheist, Jacques Monod." [http://www.booksincanada.com/article_view.asp?id=326 Peaks, Dust, & Dappled Spots] , by Richard Lubbock, Books in Canada: The Canadian Review of Books. Retrieved July 2, 2007.]
* Desmond Morris (1928–): English zoologist and ethologist, famous for describing human behaviour from a zoological perspective in his books The Naked Ape and The Human Zoo. [" [Religion] is not an easy subject to deal with, but as zoologists we must do our best to observe what actually happens rather than listen to what is supposed to be happening. If we do this, we are forced to the conclusion that, in a behavioural sense, religious activities consist of the coming together of large groups of people to perform repeated and prolonged submissive displays to appease a dominant individual. The dominant individual takes many forms in different cultures, but always has the common factor of immense power. [...] If these submissive actions are successful, the dominant individual is appeased. [...] The dominant individual is usually, but not always, referred to as a god. Since none of these gods exist in a tangible form, why have they been invented? To find the answer to this we have to go right back to our ancestral origins." Desmond Morris, "The Naked Ape", p.178-179, Jonathan Cape, 1967.] ["Man's evolution as a neotenous ape has put him in a similar position to the dog's. He becomes sexually mature and yet he still needs a parent — a super-parent, one as impressive to him as a man must be to a dog. The answer was to invent a god — either a female super-parent in the shape of a Mother Goddess, or a male god in the shape of God the Father, or perhaps even a whole family of gods. Like real parents they would both protect, punish and be obeyed. [...] These — the houses of the gods — the temples, the churches and the cathedrals — are buildings apparently made for giants, and a space visitor would be surprised to find on closer examination that these giants are never at home. Their followers repeatedly visit them and bow down before them, but they themselves are invisible. Only their bell-like cries can be heard across the land. Man is indeed an imaginative species." Desmond Morris, "The Pocket Guide to Manwatching", p.234-236 Triad Paperbacks, 1982.]
* Fritz Müller (1821–1897): German biologist who emigrated to Brazil, where he studied the natural history of the Amazon rainforest and was an early advocate of evolutionary theory. [" [Müller] was an atheist..." [http://www.ucl.ac.uk/taxome/jim/Mim/mullerrev.html Review of Müller's biography] , by James Mallet, "Quarterly Review of Biology" 79:196 (2004). Retrieved July 2, 2007.]
* Hermann Joseph Muller (1890–1967): American geneticist and educator, best known for his work on the physiological and genetic effects of radiation (X-ray mutagenesis). He won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1946. ["Muller, who through Unitarianism had become an enthusiastic pantheist, was converted both to atheism and to socialism." [http://links.jstor.org/sici?sici=0080-4606(196811)14%3C348%3AHJM1%3E2.0.CO%3B2-P Hermann Joseph Muller. 1890–1967] , G. Pontecorvo, Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society, Vol. 14, Nov., 1968 (Nov., 1968), pp. 348-389 (Quote from p. 353) Retrieved July 14, 2007.]
* PZ Myers (1957–): American biology professor at the University of Minnesota and a science blogger via his blog, "Pharyngula". ["I was brought up a Lutheran, but I became an atheist"—PZ Myers (February 14, 2007), [http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2007/02/its_the_arrogance_stupid.php It's the arrogance, stupid] , "Pharyngula". Retrieved February 22, 2007.]
* Paul Nurse (1949–): 2001 Nobel Laureate in Physiology or Medicine. ["I gradually slipped away from religion over several years and became an atheist or to be more philosophically correct, a sceptical agnostic." [http://nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/medicine/laureates/2001/nurse-autobio.html Nurse's autobiography at Nobelprize.org] ]
* Linus Pauling (1901–1994): American chemist, Nobel Laureate in Chemistry (1954) and Peace (1962) [Originally a Lutheran, Pauling declared his atheism in 1992, two years before his death.]
* John Allen Paulos (1945–): Professor of mathematics at Temple University in Philadelphia and writer, author of "Irreligion: A Mathematician Explains Why the Arguments for God Just Don't Add Up" (2007) [ [http://www.amazon.com/dp/0809059193 Amazon listing] of "Irreligion: A Mathematician Explains Why the Arguments for God Just Don't Add Up".]
* Ivan Pavlov (1849–1936): Nobel Prize winning Russian physiologist, psychologist, and physician, widely known for first describing the phenomenon of classical conditioning. [Asked by his follower E. M. Kreps whether or not he was religious, Kreps wrote that Pavlov smiled and replied: "Listen, good fellow, in regard to [claims of] my religiosity, my belief in God, my church attendance, there is no truth in it; it is sheer fantasy. I was a seminarian, and like the majority of seminarians, I became an unbeliever, an atheist in my school years." Quoted in George Windholz, 'Pavlov's Religious Orientation', "Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion" Vol. 25 No. 3 (Sep., 1986), pp. 320-327. ]
* Francis Perrin (1901–1992): French physicist, co-establisher the possibility of nuclear chain reactions and nuclear energy production. ["After retirement, he remained politically active, defending Andrei Sakharov, and was President of the French Atheists' Union." D S Bell, 'Obituary: Francis Perrin', "The Independent" (London), July 18, 1992, Pg. 44.]
* Massimo Pigliucci (1964–): Professor of Ecology and Evolution at the Stony Brook University and is known as an outspoken critic of creationism and advocate of science education. ["...I'm an atheist..." [http://rationallyspeaking.blogspot.com/2006/10/enough-blasting-dennett-and-dawkins.html Enough blasting Dennett and Dawkins, all right?] , from "Rationally Speaking", the blog of Massimo Pigliucci, October 30, 2006 (Accessed April 15, 2008)]
* Steven Pinker (1954–): Canadian-born American psychologist. ["I never outgrew my conversion to atheism at 13, but at various times was a serious cultural Jew." cite news | last = The Guardian Profile | title=Steven Pinker: the mind reader | date=November 6, 1999 | publisher=Guardian News and Media Limited | url=http://www.guardian.co.uk/Archive/Article/0,4273,3926387,00.html | accessdate = 2006-12-10]
* Norman Pirie FRS (1954–): British biochemist and virologist co-discoverer in 1936 of viral crystallization, an important milestone in understanding DNA and RNA. ["During sixty years from 1937 he also wrote over forty articles on the origins, distribution, and nature of life, taking the stance of a 'dogmatic atheist'." David F. Smith, [http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/65890 'Pirie, Norman Wingate [Bill] (1907–1997)'] , "Oxford Dictionary of National Biography", Oxford University Press, Sept 2004; online edition, October 2005 (accessed May 2, 2008).]
* Ronald Plasterk (1957–): Dutch prize-winning molecular geneticist and columnist, and Minister of Education, Culture and Science in the fourth Balkenende cabinet for the Labour Party. ["Ronald Plasterk (1957) is a convinced atheist. But he says expressly that he does not strive for atheism. "My own view cannot be gospel which I will defend at any cost. I respect belief, as long as people do not force it." (In Dutch: "Ronald Plasterk (1957) is een overtuigd atheïst. Maar hij zegt er nadrukkelijk bij dat hij niet streeft naar atheïsme. «Mijn eigen opvatting mag geen heilsleer zijn die ik ten koste van alles ga verdedigen. Ik respecteer geloof, zolang mensen het maar niet opdringen.» ") Interview with Ronald Plasterk, [http://www.groene.nl/index.php?show=article&article_id=C0A801020a6062AD3EoGy13D7340&source= «Er is geen verband tussen altruïsme en God»] ("There is no connection between altruism and God"), "De Groene Amsterdammer", December 22, 2001 (accessed August 6, 2008).]
* Derek J. de Solla Price (1922–1983): British-American historian of science. ["...my father [Derek] was a British Atheist... from a rather well known Sephardic Jewish family..." cite web | url = http://www.markandvinny.com/Mark.html | title = Are you Jewish? | last = de Solla Price | first = Mark | date = 2007-12-09 | accessdate = 2008-08-01 ]
* Frank P. Ramsey (1903–1930): British mathematician who also made significant contributions in philosophy and economics. ["His tolerance and good humour enabled him to disagree strongly without giving or taking offence, for example with his brother Michael Ramsey whose ordination (he went on to become archbishop of Canterbury) Ramsey, as a militant atheist, naturally regretted." D. H. Mellor, [http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/37882 'Ramsey, Frank Plumpton (1903–1930)'] , "Oxford Dictionary of National Biography", Oxford University Press, 2004; online edition, October 2005 (accessed May 2, 2008).]
* Richard J. Roberts (1943–): British biochemist and molecular biologist. He won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1993 for the discovery of introns in eukaryotic DNA and the mechanism of gene-splicing. ["The Nobel Laureate Dr Richard Roberts will give a public lecture entitled "A Bright Journey from Science to Atheism"..." [http://www.ireland.com/newspaper/science/2006/0420/1142365537016.html A bright journey to atheism, or a road that ignores all the signs?] , "The Irish Times", April 20, 2006. Retrieved July 24, 2007.] ["...Rich Roberts... delivered a public lecture on his Bright journey from Science to Atheism in April 2006." [http://nireland.humanists.net/events.html Events listing] on the website of Humani, The Humanist Association of Northern Ireland, Retrieved July 24, 2007.] [ [http://www.humanists.net/belfast/roberts.htm Roberts versus God: No Contest] , review of Roberts' talk "A Bright Journey from Science to Atheism", written by Les Reid, and published on the [http://www.humanists.net/belfast/home.htm Belfast Humanist Group] website. Retrieved July 24, 2007.]
* Steven Rose (1938–): Professor of Biology and Neurobiology at the Open University and University of London, and author of several popular science books. ["Have you ever broken one of the ten commandments? As an atheist from an early age, I can't readily remember them. But I expect I have." Lifeline: Steven Rose, "Lancet" Vol. 355 Issue 9213 p. 1472, April 22, 2000.]
* Oliver Sacks (1933–): United States-based British neurologist, who has written popular books about his patients, the most famous of which is "Awakenings". ["All of which makes the Wingate Prize a matter of bemusement. "Yes, tell me," he says, frowning. "What is it, and why are they giving it to an old Jewish atheist who has unkind things to say about Zionism?" " Oliver Burkeman interviewing Sacks, 'Inside Story: Sacks appeal', "The Guardian", May 10, 2002, Features Pages, Pg. 4.]
* Carl Sagan (1934–1996): American astronomer and astrochemist, a highly successful popularizer of astronomy, astrophysics, and other natural sciences, and pioneer of exobiology and promoter of the SETI. ["A sworn enemy of "pseudoscientists" - believers in UFOs and paranormal phenomena - he was a confirmed atheist. "I would lose my integrity if I accepted a belief system that did not stand up to sceptical scrutiny," he said recently." Ian Katz, 'Sagan, Man Who Brought Cosmos to Earth, Dies', "The Guardian", December 21, 1996, Pg. 3.] ["In the end, Sagan a professor of astronomy at Cornell University for 28 years died an uncompromising atheist. He rejoiced in the words of Albert Einstein (quoted on the last page of Billions and Billions) who could 'not conceive of an individual that survives his physical death; let feeble souls, from fear or absurd egotism, cherish such thoughts.' Sagan's only caveat was the dig about feeble souls. He felt it was insulting to believers. Such decency was typical of the man." Robin Mckie, 'Beauty is... in the measurements', The Observer, August 24, 1997, Review Pages, Pg. 14.]
* Robert Sapolsky (1957–): Professor of Biological Sciences and Professor of Neurology and Neurological Sciences at Stanford University. [Dan Barker: "When we invited Robert Sapolsky to speak at one of out national conventions to receive our 'Emperor Has No Clothes Award', Robert wrote to me, 'Sure! Get the local Holiday Inn to put up a sign that says Welcome, Hell-bound Atheists!' [...] So, welcome you hell-bound atheist to Freethought Radio, Robert." Sapolsky: "Well, delighted to be among my kindred souls." [...] Annie Laurie Gaylor: So how long have you been a kindred non-soul, what made you an atheist Robert?" Sapolsky: "Oh, I was about fourteen or so... I was brought up very very religiously, orthodox Jewish background and major-league rituals and that sort of thing [...] and something happened when I was fourteen, and no doubt what it was really about was my gonads or who knows what, but over the course of a couple of weeks there was some sort of introspective whatever, where I suddenly decided this was all gibberish. And, among other things, also deciding there's no free will, but not in a remotely religious context, and deciding all of this was nonsense, and within a two week period all of that belief stuff simply evaporated." [http://media.libsyn.com/media/ffrf/FTradio_41_020307.mp3 Freethought Radio podcast (mp3)] , February 3, 2007 (accessed April 22, 2008).]
* Amartya Kumar Sen (1933–): 1998 Nobel Laureate in Economics. [Reported lecture [http://www.facinghistory.org/Campus/reslib.nsf/Campus/reslib.nsf/themeandconceptpublic/872E6F4F8B5E996085256F8900771ED9?opendocument] ] [Self-proclaimed [http://www.chowk.com/show_article.cgi?aid=00005503&channel=gulberg] ] [World Bank [http://info.worldbank.org/etools/BSPAN/PresentationView.asp?EID=354&PID=688] ] [Press meeting [http://www.rediff.com/business/1998/dec/28sen.htm] ]
* Claude Shannon (1916–2001): American electrical engineer and mathematician, has been called "the father of information theory", and was the founder of practical digital circuit design theory. ["Shannon described himself as an atheist and was outwardly apolitical." William Poundstone, "Fortune's Formula", Hill and Wang: New York (2005), page 18.]
* Michael Smith (1932–2000): British-born Canadian biochemist and Nobel Laureate in Chemistry in 1993. [Smith, Michael. [http://nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/chemistry/laureates/1993/smith-autobio.html Michael Smith: Autobiography] . Nobel Prize.org. Retrieved February 3, 2007.]
* Richard Stallman (1953–): American software freedom activist, hacker, and software developer. [ [http://www.stallman.org/extra/personal.html Stallman's former personal ad] ]
* Victor J. Stenger (1935–): American physicist, emeritus professor of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Hawaii and adjunct professor of Philosophy at the University of Colorado. Author of the book "". ["God: The Failed Hypothesis. How Science Shows That God Does Not Exist". [http://www.amazon.com/dp/1591024811] [http://www.colorado.edu/philosophy/vstenger/Godless/Summary.htm] ]
* Jack Suchet (1908–2001): South African born obstetrician, gynaecologist and venereologist, who carried out research on the use of penicillin in the treatment of venereal disease with Sir Alexander Fleming. ["Suchet's father Jack, an atheist and eminent surgeon, emigrated from South Africa to England in the 1930s and never spoke about his family's past." ' [http://ukpress.google.com/article/ALeqM5isRTqFBwJEAhATqBTveUSAtYBXzw Suchet traces Russian Jewish roots] ', The Press Association, 9 September 2008 (accessed 9 September 2008).]
* Eleazar Sukenik (1889–1953): Israeli archaeologist and professor of Hebrew University in Jerusalem, undertaking excavations in Jerusalem, and recognising the importance of the Dead Sea Scrolls to Israel. ["I read a few sentences. It was written in beautiful Biblical Hebrew. The language was like that of the Psalms.' One of these was the Isaiah scroll, which I saw recently in the Rockefeller Museum in East Jerusalem: sections of goat-skin parchment, sewn together, 27 feet long. I felt in the presence of something numinous, although I have been a convinced atheist since boyhood. But this document is a testament to the inexplicable persistence of the human mind, in the face of all the evidence, in believing that we are on earth for a divine purpose." Eleazar Sukenik, quoted in Justin Cartwright, 'The indestructible power of belief', "The Guardian", May 27, 2000, Saturday Pages, Pg. 3.]
* Leonard Susskind (1940–): American theoretical physicist; a founding father of superstring theory and professor of theoretical physics at Stanford University. [In a review of Susskind's book "The Cosmic Landscape: String Theory and the Illusion of Intelligent Design", Michael Duff writes that Susskind is "a card-carrying atheist." [http://physicsweb.org/articles/review/18/12/3 Life in a landscape of possibilities] , December 2005. Retrieved May 30, 2007.]
* Raymond Tallis (1946–): Leading British gerontologist, philosopher, poet, novelist and cultural critic. ["He is a passionate atheist who hates materialistic interpretations of our minds." Interview: Raymond Tallis, [http://books.guardian.co.uk/review/story/0,,1762901,00.html The ardent atheist] , "Guardian Review", April 29, 2006 (accessed April 14, 2008).]
* Frank J. Tipler (1947–): American mathematical physicist and professor at Tulane University. [Although an atheist, Tipler believes 'God' will eventually exist in the last moments of the universe: "The theory is basically this: just as the Earth began with a Big Bang, so it will end, in a single point, which Tipler calls the Omega Point. And just as life on Earth began with a single cell which colonised the planet, so life at the end of time will, according to Tipler, "become omnipresent, omnipotent, and omniscient which are the three attributes of God". The Omega Point/God is the point of ultimate, infinite knowledge when the earth will be inhabited by beings who are, to all intents and purposes, computers. Tipler says they can be called beings because he defines life as information processing, as did the famous biologist Richard Dawkins, who called computers "biological objects". [...]
Tipler says his own viewpoint is that of an atheist. Though brought up a Christian fundamentalist, he rejected religion when he was 16, because the Church claimed the Earth was 6,000 years old, when he knew that it went back 4.6 billion years. [...]
Still, it seems excessively generous for the beings of the future to want to resurrect all of us. Tipler answers that they will be extremely intelligent beings, and therefore extremely curious, interested in all the variations that preceded them, from the very beginning, just as today's scientists are working to recreate the first single cell, in all its possible forms. "I think the evidence is very strong that this particular version of you and this particular version of me will actually be there in the future. It will be you and me emulated down to the atom." Why, he says, we might even end up repeating the whole interview." Megan Tressider, 'The Megan Tressider Interview: Meaning of life is, er, God and Omega; Physicist Frank J Tipler, an atheist, says he has found God', "The Guardian" (London), March 18, 1995, Features Pages, Pg. 27.
* Gherman Titov (1935–2000): Soviet cosmonaut and the second human to orbit the Earth. ["Some say God is living there [in space] . I was looking around very attentively, but I did not see anyone there. I did not detect either angels or gods. ... I don't believe in God. I believe in man-his strength, his possibilities, his reason." Gherman Titov, comments made at World Fair, Seattle, Washington, May 6, 1962, reported in "The Seattle Daily Times", May 7, 1962, p. 2.]
* Linus Torvalds (1969–): Finnish software engineer, creator of the Linux kernel. [" [I am] completely a-religious—atheist. I find that people seem to think religion brings morals and appreciation of nature. I actually think it detracts from both." [http://www.linuxjournal.com/node/3655/print Interview: Linus Torvalds] in "Linux Journal" November 1, 1999. Retrieved January 18, 2007.]
* Alan Turing (1912–1954): English mathematician, logician, and cryptographer; often considered to be the father of modern computer science. The Turing Award, often recognized as the "Nobel Prize of computing", is named after him. ["This loss shattered Turing's religious faith and led him into atheism..." [http://www.time.com/time/time100/scientist/profile/turing.html "Time 100" profile of Alan Turing] , p. 2] ["He was an atheist..." [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/330480.stm Alan Turing: Father of the computer] , BBC News, April 28, 1999. Retrieved June 11, 2007.]
* Matthew Turner (d. c.1789): chemist, surgeon, teacher and radical theologian, author of the first published work of avowed atheism in Britain (1782). ["In religion he was raised as a theist, but in 1782, in an Answer to Dr. Priestley, on the Existence of God, a response to Priestley's Letters to a Philosophical Unbeliever, he described himself as a freethinker (p. 5). This work, first published under the pseudonym William Hammon, was subsequently republished by Richard Carlile in 1826. In the pamphlet Turner declared that he was an atheist, though he did admit that the 'vis naturae', gravity, and matter's elasticity and repulsive powers demonstrated that the universe was permeated by 'a principle of intelligence and design' (ibid., 17). Despite the 'perpetual industry' of nature, he denied that this intelligence entailed that philosophers needed to posit the existence of a deity extraneous to the material world." E. I. Carlyle, [http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/27855 'Turner, Matthew (d. 1789?)'] , rev. Kevin C. Knox, "Oxford Dictionary of National Biography", Oxford University Press, 2004 (accessed May 2, 2008).] [Text of [http://www.gutenberg.org/etext/14120 Answer to Dr. Priestley's Letters to a Philosophical Unbeliever] at Project Guttenberg.]
* W. Grey Walter (1910–1977): American neurophysiologist famous for his work on brain waves, and robotician. ["A firm atheist, he was interested in, though unconvinced by, the paranormal, and also did research on hypnosis." Ray Cooper, [http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/38104 'Walter, (William) Grey (1910–1977)'] , "Oxford Dictionary of National Biography", Oxford University Press, 2004; online edition, May 2007 (accessed May 2, 2008).]
* James D. Watson (1928–): 1962-Nobel-laureate co-discover of the structure of DNA. [Watson is identified as an atheist by his acquaintance, Rabbi Marc Gellman. " [http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/12498143/site/newsweek/ Trying to Understand Angry Atheists: Why do nonbelievers seem to be threatened by the idea of God?] ", by Rabbi Marc Gellman, "Newsweek", April 28, 2006. Retrieved November 11, 2006.] [When asked by a student if he believed in God, Watson replied "Oh, no. Absolutely not... The biggest advantage to believing in God is you don't have to understand anything, no physics, no biology. I wanted to understand." cite news | url=http://www.vindy.com/local_news/279051929445300.php | title= Nobel Prize-winning scientist wows some, worries others | publisher=The Vindicator | author=JoAnne Viviano | date=October 19, 2007 | accessdate=2007-10-19 ]
* Steven Weinberg (1933–): American theoretical physicist. He won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1979 for the unification of electromagnetism and the weak force into the electroweak force. [Azpurua: "Would it be accurate to say that you are an atheist?" Weinberg: "Yes. I don't believe in God, but I don't make a religion out of not believing in God. I don't organize my life around that." [http://www.newsweek.com/id/128877/page/1 In Search of the God Particle] , by Ana Elena Azpurua, "Newsweek" Web Exclusive, March 24, 2008, p. 3 (Accessed March 25, 2008)] [In a review of Susskind's book The Cosmic Landscape: String Theory and the Illusion of Intelligent Design, string theorist Michael Duff identifies Steven Weinberg as an "arch-atheist". [http://physicsweb.org/articles/world/18/12/8] ] [In the book "The God Delusion", Richard Dawkins identifies Steven Weinberg as an atheist. [http://richarddawkins.net/godDelusion richarddawkins.net] .]
* David Sloan Wilson (1949–): American evolutionary biologist, son of Sloan Wilson, proponent of multilevel selection theory and author of several popular books on evolution.cite news |first=Natalie |last=Angier |title=The Origin of Religions, From a Distinctly Darwinian View |url=http://www.nytimes.com/2002/12/24/science/social/24CONV.html |work=New York Times |page=F5 |date=2002-12-24 |accessdate=2007-06-11 |quote=...I don't believe in God. I tell people I'm an atheist, but a nice atheist.]
* Lewis Wolpert CBE FRS FRSL (1929–): developmental biologist, author, and broadcaster. ["I grew up in a Jewish family but I gave it all up at 16 when I prayed to God for something I really wanted and it didn't happen. I have been an atheist ever since. I believe in proof and I know of no evidence for the existence of God, but I am in no way hostile to religion provided it does not interfere in the lives of others or come into conflict with science." [http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/this-britain/easter-special-i-believe-474291.html Easter special: I believe...] , "Independent on Sunday", April 16, 2006 (accessed April 18, 2008).]
* Steve Wozniak (1950–): co-founder of Apple Computer and inventor of the Apple I and Apple II.cite website |first=Steven |last=Wozniak |title= Letters – General Questions Answered |url=http://www.woz.org/letters/general/72.html |work=woz.org |accessdate=2007-09-26 |quote=... I am also atheist or agnostic (I don't even know the difference). I've never been to church and prefer to think for myself. I do believe that religions stand for good things, and that if you make irrational sacrifices for a religion, then everyone can tell that your religion is important to you and can trust that your most important inner faiths are strong.]
* Elizur Wright (1804–1885): American mathematician and abolitionist, sometimes described as the "father of life insurance" for his pioneering work on actuarial tables. [In "Abolitionist, Actuary, Atheist: Elizur Wright and the Reform Impulse", Wright's biographer Lawrence B. Goodheart describes him as "an evangelical atheist, an impassioned actuary, a liberal who advocated state regulation, an individualist who championed social cooperation, and a very private public crusader" ("op. cit.", page x)]
* Will Wright (1960–): American computer game designer and co-founder of the game development company Maxis. ["When Wright was nine his father died of leukaemia and he moved with his mother and younger sister to Baton Rouge, Louisiana. There he enrolled in the Episcopal High School and duly became an atheist." Ajesh Partalay interviewing Wright, ' [http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2008/sep/14/games Master of the Universe] ', "The Observer", 14 September 2008 (accessed 15 September 2008).]
* Victor Weisskopf (1908–2002): Austrian-American theoretical physicist, co-founder and board member of the Union of Concerned Scientists. ["...Victor Weisskopf, who describes himself as an atheist Viennese Jew...." Quoting from page 14 of The Prism of Science, by Edna Ullmann-Margalit, Springer, 1986.]

External links

[http://www.investigatingatheism.info/whoswhotwentieth.html#dzhugashvili Twentieth Century Atheists] on University of Cambridge's "investigating atheism" website

Notes and references

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