3 Answers

  1. The fact is that philosophy distinguishes between ontological materialism (objectively, only matter exists, including in the form of energy) and methodological materialism (only matter is accessible to scientific research, regardless of whether something else exists).

    The latter is a necessary condition for studying any science, one of the cornerstones of the scientific method of cognition: in the formulation of scientific explanations (hypotheses, theories) of the subject under study, any non-material (supernatural) assumptions about something that is inaccessible to objective observation and measurement are excluded.

    You can make a reservation that this applies to the natural sciences (physics, chemistry, and even biology), but in fact not only; this is a separate conversation. In any case , it is justified to assume that all serious scientists inevitably accept the position of methodological materialism. Whether they believe in God or gods, and whether they recognize materialism as an ontological teaching, is secondary and a separate question.

  2. First, the juxtaposition of materialism and idealism has long since lost all meaning(was there any?). Today, sane idealism and sane materialism produce a completely equivalent result when applied to science.

    Secondly, I have already given a detailed answer to a similar question: https://thequestion.ru/questions/436405/pochemu-bolshinstvo-uchenykh-ateisty

    Although the percentage of atheists among scientists is higher than among other people, they do not appear in the overwhelming majority. Here, for example, is a relatively recent study.

    Distribution of the proportion of believers, agnostics, and atheists among scientists surveyed in eight countries.

    It can be seen that even in the United States and Great Britain, believers make up a third of all scientists. Less than half, but the gap is not huge.

    If it were a matter of mastering the scientific method or a purely quantitative amount of knowledge, then one would assume that a religious scientist is a bad scientist. He either doesn't know enough or hasn't mastered the method well, but I don't think there is any solid evidence for this claim.

    In general, I think that the method of obtaining such data contains an error. How do we know if you're a believer or an atheist? We ask this directly. But when we do this, the answer “I am an atheist” usually implies a completely different amount of information than the answer “I am a believer.” The first answer often involves a lot of thought work, while the second is just words.�

    I know religious scientists – moreover, scientists in the field of natural sciences-physicists, chemists. And I know ordinary believers. And, as for me, the word “believer” can not cover both of them, for someone you will have to come up with a different name.

    I think that a huge number of people consider themselves to be a religion more by inertia than by common sense, religion is inherited by many from their parents and environment and consists not in faith, but in the formal observance of rituals. If you dig such people deeper, they will turn out to be more superstitious than religious. The difference is about the same as between a person who carefully selected a suit and even sewed it to fit himself and someone who simply put on the first thing that came to hand, not knowing whether he was wearing a hat on his head or underpants. I would venture to suggest that there are significantly fewer truly religious people, people for whom religion has become a conscious choice that provides a satisfactory answer to important questions, perhaps just the same third (and maybe even less!) as we see among scientists in the UK and the USA. That is, the point is not that there are fewer believers among scientists, but that there are almost no superstitious people there – it is by mastering the scientific method, accumulating knowledge, that a person gets rid of superstitions, and after getting rid of them, he has the opportunity to freely and consciously choose a worldview foundation – and after that about a third still remain believers, and the rest become atheists or agnostics.

  3. There are many believers among all natural scientists. According to various studies – from 30 to 50 percent. Biologists are no exception. There are also those who confidently call themselves atheists-from 15 to 25 percent. So there is no clear answer to your question.

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