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It's a big, fat myth that all scientists are religion-hating atheists

5th March 2013

Scientists used to be white guys in white lab coats with crazy hair, spectacles and an autistic inability to relate to other people. Now scientists are (mostly) white guys who are obsessed about the wonder of science and hate religion; and I think they all like Star Trek quite a bit too. This new religion-hating, super-awed scientist stereotype seems to based on some very strange amalgamation between Brian Cox and Richard Dawkins. And this cartoon-version of "what a scientist looks like" is all sort of tangled up in religion; where science pundits are either vilified because they are seen to all hate religion or almost worshiped like gods they supposedly detest.

Ignoring that science and religion are really not the same thing, on the love side Cox has been said to resemble what God would have probably looked like "with hair that falls around his face like a helix".

On the flip-side, popular scientists have been attacked for using the misty-eyed language of religion – because apparently using the word "wonder" ain't allowed if you are an atheist or a scientist. As Eliane Glaser put it last week: "It's ironic that the public engagement with the science crowd is so pro-wonder, because they're so anti-religion."

Sylvia McLain | Read the article in full on

Picture courtesy of wikipedia