Do Physicists Believe in God?

Every day, physicists and astronomers confront the wonders of the universe. But does staring into the sublime abyss incline them toward a belief in God? Not if you ask the physicists at The University of Nottingham School of Physics and Astronomy, who answer big questions on YouTube and Sixty Symbols, including “What happens if you stick your hand inside the Large Hadron Collider, the world’s largest particle accelerator?

The Nottingham physicists are in some good company. According to a well-known 1997 study published in Nature, biologists within the National Academy of Sciences rejected God and immortality at rates of 65.2% and 69.0%. Meanwhile, when physical scientists were polled, the numbers rose to 79.0% and 76.3%. The summary originally published by Nature now appears here.

via PourMeCoffee

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Comments (27)
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  • Bart Haar says:

    The question itself isa wrong. Becuase it implicitly says: ther is ome and do belive in this construct?

    So whenver asked this question it has to be said: the question itself is wrong.

    God is an invention of humans. Nothing more nothing less.

    Do you use the construct ‘god’ in nyou everday live to solve problems, that seems to be unsolvable?

    • Larry says:

      you a bafoon, livin and dyin in denile , because you never think any deeper than lookin to be entertained

  • Hanoch says:

    I would think that a physicist’s opinion concerning the existence of G-d carries about as much weight as a theologian’s opinion on the value of string theory.

  • Jeckey says:

    And the ones who didn’t agree just said so because they think humanity is not ready yet to find out there is no father in heaven.

  • Stephen says:

    What do you care what other people think?

    Unless you are the kind of person who decides the most important issues in life based on social proof, then this factoid will be of little interest to you.

  • esso says:

    Of course, I myself can’t imagine universe without God as I always ask myself why there is disipline not chaoes in universe .How does material organize itself to be in such a fantastic form and order?What make beings die?How does the idea of immortality come to mind? A lot of guestions prove the existence of God

  • Larry says:

    When it all boils down to the basics, at some point there was nothing, no energy no matter. From the complex simplicity of the atom to the incomprehensibility of the extent of the universe, one question from those who just refuse to be accountable to anyone, still are unable to answer is. Where did it all come from?

    The answer will be made clear when your body ceases to utilize energy anymore, unfortunately for the majority of people they won’t like the answer.

    Matthew 7:13

  • Thoughtful says:

    Larry, your should spell correctly. It will more validate your response.

    I personally belive life is a combination of karma and God. A man asked Buddah, ” Are you God?” Buddah relpied, “No, I am myself”. Thereis daily evidence of both.
    I like Einstein’s thoughts when it was proven by astophysicists the universe was expanding and thius a beginning, changed his atheristic views, and I quote:
    “I believe in Spinoza’s God who reveals himself in the orderly harmony of what exists, not in a God who concerns himself with fates and actions of human beings.”

    However, it would also seem that Einstein was not an atheist, since he also complained about being put into that camp:

    “In view of such harmony in the cosmos which I, with my limited human mind, am able to recognize, there are yet people who say there is no God. But what really makes me angry is that they quote me for the support of such views.”

    “I’m not an atheist and I don’t think I can call myself a pantheist. We are in the position of a little child entering a huge library filled with books in many languages. The child knows someone must have written those books. It does not know how. It does not understand the languages in which they are written. The child dimly suspects a mysterious order in the arrangements of the books, but doesn’t know what it is. That, it seems to me, is the attitude of even the most intelligent human being toward God.” We haven’t begun to scratch the surface knowing God and his purpose. I would like to sort the non-believers into theroists and egoists. That would be interesting…

  • chil says:

    The atheist arguments in this blog are always one sided. “Do physicists believe in God?” Of course some do and some don’t. If you want to appeal to authority you should at least know what the disagreements are and the opposing arguments.

  • Phil Coates says:

    The amount of “scientific” knowledge in the world three thousand years ago is infinitesimal compared with what is known today. What the world will know in another three thousand years or more will almost certainly show the extent of today’s “scientific” knowledge as a tiny piece of minutia. Nobody knows the extent of understanding required to claim any knowledge of or definitive refutation of a God or an afterlife or lack thereof so a little more humility on both sides of that argument would be appropriate.

  • vishnu says:

    ..(another) the most amazing thing about the Almighty is the He gave these astrophysicists the intellect to prove/state that He doesn’t exist.

    Very interesting indeed, you continue to impress me, Mr. God! :)

  • Karen says:

    Don’t we all have our ideas about what the word “God” means?

    For many people in the Anglophone world (I fear that I am a monoglot, so daren’t make assumptions), “God” is a generally pretty amorphous concept, usually described as a parental presence. When I ask people how they conceive of “God”, though, even those who consider themselves devout members of the same congregation of the same denomination come up with overlapping but not identical ideas about the nature and function of “God”.

    Every atheist and religious person I’ve seen excoriating each other’s non/belief online have started with the assumption that “God” = the supreme being in a hierarchy, very much in the mould of paterfamilias; rather like a giant, omniscient human; has a will which has been set down in a specific text or texts, and which has been perfectly translated and never changes, etc. It’s a very authoritarian model that both entrenched sides insist on in order to demonstrate how stupid and infantile the other lot is, and how much more intelligent, rational, wise, and adult they are than those pathetic losers who do/n’t believe in “God”.

    Yet this is only one model. There are many others, some of which conceive of “God” as supernatural and transcendent, others as utterly natural and immanent; some involving hierarchies of beings, others involving networks of processes; some some involve many “God”s, some only one, some theist, some non-theist; some demand belief in specific theological points, others don’t; some involve the concept of afterlives, while others consider what happens after death largely irrelevant…

    So when we ask others if they do/n’t “believe in” “God”, we need to ask what WE mean by “believe in” and “God”, and what THEY mean by those terms before we can get anywhere.

    Of course, that means actually listening to others, and – even harder – carefully examining our own assumptions, not to mention understanding our own deep emotional reactions to what others say when they talk about the issue. That means sitting with the discomfort and allowing it to tell us why it’s there instead of rushing to explanations that make us feel safe and comfortable, or even superior to others.

    Regardless of what we SAY we believe, we all have a lot of deeply held beliefs about ourselves and the world around us that we remain blind to most of the time. They’re dangerous, because when we’re unconscious of them, we’re unconscious of how they affect our thinking. If we can recognise that fact, we can reign in our egos for long enough to stop pouring scorn on each other in order to feel safe and comfy, and do the difficult and grown-up work of listening to what others say about it, considering our own reactions, and putting forth our considered opinions in mutually respectful ways. We can stop trying to “win” an unwinnable argument which totally misses the point, and begin trying to understand each other and ourselves. That’s the point where transformation occurs – where people stop clinging to the need to be seen to be right, and open to new ideas and evidence, often finding themselves going in directions they’d never before considered.

    Sorry this was so long. It’s been brewing a while.

  • Charlie G says:

    “Do you believe in god”?

    Ans. Not the provincial god that is usually refered to, but the God of harmony; Yes, and I think that God will be proven mathematically in time.

  • Abid R says:

    LIGHT is GOD. We know velocity of light is related to every matter-anti matter(mass) by E=MC^2. Before the big bang there was only highly dense energy; which later gave rise to mass as stated by the Einstein’s famous equation.
    Therefore, “GOD is everywhere, in every objected, EVERYTHING”. That’s why we cannot see god, but we can feel GOD’s effect!
    However the story related to GOD as “he” has a son, etc.,etc., I think for me as I am a Physicist all these have no meanings at all!

  • MrOpenCultureRoamer says:

    God exists and is here before us.

  • Olusesi John says:

    God exits. Without HIM,there is no life. If you don’t believe now,very soon you will believe. We, human beings,are the breath of GOD. therefore we can do things few like like God.HE IS ALLIMIGTY

  • Olusesi John says:

    God exits. Without HIM,there is no life. If you don’t believe now,very son you will believe. We, human beings,are the breath of GOD. therefore we can do things few like like God.HE IS ALLIMIGTY

  • aziz boulakhrif says:

    salam aleikom members of a species called homo sapiens. First of all a closed mind is not a scientific mind . Two: we human beings react different on certain situations. We are not wildebeests crossing a river full of crockodiles . That is given by our Creator. Evolution is one system . One system by the one Creator . Also the singularity caries the name of Allah . The difference is ahad which refers to Allah meaning one also means unique. Alah indeed is outside space/time and matter and as we know from islam nothing is comparable unto Him. The Most High . As for creation out of nothing . When we read 19:09 Allah makes clear that He created zacharias BEFORE out of NOTHING, so even if he was old he indeed had been promissedto have a child named YAHYA (john) . When we read 76 :01 we read has there not been a period over man that he was not a thing worth mentioning! yes we indeed arrived late. The singularity was mentioned , the electron , solar system was mentioned , the earth , plants , dinosaurs , mammals , monkeys and then many among the sperm cells , one out of a million became arrogant . You can not create something out of nothing . Allah can , Allah created time so when he says be and it is it does not mean it happened in one instant as we understand from quran . Allah is outside space/time so atheists do not draw conclusions from the singularity within the black hole or speaks about before the big bang the mathematics stops there and you are given limitted knowledge .Be humble or otherwise you will end with NOTHING .

  • aziz boulakhrif says:

    aas for those who say light is God or God is everywehere they are people who speaks out of ignorance

  • Touqer Abbas says:

    Very well said Aziz. Qouran does have all the answer human seek because it is the last and most complete book which describes the ways of Allah and how he does stuff. Everyone should read and understand this book no matter if you are Muslim or not.


    There is no god or something like supernatural power.Everything must be in the boundary of physics.Mythology books cannot be true.These were written many many eras ago,when there was no advanced technology.JUST BELIEVE IN SCIENCE,TRY TO UNDERSTAND SCIENCE AND BE PRACTICAL.

  • DC says:

    As a Physicist and Mathematician, once trapped within the confines of the pervasive religion enforced in Academia known as Secular Humanism, I can say that these types of polls are extremely biased. There’s no doubt that the universe had a beginning, which leads to the search for the primary cause. Mathematically speaking and considering the problems with Big Bang Theory, naturalistic explanations are not more probable than a supernatural explanation. String Theory has made a mockery of modern Physics and now the search is on to destroy the work of Einstein, Lemaitre and to ignore the Borde-Guth-Vilenkin Theorem. Theist Physicists and Mathematicians are scared to admit their Theism because of economic pressure (loss of grants, being fired and other economic threats). Agnostics, who claim either position may be true, that is God or No God, are counted as those who reject God, which is a blatantly false claim. I’m not sure what they say about Deists, they are often forgive the Secular Humanist high priests, and such mathematicians and physicists are labeled “eccentric”. In reality if you reverse the question and ask those in physical science, the simple question will you agree that there’s 100% chance of No God, the answer will be a unanimous NO, if there’s no punishment for being honest. Unfortunately this world doesn’t exist and telling the truth is a revolutionary act.

  • Kumar S Virbhadra says:

    The question is not well placed; I am afraid. Before you ask anyone whether or not he/she believes in God, you must first tell what is your mathematical definition of God.

    According to so called Hinduism, everything “lies” in God and God “lies” in everything. If a set A is the subset of a set B and the set B is a subset of A, then A = B. Thus, entire universe is God and we all believe that the Universe exists.

    Next question: Does so conceived God take care of good and bad works of every living body? I mean, does it reward for good work and punish for bad work? Empirically, more than 99% cases, we find that good and bad works are awarded and punished, respectively. However, if it is universal physical law, then why does it fail for though very small percent cases? We cannot see a mountain farther than horizon. It does not not necessarily mean that earth does not exist beyond horizon. Therefore, by more extensive and deeper scientific analysis, it is possible that we can prove that causality holds good by all means.

  • Kumar S Virbhadra says:

    I thought that I must clarify. I do not mean that “causality” (in the sense that good work is awarded and bad work is penalized) holds good as a universal law. I meant that it is worth investigating this after, however, clearly defining terms “good work”, “bad work”, “award”, and “penalty”. This is an open question.


    Hagámoslo simple: Quien afirma la existencia de algo es quien debe probar esa existencia.
    Nunca la pudieron probar por más que lo intentaran.
    Tampoco pudieron probar ninguna de las afirmaciones adjuntas sobre la existencia del espíritu, alma, resurrección, ángeles, demonios, la vida después de la muerte y demás fantasmones.
    Tampoco existe constancia cierta e irrebatible de que los dioses y/o sus emisarios se hayan manifestado de alguna manera a los hombres.
    Es muy curioso y revelador esa inexistencia de prueba o comunicación de los dioses a los humanos ya que su factibilidad sería para estos seres muy grande.
    La pregunta es: ¿A quien beneficia la no-prueba o la no-comunicación del más allá con el más acá?
    La respuesta es obvia y lógica: A los que mienten o están errados, ya que les permite persistir en su irracionalidad.
    Los ateos aceptaríamos gustosos el convertirnos si tal prueba apareciese, pero como no es así adoptamos la opción de saber (ante la inexistencia de prueba en contrario) que no existe tal cosa frente a la opción improbable de los que creen en existencias sobrenaturales. Hasta ahora, hoy, sabemos eso, es decir su inexistencia. Por otra parte si estudiamos la historia seria no-sesgada de las religiones y también religiones comparadas, todos podemos darnos cuenta de como la humanidad inventó a los dioses en la alborada de la civilización, llenando con ese nombre el vacío de su ignorancia, creando a sí mismo la primera gran religión madre de todas: El Animismo.

  • Ella says:

    This question should be raised again to the same group

  • Professor Bob says:

    What I find quite amusing are people who believe in extraterrestrials, or interdimensional beings, or time travelers, or that we live in a simulation, without a single shred of evidence. Yet those same people can’t accept the fact that there may be a God.

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