Let’s play “Let’s make up some statistics.”

An interlocutor told me about an hour ago that “most academics everywhere are atheists.” Eh what? I thought. In the UK and Sweden and fortunate places like that, no doubt, but in the US? Which is what we were talking about (via my post on that Catholofascist article in Crisis yesterday). Most academics in the US are atheists? Yeah I don’t think so. Given that most colleges and “universities” in the US are, shall we say, non-elite, and that most teaching is in vocational subjects (most degrees are in Business), I don’t think so.

Rilly? I said. Do you know that? Any stats?

She gave the stats for philosophers. Not going to fall for that, was I! I knew about those stats; I wrote them up for an issue of TPM whenever it was. I wasn’t asking about philosophers, I was asking about academics. My interlocutor said as far as she knew “in every discipline religious believers are in a minority.” So I looked it up.


…researchers at the Harvard Divinity School recently implemented a study to determine the religiosity of college and university professors around the country.The study, entitled “How religious are America’s college and university professors?,” has been circulating throughout academia since last year…

The study found that 23.4 percent of college and university professors describe themselves as either atheists or agnostics, with the remainder reporting some level of belief in God or another higher power.

23.4%, including agnostics as well as atheists. Not quite “most are atheists.”

I didn’t just fall off the potato truck this morning, you know.

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