This is a list of atheists in science and technology. Per wikipedia policy WP:BLPCAT, persons in this list are people (living or not) who have publicly identified themselves as atheists or have been historically known to be atheists and whose atheism is relevant to their notable activities or public life. A mere statement by that a person does not believe in God does not meet the criteria for inclusion on this list. Their atheism must be relevant to their notable activities or public life in order to be included on this list.
In public life the scientist is a strong supporter of communism, an atheist strongly objecting to advancement of religious education in Russia, and proponent of science and knowledge as the means to see a better future.
We atheists can, as he does, argue that, with the modern revolution in attitudes toward homosexuals, we have become the only group that may not reveal itself in normal social discourse.
Svante Arrhenius (I859-I927), recipient of the Nobel Prize in chemistry (I903), was a declared atheist and the author of The Evolution of the Worlds and other works on cosmic physics.
This was to be the last large-scale work of lifelong atheist Bateson, seeking to understand the meaning of the sacred.
By now, he was also a 'Protestant Atheist', which he remained all his life.
John Bell was certainly not interested in Protestantism as such - his wife Mary  has reported that he was an atheist most of his life.
In 1902, Marcellin P. Berthelot, often called the founder of modern organic chemistry, was one of France's most celebrated scientists--if not the world's. He was permanent secretary of the French Academy, having succeeded the giant Louis Pasteur, the renowned microbiologist. Unlike Delage, an agnostic, Berthelot was an atheist--and militantly so.
Although Delage made it clear that he did not regard Jesus as the resurrected Son of God, his paper upset the atheist members of the Academy, including its secretary, Marcellin Berthelot, who prevented its full publication in the Academy's bulletin.
Bethe: "I am an atheist."
Bethune was a communist and an atheist with a healthy contempt for his evangelical father.
His mother was warm and intelligent, and his father, as Bohr himself later recalled, recognized "that something was expected of me." The family was not at all devout, and Bohr became an atheist who regarded religious thought as harmful and misguided.
Planck was religious and had a firm belief in God; Bohr was not, but his objection to Planck's view had no anti-religious motive.
Niels had quietly resigned his membership in the Lutheran Church the previous April. Although he had sought out religion as a child, by the time of their marriage he no longer "was taken" by it, as he put it. "And for me it was exactly the same," Margrethe later explained. "[Interest in religion] disappeared completely," although at the time of their wedding, she was still a member of the Lutheran Church. (Niels's parents were also married in a civil, not a religious, ceremony, and Harald also resigned his membership in the Lutheran Church just before his wedding, a few years later.)
On the other hand Bohr wrote of his admiration for the writing and presentation of Kierkegaard - at the same time stating he could not accept some of it. Part of this may have followed from Kierkegaard being a very avowed, yet rather circuitous proponent of a costly Christian faith, while after a youth of confirming faith Bohr himself was a non-believer.
"Bohr's atheism, the counterpiece of Einstein's monotheism, ... was more affined to traditional Far Eastern philosophy," according to Stent. ...The young Bohr thus lived in two worlds, but mostly the cultural Christianity of the Danish middle class. As a young man, he had read Søren Kierkegaard, a fellow Dane and a Christian existentialist from the nineteenth century, with some enthusiasm. But he finally faced a religious crisis, and by the time he went to England to study physics, the idea of God had lost its appeal. The aim of life was happiness, he wrote his fiancée, making it impossible "that a person must beg from and bargain with fancied powers infinitely stronger than himself." ... In his only published paper on the topic of religion, Bohr spoke not of deities and doctrines but of psychological experience.
Gunther S. Stent: "Niels Bohr was one of the few five-star scientists who really was an atheist -- and not merely paying lip service to atheism."
A statement about religion in the loose notes on Kierkegaard may throw light on the notion of wildness that appears in many of Bohr's letters. "I, who do not feel in any way united with, and even less, bound to a God, and therefore am also much poorer [than Kierkegaard], would say that the good [is] the overall lofty goal, as only by being good [can one] judge according to worth and right."
Bohr's sort of humor, use of parables and stories, tolerance, dependence on family, feelings of indebtedness, obligation, and guilt, and his sense of responsibility for science, community, and, ultimately, humankind in general, are common traits of the Jewish intellectual. So too is a well-fortified atheism. Bohr ended with no religious belief and a dislike of all religions that claimed to base their teachings on revelations.
He was raised in the Congregational Church, but faith in God clashed with his well-known analytical nature and he told his family as a young man that he could not in good conscience become a church member.
Raymond Bridgman was extremely disappointed with his son's rejection of his religious views. Near the end of his life, however, he offered a conciliatory interpretation that allowed him to accept Percy's commitment to honesty and integrity as a moral equivalent to religion.
In many ways they were opposites; Kemble, the theorist, was a devout Christian, while Bridgman, the experimentalist, was a strident atheist.
He was a left-wing atheist who argued against African enslavement.
Asked to join Le Conseil de l'Union Catholique des Scientifiques Français, Louis declined because, he said, he had ceased the religious practices of his youth.
He was a lifelong atheist and felt no need to develop religious faith as he approached the end of his life.
SC: I am not religious in any sense; in fact, I consider myself an atheist.
However, the dogmatic position of the Anglican Church against Darwin's theory of evolution induced him to reexamine his beliefs. He soon evolved into an agnostic and then an atheist.
Although both parents were English Lutherans, Crile, after reading Paine, Ingersoll, and Voltaire in his college years, became a lifelong atheist, devoted to the concept of intellectual freedom.
Curie, Pierre (1859--1906) A codiscoverer of radium, Pierre Curie was an atheist.
D'Alembert, though privately an atheist and materialist, presented the respectable public face of 'la philosophie' in the French capital while remaining henceforth uninterruptedly aligned with Voltaire.
Unlike the French and English deists, and unlike the scientific atheists such as Diderot, d'Alembert, and d'Holbach,...
Dirac was contemptuous of philosophy and, as many scientists do, professed atheism. But it was a narrow sort, mainly dismissive of religious orthodoxy. In notes he wrote in 1933, he embraces another creed: "[T]his article of faith is that the human race will continue to live for ever and will develop and progress without limit . . . Living is worthwhile if one can contribute in some small way to this endless chain of progress."
Dirac's story ends with a whimper. As a young man he had joked that physicists were all washed up by 30 and as he aged his powers waned. The Cambridge physics department took away his parking space and an outraged Manci insisted he take up a fellowship at Florida State University. He died in 1984, aged 82. An atheist, he was buried under a gravestone chosen by Manci. It read "because God said it should be so".
Kramers was certainly not a dogmatic atheist like, for instance, Dirac in his younger years, whose attitude was summed up by Pauli in one famous sentence: "Our friend Dirac has a religion; and the main tenet of that religion is: 'There is no God and Dirac was his prophet.
Du Bois-Reymond was a self-proclaimed atheist but more through intimate conviction than logical necessity.
That Einstein's attitude was the result more of muddle than agnostic scruple seems clear from a letter which he wrote less than two years later when Paul Ehrenfest ruled himself out from becoming Einstein's successor by roundly declaring himself an atheist.
The man he had hoped would succeed him in Prague, Paul Ehrenfest, refiased to compromise his true atheist's principles. Einstein scolded him. "Your refusal to acknowledge a religious affiliation" was just this side of "willful stupidity," he assured him, with the benefit of recent experience. Once he became a professor Ehrenfest could revert to unbelief.
Among celebrity atheists with much biographical data, we find leading psychologists and psychoanalysts. We could provide a long list, including...Hans Jürgen Eysenck...
Interviewer: Do you call yourself an agnostic or an atheist? Feynman: An atheist. Agnostic for me would be trying to weasel out and sound a little nicer than I am about this.
After the initial mathematical work on relativity the ory had been done, the Big Bang theory itself was invented by a Belgian priest, Georges lemaitre, im proved upon by an avowed atheist, George Gamow, and is now all but universally accepted by those who hold advanced degrees in astronomy and the physical sciences, despite its obvious absurdity.
Surprisingly, the atheist George Gamow enjoyed the Papal attention given to his field of research.
Gamow was, like Hoyle, an atheist, but he was familiar with organized religion: his grandfather was the Metropolitan, the senior bishop, of Odessa Cathedral.
Renowned French chemist. He was one of the greatest chemists in Europe at the time. He made innumerable discoveries in the science, and even the restored royalty made him a Peer of France, although he worked politically with the anti-clericals. He was closely associated with Arago and shared his atheism.
I made them quit essentially. When I was nine years old I decided that I was an atheist. So I told them, "Well you shouldn't go to church anymore, it's silly." Well, apparently they'd been going to church primarily for my benefit. So after I refused to go, they quit going too.
In 1924, Hadamard recounted his meetings with Hermite: "...When Hermite loved to direct to me remarks such as: "He who strays from the paths traced by Providence crashes." These were the words of a profoundly religious man, but an atheist like me understood them very well, especially when he added at other times: "In mathematics, our role is more that of servant than master.""
Hering and Mach were atheists, and disbelieved in a soul, but still accepted the idea that nature had internal direction.
Hilbert was famously atheist, but mathematics at the time often bordered on philosophy
As is well known, Hilbert rejected Leopold Kronecker's God for the solution of the problem of the foundations of mathematics.
According to Hoyle: "I am an atheist, but as far as blowing up the world in a nuclear war goes, I tell them not to worry."
The biologist Francois Jacob (who shared the Nobel Prize with Jacques Monod) admits that he is an atheist, but he finds, parallel to the material nature of the universe, another aspect -- in man -- which is not reductible to the first.
There were no prayers: Irene was deeply atheist.
The paradox is that he thought of himself as a hard-boiled philosophical materialist. He was also what one may call a devoted atheist; a freemason; a member of the Austrian Socialist Party; and a regular contributor to the Monisticshe Monatshelfe, the monthly published by the German league of Monists.
Karlin was born in Yonova, Poland, in 1924. His family immigrated to Chicago when he was a small child and struggled financially through the Great Depression. He was raised in a strict Orthodox Jewish household but broke with religion in his early teens and remained an atheist for the rest of his life.
Among celebrity atheists with much biographical data, we find leading psychologists and psychoanalysts. We could provide a long list, including...Melanie Klein...
Among celebrity atheists with much biographical data, we find leading psychologists and psychoanalysts. We could provide a long list, including...Jacques Lacan...
I present here two examples of notable atheists. The first is Lev Landau, the most brilliant Soviet physicist of the twentieth century.
Leon Lederman is himself an atheist and he regrets the term, and Peter Higgs who is an atheist too, has expressed his displeasure, but the damage has been done!
And Mach, in personal conviction, was a socialist and an atheist.
Both make explicit claims against the pseudo-problems generated by materialism, and although Mach the atheist would have no gripe with "irreligion" per se, as a pacifist and a socialist he was indeed an ardent proponent of "peace.
The Austrian positivist physicist and philosopher Ernst Mach was nominally a Catholic, but in reality he was an atheist and strongly opposed to Christian doctrines.
Markov (1856-1922), on the other hand, was an atheist and a strong critic of the Orthodox Church and the tsarist government (Nekrasov exaggeratedly called him a Marxist).
Among celebrity atheists with much biographical data, we find leading psychologists and psychoanalysts. We could provide a long list, including G. Stanley Hall, John B. Watson, Carl R. Rogers...Abraham Maslow...Maslow was a second-generation atheist, and his father was a militant freethinker.
He was a member of the firm of Vickers' Sons and Maxim. Maxim was an aggressive Atheist (personal knowledge) and the compiler (with the present writer) of the collection of strong criticisms of religion...
Now Maxim really way a militant atheist!
Another area where he "goes against the flow" is in his spiritual beliefs. As far as religion is concerned, he's a confirmed atheist. "I think it [religion] is a contagious mental disease. . . . The brain has a need to believe it knows a reason for things.
Moleschott's atheism is much more prominent, for example, and he declares absurd Liebig's opinion that insights into the laws of nature inevitably lead us to the notion of a Being knowable only through revelation.
Born and raised in a Sephardic Jewish family in which culture and love of learning were categorical imperatives, she abandoned religion and embraced atheism.
Montgolfier (Michel Joseph), aeronaut. b. Aug. 1740. He was the first to ascend in an air balloon, 5 June 1783. A friend of Delambre and La Lalande, he was on the testimony of this last an atheist. Died 26 June 1810.
Also that year, a Montgolfier balloon sailed over Paris in the first manned free balloon flight. Montgolfier served the Revolution with zeal and was much honored. Lalande, who knew him well, wrote that Montgolfier was an atheist.
The Nobel Prize-winning geneticist and stringent atheist Thomas Hunt Morgan was developing the chromosome theory of heredity by examining his swarm of mutated Drosophila (fruit flies) through a jeweler's loupe.
In this circle, Nash learned to make a virtue of necessity, styling himself self-consciously as a "free thinker." He announced that he was an atheist.
Nash, by then an atheist, balked at a Catholic ceremony. He would have been happy to get married in city hall.
Unfortunately I am a 100% skeptic (an "Epicurus" in Yiddish), an atheist although not in an aggressive connotation.
Although an atheist, Neeman believes that traditions are important for a revolutionary movement, and he strongly defends the spiritual heritage of the Jewish people, preaches a retum to biblical sources, and is in constant dialogue with the ultra-nationalist-religious groupings.
Most of them are either atheists like Albert Einstein and Robert Oppenheimer, or agnostics like JBS Haldane.
He was a Jew and Groves was at least conventionally anti-Semitic; but perhaps worse, Oppenheimer practiced no religion at all and was almost certainly an atheist, whereas Groves was the sincerely believing son of an army chaplain.
Even Wilhelm Ostwald, who was the most radical atheist among these scholars, uses the instrument of the 'Monistic Sunday Sermons' to spread his ideas on rationality.
I turned secular at the age of 11, by divine revelation. [Laughs.] I was standing on the roof of the house my father built, looking down on the street and suddenly it became very clear to me that there is no God.
Generally, I do not get a lot of satisfaction out of being identified with causes or logos. But - a couple of years ago, when Richard Dawkins started his "out campaign" for atheists, I thought that showing my support was not a bad idea.
Reber was a diehard atheist, and whatever he understood of those bumps in the night is not certain.
As it turns out, Lord Rees is an atheist, though one who said in a recent interview that he is "not allergic to religion," and that he enjoys participating in aesthetic and cultural activities of the Anglican church, in which he was raised.
Wilhelm declared himself a "confirmed atheist" at the age of eight.
Among celebrity atheists with much biographical data, we find leading psychologists and psychoanalysts. We could provide a long list, including G. Stanley Hall, John B. Watson, Carl R. Rogers...
By most definitions he would be called an atheist, but he hated the term. 'An atheist has to know a lot more than I know. An atheist is someone who knows there is no god. By some definitions atheism is very stupid.'
Even though he later came to be known as an atheist, Saha was well-versed in all religious texts-- though his interest in them was purely academic.
a self-described atheist, saha loved swimming in the river and his devout wife loved the sanctity of the spot. swimming and walking were among the few things they could do together.
It cannot be said that Dr. Sarkar was a confirmed atheist.
In one respect, however, he is not a romantic: he does not idealize the person of the beloved, his highest praise is to consider her his equal. "When you feel your own equal in the body of a beautiful woman, just as ready to forget the world for you as you for her - oh my good Lord - who can describe what happiness then. You can live it, now and again - you cannot speak of it." Of course, he does speak of it, and almost always with religious imagery. Yet at this time he also wrote, "By the way, I never realized that to be nonbelieving, to be an atheist, was a thing to be proud of. It went without saying as it were." And in another place at about this same time: "Our creed is indeed a queer creed. You others, Christians (and similar people), consider our ethics much inferior, indeed abominable. There is that little difference. We adhere to ours in practice, you don't." Whatever problems they may have had in their love affair, the pangs of conscience were not among them. Sheila was as much an unbeliever as Erwin, but in a less complex, more realistic way. She was never entirely convinced by his vedantic theology.
In terms of religion, Schrodinger fits in the atheist camp. He even lost a marriage proposal to his love, Felicie Krauss, not only due to his social status but his lack of religious affiliation. He was known as a freethinker who did not believe in god. But interestingly Schrodinger had a deep connection to Hinduism, Buddhism, and Eastern philosophy in general. Erwin studied numerous books on Eastern thought as well as the Hindu scriptures. He was enthralled with Vedanta thought and connected ideas of oneness and unity of mind with his research on quantum physics, specifically wave mechanics.
Schopenhauer often called himself an atheist, as did Schrodinger, and if Buddhism and Vedanta can be truly described as atheistic religions, both the philosopher and his scientific disciple were indeed atheists. They both rejected the idea of a "personal God," and Schopenhauer thought that "pantheism is only a euphemism for atheism."
He rejected traditional religious beliefs (Jewish, Christian, and Islamic) not on the basis of any reasoned argument, nor even with an expression of emotional antipathy, for he loved to use religious expressions and metaphors, but simply by saying that they are naive.
He claimed to be an atheist, but he always used religious symbolism and believed his scientific work was an approach to the godhead.
He claimed to be an atheist, but he used religious symbolism and believed that his scientific work was 'an approach to God'.
He considered himself an atheist and never went to church.
Rabid atheist by age six. (His father, Boris, was too, but intensely studied great religious works.)
His secular, scientific values came well before he was old enough to make such calculating career decisions. For example, while still in middle school, Simon wrote a letter to the editor of the Milwaukee Journal defending the civil liberties of atheists, and by high school he was "certain" that he was "religiously an atheist," a conviction that never wavered.
But that tells you about my religious affiliation, which is not very strong, and I must say I'm not even an agnostic. I'm just an atheist in real life.
Jack Steinberger: "I'm now a bit anti-Jewish since my last visit to the synagogue, but my atheism does not necessarily reject religion."
...Steinhaus answered that, "God is always present." It should be noted that Steinhaus was an outspoken atheist.
I believe atheism makes coherent sense.
Nowadays, when we are facing manifestations of religious and. more often, pseudoreligious feelings, it is appropriate to mention that Igor Evgenevich was a convinced and unreserved atheist.
Tamm's circumspect humorous reply: "Generally speaking, I am an atheist but may I give the answer next time?"
Thorne grew up in an academic, Mormon family in Utah but is now an atheist. "There are large numbers of my finest colleagues who are quite devout and believe in God, ranging from an abstract humanist God to a very concrete Catholic or Mormon God. There is no fundamental incompatibility between science and religion. I happen to not believe in God."
Tinbergen had never been a religious man. Wartime atrocities, however, had highlighted the absence of a deity for him while both sides invoked one aligned with themselves, and this turned him into a militant atheist.
Recently, at a seminar, Harold Urey, the noted scientist who won a Nobel prize for his experiments on the origin of life.... ...Dr. Urey, a somewhat outspoken confirmed atheist and evolutionist, answered:...
Although he had occasionally cut Church Parade, he had once held very strong religious beliefs, but these had eroded to such an extent that he had come to regard himself as an atheist. "By degrees", he said "I was forced to the conclusion that my beliefs were inconsistent with scientific teaching. Once the seeds of doubt were sown the whole structure of my former religious beliefs rapidly collapsed, and I swung to the other extreme".
Wright was the son of a Connecticut farmer and teacher who moved his family to the Ohio frontier in 1810 to start a farm and open an academy. He was a quirky man who rejected evangelicalism for atheism, and Garrisonianism for the Liberty party, and then the Free Soilers.
I think that you know me well enough: I am an absolute atheist, and all days of the week are completely the same to me.
Speaking about religion, Yakov Borisovich could say unambiguously, "I'm an absolute atheist".
The author is Emile Zuckerkandl of Stanford University. Prof. Zuckerkandl ferociously attacks ID and any belief in a designer, God, or other "superghost".
Zwicky has dealt critically with religion during his whole life. (Source: "Everybody a genius"). In a diary entry of 1971, he writes "To base the unexplainabilty and the immense wonder of nature onto an other miracle God is unnecessary and not acceptable for any serious thinker".
Zwicky has dealt critically with religion during his whole life. A 1971 diary entry states: "To base the inexplainabilty and the immense wonder of nature upon another miracle, God, is unnecessary and not acceptable for any serious thinker." According to one story, Zwicky once discussed the beginning of the universe with a priest. The priest, quoting Scriptures, stated that the universe had started with "and there is light." Zwicky replied that he would buy this, if instead God had said "and there is electronmagnetism".