The more scientifically literate, intellectually honest and objectively sceptical a person is, the more likely they are to disbelieve in anything supernatural, including god. This is a compilation of some of the best examples of such individuals with their thoughts on the divine. They include in order of appearance:
Professor Stephen Hawking is an English theoretical physicist and cosmologist, and was Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at the University of Cambridge for 30 years.
Lord Martin Rees is the Astronomer Royal and Master of Trinity College, Cambridge. He was President of the Royal Society between 2005 and 2010.
Dr Sam Harris is an American author, neuroscientist and CEO of Project Reason. He holds a PhD in neuroscience from UCLA, and a BA in philosophy from Stanford University.
Professor Richard Feynman was an American physicist who received the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1965.
Professor Noam Chomsky is an Institute Professor and professor emeritus of linguistics at MIT and well known as one of the fathers of modern linguistics.
Stephen Fry is an English actor, screenwriter, author, playwright, journalist, poet, comedian, television presenter and film director.
Professor Leonard Susskind is Professor of Theoretical Physics at Stanford University, and widely regarded as one of the fathers of string theory.
Sir Bertrand Russell was an English philosopher who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1950. He is considered one of the founders of analytic philosophy and is widely held to be one of the 20th century’s premier logicians.
Dr Richard Carrier is an American historian who received his PhD in ancient history from Columbia University.
Sir David Attenborough is a broadcaster and naturalist. He studied Natural Sciences at Cambridge, and his distinguished career in broadcasting now spans more than 50 years.
Professor Neil deGrasse Tyson is an American astrophysicist, the Frederick P. Rose Director of the Hayden Planetarium at the American Museum of Natural History and Visiting Research Scientist and Lecturer at Princeton University. He attended Harvard College (B.A), University of Texas (M.A.) and Columbia University (M.Phil.), (Ph.D.).
Professor Vilayanur Ramachandran is a neuroscientist, Director of the Center for Brain and Cognition, and Professor in the Department of Psychology and the Neurosciences Graduate Program at the University of California, San Diego. He obtained his PhD from Trinity College, Cambridge.
Professor Sir Harold Kroto is a British chemist who won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1996.
Steven Pinker is Professor in the Department of Psychology at Harvard University, known for his advocacy of evolutionary psychology and the computational theory of mind.
John Smythies is a neuropsychiatrist and neuroscientist. He is Professor Emeritus of Psychiatric Research at the University of Alabama Medical Center.
Sir Richard Friend is Cavendish Professor at the University of Cambridge. His research concerns the physics and engineering of carbon-based semiconductors.
Peter Atkins is a British Chemist and was Professor of Chemistry at the University of Oxford. He is a prolific writer of popular chemistry textbooks.
Marcus du Sautoy OBE is the Simonyi Professor for the Public Understanding of Science and a Professor of Mathematics at the University of Oxford.
Sir Patrick Bateson is an English biologist and science writer. Bateson is emeritus professor of ethology at Cambridge University and president of the Zoological Society of London since 2004.
Professor AC Grayling is a British philosopher, supernumerary fellow of St Anne’s College, Oxford, and first master of New College of the Humanities in London. He was previously Professor of Philosophy at Birkbeck, University of London.
Brian Cox OBE is a British particle physicist, a Royal Society University Research Fellow and a professor at the University of Manchester. He works on the ATLAS experiment at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN.
Alan Macfarlane is a renowned social anthropologist and a Professor Emeritus of King’s College, Cambridge. He is the author or editor of 20 books and numerous articles on the anthropology and history of England, Nepal, Japan and China.
Alan Dershowitz is an American lawyer, jurist, and political commentator. He has spent most of his career at Harvard Law School where, at the age of 28, he became the youngest full professor of law in its history.
Quentin Skinner is Professor of the Humanities at Queen Mary, University of London, and was previously Professor of Modern History at the University of Cambridge. The author or co-author of more than 20 books, his works have been very widely translated.