The eminent chemist, Peter Atkins, Professor of Chemistry at the University of Oxford, Senior Member of the Oxford Secular Society, Honorary Associate of the National Secular Society and outspoken atheist, has the following to say about science and religion,
Religion, it’s just fantasy, basically…and is evil as well.
But Atkins demonstrates that he himself is the fantasist (or else ‘ignorant, stupid or insane’, to use the language of Richard Dawkins against those who do not share his beliefs) by making the laughable declaration:
…there is no reason to suppose that science cannot deal with every aspect of existence
According to Atkins
You clearly can be a scientist and have religious beliefs. But I don’t think you can be a real scientist in the deepest sense of the word…
So what are you then: an unreal scientist, a fake scientist, an imaginary scientist? And an evil fantasist to boot?
Thus, according to Atkins, in the subset of scientists who are ‘real scientists’, none can be theists. Only atheist scientists, like Atkins, are “beacons of rationality, and intellectually honest”. That excludes Robert Boyle, the ‘father of chemistry’ – that discipline of which Atkins is a practitioner – Newton, Hooke, Franklin, Priestley, Dalton, Faraday, Maxwell, Thomson and Einstein, to name a few. Well, if these folk were not real scientists, one should be very happy to be not a real scientist, as it’s very good company to be in.
Robert Merton (Social Theory and Social Structure, 1949) determined that a majority of the founder members of the Royal Society were distinctively Puritan. Certainly, a considerable number of them were Calvinists. It was very largely the Calvinist constituency who brushed away the dead hand of the pagan Aristotle, and gave birth to modern science. They developed the necessary motivation and the methodology, logical and experimental. Modern science would never have got any traction without the Calvinists, and today’s scientists are simply building on the foundations and superstructure that they have inherited from the Christian worldview. Atheist scientists have to sit on God’s lap to be able to reach up to slap him in the face.