Although some would suggest that atheism and rationality go hand-and hand, research seems to indicate otherwise. In September of 2008, the Wall Street Journal reported:
- “The reality is that the New Atheist campaign, by discouraging religion, won't create a new group of intelligent, skeptical, enlightened beings. Far from it: It might actually encourage new levels of mass superstition. And that's not a conclusion to take on faith -- it's what the empirical data tell us.
- "What Americans Really Believe," a comprehensive new study released by Baylor University yesterday, shows that traditional Christian religion greatly decreases belief in everything from the efficacy of palm readers to the usefulness of astrology. It also shows that the irreligious and the members of more liberal Protestant denominations, far from being resistant to superstition, tend to be much more likely to believe in the paranormal and in pseudoscience than evangelical Christians.
Creationists have long been smeared with being anti-science. However, few remember that atheism had also been notably anti-science. In “Awesome Creation,” Yosef Bitton writes:
- In the 1940s, the Soviet communist regime rejected Hubble and Gamow’s conclusions [regarding the Big Bang] completely, despite their scientific soundness, on the grounds that their hypothesis failed to comply with the tenets of Marxist Leninist ideology (i.e., atheism). The Soviets’ opinion on the Big Bang was summarized by Comrade Andrei Zhdanov: “Falsifiers of science want to revive the fairy tale of the origin of the world from nothing.” The Soviets persecuted physicists who supported the Big Bang theory. Some of those scientists paid for their support of the Big Bang theory with their lives like Matvei Bronstein, who was shot after being arrested on trumped-up charges of espionage.
For these atheists, the findings that the universe had a beginning gave too much support to the biblical account. It wasn’t just the communistic atheists who were disturbed by this support. According to Bitton, C. J. Isham said it best:
- “Perhaps the best argument...that the Big Bang supports theism is the obvious unease with which it is greeted by some atheist physicists. At times this has led to scientific ideas...being advanced with a tenacity which so exceeds their intrinsic worth that one can only suspect the operation of psychological forces lying very much deeper than the usual academic desire of a theorist to support his or her theory”