TIMES NEWS NETWORK (July 3rd, p. 5)
Hyderabad: The Centre for Inquiry on Wednesday urged scientists not to conduct religious ceremonies in scientific laboratories. A recent survey by the Centre of Inquiry in association with a few other bodies discovered that a majority of the country’s scientists were “religious and even superstitious”.
The survey report was based on inputs from institutes all over the country, including Acharya Nagarjuna University, Andhra University, Visakhapatnam, Centre for DNA and Finger Printing and Diagnostics, Deccan College of Engineering and Technology, Kakatiya University, Maulana Azad National Institute of Technology and SV University from the state.
The survey said 44% of scientists believe in astrology while 41% believe in conducting ‘pujas’ before starting any major scientific activity. According to the members, scientists are setting a bad example to the rest of the country by believing in superstitions including vedic astrology. “There are many cases where scientists do pujas in their labs. This should not be permitted as there should be no observation of religious rites in any of the government institutions,” former CCMB director P M Bhargava said.
“A majority of the scientists said they believe in some super non-human power which protects all,” social activist Chandana Chakraborthy said. According to the founder member of the organisation, N Innaiah, many scientists believe in godmen too. Since the survey deals with scientists who come from different elite institutes in the country it is alarming to see these many people believing in superstitions.
Couldn't make out what percentage of Indian scientists are atheists. Is it 51%? Are all the believers of Astrology(44%), a subset of believers of prayer(49%)? Or are there atheists among believers in Astrology? But if one believes in Astrology, is s/he an atheist by the definition of it?