Why aren’t professors religious?

Robin Hanson poses the question, and Jane Galt picks it up, but no one dares an answer.  Over lunch I suggested to Robin that professors are supposed to project an image of calm and reasonableness, whether justified or not.  This means they will be especially allergic to charismatic religions, such as the so-called religious right.  Most professors who do believe in god will be calm about it.

One prediction is that when the only major religions available are calm ones (Sweden?), professors will be less anti-religious than otherwise.  Furthermore professors in the hard sciences, where answers can be proven right or wrong, may face the pressure to signal calmness to lesser degree.

Of course it is not obvious that professors are in reality calmer or more reasonable than the general population, especially once we adjust for IQ.  So their rage has to come out somewhere.  The further prediction is that professors are especially unreasonable toward their colleagues and competitors, and perhaps they are more likely to lose their tempers toward their children and spouses, or to behave more badly, once their tempers are lost. 

I really am calm, however.


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