65% of Nobel Prize winners were Christians?

This cropped up on my Facebook feed today. It looks too good to be true, but it was re-posted by The GeoChristian (who is normally pretty good) and the source is also cited on Wikipedia (List of Christian Nobel laureates). Has anyone any further information about it?

Have you read the ‘Talk’ comments about the article? It doesn’t seem likely to me that these numbers are representative of the actual beliefs of the individuals in question.

They are including the prizes for Literature, Economics, and Peace which are half of the 6 total prizes. Economics became a prize in 1968, so a bit of a late bloomer. If you look at the list on Wiki there are a lot more Christians in the Literature, Peace, and Economics categories compared to the Physics. Chemistry, and Physiology/Medicine categories. In fact, I’m a bit surprised that there aren’t more in the science categories, especially given the fact that the prizes began in 1895.

What piques my skepticism is this quote from the Wiki page:

" In an estimate by Baruch Shalev, between 1901 and 2000 about 65.4% of Nobel prize winners were either Christians or had a Christian background."

The phrase “Christian background” is doing a lot of lifting there.


That would be my knee-jerk reaction to this without looking into it… I think of the “rise of the Nones” in the US and Europe recently and wonder how many people are really changing their views or just being more honest about them. In a “Christian majority” nation, most people have some kind of “Christian background,” but they may also not have been in a position to identify as anything else without social consequences they didn’t want to deal with.


Not real sure what meaning you can derive from that graph. Sort of like saying 98% of all US vice presidents are male. Maybe the best conclusion you can reach from the graph, it that it proves that Christianity is not always associated with anti-intellectualism.


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