Faculty are, however, not monolithic. There are divisions among faculty ranks. Science and math faculty are the least religious in belief and behavior. Business faculty are the most conservative and most religious. Humanities faculty, though the most politically liberal, are not less religious than other faculty and on some measures are more religious. Faculty, while less religious than the general population, are complex in their religiosity.
Am I the only one who has had the experience of a non-science background friend who is surprised that I’m not terrified by the idea of fish genes being spliced into tomatoes? In other words, yes, a modern liberal arts education might make one more skeptical of conventional “mainstream” world-views, but that skepticism is often not complemented much with a commitment toward rational & empirical analysis of the issues at hand. So naturally intuitive morality with roots in our cognitive hardware kick in.
Most interesting figures below the fold….
The 19% of definitional (as opposed to identifed) atheists is probably an underestimate. From page 27:
We can conclude that those who did not answer are more likely to answer that they do not believe in God. The overall proportion of atheists among the faculty as a whole is actually more like 24% than the 19% shown by those who answered affirmatively.
The fact that non-Evangelical Protestants are not noticeably underrepresented, while Evangelical Protestants are, should not surprise if you keep in mind that there are simply fewer academic caliber minds among Evangelicals. 3% of the faculty sample consisted of Unitarians, around 0.2% of the American population. So this group is 15 times more represented in the faculty than in the general population. Of course, you know that Unitarians are probably the smartest religious group in the United States. In any case, the survey apparently had an N of around 1,300.
(H/T Volokh Conspiracy)