In a study involving 275 atheist scientists from elite universities 72 said they had so called 'spiritual qualities' consistent with science.

Per the article:

"Ecklund and Long noted that the spiritual scientists saw boundaries between themselves and their nonspiritual colleagues because their spirituality facilitated engagement with the world around them. Such engagement, according to the spiritual scientists, generated a different approach to research and teaching: While nonspiritual colleagues might focus on their own research at the expense of student interaction, spiritual scientists' sense of spirituality provides nonnegotiable reasons for making sure that they help struggling students succeed."

The study was conducted by researchers from Rice university and is to be published in the June issue of the journal, Sociology of Religion.

http://www.physorg.com/news/2011-05-percent-atheist-scientists-spir...

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Replies to This Discussion

have these people define "spirituality" and THEN we may have a foundation for logical argument!
What I get out of it is that more than 20% of the scientists called themselves spiritual according to their own definition of it. Of course the problem would be that different people have different definitions of spiritual so it might be that none of the scientist were spiritual according to Webster's definition of it. It appears that to sure up this weakness the researchers compared the nature of the words the scientists associated with spiritualism to the nature used associated with religion. In that the results were consistent among all of the scientists (words connoting individualism were associated with spirituality while words connoting tribalism were associated with religion) scientific support was given to the proposition that all of the scientists were using the same definition of spiritualism. However, none of them was asked for his or her definition and no definition was provided for the scientists to go by. Accordingly, I think you hit the nail on the head: spiritualism certainly does not seem to have been well enough defined in the study.
I think we've got more of a reaction going to what the Christians mean when they use the word.
If this is to be believed, then it just shows that some folks just will not let go of their fantasies. Unless by "spiritual" they mean in the sense of the natural world a reverence for the mystery and awe one feels when confronted with one's own lack of understanding and being impressed with the magnificant grandeur of the Universe.
I agree with Raymond's meaning of "spiritual."  It sounds to me like the Scientists that are spiritual may have a spirit of cooperation that others may not have in abundance.  There is a humbleness in having strong feelings of awe and reverence.  This humility is a deterrent to the supposed arrogance that a lot of atheists are accused of.
I very much agree with you about the desirability of being humble but I think humbleness should come from within through freewill rather than from without through awe of the universe. The reason I don't think it wise to be awed by the universe is that the universe supports natural selection which opts completely for survival sometimes even at the expense of goodheartedness.
In my dictionary spiritual equals supernatural, especially when it includes some kind of extra-non-life energy, whatever that is.
In Kosmos (the Universe) there exist only natural entities, no supernatural.
1- everything that exists or happens can be explained naturally, not violating laws of nature
2- a valid natural explanation is: we do not yet have any explanation to that
3- an explanation based on supernatural elements, violates laws of nature, is no explanation at all

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