15 Most Famous Atheist Nobel Prize Winners

It is no surprise to discover that many Nobel Prize winners do not believe in a higher authority, and today we will discuss the 15 most famous atheist Nobel prize winners. The Nobel Prize is awarded to people with the highest intellectual levels, where such minds are used to promote science, peace or literature. And whether it’s correlation or causation, a significantly high number of Nobel prize winners are atheists, or at least non-religious, with 10.5% being atheists, agnostics or non-religious, according to Baruch Aba Shalev’s ‘100 years of Nobel Prizes.’ If you are more interested in learning about scientists who converted to religion after initially being non-believers, you can head on over to 6 Atheist Scientists Who Now Believe in God.

According to the aforementioned source, over 20% of the Nobel prize winners are Jewish, which is an astonishing statistic considering that worldwide, there are only 14 million Jews in the world, or 0.2% of the entire population. There can be no denying that Jews have made immense contributions to the world in various fields, having won in all the Nobel prizes categories that are offered each year, with 190 awards being won by Jews over the years.

Pe3k / Shutterstock.com

Pe3k / Shutterstock.com

In stark contrast, Muslims, with a population exceeding 1.6 billion, have only managed a total of 12 Nobel awards, with the most recent one being awarded to Pakistani Malala Yousufzai, who was awarded the Peace Prize at the tender age of 17. It is important to note that of the 12 prizes won by Muslims, 7 were in the Peace category, which may be evidence that maybe Muslims are not as bad as they are made out to be. The number of wins by Muslims can be compared to the number of wins by India, which with a population of 1.2 billion, also has 12 winners.

Of course, it is unsurprising that the vast majority of the winners are Christians, with Baruch Aba Shalev claiming that over 78% of all Nobel prize winners are Christians, with perhaps Martin Luther King Junior, who won the Nobel Peace Prize award in 1964, being one of the most famous Christians to have won the award.

It is important to note that there is a difference between an atheist and an agnostic; an atheist is sure that God does not exist while an agnostic believes that there is no evidence regarding the existence or non-existence of God. For our list of 15 most famous atheist Nobel Prize winners, we have only included the staunch atheists, which is why we had to leave out perhaps the most famous Nobel Prize winner of all time in Albert Einstein, who may have often identified as agnostic or non-religious, but was always opposed to being called an atheist. For our list of most famous atheist Nobel prize, we searched various websites such as Biography, and Time, to name a few, and from their lists, we extracted the winners who identified as atheists.