Why Are the Atheist Books in the Science Section?


This is something that has always confused me. If an atheist writes a book about science, like the many written by Dawkins, then it makes sense to find their books in the science section. But why would someone’s memoir, like Seth Andrews Deconverted, be in the science section? Shouldn’t that be in the memoirs? What about The God Delusion? That is a book specifically aimed at debunking the belief in a god. Shouldn’t that be in the religion section? Or the philosophy section?

I know not all book stores are the same, but I have found this trend in a lot of places. When I was on Goodreads, half of the science section was books on atheism. I’ve found a similar trend on Amazon. When I go to Chapters, I often have to search half the store for a particular atheist book. 

So why does this happen? Why is it just assumed that atheism and science go together?

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12 responses to “Why Are the Atheist Books in the Science Section?

  • Why Are the Atheist Books in the Science Section? | Christians Anonymous

    […] Source: Why Are the Atheist Books in the Science Section? […]

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  • Dena

    Twice now I’ve found creationist books in the science section of a locally owned bookstore. I think its because the person who stocks the book didn’t know what it was about and the title was misleading – on purpose.

    I believe the God Delusion does talk about science to an extent? It has been a while since I read it, maybe I’m wrong. They may figure that people interested in science are the same people who would be interested in those books and so, they put them where they will easily be seen.

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  • Jorda

    Well, wouldn’t putting atheism books in the religious section be kind of an oxymoron? I mean, that was my first thought of where to put them but it’s questionable now that I give it some thought. Philosophy might be a better fit.

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    • hessianwithteeth

      Not if they are talking about religion. Being the religion section doesn’t mean every book must support religion, it just means that religion is the main premise of the book. For most atheist books, both philosophy and religion sections work.

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      • Jorda

        That’s understandable. I couldn’t do the job of labeling books by genre, it seems silly to me in some cases. Some books can’t be labeled by one single genre or subject.

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  • Ignostic Atheist

    The store owners are religious maybe?

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  • Linuxgal

    If you take atheists books out of the science section, I’m afraid I will have to insist the bibles are placed in the fiction section.

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    • hessianwithteeth

      I would back you on that. Though I’m more just amused that books where science isn’t the main premise are in the science section. I don’t really have any intention of fighting for a change.

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  • kat

    probably because most atheists eschew any religion based doctrines and beliefs and instead base their decisions and choices on science and research. i have yet to meet an atheist who did not use science as his lens in viewing and making sense of the world.

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    • hessianwithteeth

      Many use philosophy. I know atheists who are simply atheists because they weren’t raised religious (of course they tend not to read non-fiction, so they wouldn’t be interested in those books anyway).

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    • samcroarkin

      I agree with a caveat: most atheists view the lens through a physical-ends only viewpoint, and the closest “topic” is science (which in process is empirical). However, I do not think many atheists are truly scientific and the labeling is merely a convenience.

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