My Take: Science and spirituality should be friends
February 15th, 2011
07:00 AM ET

My Take: Science and spirituality should be friends

Editor's Note: Deepak Chopra is founder of the Chopra Foundation and a senior scientist at the Gallup Organization. He has authored over 60 books, including The Soul of Leadership, which The Wall Street Journal called one of five best business books about careers.

By Deepak Chopra, Special to CNN

For most people, science deserves its reputation for being opposed to religion.

I'm not thinking of the rather noisy campaign by a handful of die-hard atheists to demote and ridicule faith.

I'm thinking instead of Charles Darwin, whose theory of evolution has proved victorious over the Book of Genesis and its story of God creating the universe in seven days. Since then, God has been found wanting when measured against facts and data. With no data to support the existence of God, there is also no reason for religion and science to close the gap between them.

Yet the gap has indeed been closing.

Religion and spirituality didn't go away just because organized religion has been losing its hold, as suggested by showing decades of  declining church attendance in the U.S. and Western Europe.

Despite the noisy atheists, two trends in spirituality and science have started to converge. One is the trend to seek God outside the church. This has given rise to a kind of spirituality based on personal experience, with an openness to accept Eastern traditions like meditation and yoga as legitimate ways to expand one's consciousness.

If God is to be found anywhere, it is inside the consciousness of each person. Even in the Christian West we have the assurance of Jesus that the kingdom of heaven is within, while the Old Testament declares, "Be still and know that I am God."

The other trend is a growing interest by scientists in questions about consciousness.

Twenty years ago, a respectable researcher couldn't ask daring questions such as "do we live in an intelligent universe?" or "Is there mind outside the body?" That's because materialism rules science; it is the core of the scientific worldview that reality is constructed out of physical building blocks - tiny things like atoms and quarks - whose motion is essentially random.

When you use words like "intelligence" and "design" in discussing the patterns in nature, immediately you are tarred with the same brush as creationists, who have hijacked those terms to defend their religious beliefs.

But time brings change, and next week my foundation is hosting a symposium in Southern California where the gap between science and spirituality will be narrow somewhat, not on the basis of religion but on the basis of consciousness.

Outside the view of the general public, science has reached a critical point. The physical building blocks of the universe have gradually vanished; that is, atoms and quarks no longer seem solid at all but are actually clouds of energy, which in turn disappear into the void that seems to be the source of creation.

Was mind also born in the same place outside space and time? Is the universe conscious? Do genes depend on quantum interactions? Science aims to understand nature down to its very essence, and now these once radical questions, long dismissed as unscientific, are unavoidable.

My conference, called the Sages and Scientists Symposium: The Merging of A New Future, is only one in a wave of gatherings through which hundreds of researchers are working to define a new paradigm for the relationship between spirituality and science.

It is becoming legitimate to talk of invisible forces that shape creation - not labeling them as God but as the true shapers of reality beyond the space/time continuum. A whole new field known as quantum biology has sprung up, based on a true breakthrough - the idea that the total split between the micro world of the quantum and the macro world of everyday things may be a false split.

If so, science will have to account for why the human brain, which lives in the macro world, derives its intelligence from the micro world. Either atoms and molecules are smart, or something makes them smart.

That something, I believe, will come down to a conscious universe.

Agree or disagree, you cannot simply toss the question out the window. It turns out that the opposition of science to religion is a red herring. The real goal of a new science will be to expand our reality so that spiritual truths are acceptable, along with many other subjective experiences that science has long dismissed as unreliable.

We are conscious beings who live with purpose and meaning. It seems unlikely that these arose form a random, meaningless universe. The final answer to where they came from may shake science to its core. I certainly hope it does.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Deepak Chopra.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Culture & Science • Leaders • Opinion • Science

soundoff (1,568 Responses)
  1. Luis Wu

    When asked in an interview if he believed in God, Albert Einstein replied that he didn't believe in a personal god but rather something like "Spinoza's God". Baruch Spinoza was a 17th century philosopher, born Jewish but later ostracized by the Jewish community for his beliefs. He believed that the Universe is permeated by "life energy" that underlies everything. He refered to living things as "modes" of this underlying energy. This makes a lot of sense to me. Especially when taken in the context of the American Indian's concept of the "Great Spirt" that's in everything, even rocks and sand and water and wind. The famous astronomer Carl Sagan, while not a very religious person, once said, "perhaps the Universe evolved intelligent beings in order to observe itself.

    I think that the established religions have warped and corrupted the idea of a supreme being, bending the image to its own motives. Intelligent people everywhere are taking a second look at religion and rejecting the archaic versions of god that the established sects promote. This is a good thing.

    February 15, 2011 at 1:38 pm |
    • Alok

      Best post, fully agree.

      February 15, 2011 at 2:38 pm |
    • Indyman

      Well said. I too am a follower of Spinoza.

      February 15, 2011 at 2:45 pm |
  2. Dave

    We are conscious beings with a purpose and meaning? Depok will tell you both of those are to accept his ideas and buy his books, all in order to make him a wealthy snake oil salesman. For a person so open to free thinking he sure is quick to denounce atheists.

    February 15, 2011 at 1:36 pm |
  3. Cedar Rapids

    'For most people, science deserves its reputation for being opposed to religion.
    I'm not thinking of the rather noisy campaign by a handful of die-hard atheists to demote and ridicule faith.'
    Nice bit of leaving out 'the rather noisy campaign by a handful of die-hard creationists to demote and ridicule science' there.

    February 15, 2011 at 1:34 pm |
    • LeeCMH

      Also, wouldn't you also like to purchase my battery powered universe rather than that wind-up Jesus? Any books? Any pamphlets? Hey how about a speaking engagement?

      February 15, 2011 at 1:35 pm |
  4. Ron

    Although I made several attempts to understand DG books, the mismash explaination of his pseudo (quantum) science and (universal consciousness) spirituality sounded forced and fake rather than geninue. On the spirituality part, much seemed to be borrowed heavily from the eastern mystics-the only difference the wording wrapped up in his own blend of new-age language.

    February 15, 2011 at 1:33 pm |
  5. Dud

    I never understood science all the way through college because I always questioned scientists "proof" "facts" to theories. Have you ever noticed that "science" continues to disprove itself to what one day was considered proof. I don't remember exact numbers, but I thought it was hypocritcal of science to proof the sun was X amount of miles away, but we needed new text books because among other things they now know they were wrong by half of X. Now they have "proof" that the "proof" before was wrong. Isn't it always science that one day says something is bad for you to find out later it is good for you to find out again later it might be bad for you. Our minds are so small I laugh at anyone that thinks they have proved anything beyond a doubt.

    February 15, 2011 at 1:31 pm |
    • LeeCMH

      Sun X miles and now 1/2 miles? Where have you been getting your science teaching, your Sunday school tracts?

      February 15, 2011 at 1:34 pm |
    • Luis Wu

      Your screen name is very appropriate.

      February 15, 2011 at 1:39 pm |
  6. LeeCMH

    Science is winning over God, not merging with. Whether we have Chopra's pseudo-intellectual – the force be with you – eastern gods, or Western deities, they are all losing ground to science and reason. As individuals mature from childhood, they give up notions of magic. As societies mature, belief in religious magic also relents.

    February 15, 2011 at 1:31 pm |
  7. martin

    what a bunch of lies, science is one thing and religion is other, you cant mix them, because when you do, you have this article where this guy (Deepak Chopra) doesn't explain about the relationship between them, instead advertise about a conference he will have in california.
    he didnt say about many respectable researchers that died because of asking about the existence of god, or if we are the center of the universe,etc. they were killed by religion just by asking a simple question, but he forgot to mention that.
    i am a noisy atheist and proud, i tossed the question out of the window, and please dont try to mix religion with science, at the end religion will get burn.
    what will religion do when science figure it out that god isnt real?

    February 15, 2011 at 1:29 pm |
    • Alok

      And yet even many of the world's leading physicists believe in God! Science is far from proving God doesn't exist. Today's best science simply says all universe came from clouds of energy. No one explains what is that energy and where it came from.

      February 15, 2011 at 1:34 pm |
    • John

      @ Alok

      Who is to say that energy came from anywhere? Energy can't be made or destroyed. If you infer a God made that energy, what made that God? If you say God made God or is eternal, then as Sagan said skip a step and why not assume the Universe and the energy it's made of is eternal.

      I never understood how introducing God into a question actually answers it. To me it just opens new ones.

      February 15, 2011 at 1:40 pm |
    • Luis Wu

      Alok, no one explained where your invisible, supernatural man in the sky came from either. Did he just create himself out of nothing?

      February 15, 2011 at 1:43 pm |
    • Alok

      @John, Wu – You are right, I need to acknowledge that various models are possible based on facts as we know them. As you agree that as energy cannot be created or destroyed – science's quest so far has been to discover earliest manifestation and form of that energy. Some physicists try to explain source of the energy as well e.g. Stephen Hawking said that law of gravity allows everything to come from nothing. However to me the explanation falls short as he himself assumes latent energy which he ASSIGNS value zero. You can very well assign that energy the name of God. Alternate models of reality as long as they are consistent with reality are still equally valid.

      February 15, 2011 at 2:30 pm |
  8. Alok

    There is clear schism in our society and our mind between religion and science. There will be people who swear by science and others who swear by religious dogma handed down over centuries. Should mankind live with this schism in 21st century? I hope not. I am not suggesting that we teach creationism in our science class, in fact if we did that will be a disaster. But again scientific "realists" also to understand that man needs both science and spirituality. So advances in spirituality should be welcome not abhorred.

    February 15, 2011 at 1:16 pm |
  9. Tom C

    I agree, David-

    As one response put it:
    1) almost every modern regilion (Hinduism through Islam) has some story about creationism, and it is all based on the astrological week.

    Genesis 1:5,8,13,19,23,31 – All of which say "..and there was evening, and there was morning – the __ day." This would implicate a 24 hour day, not a gap in between days.

    February 15, 2011 at 1:16 pm |
    • Face

      Finally a Christian who is willing to listen and change their beliefs regarding the history of life.

      Thank you so much for actually considering the opposing evidence
      If you would like please read Finding Darwins God By Kenneth Miller (christian biologist-teaches evo in college)

      GL and stay open minded (I'm not hinting at changing your religious beliefs, just the attempt to understand this reality better)

      February 15, 2011 at 4:15 pm |
  10. Jay

    Assumptions are the most dangerous kind of knowledge. Chopra's dogmatic assertion that Darwin's theory is, "victorious over Genesis" and that, "God has been found wanting when measured against facts and data" are assumptions that many respected scientists would strongly disagree with. As a scientist myself, as well as a physician, I can tell you that he is wrong. The danger of accepting such assumptions is that you then are likely to also accept the subsequent conclusion. Truth is defined as that which corresponds to reality. Chopra just doesn't see it.

    February 15, 2011 at 1:15 pm |
    • Tom C

      Nicely put. This would be called slanted journalism.

      February 15, 2011 at 1:18 pm |
    • Alok

      You need to realize that there are questions which modern science has no answer yet. But there are other questions for which science has definitive answers. Evolution is one such question on which science is definitive. It is high time religions update their beliefs in light of modern science and come to 21st century. The article above is simply an attempt at reformed spirituality.

      February 15, 2011 at 1:25 pm |
    • Helper

      Science still hasn't caught up with God!

      "The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. "
      Psalms 19:1

      February 15, 2011 at 1:33 pm |
    • Nonimus

      First, I think Chopra is using pseudo-science just to make money and therefore has questionable ethics.

      However, I would say that in the section you are referring to he has a point, if you read it in context. Darwin, Lyle, Copernicus, and Galileo all have shown that the evidence does not support the Genesis creation story. And likewise, that
      "with no data to support the existence of God,..." "...God has been found wanting when measured against facts and data."

      February 15, 2011 at 1:39 pm |
    • Q

      You may be a physician but your statement regarding Darwin's theory causes me to question your claim of being a scientist. Whereas the genesis creation myth has no supporting evidence, every relevant scientific discipline consistently and concordantly supports the theory of evolution. Perhaps you'd care to explain the human 2nd chromosome, ERVs or our defunct gene for yolk protein? Or simply explain the discrete and progressive order of the fossil record? Chopra's a new age hack, but his assertion that evolution has triumphed over a literal genesis is beyond any reasonable doubt.

      February 15, 2011 at 1:42 pm |
    • Nonimus

      God, or at least 'God's word' the Bible, hasn't caught up with science.
      Creation in six or seven days doesn't work.
      The Earth didn't exist before the sun, moon, and stars.
      Flowering plants didn't exist before animals.
      The was no global flood.
      etc., etc., etc.

      If you want to take it as a book on spirituality, philosophy, poetry, or morality, that's fine, but it's not entirely based on facts.

      February 15, 2011 at 1:46 pm |
    • Nonimus

      The Earth didn't exist before the sun and stars. (The moon did come after Earth.)

      February 15, 2011 at 1:48 pm |
    • Tom C

      Q –

      "Whereas the genesis creation myth has no supporting evidence, every relevant scientific discipline consistently and concordantly supports the theory of evolution."

      Could you, or someone well versed in it, please give me some supporting evidence for the theory of evolution? I've read hundreds of comments claiming this, but have yet to read hard evidence in support thereof. Please, for time and reputation's sake, don't say "because Darwin said so."

      February 15, 2011 at 1:54 pm |
    • Q

      @ Tom C – The fossil record demonstrates a discrete progression of forms, e.g. first fish, then amphibians, then reptiles, then mammals, then birds. There are numerous examples in which the vertical progression of the geologic column is accompanied by incremental changes in particular lineages (i.e. transitional forms). The the theory of evolution has allowed the successful prediction of in which particular geologic strata transitional forms will be found, e.g. Tiktaalik. Successful prediction is the hall mark of a successful scientific theory.

      At the genomic level, our genomes contain similar "transitional fossils" which correlate to the phylogenies indicated by the fossil record, e.g. we share more genes with more recent ancestors than we do more distant ancestors. However, we contain vestigial, defunct genes for egg yolk proteins. We bear a number of parasitic genetic elements whose distributions again, match up with phylogenies. Humans have 23 pairs of chromosomes and modern apes have 24. Evolution predicted a direct relationship existed and predicted the discrepancy in chromosome numbers should be evident somewhere in our genome. Our second chromosome indicates a fusion of two ancestral chromosomes (chromosome 2a and 2b in the apes). Again, these were all successful evolutionary predictions.

      At the molecular/developmental level, the mechanisms underlying how changes occur in our genes and how novel structures can arise are well established. Mutation and selection has been repeatedly demonstrated to produce novel functionality, in vitro and in vivo (e.g. Lenski's E. coli study demonstrating a novel metabolic pathway).

      This is really just scratching the surface but hope it helps...

      February 15, 2011 at 2:20 pm |
    • BR

      @Tom C-You can hardly expect a comprehensive presentation on evolution in a newsgroup such as this. Theists are quick to urge non-theists to read the bible. In that spirit, please educate yourself on the topic instead of relying on completly unknown posters.

      February 15, 2011 at 2:28 pm |
    • Tom C


      Thank you for that in depth look at those points. To play devil's advocate here; how do we know the age of the geologic column? Do we just say "Well, that's at the bottom so it must be 80 billion years old.?" I mean in all seriousness, wouldn't the fish be on the bottom and the birds be at the top anyway, since that's where they live in nature?

      Also, just to clarify, I was always under the impression that it wasn't the number of chromosomes a species has, but the function of those chromosomes. If we have a 'like number' of chromosomes, but with different functions, does that make us equal? Can we mate with apes because we are alike? Like a mule, or a zedonk? And if not, how can they be the offspring of parents with different numbers of chromosomes (but similar in nature) but we can't?

      Again, I really appreciate the response, but I believe it's best to be a skeptic about everything until I find my truth.

      February 15, 2011 at 2:50 pm |
    • Q

      @ Tom C – BR's point is a good one. You're better served by investigating the sites he provided, particularly talkorigins.

      The ages of the rocks are independently determined by any number of techniques, but even without precise ages, their layering provides relative chronological relationships. Once the fish appear, they continue to appear. Once birds appear, they also continue appear, but they do not appear in the lower strata. What's supportive of evolution is the relationships between extant and extinct species. Extinct birds appear below extant fish and so the idea that the fossil record simply reflects niche is incorrect (e.g. consider penguins versus pterodactyls, etc). Simply stated, the fossil record supports common ancestry and evolution and it directly contradicts creationist models of special creation and coexistence of all the major forms both pre- and post-flood.

      The biology of reproductive isolation is too complex for a post here. Suffice it to say that yes, it's primarily the genes on the chromosomes and not simply their numbers which matter. There are situations which provide some "flexibility", but generally speaking, a failure to pair up chromosome #s is a bad thing in mammals (not so in plants and other species). The point of the human chromosome 2 is that it is clearly a fusion of two ancestral chromosomes. When the fused chromosome is aligned with a chimpanzee chromosome, the order of the genes (by function) also matches up (though the genetic sequences have diverged). Again, before the human and chimp genomes were actually sequenced, evolution predicted the observed results.

      February 15, 2011 at 3:18 pm |
  11. Bob.

    > If so, science will have to account for why the human brain, which lives in the macro world, derives its intelligence from the micro world. Either atoms and molecules are smart, or something makes them smart.

    Have any evidence for this premise? No, of course not. Just what you have chosen to believe.

    February 15, 2011 at 1:15 pm |
  12. Helper

    "But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them—bringing swift destruction on themselves." 2 Peter 2:1

    If it quacks like a duck, acts like a duck, then...

    February 15, 2011 at 1:12 pm |
  13. Indyman

    One thing to note, these debates usually include the same group of men; atheists on one side, spiritual/religionist on the other. They're all selling books. Each and every one of them. None have any definitive answers to prove or disprove god or consciousness; but they make tons of money selling their versions of the truth. And they rely on us and our emotions to get us off our butts and buy their books, pay for a seat at these "debates", and buy more of their stuff. Chopra is no more a salesman at these "events" as are the others. They're not doing this because they want to further the human race, they're selling books, every one of them. Also, no one on the religious side of these panels is attempting to prove Genesis, that's been long dismissed by anyone, religious or not, who wants to be take seriously. Religion is just now beginning a very long process of shifting and evolving, as everything does. In 2000 years Judaism, Christianity, and Islam will be a thing of ancient myths not unlike Greek mythology. People in 2000 years will believe in something very different and none of us can even imagine what that will be. Science will have long disproved any of the Abrahamic religions and also the some of the silly Eastern religions that still pray to gods of many faces, all of this will be nonsense. In fact, Judaism and Christianity today is much different than it was even 1500 years ago.

    February 15, 2011 at 1:12 pm |
    • Alok

      Good post...you should agree that attempts at updated spirituality are welcome.

      February 15, 2011 at 1:27 pm |
    • Indyman

      Updated science and spirituality are always welcome. The anxious awaiting on both sides is absurd. The followers of science are awaiting for science to "debunk" all religions, as if religion doesn't evolve; it does. And the followers of religions are awaiting science to redeem them, awaiting for science to "catch up" to their archaic beliefs. Neither side will ever win, but that's what both sides are looking for; a "win." 60,000 years of modern humans, less than 5000 years of traditional religions (Hindu, Judaism, etc). Fast forward 2000 years, or how about 5000 years from today. The world is not going to end, there is no end time, the silliness that is religious belief today will be essentially forgotten. Technology will be so advanced we will be flying to distant planets and the year 2011 will be like ancient history, written in one small volume. Can we get our minds around any of this? If we could we would understand how shallow any of these discussions really are and how silly it is for us to draw up sides and pit one human against another.

      February 15, 2011 at 2:43 pm |
  14. Alan

    Deepak, you state, "I'm thinking instead of Charles Darwin, whose theory of evolution has proved victorious over the Book of Genesis and its story of God creating the universe in seven days. Since then, God has been found wanting when measured against facts and data. " The account in Genesis does not refer to literal days. Darwin's theory is still a theory that is unproven. If you consider that a victory you count victories in a strange way. Convergence of science and creation are occuring as science unravels more facts and it becomes clear we were created. It is undeniable and if created then logic screams a creator must exist. The decline in Christendom is happening because people are seeing inconsistency. The Bible teaches many things that the clergy are ignoring. People are have indeed become more aware, aware that Christendom does not represent the God of the Bible. But just because people have lost faith in there religion in no way means they have lost faith in God. While it appears you, like many scientist, do not want to be responsible to God. That does not mean you won't be. That's like saying I can go as fast as I want because I do not believe police exist. Try that out and let me know how it works for you.

    February 15, 2011 at 1:11 pm |
    • Mike

      Darwin's theory is proven. Ask anyone who understands both what a theory and evolution are.

      February 15, 2011 at 1:15 pm |
    • Rich

      @ Mike... A one sentence reply and a blind appeal to the crowd for validation does not a counter-argument make. While Alan's response could have been worded more clearly, his point remains open to discussion. Perhaps we could start by clearing up how each individual defines a theory in the context of their argument.

      Simply stating something is true and then following up with, "Ask anyone who understands both what a theory and evolution are" does not mean anything. That's a poor appeal to authority. My suggestion for you sir would be to take a basic debate class.

      February 15, 2011 at 1:26 pm |
    • Icarus Flying High

      A scientific theory is an accepted fact that is backed by volumes upon volumes of evidence derrived through the scientific processes. You're using the Layman's definition of Theory.

      February 15, 2011 at 1:30 pm |
    • cm

      Darwin respected people of faith – the atheists trolls here do not. You don't debate the existence of God in the lab you do that in some philosophy class.

      February 15, 2011 at 1:31 pm |
    • John


      And while Mike is doing that, you could break out a dictionary and learn the difference between a run-of-the-mill theory and a scientific one.

      February 15, 2011 at 1:35 pm |
    • SaneAtheist

      Darwin's Theory of Evolution through Natural Selection is about as "unproven" as the theory of Gravity. Christian Fundamentalists should get a new line of attack, this one has been completely rebuffed.

      February 15, 2011 at 1:39 pm |
    • Rich

      @ John... Civility seems to be a lost art these days. Would it kill you?

      Oh and thank you for your kind reminder, but I'm very well aware of the textbook definition of a theory. Perhaps that was why I mentioned that Alan could have phrased his argument better?

      February 15, 2011 at 1:40 pm |
    • BR

      @Rich-Try adding something meaningful to the discussion rather than critiquing an individual post for its own sake.

      @ALan-The account in Genesis, as with each and every word throughout both testaments are interpreted for a particular goal ad-hoc. For centuries it literally meant 6 days...until modern geology demonstrated the true age of the earth. Then, all of a sudden Genesis isn't literal any more. This convergence of science and creation you refer to doesn't exist. Continually, decade after decade, century after century, the myths of religion are put aside and eventually, begrudgingly acknowledged by the church. That's divergence, not convergence.

      and BTW...I'll prove police exist if you show me god exists.

      February 15, 2011 at 2:19 pm |
  15. goat

    "We are conscious beings who live with purpose and meaning. It seems unlikely that these arose form a random, meaningless universe."

    This is what people think when they cannot accept that life exists merely to exist. It would break their heart to imagine that their life has no "meaning" outside of procreation. You make a good example of what religion and spirituality are, however, by using your myths to explain science, instead of the other way around.

    "The real goal of a new science will be to expand our reality so that spiritual truths are acceptable, along with many other subjective experiences that science has long dismissed as unreliable."

    Just like I said, if science used myth as a guideline, we'd be back several centuries in science. Luckily, science works on fact, and people make up the religious lies of spirituality/religion to make themselves feel better. Again, a harsh truth. If you don't want to accept it as fact, continue believing whatever you want, just don't you dare let it interfere with the path of science.

    February 15, 2011 at 1:11 pm |
    • Ian

      I do agree with you almost completely, however I do think that belief and science should be used together, I mean obviously use the science as the guideline, but somethings that are belief based can be proven or disproven and I think its important to keep your eyes open to everything as a scientist so a reexisting bias doesn't interfere with the research or findings.

      February 15, 2011 at 1:18 pm |
  16. Ian

    I really like the questions that arise from this article, it was a very different and insteresting take that I've never thought of before. It really made me think and for that I say thanks, definitely worth the read!

    February 15, 2011 at 1:11 pm |
  17. Curt

    Chopra is a snake-oil salesman. This piece he's written doesn't even make sense. If evolution "proved" anything wrong, why did Chopra refer to evolution as a theory? Use your brain, dude. Furthermore, he claims there is no evidence to support the existence of God. That's true. It's called FAITH. But he fails to add that there is no evidence to support the NON-existence of God. Atheists rely on faith, as well. They have faith that God does NOT exist. They're just not honest about it. All this article is is Chopra promoting his symposium. If one wants to read a real scholar on science and religion, try John Polkinghorne.

    February 15, 2011 at 1:09 pm |
    • SteveG

      Atheists most certainly do not rely on faith, we refuse to believe in something because of a lack of physical evidence. I refuse to believe in God for the same reasons I don't believe in Santa Claus, Unicorns, etc. Faith as nothing to do with it. Its a choice between reason and authority.

      February 15, 2011 at 1:31 pm |
    • martin

      i dont rely on faith about god, i rely on facts.
      i dont need to prove the non-existence of god, you just have to prove the existence of it. when god is proven real, we the noisy atheists will cease to exist. until then we will be here.

      February 15, 2011 at 1:38 pm |
    • Luis Wu

      I have "faith" in science because it uses observation, logic and reason, not archaic old books of myths.

      February 15, 2011 at 1:51 pm |
    • Curt

      @SteveG... actually, yes, atheists do place their 'trust' in something. That's what the word 'faith' means. Also, given that there are 2.3 billion Christians in the world, 1.6 billion Muslims, 951 million Hindus, 468 million Buddhists, et. al... to equate belief in the existence / non-existence of a Deity to belief in the existence / non-existence in Santa Claus or a unicorn is to approach the topic from a more emotional, less reasonable/scientific posture.

      @martin... why would you want to hold somebody else to a standard you would not follow yourself? I cannot prove the existence of God. But if I could, would you believe? Also, I have nothing against atheists... I was simply critiquing the line of argument some atheists use from time to time. Atheists are free to speak their minds.

      @Luis Wu... thank you for your honest answer. I, too, have faith (a trust) in science. I trust that medical science will tell me how to cure my loved one of the illness she now suffers. I trust that "archaic book of myths" to tell me why I should want my loved one to be cured. Science addresses the questions of how. Religions addresses the questions of why. In my mind, there is no conflict.

      February 15, 2011 at 3:04 pm |
  18. Creodont

    The shear hypocrisy of a man like Chopra, who makes his money bilking people with his nonsense, trying to say that science needs to get along with religion is ridiculous. This is the man who claims to have used his "psychic" powers to help stop the Deepwater Oil Leak and that his meditations cause earthquakes. CNN has lost my respect for putting this up.

    February 15, 2011 at 1:09 pm |
  19. manig16

    The day science takes over spirituality from religion, god begins to disappear from human mind.

    February 15, 2011 at 1:08 pm |
    • cm

      And then existence as we know it will become dull and mundane.

      February 15, 2011 at 1:28 pm |
    • Luis Wu

      And religious people will finally wake up from their fantasy worlds.

      February 15, 2011 at 1:37 pm |
    • cm

      Luis, sounds like you are a fundamental atheist. Religion is just the gateway to spirituality. The connection is up to the individual.

      February 15, 2011 at 1:41 pm |
    • Sunny Guy

      Excuse me, I think my last comment went to the previous thread, although it was intended for this one.

      Anyway, you've got it exactly backwards. ...

      As spirituality takes its rightful place ahead of science, God will return to the minds of men. Only this time, we will figure out that there can be only _one_ Creator, _one_ God. And as usual, men of the intellect will be the last to know. But they will no longer be able to suppress spirituality, in order to usurp its rightful place.

      Sunny Guy

      February 15, 2011 at 1:55 pm |
  20. christian berger

    wow i am surprised in the complete arrogance of the christian religion, and the absolute ignorance of the human race to seek what is their divine right. furthermore i am shocked that as a human race people still argue and separate them selves as christians, caucasians, mac users, and so on. there is a great link between science and religion, you don't have to be a roscruscian or a free mason to figure it out. you do however have to have a sense of non discrimination, and a desire to see it. religion is clearly brainwashing society and making them not only afraid and judgmental, but ignorant and close minded. perhaps if society less afraid of what they do not know and progressed to a point where the people could listen openly and engage in the idea that science and spirit do share a bond then we would not have people proclaiming their god as better then another, and would see that all is united, and the only difference is in degree, then we would not have war, famine, class in society, poverty, and so on. deepak is not taking advantage of people, merely sending a message that is older then what we can understand and making full circle like orobus to our current point in time. but we must see that there are those of us who say what would jesus do and turn around smoke a cigarette, and say kill the people who are not like us. and they think its fine, yet on the other side of the world people are doing the same, and we think we are different because our savior is white and theirs is brown, we wear nikes and they wear sandals. we put our self on a pedestal only to be put back in our places when nature takes its course. it must stop. by exploring the realm of science, we can clearly see that the miracle of life is in each cell, and we are connected by these cells, even in the air which we do not see but know is there, there is a chemical bond between our skin and this air. but a scientist may say well science is god and not understand the full spectrum, as a religious man may say this is god and not understand the science. both sides are ignorant. the article is great, and the comments are interesting. imagine if all the people in the world denounced the idea of separation, denounced religion, denounced big government, denounced war, and lived together peacefully, would we then need to be right all the time, or would we just be happy knowing our neighbors share the same planet we do, share the same needs we do, share the same experience, and wish for better things for our children and future generations. i think in all religions that is the underline point, as well as science.

    February 15, 2011 at 1:07 pm |
    • Luis Wu

      Stop using then instead of than. Very annoying and it makes you look ignorant.

      February 15, 2011 at 1:45 pm |
    • Sunny Guy

      Science can never "take over" spirituallity; nor will religion be able to continue to suppress it - witness the cruel murder of Jesus 2000 years ago, witness the Spanish Inquisition, yadda yadda yadda. Only the forms ever change. Notice how many people describe themselves nowadaqys as "spiritual but not religious". Tell you something?

      Science can't even comment, either for or against, on the existence of leprechauns. They aren't taking over squat. It's out of the proper domain of science. And spiritually has no need of science, as it forever stands above and beyond it.

      Sunny Guy

      February 15, 2011 at 1:47 pm |
    • Dave

      That will never happen, why? although it is nice to imagine a utopian society, you must remember man is an animal with animal instincts that drive him to survive and men have the hormone testosterone that drives them to be the leader of the pack. Ya we have a somewhat superior brain than other animals that stores information that allows us to process information for a variety of senses into conscious thought. It plays second fiddle though when hormones are involved.

      February 15, 2011 at 1:54 pm |
    • john

      Ah I am mostly wanting to contribute my two cents as is said. I have a friend who says "Let's just agree to disagree" Drives me nuts sometimes. That being said I will tell you that I am a Christian, and believe the Genisis account of creation. Understand that as I read Genisis it looks to me, to be a snap shot of Creation, and there is many asspects that I believe we will not understand till we enter int eternity, that I also believe in. Sience has done a lot for our world, and as I see it would not be possible with out God. Just like so many teachers of my faith (teaching wrong principles) I see that sience often times does the same. (every day we read that sience has discovered something once thought to be true is no longer true). What I really find sad, is that from both sides of the debate or as christian berger seems to be pointing out – from every side of life, people stand on their beliefs (which is to be expected) and then hurl hurtful and demeaning names at the other side. And so hate and wars come to be. Hmm I wonder if we could all agree to disagree? Perhaps my friend had some thing to say after all. 🙂

      February 15, 2011 at 2:50 pm |
    • Face

      When you say "agree to disagree" (I hate that also) do you imply that no conclusion can be reached so you stop trying?

      My mom tells me that when I talk to her, and I point out every time, that THAT stops people from asking questions....
      Religion does that and that is one reason I don't respect religion.

      Question: Who is more likely wrong, people who lived 2000 yrs ago (and I'm being nice here) or modern scientists who do experiments daily testing different things, while colleague's try and nit pick your progress?
      (Assuming you don't know about the history of life and the earth, if you do nm then)

      February 15, 2011 at 3:44 pm |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.