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. John

    From Chopra's article – "do we live in an intelligent universe?" or "Is there mind outside the body?" This unique conference may answer these questions – featuring three distinguished international experts in the fields of Exopolitics, Remote Viewing, Voice Analysis and UFO imaging this February. Intelligent life – Beyond the 4th Dimension ... http://www.ustream.tv/channel/intelligent-life-beyond-the-4th-dimension-alfred-webre-paul-elder-jon-kelly-live-in-vancouver-feb-25-26th-2011#utm_campaign=www.facebook.com&utm_source=6981825&utm_medium=social>

    February 15, 2011 at 7:20 pm |
  2. airwx

    It is interesting to listen to a-theists try to force chris-tians to accept long rejected theologies, such as a literal 6 day creation, and then point to science as the be-all end-all of knowledge.

    1. Science only explains that which is observable. If you demand a visible diety, then get a miiror and worship yourself.
    2. Faith and religion are two separate things. Religion is man-made, faith is not.
    3. Every scientific theory of creation requires something to pre-exist. To answer this quandry I posit the following:

    Time did not always exist therefore nothing had to pre-exist creation. Read ch1 vs 1.

    February 15, 2011 at 7:19 pm |
    • fsmgroupie

      sarah palin thinks we walked the earth with dinasaurs and mitt romney wears magical mormon underwear. Yup, science and religion working together.

      February 15, 2011 at 10:48 pm |
    • BR

      @airwx-There are plenty of biblical literalists who insist that 6 days is 6 days...there was a talking snake (serpent)...Noah...Exodus...the entire ball of wax. Those who try to massage the passages into "some are parables..." etc. aren't the ones who get hit with that argument but there comes a point where theists have to own up to the fact that the scriptures are, in fact, errant. The scriptures got creation wrong and there is a whole plethora of flawed information which follows. We're not trying to get theists to accept them...we're trying to get you to acknowledge the baseless claims that are rampant in the bible which undermine the existence of any deity.

      1. If you demand that your beliefs receive any credence, demonstrate they are justified or don't post in a public forum.

      2. Religion and faith are both man-made. One takes place in the world, the other is an invention of the mind also known as willing suspension of disbelief.

      3. Any proposed deity is subject to the same conditions of what you term "Pre-existence" However, there is no reason to believe that "pre-existence" or "non-existence of time" are even valid concepts. If current theories are correct and time, itself, did not exist in any meaningful sense, then there is no "outside of time" for god to reside as many theists propose.

      We do not know/cannot establish that any god exists. From there, it is untenable to posit it having always existed.

      We know that the universe exists. It is more reasonable to extrapolate that the universe has simply always existed in some form.

      February 16, 2011 at 1:59 pm |
  3. nepawoods

    Certainly some religious beliefs are not compatible with scientific knowledge and thought. On the other hand, strong anti-religious belief is no more rational or scientific than the most unfounded religion.

    How many times I've heard someone claim proof of the Big Bang is proof that there was no creator. Yet Einstein himself once rejected the primordial atom ("Big Bang") theory, while also remarking that it bothered him that it was too consistent with Judeo-Christian creation dogma.

    We have not the least bit of objective scientifically valid evidence of consciousness, as in the sensation of subjective experiences (qualia), nor of free will. We live in a universe where the so-called "butterfly effect" plays a strong role, so that things at a quantum microscopic level affect things at a large scale, and a universe where there is true randomness at the quantum level, which gives theoretically uncaused events which can't be empirically distinguished from events with unseen causes. This gives a universe where there is room for a God to act without leaving evidence. One might have imagined the universe to be otherwise, but we discovered it is so only recently. These discoveries too are a bit too consistent with the possibility of there being a God.

    February 15, 2011 at 6:23 pm |
    • AmazingSteve

      They're also consistent with the Flying Spaghetti Monster controlling everything with His Noodly Appendage, or an invisible teapot on the far side of the moon, or the dragon that lives in my garage.

      Or... what if they were just consistent with a random universe, with absolutely no need of any kind of God? Ridiculous, I know.

      February 15, 2011 at 7:08 pm |
    • nepawoods

      Whether you call it God or the Flying Spaghetti Monster is irrelevant – these are just labels. Until you start postulating properties of the thing without reason (such as that it has a "Noodly Appendage").

      There is no need for any kind of God – I think I made that point when I said "this gives a universe where there is room for a God to act without leaving evidence". Similarly, there is no need to posit that human beings have consciousness (in the sense of subjective experience of qualia) or free will (some sort of influence that is neither random nor deterministic), yet most atheists believe in both (even your venerable Richard Dawkins has affirmed belief in free will). Everything a human being does, all complex behaviors, can, in principle, if not yet in practice, be explained purely on the basis of describable physical processes a governed by deterministic physical laws. There would be no need to posit the existence of some indescribable things, such as are the qualia, as everything can be explained without them. Indeed, even if not, something which can't be described in any way could not lend anything in explanatory power.

      February 15, 2011 at 7:25 pm |
    • BR

      @nepawoods-There is either "...no need for any kind of god" or "there is room for god to act without leaving evidence." and "these discoveries too are a bit too consistent with the possibility of there being a God."

      You can't have it both ways. You're going out of your way to uphold/condemn both sides of the argument...or you're deliberatly obfuscating your position. Nihilist perhaps?

      February 16, 2011 at 12:18 pm |
  4. gabe

    1. Science doesn't posit a "random, meaningless universe", as Deepak thinks.
    2. The "split" between micro/quantum and macro worlds has nothing to do with consciousness. That was a confusion on the part of early theorists. New theories are removing the split altogether.
    3. The universe is intelligible, that's the miracle. We don't need to anthropomorphize it in order to find meaning and purpose amidst its intrinsic beauty and complexity.
    4. Science and spirituality get along best when they stick to their own areas of expertise.

    February 15, 2011 at 6:22 pm |
    • thorrsman

      Science does not posit a random, meaningless universe? Then what meaning does "science" think the universe has?

      And in what way is the universe intelligent? Is the universe itself "God"? Is the universe itself the intelligence that directs life to ever more=complex forms? And if so, for what end?

      February 15, 2011 at 6:24 pm |
    • Q

      Science addresses mechanisms and functional applications/relationships, but it simply doesn't address "purpose" in any teleological sense.

      February 15, 2011 at 6:31 pm |
  5. jloome

    Science and religion can never be reconciled as they are looking for fundamentally different things.

    Scientists are trying to explain the creation of our universe, but do so from the position that before expanding it was a hot dense mass. Science does not try to explain anything "before existence," because it's considered a tautology: an unanswerable question within the sphere of human understanding.

    Religion is trying to give supporters an answer to the scientifically unanswerable question of what precedes existence. It's unanswerable to have something exist before existence itself in anthropomorphic terms.

    February 15, 2011 at 5:58 pm |
    • Q

      While I agree, I'd offer that more important to the sustainability of religion is the promise of immortality (for the small price of irrational belief). While folks are interested in where they come from, they're generally more concerned about where they're going and religious faith pacifies the disconcerting ego-driven fear of ceasing to exist.

      February 15, 2011 at 6:13 pm |
  6. Milind

    Inspite of being an Indian I would believe Stephan Hawkings to Deepak Chopra. While ancient scriptures in Hinduism (not a religion by the way) the world was created out of nothing. Scientists now believe that post the big bang, the universe was created out of the separation matter and anti-matter.However inspite of being a Hindu, I am not going to insist that my faith gives the right solution. These are just different theories. If Science gives an alternate explaination, we should be willing to accept it.

    While Science in its current state cannot explain a lot of things, we cannot let religion give alternate explainations based on some prior books of faith. Hawking goes on the elaborate in his latest book that Gravity was enough to create this Universe. God was not necessary (He never implied that God does not exist by the way).

    Overall, I have reached a conclusion that while I believe in God, I do not believe in organized religion. This way, if Science comes up with a theory, it becomes easy to accept it. God makes me Humble. Religion makes me Arrogant and sometimes Ignorant.

    February 15, 2011 at 5:36 pm |
    • Reality


      If you have not already done so, please watch Julia Sweeney's monologue "Letting Go of God". You are one of the "stars" in the show.

      To wit:

      "I was so intrigued with this quantum mechanics that Deepak refers to over and over and over again in his books, that I decided to take a class in it.

      And what I found is-Deepak Chopra is full of sh__!"

      Julia Sweeney, Letting Go of God

      (Ex-Catholic) Julia Sweeney's monologue "Letting Go Of God" will be the final nail in the coffin of religious belief/faith and is and will continue to be more effective than any money-generating book or your "Ultimate Happiness Prescription".

      Buy the DVD or watch it on Showtime. Check your cable listings.

      from http://www.amazon.com

      "Letting Go of God ~ Julia Sweeney (DVD – 2008)

      Five Star Rating

      February 15, 2011 at 5:46 pm |
    • Muneef

      It is a pity to see that the books which were the base of the knowledge and science of today are no longer considered! Although we know as Muslims that the Quran has all the knowledge hidden within the words and verses that need to be tackled to release hidden contents that explains our wonders...
      Where ever and how much long the science may go wandering, it will in the end come back to find what was told in the book in the simplest words there are for us to understand..! God order things to become as he wishes with a word of order as be and it becomes to be...! So now about gravity being behind the whole creation, could be possible but first ask who created gravity and instructed it to do as told,willingly or loth...!
      Read these verses; 
      Fussilat sura 41:
      In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
      Say (O Muhammad, unto the idolaters): Disbelieve ye verily in Him Who created the earth in two Days, and ascribe ye unto Him rivals? He (and none else) is the Lord of the Worlds. (9) He placed therein firm hills rising above it, and blessed it and measured therein its sustenance in four Days, alike for (all) who ask; (10) Then turned He to the heaven when it was smoke, and said unto it and unto the earth: Come both of you, willingly or loth. They said: We come, obedient. (11) Then He ordained them seven heavens in two Days and inspired in each heaven its mandate; and We decked the nether heaven with lamps, and rendered it inviolable. That is the measuring of the Mighty, the Knower. (12). 

      February 15, 2011 at 7:08 pm |
  7. Muneef

    All the science that human knowledge has reached about the creation of the universe,heavens and Earth is nothing but a drop of water out of an oceans of knowledge that human science yet not has yet reached !!
    "Say (O Muhammad (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) to mankind). 'If the sea were ink for (writing) the Words of my Lord, surely, the sea would be exhausted before the Words of my Lord would be finished, even if we brought (another sea) like it for its aid.'" [Surah al-Kahf 18:109 – interpretation of the meaning]

    And He also says:

    "And if all the trees on the earth were pens and the sea (were ink wherewith to write), with seven seas behind it to add to its (supply), yet the Words of Allah would not be exhausted. Verily, Allah is AllMighty, AllWise." [Surah Luqman 31:27 – interpretation of the meaning]

    As-Sajda sura 32:
    In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
    Allah it is Who created the heavens and the earth, and that which is between them, in six Days. Then He mounted the Throne. Ye have not, beside Him, a protecting friend or mediator. Will ye not then remember? (4) He directeth the ordinance from the heaven unto the earth; then it ascendeth unto Him in a Day, whereof the measure is a thousand years of that ye reckon. (5) Such is the Knower of the Invisible and the Visible, the Mighty, the Merciful, (6).

    Al-Hajj sura 22:
    And they will bid thee hasten on the Doom, and Allah faileth not His promise, but lo! a Day with Allah is as a thousand years of what ye reckon. (47).

    The question here is;
    Was the whole creation made at seven days of God dates or of what we reckon??
    Seven Days or Seven Thousand Years?  
    Al-Hajj sura 22: a Day with Allah is as a thousand years of what ye reckon. (47).
    As-Sajda sura 32: He directeth the ordinance from the heaven unto the earth; then it ascendeth unto Him in a Day, whereof the measure is a thousand years of that ye reckon. (5).

    Can science with all it's mathematics work out what those trying to explain by time difference?
    Al-Maarij sura 70:
    In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
    A questioner questioned concerning the doom about to fall (1) Upon the disbelievers, which none can repel, (2) From Allah, Lord of the Ascending Stairways (3) (Whereby) the angels and the Spirit ascend unto Him in a Day whereof the span is fifty thousand years. (4) But be patient (O Muhammad) with a patience fair to see. (5) Lo! they behold it afar off (6) While we behold it nigh: (7).

    February 15, 2011 at 5:34 pm |
  8. JesusFish

    *flop* *gasp*

    February 15, 2011 at 5:30 pm |
  9. Salvatore

    This article is a joke. Science will simply never deal in the realm of spiritualism. When science makes new discoveries it describes what it observes. It doesn't look beyond that discription and jump to a conclusion like, "therefore it must be a higher being". We can't see, nor do we fully understand gravity but science doesn't say "it must be some intelligent particles". Name one occasion where science explained something that was once explained by faith that concluded in a closer bond between science and faith. Stop making things up just to sell books Dr. Chewbacca or I will never see Star Wars again!

    February 15, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
    • AmazingSteve

      Your lack of scientific understanding is not helping your (our) cause. Science is all about making conclusions, the difference is that we can then test these conclusions. However, even after they have been tested, they are sometimes proved wrong. In science we stick with a model that works until it doesn't anymore, and then you discard the parts that don't work and improve the parts that do. Religion just picks something arbitrarily and decides that the world has to bend around it. THAT'S the difference. You still have to make conclusions, otherwise you wouldn't be doing anything.

      Also, your implication that science and religion NEVER support each other is just juvenile. Kosher and Halal dietary restrictions, for example, would have been great ways to keep away from unsafe foods before proper sanitation was invented. Avoid speaking in absolutes, kid – you're almost guaranteed to be proven wrong by someone eventually.

      Now, here's your chance to make a choice: you can do what a religious person would and decide that I'm picking on you, and that you should ignore/insult/hate me, or you can take the scientific route and think about what I've told you. Analyze it, apply your own experiences, decide what to keep and what to discard, and then get back to me. My own opinions could probably use a little revising, but an outside perspective could help me know where.

      February 16, 2011 at 11:03 pm |
  10. Brooklyn Boy

    Frankly, I am tired of hearing from folks who claim that science and religion are converging. This idea might sell some symposium tickets but it's pure nonsense. As Mark Twain used to say, faith is when you believe in something you know ain't true. Religion demands dogmatic adherence. When religion masquerades as science (as in the theories of "intelligent design"), the result is intellectually dishonest because the "researchers" aren't seeking any evidence that doesn't support their original conclusion. Supporters of religious concepts are hiding behind pseudo scientific concepts and terms because they must know that their infantile fairy tale beliefs simply cannot withstand critical analysis.

    February 15, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @Brooklyn Boy

      Well said, and quite true. Science is drowning the gods in a sea of discovery. Religion is faith and fear based. Science is evidence based.


      February 15, 2011 at 5:44 pm |
    • cm

      Funny thing though science has proved a lot of what is written in the Bible and other sacred writs. Apparently many atheists leave out archealogy and other sciences.

      February 15, 2011 at 6:11 pm |
    • Q

      cm – Historical fiction references actual historical places and events, but the plot is still fiction.

      February 15, 2011 at 6:15 pm |
    • cm

      Q, the writers of antiquity didn't waste their time on fiction.

      February 15, 2011 at 6:34 pm |
    • Q

      A man living in a great fish for 3 days is fiction. A talking snake is fiction. Eight humans and two of each "kind" (including dinosaurs) boarding a boat to then eventual disembark, crossing untold distances across land and sea, to repopulate the earth is fiction. Etc, etc...

      February 15, 2011 at 7:11 pm |
  11. Heinz M

    The problem I see is when anyone insists that there has to be meaning, and reason for out existence. When establishing such a basis for further reasoning, the whole discussion about it becomes contaminated. Just because we have nature with great powers at its disposal, to automatically assume the existence of a mind to go with it is just ridiculous.
    Science attempts to find the powers that are and accepts those only when they can be substantiated.
    Religion goes on belief and faith and doesn't even pretend to have a foundation under that (which would be useless as it doesn't exist). Its followers then try to make a virtue out of that non existence and the fact that a large percentage of humanity follows that pied piper. Which of course proves nothing other than human's gullibility. And that's nothing to be proud of.
    All based on what people were reconditioned to by their ignorant parents.
    And that trend goes back to the Sumerians 8,000 years ago. Each new generation accepted that balderdash through Egypt's RA, the Greeks gods an Olympus, and the Romans gods as adopted from the Greeks with just a small change in names.
    It's been crap then, and it still is just that! Just the stories have been changed a little.
    To even try to make a connection of all that to what science is supposed to be, is just reminiscing of some new Indian attempts to tie their religion to and justify it via quantum mechanics.
    Reminds me much of the Nigerian inheritance scams. Just in a (slightly) different direction. All of it pure nonsense.

    February 15, 2011 at 5:17 pm |
    • B(iraq) Hussein Osama

      God gave humanity science for humans to understand God.
      Atheists think they invented science and use it to blind themselves from God.

      February 15, 2011 at 6:48 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @B(iraq) Hussein Osama

      Hmmmm.... interesting.

      A lot of assumptions in there, however, -B.H.O.

      But, again... sounds good.


      February 15, 2011 at 8:20 pm |
  12. TheRationale

    Deepak is a windbag notorious for making dumb comments, just fyi to anyone who hasn't heard of him before.

    A scientific atti-tude is diametrically opposed to a religious one because religion is founded upon believing regardless of the facts whereas action is founded on beliefs founded upon facts.

    He says it himself that there's no evidence for God. Well then why the heck believe in one? Don't give me this red herring nonsense- it's actually a very relevant herring. There's no evidence for any of the thousands of other gods either! If we can essentially assure ourselves that we're worshiping nonexistent deities/enti-ties/spirits, what's the point?!? Are we going to be "spiritual" without any spirits?

    And what is with the unwarranted God of the Gaps statement of morondom this guy insists on using? Science can't explain everything. Hellooooo, that's the point of science – to figure out what we can't explain. If we happen to be discovering things about the fabric of our universe that are conflicting with current ideas, we have a looming scientific revolution, not a collapse of science! Where have you been since the Renaissance? If we just say "Oh well looks like we have some mystical juju at work here" puts us right back in Genesis. The fact is that right now, we don't know. The only way we'll know is with science. Spiritual "truth" is a bigger oxymoron than Microsoft Works.

    Noisy atheists? Name calling now? We saw you coming a mile away. You basically can't come up with some intelligent thing to say (no surprise) so you resort to ad hominem tactics.

    Don't waste your time with this "spiritual" nut.

    February 15, 2011 at 5:15 pm |
    • Layne

      Nut? Name calling now? We saw you coming a mile away. You basically can't come up with some intelligent thing to say (no surprise) so you resort to ad hominem tactics.

      February 15, 2011 at 5:39 pm |
  13. God is real


    February 15, 2011 at 5:12 pm |
    • AmazingSteve

      You're silly, and not helping anything.

      February 16, 2011 at 12:18 pm |
  14. LEB

    I'm one of those "noisy atheists" who thinks that this article is ridiculous. It IS true that what we consider modern science grew out of religion. However, when science began to discover certain realities that were contrary to the church's teachings (ie, the world is not flat or at the center of the universe), science and religion began to break free of each other. As more and more facts about our world were discovered (ie, the world is more than 6000 years old, humans were not the first species, there was no world-wide flood), science and religion have grown further and further apart.

    Today, the greatest enemy of science is religion. Roughly half of Americans believe in creationism despite overwhelming evidence of the biological processes we know as evolution. Americans are more religious than most other industrialized countries, and it's holding us back, both as a nation and a culture.

    February 15, 2011 at 5:11 pm |
    • Layne

      Does that mean atheism made the former Soviet Union the success it is today?

      February 15, 2011 at 5:38 pm |
    • BR

      @Layne-Anti-religion campaigns weren't remotely at the heart of the failure of the Soviets....not even the top 20.

      February 15, 2011 at 5:55 pm |
    • cm

      LEB not every person who is Judeo-Christian believes in fundamentalism. The words of the Bible and the words of Science can exist and even compliment one another.

      February 15, 2011 at 6:09 pm |
    • B(iraq) Hussein Osama

      >> Today, the greatest enemy of science is religion.

      Actually, today, the greatest enemy of science destroying the human race is religion.

      February 15, 2011 at 6:42 pm |
    • AmazingSteve

      You're right, guy. Scientists trying to better understand biology so they can cure diseases and give all of us longer, happier lives is what will destroy the world, not wars fueled by religious fundamentalism.

      Funny how you religious types never have a problem with the people who invent bombs, but as soon as us biologists start talking about evolution, then we've crossed a line. Keep your nonsense to yourself, and think a little bit the next time you get sick and go to the hospital.

      February 15, 2011 at 6:59 pm |
    • SpringBranch

      Where is this overwhelming evidence of biological processes supporting evolution that you say exists? I think it is all to easy for people to say this, and people just assume science supports it. Someone earlier said believing in God is like believing in Santa, well believing in science and evolution must be like believing in the Easter bunny. Show me anything that supports we evolved from a puddle of goo. Takes way more faith to believe in this theory than creationism.

      February 15, 2011 at 10:05 pm |
    • AmazingSteve


      Try this link, for a start. I recommend the Wikipedia page. It's quite long, though, and you may get bored as you're proved consistently wrong.

      Incidentally, when I searched "evidence for creationism", all I could find that wasn't pulled directly from the Bible were a few weak complaints against evolution, which are definitely not evidence FOR creationism. Scientists aren't claiming to know everything – only the truly religious are foolish enough to claim that – but at least we have a working model with surprisingly few problems. That model is constantly being reviewed and altered as necessary, BECAUSE THATS HOW SCIENCE WORKS.

      This point may be lost on you. Lets use a metaphor:

      Suppose two people, Ted and Jesus, are walking along, and see something that looks an awful lot like a house. It's roughly house-size and -shaped, there are windows in all the right places, a rather pleasant-looking door, a well-kept garden, and the whole thing is surrounded by a picket fence. Ted says, "what a nice house."

      Jesus looks over at Ted, apparently offended, and yells, "that's not a house, you moron, it's obviously a rocket-ship!"

      Ted is confused. "Why do you think it's a rocket-ship?" he asks.

      Jesus puffs up and self-assuredly replies, "Well, I don't see anyone living inside, so it must be a rocket-ship."

      I made that up just now. Guess which one you sound like when you argue for creationism?

      February 15, 2011 at 11:07 pm |
    • SpringBranch

      Amazing Steve... Nice analogy, the only thing I would change in your story is that Ted and Jesus didn't really see the house, but rather they hypothesized the house.. Welcome to evolution. Nice try though. When you find any real evidence that correlates to you "house", let me know.

      February 15, 2011 at 11:43 pm |
    • AmazingSteve

      Seriously guy, click that link I gave you. Here it is again!


      Or just go straight to the Wikipedia page:


      February 15, 2011 at 11:56 pm |
    • AmazingSteve

      And your terminology is a bit confused. What they saw was an undetermined structure (life). Their separate hypotheses are that it is either a house (evolution), or a rocket-ship (MAGICK SKY POWERS).

      February 15, 2011 at 11:59 pm |
    • AmazingSteve

      Oh poop, gave you the wrong link up there. Ah well, the creationism one is a fun read, at least.

      February 16, 2011 at 12:00 am |
    • SpringBranch

      Amazing Steve...they hypothesized an undetermined structure. Last I checked scientists haven't created life in a lab and observed evolution. You pointing me to Wikipedia for proof of evolution strikes me funny.

      February 16, 2011 at 12:07 am |
    • AmazingSteve

      Fine, buddy. You want primary sources? Scroll ALLLLLLLLLLL the way down that Wikipedia page to the references section. You're going to enjoy reading those even less, though.

      They haven't created any gods in a lab either, by the way. I suppose you guys created one in your silly little book, but he doesn't really seem to do anything. I'm a microbiologist, though, and although I haven't created life, I've sure observed evolution happening. Ever heard of antibiotic resistance?

      February 16, 2011 at 12:12 am |
    • Face

      Yeah all you have to do is read a biology book or gasp* take a college course on the subject!
      Trying to talk to someone as ignorant as you is like teaching quantum physics to a child that doesn't even know what atoms are.
      Creationism and Evo. have been debated in court multiple times and EVOLUTION HAS BEEN SUPPORTED EVERYTIME!!
      Dover vs Wade in PA is the most recent one.

      GL with your ignorance, hopefully you'll feel like a dumb@$$ when you LEARN ABOUT IT!

      February 16, 2011 at 10:48 am |
    • BR

      @SpringBranch-It's completely irrational of you to expect some random, unknown poster to educate you on the century of evolutionary study. Theists are quick to tell others to read the bible, so study up before you dismiss information of which you are clearly unaware.

      First check this theist site to make sure you aren't tripping over your own tongue.


      Then this site for the facts.


      February 16, 2011 at 10:48 am |
  15. Jim Reese

    I don't care about anyone's beliefs - you can believe any crazy thing you want to. I only care about people's actions. Don't try to force your religion-based morality or religion-based cosmology or religion-based biology down my (or anyone else's) throat.

    Two rules to live by:
    1. Live and let live.
    2. When attacked, destroy the attacker.

    February 15, 2011 at 5:10 pm |
    • Dave

      Well put.

      February 15, 2011 at 5:21 pm |
    • Layne

      Remind me not to make you angry.

      February 15, 2011 at 5:40 pm |
    • cm

      So Jim how can you tell the difference between right and wrong? You philosophy needs some adjusting. Just like many other people's point of view here – nothing is being stuff down your throats. Its all how you preceive it.

      February 15, 2011 at 6:00 pm |
  16. Billy

    Wow, you're just now realizing something that Hubbard discovered over 60 years ago!

    February 15, 2011 at 5:07 pm |
    • jloome

      Yeah, and then turned it into a predatory cult because he was a sociopath, rather than use that information for good. Instead, he tied it to communal process and beliefs that were ridiculous but solidified his community's support.

      Disgusting. If you're a scientologist, buddy, you need to do a lot more reading on the guy who founded your "religion,"

      Thanks, but Voltaire and Descartes were on this track a lot earlier, and the pre-confucian taoists figured it out 3,500 years ago, when the Abrahamic religions were in their infancy.

      February 16, 2011 at 5:54 pm |
  17. Brian

    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 "

    That's interesting because it has not proved victorious over Genesis nor the story of God creating the universe in seven days. Let's dismiss the article right away considering it wasn't a 7-day creation, but a 6-day. Get the basics right then I'll listen.

    Until 'science' can answer questions like WHERE did the universe come from and how matter created itself, I won't give much authority to the 'proving of' evolution and science and its claims.

    @ Mark, good for you, but I suspect that when you were through the loss of your parents and the stillbirth of a child, you mourned, a lot. Of course, maybe you didn't. Maybe you didn't care. Maybe they had no value to you. I would not be surprised though because evolution, carried out to its furthest conclusions, clearly implies that there should be NO weeping at the loss of life, parent or stillborn. The death of a stillborn or the loss of parents is the results of freak accidents and survival of the fittest.

    One wonders where this innate emotional attachment comes from AND this value of life that we so preciously cling to. Evolution certainly doesn't have the answer.

    cnncommentator at hotmail com

    February 15, 2011 at 5:07 pm |
    • JesusFish

      Your ignorance is not proof of anything other than your ignorance.

      February 15, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
    • BR

      @Brian-Emotional attachment and value of life are empathy...pure and simple. It varies depending on a person's upbringing, culture, education, etc. but it doesn't take god to explain it. And evolution is behind it all. Although your understanding of evolution is obviously flawed to say the least by the sheer fact that you mention 'survival of the fittest'....absolutely nothing to do with natural selection.

      February 15, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
    • David Johnson


      You said: "Until 'science' can answer questions like WHERE did the universe come from and how matter created itself, I won't give much authority to the 'proving of' evolution and science and its claims."

      And until religion can answer where god came from (with hard evidence), I won't give much credence to the claim that god exists. As it stands, god is no more believable than Santa.

      The only evidence you have for god, is a book that contains errors, and a feeling in your heart. LOL

      If evolution is not so, then how do you explain all the transitional fossils? Did god keep creating "animals" until He got it right?

      Believers live in their own little deluded world. Chock full of talking snakes, and zombie Messiahs that they can't prove ever existed. LOL


      February 15, 2011 at 5:30 pm |
    • Maybe


      "One wonders where this innate emotional attachment comes from AND this value of life that we so preciously cling to. Evolution certainly doesn't have the answer."

      Perhaps evolution does have an explanation. Empathy and attachment to others foster survival... and those who have those qualities are more likely to survive to pass them along.

      February 15, 2011 at 5:35 pm |
    • Q

      Regardless of where matter came from or how life first arose, the theory of evolution stands on the physical evidence and this evidence clearly contradicts ID/creationism.

      February 15, 2011 at 6:08 pm |
    • Nonimus

      Science has been victorious in the sense that all the evidence supports evolution rather than a 7 day creation story. And I'm not sure why you're upset by the 7 days versus 6 days when both are off by ~4 billion years, ~13 billion years if you're talking about the universe.

      The Theory of evolution uses the same science that provides electricity, medicine, tecnology, modern farming, construction, etc., so I'm assuming we won't be hearing from you again, because you won't use those things, including the computer, until science can answer "...WHERE did the universe come from...". Is that correct?

      As to your rude analysis of Mark's loss, empathy very well could be a survival trait and would explain much of our supposedly innate values that many call morality.

      February 15, 2011 at 6:13 pm |
    • jloome

      @Nonimus, in fact, it makes sense within the self-preservation context that the person who has to rationalize a decision is more likely to understand the importance behind an action, and therefore is more likely to adhere to a moral code, because of the implicit consequences.

      When there are no implicit consequences until AFTER you die - and particularly if your religion allows for "repetence" before then - it can be awfully easy to ignore those rules.

      February 15, 2011 at 7:55 pm |
  18. Flora

    Science and religion already do exist peacefully together... winthin myself. It's not that hard to do, it's just that most people have adopted this all-or-nothing approach to the universe that they're unwilling to even try. The truth is, there most likely is no one or the other, but a blending of the two. No great answer is ever simplistic, and I think it was stupid of us to be insisting all these years that the answer to the very universe was.

    February 15, 2011 at 5:02 pm |
    • Layne

      Very well written. Thank you.

      February 15, 2011 at 5:41 pm |
  19. Mr Mark


    I've been through the loss of both parents and the stillbirth of a child, and not for a second did I feel the need to seek out "god" or some other idiotic deity for help.

    February 15, 2011 at 5:02 pm |
    • Layne

      With all due respect for your losses, you're in the minority. Words like baloney and idiot aren't converting the majority over to your side.

      February 15, 2011 at 5:34 pm |
    • AmazingSteve

      He might be in the minority, but he's not alone. Not everyone has to turn to delusions to cope with reality. Some people can just square their jaw and say, "lets make it better."

      February 15, 2011 at 6:51 pm |
    • Psimon

      @Layne – He wasn't trying to convert you. Atheism isn't some pyramid scheme like religion where you go out and convert to be saved. Believe what you like, just keep it to yourself.

      February 16, 2011 at 12:12 am |
  20. INTPMann

    Our scientific understanding of the universe is imperfect and always evolving, which most people understand implicitly. That's what science is... If we could only admit to ourselves just as easily that our understanding of God is also imperfect and always evolving, perhaps science and religion could coexist more easily.

    For instance, if you accept the M-theory hypothesis that the universe is an 11-dimensional place, you could decide (as an act of faith) that God is at least 12 dimensions (or more), which would make everything people say about God being everywhere simultaneously and being outside of time literally (and scientifically!) true. No conflict, other than the existence of God being an untestable hypothesis and therefore beyond the description of science. So there, religion and science don't have to conflict unless you want them to...

    February 15, 2011 at 4:57 pm |
    • Flora

      Precisely. Thank you.

      February 15, 2011 at 5:03 pm |
    • Karen Elkins at sciencetosage.com

      Man is always inquiring into the nature of his reality and findings suggest that we live in a universe (one song) constructed of bioelectrical and magnetic impulse, expressed as a sea of pure consciousness. The sea of dancing particles sends waves, forms shapes and creates patterns which reveal that we live in an intelligent and elegantly designed universe.
      To understand this blueprint of creation puts a new spin on our understanding of our place in the field of limitless possibilities, allowing us to see our interconnectedness within the web of life.
      Exploration through a mystical and ancient mindset allows for comprehension of what the ancients have voiced all along in their verses and songs.
      The ability of human genius to ponder the nature of reality in its simplicity and its majesty is what these great minds have strived to make known to humanity.

      I am the Soul the exists in everything. I am the beginning the middle and the end of all lives...I am mind dwelling in, I am the One who never changes. I am manifest in all things, and nothing moves without Me.
      The Bagavad Gitta

      One intrinsic unity embraces all phenomena.
      The Lankavatara Suta

      The Great Tao pervades all things. It caused all things to come into existence.
      The Tao Te Ching

      I Am the one who is with you always. I am the Father, the Mother, the Son. I cannot be defiled or corrupted. I have to teach you those things that are and those things that will be, so that through this revelation you will perceive the perfection of humanity.
      The Apocrypha of John

      Karen Elkins
      Science to Sage (.com) and theonehub.com

      February 15, 2011 at 5:14 pm |
    • JesusFish

      So you take a scientific hypothesis and then shape your UNtestable god belief around it to fit. What a joke.

      February 15, 2011 at 5:28 pm |
    • Alex

      "No conflict, other than the existence of God being an untestable hypothesis and therefore beyond the description of science."
      Wrong. Occam's Razor is an aspect of science, look it up. God's existence is neither a necessary, useful, or evidenced hypothesis. That is why science and religion/spirituality conflict, and there is no avoiding that conflict as long as religionists and spiritualists rely on faith rather than reason and evidence.

      February 15, 2011 at 5:37 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.