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. 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 11:25 pm |
  2. 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 11:24 pm |
  3. Colem

    but that didn't answer the original question.

    February 15, 2011 at 10:55 pm |
  4. Read Both Books

    "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."

    And I'm thinking you don't understand evolution. It does not in any way explain creation or the origin of life. It explains how life adapts to an ever-changing earth over time.

    February 15, 2011 at 10:33 pm |
    • Ruby

      So saying, someone also is saying they don't understand Genisis.

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

      In fact the evidence supporting evolution does contradict the special creation, the coexistence of all "kinds" together and their destruction in a single (mythical) global flood.

      February 16, 2011 at 2:02 am |
  5. Colem

    I really must know where is the proof for evolution that has not been disproven, is not hypothetical, is not a theory,or is not a blatant lie. If you can give me an example that can be backed up with cold hard facts I will give evolution another look but until then it is just a religion in and of itself and should not be considered science.

    "to suppose that the eye... could have been formed by natural selection, seems, I freely confess, absurd in the highest possible degree." – Charles Darwin 1872

    February 15, 2011 at 10:19 pm |
    • SpringBranch

      Well said...you left out one thing, evolution is a false religion.

      February 15, 2011 at 10:36 pm |
    • tallulah13

      You forgot the rest of the quote. I tried to post it here, but there is a word or two in there that the non-existent moderators don't like. Feel free to ignore the politics of the site. That isn't important here. Just read the rest of the quote, which is highlighted on the page. Changing the context of a quote for your own purposes it a dishonest use of another person's words.

      You can find the entire quote here.


      February 15, 2011 at 10:46 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Spring Branch, I don't think you understand what you're talking about. Evolution is science. It is observable and provable. It exists apart from the realms of faith. Religion is faith. It is based on feelings, or what a leader or book says is correct to feel. Can you see the difference?

      February 15, 2011 at 10:49 pm |
    • SpringBranch

      Your wrong in your accusation that I forgot the rest of the quote because I wasn't quoting anything, that was simply my thoughts when I read Colem's post. Nice try trying to link it to something else, not taking the bait to follow to your link.

      February 15, 2011 at 10:52 pm |
    • Colem

      Okay yes the quote was out of context and he basically talks about the eye devolving.

      February 15, 2011 at 10:54 pm |
    • Colem

      that still didn't answer the original question.

      February 15, 2011 at 10:56 pm |
    • SpringBranch

      Tallulah...I'm not saying that science isn't provable or observable or valuable, etc. I am saying science has never proved evolution and evolution has never proven observable. Too quickly people throw the cloak of science over evolution. I would argue that belief in evolution destroys science because it introduces fantasy into science. Do you understand the difference? I think I know what I'm talking about.

      February 15, 2011 at 11:00 pm |
    • scienceman45

      Evolution is to biologist, the periodic table that is to chemists. -A biology major Nobody argues evolution in any accredited college or university biology department. Its theory is so well establish, it is consider by many to be a law.

      February 15, 2011 at 11:55 pm |
    • Colem

      still I am seeing no evidence to back evolution up. I would encourage people to go to http://www.drdino.com/

      February 16, 2011 at 1:05 am |
    • HotAirAce


      You must conciously be avoiding seeing support for evolution! Scientists are virtually unanimous in their support for evolution. You can find a few scientists who disagree, but you will also find that their disagreements are based on their faith, not science. And in any event, science encourages dissent! A serious scientist with a serious scientific argument would be listened to, and the theory of evolution would be changed or discarded. Evolution has changed over the years, but the basic premise is still the best explanation for the natural world. Compare that to religion, which discourages dissent and only changes as a last resort.

      February 16, 2011 at 1:15 am |
    • Q

      Colem- Really? Kent Hovind? Is he out of prison yet? The best evidence of evolution is still the fossil record with its discrete and progressive order of biological forms. At finer scales, one can trace lineages through the vertical column. Add to this extant biogeography, Neanderthal DNA sequences clearly showing their distinction from H. sapiens, demonstrable speciation in the lab and in the field, etc, etc. In any case, there is no way a global flood could produce this order if, as Kent Hovind asserts, all "kinds" coexisted both pre- and post-flood with the sizable majority destroyed in a single event. Do you honestly believe every last dinosaur drowned and was buried far, far below the first human, or sloth or elephant?

      February 16, 2011 at 1:17 am |
    • Colem

      My faith is based in the Holy Bible which has not changed since it was written. Evolution is a religion and not based in science. I know many Scientists agree with evolution but that doesn't make it true. Compare the thought to be intelligence of dinosaurs to that of humans and tell me who would survive longer in a flood. I believe that Genesis is the best explanation for the natural world. Finally no I don not believe that the last dinosaurs drown in the flood but were killed off by humankind.

      February 16, 2011 at 1:27 am |
    • HotAirAce


      So not only are you ignoring all modern science, but you are also ignoring explicit changes to your book-of-silliness, such as when the guys in funny hats got together to decide what was in and what was out, our when the protestants came up with their version, or when the latter-day-loonies decided another chapter had to be added. You sir, are in serious need of a mental health professional to get you started on deprogramming your cult's irrational beliefs.

      February 16, 2011 at 1:33 am |
    • tallulah13want to hear. You take comfort in something that doesn't change, no matter how much knowledge of the world changes.


      Make the effort. Try googling evolution. Obviously you know how to use a computer. You can find countless examples.

      If you are really curious and just not being deliberately obtuse, you could read the book "Why Evolution is True," by Jerry A. Coyne. He gives a very succinct list of proven examples of evolution.

      Of course, I don't think you want proof, so you foolishly keep asking for evidence you refuse to review.You only want to believe a book that tells you what you want to hear. You take comfort in something that doesn't change, because you fear change. How silly.

      February 16, 2011 at 1:37 am |
    • tallulah13

      Spring Branch, that first comment was not for you.

      Also CNN is adding my comments to my name. Hmm. Strange.

      February 16, 2011 at 1:39 am |
    • Peace2All


      You Said: " Finally no I don't believe that the last dinosaurs drowned in the flood but were killed off by humankind."

      Interesting supposition -Colem. I'm curious as to how the 'dinosaurs' were killed off by us humans...?


      February 16, 2011 at 1:50 am |
    • Q

      Colem – That's weak even by creationist standards. You need to double check the definitions of both "religion" and "science". A vast proportion of the human population alive today doesn't know how to swim. Out of shape folks, the sick, the infirm, the elderly and the babies. And your suggesting that none of these would have drowned before, say, plesiosaurus, a wonderfully adapted aquatic form. Right... Because they were intelligent enough just to survive longer than every single last dinosaur, but then they all drowned. Right... But then later, the "repopulated" humans killed the "repopulated" dinosaurs (without holding onto a single souvenir, a tooth, a claw, a nice triceratops rack mount...), but then these dinosaurs too somehow ended up fossilized far beneath the earlier humans who had already been drowned and buried in the flood. Right....

      I see no response to the other comments so here's a soft ball. If Genesis is the best explanation for the natural world, how many oil/mineral companies use "flood geology" to identify their targeted resources? (Hint: it's zero)

      February 16, 2011 at 1:59 am |
  6. mattmchugh

    Science and religion are like food and beauty. One makes life possible; the other makes life bearable. They are utterly separate, but not mutually exclusive. They can, in fact, be perfectly complementary, like the questions "how" and "why."

    February 15, 2011 at 10:13 pm |
    • Colin

      or put another way, science deals with reality, religion deals with fantasy.

      February 15, 2011 at 10:17 pm |
    • SpringBranch

      Or put another way, science is man's fantasy when man can't prove religion. I can't see the wind, doesn't mean I don't believe it exists.

      February 15, 2011 at 10:33 pm |
    • Water to whine

      SpringBranch, you mentioned in one of your comments above that science is the thing people run to when they cannot prove or disprove religion. Religion is a belief that requires no proof. It's God that is the thing non-believers cannot disprove. I ask you this, however, why would one feel compelled to disprove something that there is no proof for in the first place? Scientists who are non-believers, which by the way not all of them are, feel no desperation to disprove God. There is no proof for God at all, except what one is willing to believe by faith, which also requires no proof. Believe me, scientists are not out there gritting their teeth over not being able to disprove God. They are frustrated with people who require no proof to belive something outrageuous.

      February 15, 2011 at 11:24 pm |
    • SpringBranch

      Water to whine...you said there is no proof of God, but I see proof of God every day in creation. And come on, all those clinical studies and research you mentioned, you haven't really seen that either. A lot of faith in hypothesis going on.

      February 15, 2011 at 11:59 pm |
    • Water to Whine

      SpringBranch Your "proof" of God is nothing of the sort. It is merely your interpretation of wonderful things you see in life. Please look up the definition of the word proof, before commenting. And, your assumption that I am gleaning information on evolution is unfounded since you have no idea what have studied or what I have experienced. This proves that you are only willing to believe what you feel comfortable with, just like many religious folks who fear that which challenges their faith. I challenge you to actually look into evolutionary biology, or are you too afraid that it will ruin your bubble of faith. And, by the way I majored in Christian theology. Much of the things we discovered about the origins of that faith are some of the most challenging things I have ever met with in my journey with God. There is another comment of yours I have responded to above in the series of comments based on your attack on Darwin. Please respond to that, if you have time. I will be back on-line later to respond.

      February 16, 2011 at 12:33 am |
  7. scienceman45

    Never, religion takes conclusions and tries to find evidence. Science takes evidence and tries to form a conclusion.

    February 15, 2011 at 9:51 pm |
  8. Water to whine

    There is no reason that these two things should not be able to reconcile. Science is the focus on things we can prove, and religion is the focus on the things we cannot. Both compliment each other in the needs of man kind for understanding its place in the universe. Both are relevant in society based on where we are going and where we have been. We cannot simply ignore the origins of our present society, which was founded largely on religions. However, we also cannot ignore the facts that we discover through science and where that may take us. Some religious folks who deny science are closed minded to the point of ridiculousness. Some cience folks who deny religion are closed minded to a realm of possibilities that have not been disproven (God). Niether side has the monopoly on what may be in the future. Let's not hate each other.

    February 15, 2011 at 9:49 pm |
  9. SpringBranch

    When did Darwin's theory of evolution prove victorious over the book of Genesis? Darn it, did I miss a CNN article somewhere? Truth be told, it takes more faith to believe in Darwin's theory than a one true God.

    February 15, 2011 at 9:43 pm |
    • Water to whine

      On the issue of evolution, I venture to guess you have never studied it in depth. I find it hard to believe that your definition of faith includes rejection of something with evidence and acceptance of something without. There are vast amounts of evidence for evolution, if you would just take the time to study them. Evolution happens everytime you use hand sanitizer and .01% of the bacteria survive and reproduce into a new bacteria with the genetic trate of resistence to the chemical effects of the sanitizer. I respect your belief in God. I believe in a higher power, as well. But, I don't deny his obvious work by saying proven science is made up. That is just denying God's handy work.

      February 15, 2011 at 9:56 pm |
    • SpringBranch

      Water to whine...evolution and creation aren't reconcilable. I didn't say proven science is made up, but rather that evolution isn't proven science. Evolution is someone's belief in how the universe began, not now or ever has been proved to be real and never can be proved. No research or clinical experiment has shown or proved one being evolving into something different.

      February 15, 2011 at 10:15 pm |
    • fsmgroupie

      Is this the same one true god who creates millions of souls every year knowing damn well that he is going to burn the majority of them in hell for all eternity?

      February 15, 2011 at 10:16 pm |
    • SpringBranch

      Fsm groupie...that is not the God I know. The one I know is a creator and giver of free will. Maybe there is a different one with a little "g" that you are referring to, I don't know.

      February 15, 2011 at 10:29 pm |
    • Water to whine

      SpringBranch I stand by my statement that you do not know enough about evolution to discount it. I'll bet you just believe what your preacher tells you rather than reading books and recorded studies about evolutionary biology. I find this to be the case with the vast majority of Christians who claim evolution is just a theory. I'm telling you now, it's no more a theory than the Earth being round. If you went to school and majored in evolutionary biology, no matter what your opinion, you would be convinced. Out of curiosity, are you one of those people who believes that the Earth is 10,000 to 20,000 years old? And I noticed you didn't adress my example of evolution. There have been plenty of clinical studies and and experiments done that point to nothing else but evolution. Have you read them? If you have, please break them down for us.

      February 15, 2011 at 11:17 pm |
  10. ckwwilson

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

    Really? Apparently even though this man refuses to believe in God, he knows that God is there. Try actually learning about Christianity and what it teaches you about the universe. It will tell you that God is in EVERYTHING, essentially a 'conscious universe.' I agree that science is coming together with God. As an engineering major in college I was privileged to learn a great deal about chemistry physics and the mathematics that describe those sciences. Everything that I learned in those classes clarified to me how God made the universe work, rather than disprove his existence. At least this guy is somewhat on the right track, but he needs to call it like it is, rather than continue to deny the existence of God.

    February 15, 2011 at 9:39 pm |
  11. Bill the Science Guy

    The evidence for spirituality is all around us. It is called free will. As described in the book The Science of the Soul, many prominent scientists, such as Stephen Hawking, Erwin Schrodinger, Albert Einstein, William Provine, Charles Darwin, and others, have made written statements concluding that science cannot explain free will as a natural phenomenon. That is because science cannot use causes and correlations to explain something (free will) which by definition is the ability to make choices not due to prior causes and correlations. The evidence of free will is all around us: choosing to do or not do frivilous acts, overcoming addictions and obsessive compulsive behavior.

    February 15, 2011 at 9:36 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @Bill the Science Guy

      Hey Bill...

      So, I'm curious, what do 'you' think about 'free will' and it's nature...? Before I respond to your posting in more depth, I would like to get a bit more information from you, so we are 'on the same page' so-to-speak. Or a better foundation from which to start from.


      February 16, 2011 at 1:59 am |
  12. Blessed Geek


    February 15, 2011 at 9:29 pm |
  13. ryan1986

    Science and religion can't be 'friends' because they address two very different things.

    Science aims to answer the whys and hows of the natural universe, while religion aims to lay a framework for morality and social conduct.

    I don't understand why people feel the need to conflate the situation. Of course science and religion will never mix–religion doesn't seek to answer the hows and whys of the universe. As far as religion is concerned, God did everything and the hard part is abiding by his moral laws and edicts.

    Science seeks to explain natural phenomena, which includes creation.

    Creation is really the only overlap that the two have, and even then, it should seem obvious that they would be diametrically opposed: one believes God did it, one requires proof beyond faith.

    February 15, 2011 at 9:26 pm |
    • hilltop


      February 16, 2011 at 12:31 pm |
  14. tallulah13

    I'm kind of amazed that so many things on these boards are related to for-profit ent-ities. This guy, the "Fat Girl", musicians and more... What are they doing here except pitching a product to a crowd that will buy anything with "Faith" written on it? Why is CNN putting what are fundamentally commercials on their "Belief Blog"? It would be nice if they were actually marked as advertisements.

    I have to post this again, because I was stuck in limbo for using the word "ent-ities. Who is moderating this? Beavis and But-thead?

    February 15, 2011 at 9:23 pm |
  15. hilltop

    Take a look at the vastness of the universe and all of its intracacies, consider the billions of code in one strand of DNA. Any credible scientist begins with a blank slate and draws his conclusions based on facts observed. An unbiased observer cannot emphatically conclude that all of the unexplanable complexities evolved out of nothing. If he is honest and desires to be thorough, he must leave room for an omniscient creator.

    February 15, 2011 at 9:19 pm |
    • Ian

      Yet somehow this omniscient creator came into existence without any creator. Why is it so hard to believe life came into being spontaneously, but so easy to believe god did the same?

      February 15, 2011 at 9:56 pm |
    • Mike Haubrich

      A scientist does not start with a blank slate, no scientist would have time to do her work if that were the case. We see far because we stand on the shoulders of giants. There is no indication or testable agent of contra-causal free will. You argue for a compltetely independent agent, free of influence by society, by genetics, by history, by what you have been taught and what you have discovered on your own. But your will is not something that can be independent of all those factors to make decisions with no backdrop. You argue for chaos. Quantum mechanics may be weird and difficult to understand, but they don't open the floodgates to independent agency.

      Woo-meisters love to use a general misunderstanding of quantum mechanics to pretend that "anything goes," but not even Feynman would look at the path of an electron and say it can go anywhere it wants. It may follow several paths to its destination, but it still has a destination.

      Deepak Chopra has made a great deal of money writing books, but he spreads a great deal of misinformation to willing fools who buy into his mumbo-jumbo because he has a doctorate in one area and thinks he can apply it everywhere. He took credit for an earthquake, for crying out loud.

      The reason that science and spirit are incompatible is because their is no testable means by which to independently verify any sort of supernatural force. If there were, then the force would no longer be supernatural by definition.

      Finally, evolution didn't "happen millions of years ago" and then stop. Evolution is a continuous process, and will continue as long a living things reproduce. We are not fixed as we now are. We will continue to evolve to fit new environs, new challenges to our existence as a species or we will go extinct. Humans are not unique in this, we are not a "special creation" above all others. We are, as are all others, a transitional species, a link between our ancestor species and our descendant species yet to come.

      February 16, 2011 at 12:01 am |
    • Water to Whine

      Yes, but this "creator" is interpreted in many different ways by many different people who, in the past, did not have the resources to approach a belief system in a completely logical way. As a scientist, a person could simply name his discovery of the origin of the universe "creator" and it would have the same basic definition of the interpretation of the word "creator" as approached by the religious. God could simply be defined as that which mankind does not understand. God does not have to be applied to our particular point of view. Like you said the universe is vast, and we are only a tiny part of it. It is pretentious of us to think that this "creator" might be closer to an interpretation we can imagine, rather than closer to one we cannot. Therefore the local definitions we have of God on this Earth actually sell what this "creator" might be quite short, most likely. This lessens the credibility of any Earthly religion as something that must be followed. We all must admit, scientists and religious folks alike, that there is much more in our religions and sciences that we do not understand than we do. All should be humble and not deny an ability to coexist and even allow science and religion work as a sort of ying and yang for the betterment of the human race and the closer understanding of God's universe.

      February 16, 2011 at 2:05 am |
    • hilltop

      The chances of something evolving out of nothing is statistically less likely than an intelligent designer.

      I am not advocating for an omniscient creator, I am simply pointing out that if you desire to be thorough, you cannot rule out the idea.

      Thank you for at least acknowledging the possibility. You should be careful not to redefine what is right and wrong and simply observe the facts. Also, be mindful that the abuses of the facts must be separated from the facts themselves if you are to make an informed conclusion.

      February 16, 2011 at 12:29 pm |
    • Water to whine

      hilltop, I am wondering where you are getting the info that life evolving out of "nothing" is stastistically less likely than a creator. What statistics are you refering to? What study did these statistics come from?

      February 16, 2011 at 6:01 pm |
    • hilltop


      The Law of Rationality.

      Once we see, however, that the probability of life originating at random is so utterly miniscule as to make the random concept absurd, it becomes sensible to think that the favourable properties of physics on which life depends, are in every respect deliberate.... It is therefore almost inevitable that our own measure of intelligence must reflect in a valid way the higher intelligences...even to the extreme idealized limit of God (Hoyle and Wickramasinghe, 1981, pp. 141,144, emp. in orig.).

      “The more statistically improbable a thing is, the less we can believe that it just happened by blind chance. Superficially, the obvious alternative to chance is an intelligent Designer” (1982, p. 130, emp. added). – Richard Dawkins

      February 16, 2011 at 6:38 pm |
    • Water to whine

      hilltop, that did not answer my question. Where did you gets statistics for the theory you are pushing here? The point is, there are none. What you are talking about when you mention the probability of random life versus created life is a theory that is not based on any concluding studies. The quote from Dawkins is still within the realm of theory not fact. The "law" of rationality is in fact not a law, but an abstract, itellectual idea. Therefore you cannot state it as fact as you did. We simply cannot establish, at this time, whether the act of random creation has only a miniscule chance of being true. There is only a miniscule chance that we could actually comprehend the numbers involved in something like this being true. So, it is just as likely that life happened randomly as it is that it was created by a god. Of course, perhaps a god did created, but created it to appear random to our limited intellectual capabilities. I admit what we are both talking about here is theoretical, but I also know niether are facts as the definition of thhe word would require. Also, the idea of life being not near as random as we might be convinced is gaining ground in science. After all, we are discovering planets are very common. The building blocks exist, the planets exist. With the universe as vast as it is, so is the possibility of what we may see as random not being random at all.

      February 16, 2011 at 9:19 pm |
    • hilltop

      You have just made my point. Faith is required in order to embrace either. Therefore, a careful and unbiased observation of the evidence needs to be made. Apply interrogation procedures equally to all sides and let the evidence speak for themselves.

      February 17, 2011 at 12:53 am |
    • Water to Whine

      hilltop, You still write of evidence, but provide none. Now, understand I don't deny the possible existence of a creator. I'm simply trying to get you to see that the likelihood of a creator is in the eye of the believer. And none of what you have said proves any likelihood of a creator over other theories, that have a more logical approach. A lot of people are only comfortable with the idea of a creator, as the word is defined in a religious sense and cannot fathom anything different. Humans sell themselves short because of these intellectual limits they set through trying to explain everything the easy way...the way of a god. We should always leave open the possibility that our definition of God is flawed and limited to what we can conceive. And, I don't see how I proved your point. You may have to explain this further, if you want.

      February 17, 2011 at 1:09 am |
  16. Human Ape

    "Spirituality" is a bull**** word, and Chopra is just another word for bull****.


    February 15, 2011 at 8:42 pm |
  17. Animesh Ray

    Spirituality has nothing to do with theism or the belief in a god or a creator. The inter-convertability of matter and energy is not new science, but has been around since 1916. To imply by juxtaposing two successive paragraphs, one on the physics of inter-relation between matter and energy succeeded by an idea that there is 'intelligence' or "mind beyond matter" is merely a rhetorical trick–there is no connection. Chopra, who might have been a good physician once, is no physicist-in the summer of 2000 he used to believe that it is possible to levitate from the ground and be transported from one place to another by dint of the earth's rotation (by defying momentum)–an impossibility that I and another friend had tried to teach him when he had publicly professed this belief. His pseudo-scientific pronouncements cloaked in the language of eastern mysticism are pretentious; they have little basis on science. True, spirituality and science can and do co-exist; but modern science has never shown that mind can exist beyond matter. In fact, the opposite is likely true–mind without matter is impossible. There is a psychological sense of purpose in individual human mind, which likely evolved by natural selection as a property of the human brain which gives advantage to the survival of the human race. To read this "sense of purpose" beyond what it is, is to fall prey to mushy thinking.

    February 15, 2011 at 8:36 pm |
    • Ryan A- Florida

      Very well said...and that's probably why no idiots have tried to argue with it.

      February 16, 2011 at 2:25 am |
  18. thes33k3r

    Science is winning but D.C. will not admit it.

    February 15, 2011 at 8:25 pm |
  19. Bob.

    A minimum donation of $2000 is required to see Mr. Chopra's discussion. What a deal!

    I could go and see Tony Blair and Christopher Hitchen's debate for about $70.

    One has to wonder, does he really believe what he's saying? Or is he out to gouge people for these seminars?

    February 15, 2011 at 7:38 pm |
    • Steve

      Its called supply and demand Bob, what do you charge for your services?

      February 15, 2011 at 8:55 pm |
    • crazyvermont

      Millions also watch Oprah.....may explain why our country is in shape it's in when these people are our heroes/

      February 15, 2011 at 10:41 pm |
  20. Scientific facts

    Scientists have researched a critical point -–>
    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. I get it 🙂

    Does anyone know where I can find out more about this research?

    February 15, 2011 at 7:23 pm |
    • Shannon

      No, scientists haven't reached "a point"...it's just that your comprehension of what we've discovered so far is approaching its limits. Go get a PhD in physics and see if you still believe what you just said. If you're not willing to invest in your own education, don't bother the rest of us with your ignorance. Thanks.

      February 15, 2011 at 8:19 pm |
    • Steve

      It seems shannon and people like her have reached their limits and can't help but sling vile arrogance around without considering other opinions. The only ones who care about phds are the ones with phds, and they feel too superior to talk normally. Check out the movie What the Bleep do we Know its a god start.

      February 15, 2011 at 8:52 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Actually,Steve, if you watch the Science Channel, you will find that plenty of PhDs are willing to make science accessable to the rest of us. In fact, most of them seem downright enthusiastic about sharing what they know. And it IS exciting. I've learned a lot of extremely interesting things, both theoretical and proven. I certainly don't know everything, but it's refreshing to hear the same thing from highly educated people who believe not knowing is a wonderful reason to try to learn.

      February 15, 2011 at 9:17 pm |
    • Magic

      I have seen "What the Bleep Do We Know"– twice, a couple of years apart. I had forgotten how silly it was.

      It is New Age, airy-fairy pseudoscience, and other downright nonsense, presented with lots of flashy bells & whistles. While it does help in casting doubts on old-time religion, it does not offer anything real either.

      February 15, 2011 at 9:38 pm |
    • Ruby

      @Steve, you may be right on there, it has always impressed me that Dr. Chopra has an uncommon ability to speak so that all of us can understand.
      Shannon, like many others seems to have reached his limit in understanding religion at the level of a child. The mature spirituality that this article speaks of is not in conflict with science at all.

      February 15, 2011 at 10:47 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      Anyone who thinks that Deepak "Woo Woo" Chopra makes any sense at all should watch his debate with Hitchens & Friend – Chopra gets completely destroyed and is only saved from complete humiliation because his teammate is wackier than he is.

      Faith and science cannot be friends because as science learns more and more about the world around us, there is less and less room for manmade tribal myths and supernatural beings. Even if scientists didn't set out to disprove god(s), it is happening every day. Only those unable to give up childhood fantasies cling to religion, and should seek assistance from a mental health professional, for as more and more people are realizing, THERE ARE NO GODS, NOT EVEN JUST ONE, NO SATAN EITHER! I encourage all to visit richarddawkins.net.

      February 16, 2011 at 12:34 am |
    • Water to Whine

      Just to add, the problems with the film "What the Bleep Do We Know" do not involve its scientific merits. It's simply not a well made film.

      February 16, 2011 at 1:30 am |
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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.