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. Muneef

    Can wisdom be considered as science ?

    Al-Baqara sura 02:
    In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
    He giveth wisdom unto whom He will, and he unto whom wisdom is given, he truly hath received abundant good. But none remember except men of understanding. (269).

    An-Nahl sura 16:
    Call unto the way of thy Lord with wisdom and fair exhortation, and reason with them in the better way. Lo! thy Lord is Best Aware of him who strayeth from His way, and He is best aware of those who go aright. (125).

    Al-Isra sura 17:
    This is (part) of that wisdom wherewith thy Lord hath inspired thee (O Muhammad). And set not up with Allah any other god, lest thou be cast into hell, reproved, abandoned. (39).

    Al-E-Imran sura 03:
    Allah verily hath shown grace to the believers by sending unto them a messenger of their own who reciteth unto them His revelations, and causeth them to grow, and teacheth them the Scripture and wisdom; although before (he came to them) they were in flagrant error. (164).

    An-Nisa sura 04:
    But for the grace of Allah upon thee (Muhammad), and His mercy, a party of them had resolved to mislead thee, but they will mislead only themselves and they will hurt thee not at all. Allah revealeth unto thee the Scripture and wisdom, and teacheth thee that which thou knewest not. The grace of Allah toward thee hath been infinite. (113).

    An-Nisa 04:
    Hast thou not seen those unto whom a portion of the Scripture hath been given, how they believe in idols and false deities, and how they say of those (idolaters) who disbelieve: "These are more rightly guided than those who believe"? (51) Those are they whom Allah hath cursed, and he whom Allah hath cursed, thou (O Muhammad) wilt find for him no helper. (52) Or have they even a share in the Sovereignty? Then in that case, they would not give mankind even the speck on a date-stone. (53) Or are they jealous of mankind because of that which Allah of His bounty hath bestowed upon them? For We bestowed upon the house of Abraham (of old) the Scripture and wisdom, and We bestowed on them a mighty kingdom. (54) And of them were (some) who believed therein and of them were (some) who disbelived therein. Hell is sufficient for (their) burning. (55).

    February 16, 2011 at 6:53 pm |
  2. Yeah!

    All u bible thumpers need to drink the juice and get it over with!

    February 16, 2011 at 6:42 pm |
  3. GoodDNA

    how dose it feel to know your going to burn in hell?

    February 16, 2011 at 6:39 pm |
    • Q


      February 17, 2011 at 12:47 am |
    • Nonimus

      Are you saying that you know my heart and can judge me?

      Are you claiming to be God?

      February 17, 2011 at 9:30 am |
    • NL

      LOL Thanks buddy, I needed that! 🙂

      They say that you can't con an honest man, but how honest is it to try and cheat death?

      February 17, 2011 at 10:40 am |
    • Steve the real one

      Just a little advice! Never tell anyone they are going to burn in hell without telling them how they can avoid it. When we do that, it sounds like we are cheering on their destruction!

      February 17, 2011 at 12:24 pm |
    • Nonimus

      @Steve (tro),
      The cheerleaders and the "welcome to hell" banner gave it away already.

      kidding, of course. : )

      But honestly, you feel that you know who is going to hell? How do you know?

      February 17, 2011 at 12:30 pm |
    • Steve the real one

      @Steve (tro),
      The cheerleaders and the "welcome to hell" banner gave it away already.
      kidding, of course. : )
      But honestly, you feel that you know who is going to hell? How do you know?
      How are you Nonimus?,

      You read my posts and know where I stand. You also know that I am going to use the Holy Bible to provide the answer! I know you don't believe the Bible is God's work for all humanity and you know that I do! You really want to walk around this mountain? Nomious, the conversation will go as follows:

      Me; scripture, scripture, scripture
      You: prove it, prove it, prove it!

      February 17, 2011 at 12:39 pm |
    • MarkinFL

      Well, if you believe you know who is not going to Hell, then "logically" ( I use that term VERY loosely here) then rest of us can expect a seat by the fire.
      As far as I can tell, everyone is going to Hell according to someone else.

      February 17, 2011 at 12:39 pm |
    • NL

      "then rest of us can expect a seat by the fire"
      Well, the company sounds great. Add some weenies to roast, some beer, and a couple of people with guitars and I call that a party! Sounds a hell of a lot more interesting than that perpetual LSD trip staring at the bright light they say everyone else is going to.

      February 17, 2011 at 7:00 pm |
    • World Without End - Scientific Pantheism - Philosophic Restore


      Jesus: Judge not lest ye be judged.

      Jesus: Let him who is without sin cast the first stone.

      Someone must be mighty pure to be casting not just stones, but people, into hell. Not judging of course. Just wondering. Have you read, or better yet understood, much of what Jesus is supposed to have said? Or are you just repeatin' what you only heard?

      February 17, 2011 at 9:53 pm |
  4. wendy

    wow... u believeeverthing u here, dont u? for ever one article u find, theres one out there for the opposite argument. but good job being insincere.

    February 16, 2011 at 6:38 pm |
    • Nonimus

      I guess it's good that you are looking anyway. If you actually read those "opposite arguments", I guessing you would find that they are not worth believing. One of the first things taught in critical thinking classes is 'consider the source'. Now I don't know what your sources are for the "opposite arguments," but if they Answers In Genesis, Discovery Inst.itute, or ICR, I would be wary of the information. The Theory of Evolution on the other hand is supported by all top science organizations and inst.itutions, such as the Smithsonian, UC-Berkeley, AAAS, National Academies of Science, etc., etc., etc.

      Also, I'm not sure you understand the meaning of 'insincere', because I am very sincere.

      February 17, 2011 at 9:20 am |
  5. WoMbatman

    ur moms a drunk

    February 16, 2011 at 5:44 pm |
    • NL

      You're pulling a 'Yo Mamma?" What are you, 12?

      On that note, evening is here so TTFN 🙂

      February 16, 2011 at 6:29 pm |
  6. WoMbatman

    There has never been a single trans fossile ever trully recorded. And how in the world are you getting all your information? WIKI? Come ON MAN! everybody knows that WKIKI isnt allwasy right. You just through all your credit out the window.

    February 16, 2011 at 5:38 pm |
    • Nonimus

      Human Evolution Evidence: humanorigins.si.edu/evidence (Smithsonian Insti.tute)

      Transitional Forms: evolution.berkeley.edu/evolibrary/article/0_0_0/lines_03 (UC-Berkley, University of California Museum of Paleontology)

      February 16, 2011 at 5:52 pm |
    • NL

      You realize, of course, that if he really was interested in actually learning about evolution he could have found the information himself. Credible sources are easy enough to find.

      February 16, 2011 at 6:00 pm |
    • Nonimus

      Yeah, but I hate to pass up a request for information, even if it is insincere.

      February 16, 2011 at 6:04 pm |
    • Q

      Well, I certainly appreciate it. I hadn't seen the Smithsonian site before so thanks!

      February 16, 2011 at 6:34 pm |
  7. WoMbatman

    U need to get out more....

    February 16, 2011 at 5:36 pm |
    • NL

      That's what weekends and evenings are for. 😉

      February 16, 2011 at 5:42 pm |
  8. Your-Mom-goes-to-College

    U seem to be posting non-stop. Do u want to make money? Get off the blogs and get a job. And u qoute Ron Hubbard.. why? do u have a crush on him? So what? U found 1 quote that supports ur theory... compared to the thousands that support my theories found in the bible.

    February 16, 2011 at 5:10 pm |
  9. Your-Mom-goes-to-College


    U seem to be posting non-stop. Do u want to make money? Get off the blogs and get a job. And u qoute Ron Hubbard.. why? do u have a crush on him? So what? U found 1 quote that supports ur theory... compared to the thousands that support my theories found in the bible.

    February 16, 2011 at 5:10 pm |
    • NL

      I'm a fast typer, and a good multi-tasker. Besides, It actually takes very little effort to answer some of the posts here, the answers are so obvious.

      I quoted L Ron because he's a good example of the many, many folks who have gotten rich by selling religion. Christian bookstores are full of the works of similar people, not to mention mega-churches.

      "U found 1 quote that supports ur theory... compared to the thousands that support my theories found in the bible."

      Ah, but isn't a single truth more valuable than a thousand lies?

      February 16, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
  10. Your-Mom-goes-to-College

    Darwin was a drunk.

    Icarus Flying High.....

    "Every species of plant, animal and even things like bacteria and viruses have evolved over the billions of years of Earths existance." this statement is FALSE if they did evolve where are the transtional skeletons or remains that show such proof. Nothing evolves... everything adapts. Take a Biology class. Adaption is everywhere. Evolution is NOWHERE!

    February 16, 2011 at 4:46 pm |
    • NL

      "Darwin was a drunk."
      You mean, like Noah?
      Where would you ever get such an idea? Darwin was actually one of the first to argue that alcohol caused liver disease. There are probably more stories about Jesus drinking wine in the gospels than of Darwin taking a sip.

      "An American Monkey after getting drunk on Brandy would never touch it again, and thus is much wiser than most men." Charles Darwin

      February 16, 2011 at 5:14 pm |
    • Nonimus

      Here's a good start: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_transitional_fossils
      or visit you nearest Natural History Museum.

      "Take a Biology class. ... Evolution is NOWHERE!"
      I don't know what Biology class you took, but if it didn't cover evolution as an on-going well-substantiated scientific theory, then you might want to get your money back.

      February 16, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
    • Q

      What would const-itute a transitional fossil under your definition? Would it be something that shows intermediate structures not present in the current major vertebrate classes. Fish don't have necks but some amphibians do (excluding frogs of course). Fish don't have the typical wrist, elbow or shoulder structures but some amphibians do. Tiktaalik has both of these features, but also has fins and scales of a fish. Why, under your definition, is Tiktaalik not a transitional form?

      February 16, 2011 at 5:31 pm |
    • NL

      "Adaption is everywhere. Evolution is NOWHERE!"

      "Adaption" like how they tell visitors at the creation museum that T-Rex originally ate coconuts and watermelons, but adapted to eating meat after 'the fall?'

      February 16, 2011 at 5:52 pm |
  11. hilltop

    Deepak Chopra doesn't know what he is talking about. This strawman argument attempting to debunk the integrity of the bible, and glorify the theory of evolution is simply a tactic to lure unsuspecting seekers to abandon reason and science in order to embrace an illogical, unverifiable, subjective based explanation of the universe. Fizzled matter is the source of our existence? Give me a break!

    February 16, 2011 at 3:05 pm |
    • NL

      I take it you can't imagine yourself sitting between a psychic and a Yogi at his symposium, eh? Well, me either. See, you can find common ground with an atheist! 😉

      February 16, 2011 at 3:19 pm |
    • hilltop

      I stand corrected.

      February 16, 2011 at 3:28 pm |
  12. John

    Chopra is a self-serving lout. His arguments are devoid of facts, and his masquerade as a scientist, or whatever, is galling. Meanwhile, he will make his money by selling his brand of new age spiritualism to poorly informed, poorly educated, gullible people. This article is a thinly veiled advertisement for his stupid conference. Was CNN paid to list his article, or are they simply that desperate for content? What an embarassment.

    February 16, 2011 at 1:41 pm |
    • Maybe


      "Chopra is a self-serving lout."

      Perhaps. I can't really say that I know his motives.

      Perhaps he is well-meaning, but misguided and mistaken. In fairness, at least his philosophy doesn't advocate violence and hatred.

      If he has a shred of integrity, however, he needs to use much caution in proclaiming all of his notions as truth.

      February 16, 2011 at 1:52 pm |
    • NL

      Chopra may not advocate violence, but that is not to say that he does not cause harm. He has been criticized for leading sick people away from traditional, proven medicine.

      February 16, 2011 at 3:51 pm |
  13. CAP

    Hey Grist, that's the problem with religion. It's soley based upon faith and a book written a couple of thousand years ago. My idea is how can you join physical science to religion. Isn't that what the article is about. So to answer your first question of a god that has been around for billions of years. Billions to us maybe, but he could be just on day number 8 after the 7 days it took to create the Earth. I was just trying to figure out a way that the two ideas could both be true. I'm no PhD myself. It was just a thought.

    February 16, 2011 at 1:10 pm |
  14. CAP

    How about God operates on a different time table than the Earth. What appears to be billions of years to us is just 7 days to him. When he was last here 2011 years ago is a matter of minutes on his time table. Evolution still works and so does religion.

    February 16, 2011 at 11:50 am |
    • grist, MD, PhD

      Cap, that is a very interesting hypothesis. Do you have an experiment in mind to demonstrate that a particular god has been around for billions of years? Do you also hypothesize that the god has gender (you referred to it as a "him")? Do you have evidence that it was here 2011 years ago? We know evolution works. How does your hypothesis suggest that religion works?

      February 16, 2011 at 12:15 pm |
    • Mr Mark

      Hmm. So god created the plants on Day 3, then waited millions or billions of years to create the sun on Day 4.

      So how did the plants survive for those eons without the sun? Plant "minutes" aren't god "minutes," you know.

      February 16, 2011 at 12:20 pm |
    • NL

      Or God could be like Galactus in the Marvel comics, the sole survivor of the last universe before the big bang created this one. The possibilities are only limited by the human mind... as far as we can imagine, that is.

      February 16, 2011 at 12:47 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      I continue to be amazed at the intricate theories man continues to develop to explain the existence of god(s)! Books upon books, complex explanation on top of complex explanation, lies upon lies, when the simpler and much more elegant solution is that there are no gods, and none are needed – it's all just science we do not fully undrestand – yet!

      February 16, 2011 at 1:27 pm |
    • Muneef


      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 16, 2011 at 3:06 pm |
    • NL

      "I continue to be amazed at the intricate theories man continues to develop to explain the existence of god(s)"

      In all fairness it's not just a religious thing. I have Star Trek books that outline theories on warp propulsion that are just as convoluted as any explanation of the trinity. The fact that an explanation actually is provided is all that the fans really want. The writers are just banking that the people reading their explanations will be so overwhelmed by all the big words they use that they'll give up any attempt of actually making sense out of it, and just take it on faith that it works.

      February 16, 2011 at 6:22 pm |
    • HotAirAce


      Agreed, but...

      I think we have to look at intent and effect – religion, at least in the modern era, creates complex explanations to (continue to) deceive, and does real damage to individuals and society, whereas pop fiction creates elaborate expanations and plots to entertain. Sure the odd person might actually believe in Captain Kirk (I'm a Canadain, so know he's not real), but for the vast majority it is pure escapist entertainment and noone is fooled or injured.

      February 16, 2011 at 6:28 pm |
    • Magic

      I loved the part in the movie "Galaxy Quest" where the far-away space aliens received the transmissions of a Star Trek-like TV show... thought it was real and that the characters were gods who could save them from anything.

      February 16, 2011 at 6:39 pm |
    • NL

      I'm thinking of the part near the end of "Galaxy Quest" where Tim Allen's character has to go through this complicated series of pistons or something and he remarks that they are just so out of place in a starship. The aliens reproduced the ship exactly as it appeared in the show, right down to this bit of silly engineering. Thy even mention that making it all work like on the show was difficult, but they did it because they were inspired, or something. Now, isn't that exactly like religious piety? Trying to force the elements of an old story into working in the future real world?

      February 17, 2011 at 8:11 am |
    • NL

      Still, I see Trekkies and some of the religious as having a lot in common. Like I was saying to Magic up above there is a common need in both to force sense from an old story into something that works in the modern world, usually at some conflict with real science. The Voyager series threw out the word 'quantum' about as much as Chopra does, and I suspect for the same reason: It sounds scientific-ish, and helps make it appear like they know what they're talking about.

      Like Christians, the vast majority of Trek fans got their weekly dose of it and thought little about all-powerful beings/aliens for the rest of the week, but also like Christians there were the die hard fans who so completely immersed themselves in it that they let the real world slip by them. You just want to tell them exactly what Shatner said in that SNL skit: Get a life!

      On that note might I recommend "The ethics of Star Trek" by Judith A Barad? It's actually pretty good.

      February 17, 2011 at 10:23 am |
    • World Without End - Scientific Pantheism - Philosophic Restore

      When the TRUTH is complex, the simple are lost, but the TRUTH still exists.

      February 21, 2011 at 11:02 am |
  15. Muneef


    February 16, 2011 at 11:32 am |
  16. MarkinFL

    So basically, the universe is god. If you wish to define "god" as the physical universe with all of its mysteries that works for me. However, if you assume that there is an intelligent aspect to the universe without any actual data to support it, then that is simply more fantasy. Not saying it couldn't be true, but there could be a thriving civilization of thinking beings living inside the sun as well. Equally likely given we have zero data about either possibility. Atheists, do not simply not believe in a one particular god or another. Atheists do not believe in any god or other ent.ities that exist outside of all objective reality. If evidence of such beings is ever found then 1. It isn't actually outside of our objective reality. 2. If it is polite we might invite it to dinner.

    All the hoopla atheists get worked up over with the various religions generally have to do with the fact that many of the believers seem to think that we should all live by their arcane rules.

    February 16, 2011 at 11:31 am |
    • MarkinFL

      Oops, sorry. This was supposed to be a reply to a previous post, but it was rejected by the super intelligent filter and I missed on my repost.

      February 16, 2011 at 11:35 am |
    • World Without End - Scientific Pantheism - Philosophic Restore

      I know that feeling about the filters. Having developed complex computer systems for more than 30 years it always brings out the worst in me when I see such half***ed efforts by the wunder kids who took my job and professional life. I guess you get what you pay for, and sometime then only if your lucky. I replied above to your repost.

      February 17, 2011 at 12:17 pm |
  17. There_are_no_gods


    February 16, 2011 at 11:01 am |
  18. 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 16, 2011 at 10:46 am |
    • Steve the real one

      I thought you claimed the "final nail" to be one of your quotes from contemporary lying scholars. Julia Sweeney's DVD is now the final nail? Reality, my friend you are quickly running out of final nails and yet we Christians with our faith are still here, alive and well because our Jesus is alive and well!

      February 16, 2011 at 11:11 am |
    • Icarus Flying High

      You should also watch the "Does God have a Future" forum where athiests Sam Harris and Michael Shermer hand Deepak his own Chopra on a plater. They virtually run intellectual circles around this charlatan. Seach for it on YouTube.

      February 16, 2011 at 11:23 am |
    • Anglican

      The wisdom of God versus the wisdom of man. Man, with finite, post-enlightenment knowledge versus the Creator and Sustaining of all. I am sad for man. Peace.

      February 16, 2011 at 4:03 pm |
    • Your-Mom-goes-to-College

      Julia Sweeney is a retard. and only is in it for the money. know everybody get worked up due to what i said... i will just be sitting here smiling.

      February 16, 2011 at 4:40 pm |
    • HotAirAce


      And how does that make her different than Dr. WooWoo, or any of the high profile, high flying televangelists? You know, the ones that also get caught abusing children and/or having extra-marital affairs?

      February 16, 2011 at 4:44 pm |
    • NL

      Your argument would actually have some force if it were not for all the authors, speakers, artists, musicians, and others who got rich from selling religion to the world.

      "I'd like to start a religion. That's where the money is." L. Ron Hubbard

      February 16, 2011 at 4:46 pm |
    • NL

      "The wisdom of God versus the wisdom of man."
      Presuming, of course, that there actually is a God. Otherwise, it's just the imagination of man vs. the wisdom of man, right?

      February 16, 2011 at 4:52 pm |
    • World Without End - Scientific Pantheism - Philosophic Restore

      True science and true religion try to understand and reconcile everything, including belief and non-bellief systems... and the full impact of those belief systems on and within reality. Also, understand that a non-belief system is still a belief system.

      Some are so insecure in their beliefs, that they feel the need to spit out what they believe to be vile things, against often imaginary people as they visualize their opponents to be... instead of making a more rational "scientific" effort to understand. They often only attack the limited concepts of their own limited understandings.

      Anger and hurt, prove nothing scientifically or philosophically, except that there is something that is not understood. The angy and hurt, need to take some responsibility for those feelings... understanding and reconciling those feelings honestly, instead of trying to dump them fully on someone else. No doubt, there is cause and effect regarding those feelings, but niether are as simple scientifically/religiously/philosophically, as often seeem to be thought.

      Religious and scientific thought/evoulution... and their long and varied histories, pro and con, and even within theirselves, are indeed facts of reality. To say either should be ignored and discarded, would be say we must remove the hydrogen or oxygen out of the water, that gives us life by being 90 some percent of us. Until the reasons for scientific and religious, existence and growth, is logically understood... there will never be... the full scientific knowledge that some claim to believe in. I guarantee the reason for them... is not just because the few on one side or the other, are so much smarter... and have the right to classify the other billions of people, convenientlly as idiots... or that all religion is imaginary fairy tales or all science is against God or that any of its truths are not in harmony with a higher concept of God.

      February 21, 2011 at 10:49 am |
  19. Carl Bennett

    There need be no conflict between FAITH and SCIENCE. FAITH is about the "The Who of Creation". Science is about "The How of Creation". One can also be a "Secular Theist", e.g. One can logically assume by FAITH that "GOD IS" and still be a-religious, thus holding no adherence to any particular "Religious Tradition, Creed or Culture". q.e.d.

    February 16, 2011 at 10:34 am |
    • NL

      Sorry, but the evidence suggests that there was no "Who" necessary in the beginning.

      February 16, 2011 at 10:42 am |
    • SensibleAmerican

      I agree with you that science is about the "how", but I disagree with you on the point of faith. It's not so much to describe an explain a "who", but rather a "why".

      February 16, 2011 at 10:55 am |
    • NL

      Isn't it just human ego to presume that the universe was purpose built just for us?

      February 16, 2011 at 11:08 am |
    • Gadflie

      Logically assume by faith? That was actually pretty funny.

      February 16, 2011 at 11:28 am |
    • MarkinFL

      Seems like an awful lot of effort, just to try to believe in something for which there is no evidence. Or is it the other way around? A person of faith should try to believe in objective reality even though it disagrees with their faith.

      February 16, 2011 at 11:41 am |
    • HotAirAce

      Science is/does whatever scientists, working under the scientific method, say it is or establish it to be. Putting science in a box with words like "how", "not why", "not who" etc. is just theists attempting to limit science's impact on theism. This is a futile effort as the more science discovers, the less relevant religion becomes and the need (not that there ever really was a true need) for god(s) diminishes. This trend will continue, whether or not scientists set out explicitly to disprove manmade tribal mythologies, or whether or not beleivers agree.

      February 16, 2011 at 11:41 am |
  20. opinions

    Definition of religion is so misunderstood. Religion does not stop you from entering in to scrience or sprituality or any other thing we come up in the future. However science being not able to defince GOD puts us on contradiction. However the way people practice religion makes us into groups called religious, spritual and ..../ This is clear this universe is not random if we say we created the number system no, its exists in nature we have five fingers? If we say just like darwin that we evolved from animals why we are the only specie evolved why not more the one specie evolved? No I don't want to think like that, This whole world is based on how you think. Definitely who ever if there is none created us is not going to be so open ofcourse if this was possible we humans would have killed that thing first

    February 16, 2011 at 10:04 am |
    • NL

      You know they teach different Number Bases even in elementary schools now. Base 10 isn't the only way to go.

      February 16, 2011 at 10:40 am |
    • Icarus Flying High

      "If we say just like darwin that we evolved from animals why we are the only specie evolved why not more the one specie evolved?"
      Every species of plant, animal and even things like bacteria and viruses have evolved over the billions of years of Earths existance. Please read a book other than the bible (and books about the bible).

      February 16, 2011 at 11:06 am |
    • NL

      Speaking of Julia Sweeney's Letting Go of God, perhaps a better question for you to ask is why we humans have an inferior eye compared to that of a giant squid? We have a blind spot that many (lower) life forms do not have. Funny that a creator would choose to outfit it's greatest creation with so many avoidable imperfections.

      February 16, 2011 at 11:31 am |
    • sealchan

      God frequently used imperfect individuals to further His goals for us...might this also apply to those who wrote and compiled the books of the Bible?

      February 16, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
    • Scienceman2

      atheist! What a stupid term... It a pereon that believes in nothing. Isnt that still beleving?

      February 16, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
    • NL

      Actually, 'atheist' only refers to not believing in gods being real. "believes in nothing" is merely a common straw man argument put out by theists.

      February 16, 2011 at 5:37 pm |
    • justsayin

      i love it!! DC strikes again! he doesn't have all the answers and doesn't admit to, but he's hella good vibes and positive energy. thank you sir and i look forward to reading more about this in the near future.

      i've not seen any other counting system, not based on a zero and 10, that is effecient, but welcome any insight..

      we have a predator's eye view. inferior creature have a side view to keep an eye out for us and other predators. predators look straight forward, prey to the side. watch a nature channel 🙂

      February 16, 2011 at 7:08 pm |
    • HotAirAce


      Computers are very efficient and they use base 2 – just 0s and 1s.

      February 17, 2011 at 2:08 am |
    • civiloutside

      What do you mean by "efficient?" If you mean that you can use base ten numbering easily and intuitively, that's only because you've been raised to think in those terms since you first learned to count. If you'd been raised using base twelve or base eight, you'd think of those as being efficient and base ten as being awkward.

      Humans use base ten counting because we have ten fingers. We don't have ten fingers because base ten counting is inherently "best." Had we evolved with 4 fingers on each hand, we'd count in base 8, and if we'd had 6 fingers on each hand we'd count in base 12.

      February 17, 2011 at 10:07 am |
    • Nonimus

      It may just be that binocular vision had advantages for our tree-dwelling ancestors, i.e. depth perception. Although, predators have it too, also for depth perception, I think, just pointing out that it may not necessarily mean 'predator'.

      February 17, 2011 at 12:24 pm |
    • NL

      Cartoon character must use base 8 because they usually have only 4 fingers per hand. There's even a joke about it on the Simpsons where Lisa says something like "according to Time magazine, in 50,000 years man will have 5 fingers" and Bart reacts in the same disgust/amazement we might to the stories that our pinky finger may some day evolve away.

      February 17, 2011 at 6:26 pm |
    • World Without End - Scientific Pantheism - Philosophic Restore

      Base 8, Octal and Base 16 HEX are both used by computers in addition to binary 0 1. Anyone that's had the pleasure of reading a HEX dump would have to argue about its usefulness though. You have a computer there. Why it couldn't convert hex to something useful and spit out English and Arabic numbers instead hex is one of the greatest mysteries of all time, therefore proving the existence of some higher being.....just kidding.

      February 17, 2011 at 9:34 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.