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Science Vs. Spirituality: An Interview With Deepak Chopra And Leonard Mlodinow

Evening Edition

Above: Amita Sharma's interview with Deepak Chopra begins at 16:45.

Aired 11/29/11 on KPBS Midday Edition.

GUEST

Deepak Chopra, renowned spiritual leader and best-selling author.

Leonard Mlodinow, esteemed Caltech physicist and best-selling author.

Transcript

Book: War of the Worldviews: Science vs. Spirituality

Above: Book: War of the Worldviews: Science vs. Spirituality

Acclaimed Caltech physicist Leonard Mlodinow and spiritual leader Deepak Chopra are both bestselling authors.

Now they're exchanging ideas in their new book, "War of the Worldviews: Science vs. Spirituality."

On Midday Edition (audio on left), Chopra and Mlodinow discuss some of their thoughts about what they deem are the most important questions humans can possibly answer. Among them: How did the universe emerge? What is life? What makes us human? Is God an illusion?

All of these questions are discussed and dissected from the often opposing viewpoints of science and spirituality in their book.

Comments

Avatar for user 'astrofan'

astrofan | November 30, 2011 at 10:11 a.m. ― 2 years, 12 months ago

The problem is Chopra doesn't just represent the spiritual side of the debate. He also represents pseudo-science and non-science based medicine--what used to be called quackery. It has been a common technique, of late, for believers in pseudo-science to invoke quantum physics to "prove" everything from ghosts, to psychic readings. All of this is harmful to a scientifically ignorant society like we currently have in the US.

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Avatar for user 'Thinker'

Thinker | November 30, 2011 at 12:25 p.m. ― 2 years, 12 months ago

The following is the first, oh, 2,900 characters of a 1534-word essay on the subject. I hope that you find it interesting and thought provoking. If you'd llike the rest of the essay, please let me know @ norejt@cox.net:

God vs. the Creationists and Evolutionists

It is supposed by ardent Evolutionists, existentialists by definition, that God is a product of mankind’s mind. Not so quick there, folks! An omnipresent God, as is perceived almost universally by modern man, can’t be such and be a product of this or any universe. Since omnipresent means that God always was, even pre-Big Bang, such a deity cannot simply be a product of earthly man‘s mind, rational or irrational. Meanwhile, Creationists keep putting limits on the powers of God, a contradiction in terms of the first order if ever there was one.

To even attempt to bring any sanity to this contretemps, the first point of discussion must be: what is God? Since the God known to man, in all of His presentations, has, apparently, chosen not to define Himself in the first person, but, rather, through man, we’re stuck with defining God by attributes developed and defined by man. Different religions ascribe many attributes to God, but boiled down to the basics these attributes are that God is: Omnipresent, i.e., everywhere; omniscient, i.e., all knowing; Omnipotent, I.e., all powerful. In other words: A being, undefined in state, that is, has been and will be everywhere forever, has total knowledge of everything everywhere, and can do anything. Something like how we viewed our eighth-grade science teacher, or MacGyver, only infinitely more so!

To be God by this definition, He had to be somewhere before what we understand to be the Big Bang, which, perforce, means that He existed before the universe in which we live came to be. This doesn’t necessarily mean that he proactively created this universe, but it doesn’t discount that He established the circumstances, i.e., the physics, by which this universe was, and as we shall see likely others were and are, created.

We have scientifically realized, through the maturation of string theory, that our universe does rip, and there is no evidence that “things” do not pass through those tears and go someplace. Where those “things” go and what happens to them is a complete mystery; so is what then is on the other side of the rips, and/or what happens on the other side when the tears occur. String theory suggests that we could be dealing with some 11 dimensions beyond the four with which we are familiar. Almost all of these are beyond microscopic in size. This raises interesting questions relative to the Big Bang and God: Between the rips and the dimensions in what could well be a super-universe of potentially an infinite number of universes, dimensions and tears, is our universe but the result of another universe’s rip, created, we estimate, 14.5 billion years ago; was our universe, then, ...

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Avatar for user 'Thinker'

Thinker | November 30, 2011 at 12:28 p.m. ― 2 years, 12 months ago

Perhaps this didn't post well, so here's another shot:

God vs. the Creationists and Evolutionists

It is supposed by ardent Evolutionists, existentialists by definition, that God is a product of mankind’s mind. Not so quick there, folks! An omnipresent God, as is perceived almost universally by modern man, can’t be such and be a product of this universe. Since omnipresent means that God always was, even pre-Big Bang, such a deity cannot simply be a product of earthly man‘s mind, rational or irrational. Meanwhile, Creationists keep putting limits on the powers of God, a contradiction in terms of the first order if ever there was one.

To even attempt to bring any sanity to this contretemps, the first point of discussion must be: what is God? Since the God known to man, in all of His presentations, has, apparently, chosen not to define Himself in the first person, but, rather, through man, we’re stuck with defining God by attributes developed and defined by man. Different religions ascribe many attributes to God, but boiled down to the basics these attributes are that God is: Omnipresent, i.e., everywhere; omniscient, i.e., all knowing; Omnipotent, I.e., all powerful. In other words: A being, undefined in state, that is, has been and will be everywhere forever, has total knowledge of everything everywhere, and can do anything. Something like how we viewed our eighth-grade science teacher, or MacGyver, only infinitely more so!

To be God by this definition, He had to be somewhere before what we understand to be the Big Bang, which, perforce, means that He existed before the universe in which we live came to be. This doesn’t necessarily mean that he proactively created this universe, but it doesn’t discount that He established the circumstances, i.e., the physics, by which this universe was, and as we shall see likely others were and are, created.

We have scientifically realized, through the maturation of string theory, that our universe does rip, and there is no evidence that “things” do not pass through those tears and go someplace. Where those “things” go and what happens to them is a complete mystery; so is what then is on the other side of the rips, and/or what happens on the other side when the tears occur. String theory suggests that we could be dealing with some 11 dimensions beyond the four with which we are familiar. Almost all of these are beyond microscopic in size. This raises interesting questions relative to the Big Bang and God: Between the rips and the dimensions in what could well be a super-universe of potentially an infinite number of universes, dimensions and tears, is our universe but the result of another universe’s rip, created, we estimate, 14.5 billion years ago; was our universe, then,

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