War of the Worldviews

(co-authored with Deepak Chopra)

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New York Times Bestseller

“We need a worldview grounded in science that does not deny the richness of human nature and the validity of modes of knowing other than the scientific. If we can bring our spirituality, the richness and wholesomeness of our basic human values, to bear upon the course of science in human society, then the different approaches of science and spirituality will contribute together to the betterment of humanity. This book points the way to such a collaborative endeavor.”—His Holiness the Dalai Lama

"Bravo! This delightful book is bound to be the Gold Standard by which all other books on science/spirituality will be measured. Bold, refreshing, lucid, and insightful, this thoughtful collection of essays seeks to unveil the mysterious of our very existence. Is there a purpose to the universe? What is our true role in the cosmos? This book dares to ask some of the deepest, most profound questions about our very existence, and comes up with some surprising, even shocking answers."--Michio Kaku Prof. of Theoretical Physics, City Univ. of NY. Author of the New York Times best sellers Physics of the Future, and Physics of the Impossible.

“Science is rapidly gaining the capability to explore the nature of consciousness, and the origins of all things—a domain sacred to Eastern spirituality. The inevitable result, as science encroaches on spirituality’s turf, is this compelling clash between scientist Leonard Mlodinow and spiritual advocate and physician Deepak Chopra.”
—Kip S. Thorne, The Feynman Professor of Physics, Emeritus, Caltech, and author of Black Holes and Time Warps: Einstein's Outrageous Legacy

“Two compelling figures of our time mindfully joust on the battlefield of brain, cosmos, and evolution. This is a win-win for the authors and for every reader.”
—Rudolph Tanzi, Ph.D., The Joseph P. and Rose F. Kennedy, Professor of Neurology, Harvard Medical School

“Whether you root for science or spirituality, you will find in these incisive, insightful essays more than enough ammunition to get you through your next debate over the two opposing ways of seeing the world. And you just may find that ‘the other side’ scores some points, too. A fascinating, thought-provoking tour through some of the deepest questions of existence.”—Sharon Begley, author of Change Your Mind, Train Your Brain and science writer, Newsweek

“This book, by two outstanding intellectuals, is a timely revival of the debate between science and spirituality. In alternate chapters each author defends his position without disrespecting the other and the result is a remarkable contribution to the history of ideas; eminently readable, no matter which side of the fence you are on.”
—V.S. Ramachandran, Distinguished Professor and Director of the Center for Brain and Cognition, University of California, San Diego and author of The Tell Tale Brain

“A lively, engaging and far ranging debate between a sharp-witted physicist and a proponent of Eastern spirituality whose poetic metaphors about science appeal to the heart.”—Christof Koch, Chief Scientific Officer, Allen Institute for Brain Science, Seattle, Lois and Victor Troendle Professor of Cognitive and Behavioral Biology, California Institute of Technology

Nothing is more mysterious than another person’s worldview. Each of us has one. We each believe that our worldview captures reality, and many conflicts in life can be traced to instances in which two worldviews clash. This book is about a clash of worldviews, but no blows were exchanged. Author Leonard Mlodinow - War of the WorldviewsThe book came about when two bestselling authors first met, in a televised Caltech debate on “the future of God.” One was articulate advocate for spirituality, the other a prominent physicist. War of the Worldviews is the product of that serendipitous encounter and the contentious—but respectful—battle of worldviews that grew along with their friendship.

In War of the Worldviews these two great thinkers debate the cosmos, evolution and life, the human brain, and God, probing fundamental questions that define the human experience: How did the universe emerge?
Is the universe conscious? Is the universe evolving? What is the nature of time?
Is the universe alive? What is life?
Is there design in the universe? Did Darwin go wrong?
How do genes work? What makes us human?
What is the connection between mind and brain?
Does the brain dictate behavior? Is the brain like a computer? Is the universe thinking through us? Is God an illusion? What is the future of belief? Is there a fundamental reality?

Scientists are concerned with observations of the physical universe and the mathematical theories that explain them. They have set humanity on a path to unravel the secrets of nature. Spirituality seeks enlightenment through a focus on subjective experience, looking toward an invisible, transcendent realm within the self. In this book, those approaches meet, often throwing off sparks—but always illuminating and entertaining—as Chopra and Mlodinow capture the essence of that debate. It is an extraordinary book that will fascinate millions of readers of science and spirituality alike, as well as anyone who has ever asked themselves, What does it mean that I am alive?