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War of the Worldviews: The Struggle Between Science and Spirituality

3.47  ·  Rating Details ·  537 Ratings  ·  92 Reviews
Two bestselling authors first met in a televised Caltech debate on “the future of God,” one an articulate advocate for spirituality, the other a prominent physicist. This remarkable book is the product of that serendipitous encounter and the contentious—but respectful—clash of worldviews that grew along with their friendship.

In War of the Worldviews these two great thinke
Audio CD, 0 pages
Published October 4th 2011 by Random House Audio Publishing Group (first published April 19th 2010)
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Feb 11, 2012 Trevor rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science, religion
This book is a mistake on so many levels. I struggle to believe Mlodinow was stupid enough to have done this, but the evidence is here right before my eyes, so what can I say?

Naturally enough, Chopra wins this war even before he writes a single word. Mlodinow is a respected writer of popular science – he has even written a couple of books with, in the immortal words of Homer Simpson, ‘that wheelchair guy’ Stephen Hawking . Chopra, on the other hand, is some fruitcake that believes rocks have con
Mar 04, 2014 Snehil rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I never thought I would ever listen to a book written by Dr. Deepak Chopra. To me he has always been a spiritual leader and for me there is no room for a leader in spirituality, spirituality being a personal and a very unique journey for every one. But thanks to the limited availability of ebooks and audiobooks through the public library, I was almost forced to give this book a chance. I was pleasantly surprised by this book.
This is a debate between a scientist who only believes what can be prov
Oct 19, 2011 David rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science, religion
Both authors are very articulate in this book. Deepak Chopra comes across a little more passionate, while Leonard Mlodinow comes across as more knowledgable. Chopra makes it very clear that he is not arguing for belief in God or in religion. In fact, he seems rather neutral to both God and religion. Instead, Chopra argues in favor of spirituality. He believes that the entire universe is conscious, and that is the way we need to think. He believes that scientists have their blinders on, and do no ...more
Adam Shand
Disclaimer: I read the first few chapters and the last couple chapters. There may have been magic in the middle that I missed, but I wasn't convinced enough of the possibility to spend the time finding out.

Perhaps if I'd paid more attention to the word "war" in the title I wouldn't have bothered picking this book up. What caught my fancy was the idea of a conversation between a modern spiritualist and a physicist, with them both attempting to find commonality in their beliefs and worldview. Had
This book addresses some very big questions (eighteen of them, all told) like “Is There Design in the Universe?” and “ What Makes Us Human?”. Deepak Chopra writes as the proponent of the existence of spirituality and Leonard Mlodinow advocates a worldview based purely on science. Both authors answer each question in a sort of literary debate. Chopra believes that the intricacies of the universe and human thought and behavior are part of the works of a cosmic intelligence. He doesn’t deny the ide ...more
Oct 08, 2011 Book rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science
War of the Worldviews: Science Vs. Spirituality by Deepak Chopra and Leonard Mlodinow

"War of the Worldviews" is an interesting debate on two worldviews: science and spirituality. On the side for science is Leonard Mlodinow a theoretical physicist and an accomplished author in his own right. While in defense of spirituality is the well-known author and internist Deepak Chopra. The debaters tackle on eighteen topics that cover a wide spectrum of the human experience. This surprisingly even-handed
Michele Harrod
I did enjoy this book, which was a hearty debate between a spiritualist with all the belief in the (currently) unprovable power of humanity, the secrets locked within our DNA and our own ability (and responsibility) to create the world around us; and a scientist, who is also fully supported by indisputable facts about where we come from, and the likelihood that it is all random and meaning is something we simply strive for because of our overly large brains, that have probably evolved faster tha ...more
Doc & Charly
Jul 26, 2011 Doc & Charly rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you read and think, this is a book for you. It's a brilliant debate that will likely change few minds, but will give them a clear understanding of the opposing view.
Rod Van Meter
This book gave me religion, but not of the kind Chopra intended.

"He who refuses to do arithmetic is doomed to talk nonsense," John McCarthy said in 1995, though the sentiment is certainly older. Charles Babbage's formulation of a related sentiment on the need for experiment is a little long to quote here, but equally addresses the fundaments of how we assess ground truth. I was always in spirit a Missourian, but this book drove me over the edge.

This book is essay-and-response, thrust-and-parry
Leonard Mlodinov is making a case for a scientific outlook on life and universe in this book and Deepak Chopra for a spiritual. They discuss issues of cosmos, life, mind and brain and God. Chopra does not deny any of the scientific developments like evolution, Big Bang, or any scientific discovery that has been made. He just proposes that we add consciousness to the worldview equation. ‘We don’t need God, either. All we need is a universe that contains consciousness as an inseparable aspect of i ...more
Joseph Young
Jun 11, 2012 Joseph Young rated it it was ok
Had a promising concept, but became stupid. It seemed to be in the format of
Spirtualist: (Set up scientific strawman) => knock it down.
Atheist: (Set up spiritual strawman) => knock it down.
Rinse and repeat.

One of the biggest troubles with this book is that they do not properly acknowledge their points of agreement, nor do they take time to define their terms, which leads to many stupid arguments. If they had taken the time to define consciousness and defined what is considered significant
Mar 21, 2012 Melissa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Deepak could read me the phone book. I love his voice and how effectively he can make a point with parables and metaphors. I also love to hear Leonard speak. Being a nerd, his facts and figures are actually entertaining as well .... such a dilemma .... It was obvious early on in the debate that the gloves were off.

I didn't read the book to confirm any beliefs, or to be sold in one direction or the other. I merely wanted to hear the argument for each side and see what they came up with. They bot
Diane Kistner
Oct 28, 2012 Diane Kistner rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In the classic movie, "The Princess Bride," Vizzini keeps exclaiming, with a bit of a spitting lisp, "INCONCEIVABLE!" The intrepid Inigo Montoya at last turns to him and says calmly, "You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means."

The word in War of the Worldviews: Science Vs. Spirituality, presented in a first-named Deepak/Leonard debate, is CONSCIOUSNESS. The scientist/physicist Leonard (Mlodinow) keeps using that word, apparently thinking it means something very di
Mar 09, 2013 Peter rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Leonard is great, I have seen , read and heard too much of Chopra's woo woo to bother with his crap. Life is too short, and too many good books around. Well worth reading half of the book ;)
Erisa Isak
Apr 22, 2015 Erisa Isak rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I never thought I’d read another book by Deepak Chopra again; but I do love a good debate, so I put my opinions aside, and decided to read this one with an open mind. The book is structured much like a formal debate; Leonard and Deepak give their prospective on different aspects of the conflict, and the reader is to be the judge of the quality of the evidence and validity of the arguments. Each argument is presented in an essay by one then the other author (alternating sequences), and they are e ...more
Spiritualist Deepak Chopra and Cal Tech physicist Leonard Mlodinow have collaborated in this book to discuss some of the hairy issues that lie in the intersection between faith and science. The book is organized as a series of questions, 'Is there design in the Universe?', 'What makes us human?', etc. and alternates between Chopra and Mlodinow in presenting their views. Since the questions have a lot of overlap, I found their arguments repetitive at times. Mlodinow often used the fact that early ...more
Feb 10, 2013 Derrick rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I found this book a painful example of an unnecessary conflict among Science and Spirituality. My basic arguement for Spirituality begins and ends with that it works. To try to justify it with proof is much to far beyond our current understanding of physics.
Deepak tries to argue that the second law of thermodynamics has it all wrong, and that the universe has been moving toward order rather than disorder as that law states. Leonard refutes Deepak's claim, but the whole argument reads as hollow
Kelly Knapp
Apr 03, 2012 Kelly Knapp rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone interested in spirituality
Recommended to Kelly by: goodreads firstreads giveaway
Most books center on one worldview at the expense of or exclusion of any other worldview. These leave the reader constantly choosing to face only their own worldview (they don’t like their viewpoint disrespected). However, these two venerable men have a deep respect for one another and the reader can easily read both viewpoints without any feelings of disrespect. Whether you are on the side of science or spirituality as your worldview, you will enjoy reading the other’s point of view. This book ...more
Sep 05, 2016 Jaw rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wow. It's so good that I might reread it again. When I say I might reread something, know that it's a good book. LOL.
Anyway, War of the Worldviews is really cool because when you read it, it's like you're watching a debate live right in front of your eyes. A debate between pros, one who is a famous physicIST (Leonard) and another is a well known physicIAN (Deepak).
Consisting of mainly 5 big chapters, The War, Cosmos, Life, Mind and Brain and lastly God, they are trying to answer the most fundam
Sebastien Martineau
In itself the idea behind the book seems to me to be a really bad one, since Deepak and the views he represents don't deserve anywhere near the respect the scientific ideas presented in the same book deserve. This book is giving unjustified credibility to irrational ideas. While some may argue that the book could lead some of Deepak followers and other spiritual types to learn more about science and question their ideas, I would doubt that these people have the reasoning capacities or intellectu ...more
Cartea Războiul viziunilor asupra lumii (Editura Trei, 2012) este întâlnirea dintre două perspective diferite de înţelegere a lumii, dar în nici un caz disjuncte, deşi cel mai adesea aşa apar: ştiinţă şi spiritualitate. Leonard Mlodinow este fizician şi profesor la California Institute of Technology (şi a publicat, printre altele, o carte alături de Stephen Hawking, The Grand Design), iar Deepak Chopra (născut în New Delhi) a studiat medicina, este fondator al Chopra Center for Wellbeing, prin c ...more
Laine Cunningham
I enjoyed this one for the back-and-forth between the two authors. They come from very different views and each presents their side in an easy to understand language.
I read this book as part of my research for my latest novel. You might say the novel deals with quantum biology...the intersection where science and spirituality merge and therefore have an impact in the physical world. I was hoping to find more specific insight that would transfer to the book but generally it's opinion using facts
Sep 21, 2015 Tim rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The book contains "war" in the title, but that's misleading: the participants (physicist Leonard Mlodinow and spiritualist Deepak Chopra) actually seem like good friends. Moreover, Mlodinow and Chopra aren't calling each other's views false; instead, Chopra claims that a materialist view of reality is *incomplete*, whereas Mlodinow argues that Chopra's spiritual claims *lack firm evidence*.

The exchange is worth studying, if only to try to trace just what exactly the disagreement between them is.
I agree with others who commented that poorly defined terms rendered this debate mostly senseless.

I listened to the audio version read by the authors. Mostly I enjoyed listening to Mlodinow's side, which contained rational responses to Chopra's arguments.

I found that Chopra did not use the same terms as Mlodinow so that there was really no coherent debate on his side, while Mlodinow attempted to define terms and address Chopra's arguments.

Due to the lack of quality control re: defined terms, I f
Frederic Pierce
Apr 23, 2016 Frederic Pierce rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is set up like a debate between two brilliant people who have very different ideas about the core questions at the heart of existence: How did the universe emerge? What is the nature of time? What is the connection between mind and brain? You know, the kind of discussions you hear late at night among college students sitting around a bong. Of course some of those students, like me, are still asking themselves those same questions 30 years after graduation. My favorite aspect of the boo ...more
Aug 27, 2013 Ida rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Woah! It took me such a long time to finish this!
The first few chapters, I devoured the book at speed and then it dragged for me in the middle.
The book is a debate between Deepak Chopra and Leonard Mlodinow about Spirituality Vs Science.

It is amazing for me to read that "Science will never be able to explain why the universe follows laws. So while science often casts doubts on spiritual beliefs and doctrines insofar as they make representations about the physical world, science does not-cannot-c
John David
May 29, 2012 John David rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
basically a series of essays, though it's written with this in mind, so it flows better than that makes it sound. each chapter has a topic and each author gets to write one essay for it. whomever goes second has the opportunity to respond to the points made by the first, so they kind of take turns on who has to go first. i tended to prefer it when Leonard went second because his counter-arguments seemed more coherent, relevant, and fresh. Deepak's rebuttals are only interesting and original clos ...more
Maurice Young
Mar 29, 2012 Maurice Young rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I purchased this book in order to gain better insight on this particular subject, due to research I am conducting for a science fiction novel I am currently in the process of writing, where the main character is the first actual Artificial/Synthetic Intelligent entity who becomes curious to learn more about humanity, and how to better communicate with its fellow human companions. Due to an unexpected incident, this entity accidentally winds-up running into one of mankind's most controversial pub ...more
Terri Lucas
Jan 05, 2012 Terri Lucas rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
as a highly imaginative child who excelled at both math and science in high school and college, while also partaking in the wonderful worlds of fiction, i came to spirituality decades ago from two angles that Deepak Chopra perfectly melds into one understanding of the wonder and the glory and the mystery of the Universe around and within us. to say i am a fan is an understatement. to say that i am of the same mind in regards to my belief system - likewise.

why the bio? to set the stage for my int
Mitch Lauer
Mar 14, 2013 Mitch Lauer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It was interesting seeing the scientific and spiritual views on this list of topics, including rebuttals. It reminded me of a Frank Turek debate on the existence of God, but this was more abstract since Chopra is trying to cover such a broad view on spirituality. I found it a little difficult to follow some of the spiritual arguments, such as "how could something purposeful come from something purposeless." ...The high-level explanations of scientific findings and theories were engaging and kept ...more
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Deepak Chopra, MD serves as the Founder and Chairman of The Chopra Foundation, and Co-Founder of the Chopra Center for Wellbeing.

As a global leader and pioneer in the field of mind-body medicine, Chopra transforms the way the world views physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, and social wellness. Known as a prolific author of eighty books books with twenty-two New York Times best sellers in both
More about Deepak Chopra...

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