Science & Spirituality

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

On Meditation

Sam Harris

Author, Neuroscientist

How to Meditate

Posted: 5/12/11 07:04 PM ET

(The one who does not judge, by h.koppdelaney)


There are many forms of introspection and mental training that go by the name of “meditation,” and I have studied several over the years. As I occasionally speak about the benefits of these practices, people often write to ask which I recommend. Given my primary audience–students of science, secularists, nonbelievers, etc.–these queries usually come bundled with the worry that most traditional teachings about meditation must be intellectually suspect.

Indeed, it is true that many contemplative paths ask one to entertain unfounded ideas about the nature of reality–or, at the very least, to develop a fondness for the iconography and cultural artifacts of one or another religion. Even an organization likeTranscendental Meditation (TM), which has spent decades self-consciously adapting itself for use by non-Hindus, can’t overcome the fact that its students must be given a Sanskrit mantra as the foundation of the practice. Ancient incantations present an impediment to many a discerning mind (as does the fact that TM displays several, odious signs of being a cult).

But not all contemplative paths kindle the same doubts or present the same liabilities. There are, in fact, many methods of meditation and “spiritual” inquiry that can greatly enhance our mental health while offering no affront to the intellect.

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UK UFO Files

UFO and Paranormal researcher and journalist 

UK UFO Files Show High Level Officials Were Concerned

Posted: 8/28/11 10:27 PM ET

Britain’s Ministry of Defence ceased to collect UFO reports as of December 2009, because, as they put it, “…in over fifty years, no UFO report has revealed any evidence of a potential threat to the United Kingdom.” However, the UFO files being released by the British National Archives contain cases that clearly should be of concern, and I am not alone in this opinion. In fact, the last batch of files includes correspondence between the Ministry of Defence (MOD) and two high level military officials who were adamant that UFO cases should be taken more seriously.

The highest ranking among those hounding the MOD about UFOs was Baron Hill-Norton, former Admiral of the Fleet (1970-71), Chief of the Defence Staff (1971-73), and head of NATO’s military committee (1974-77). Two years after his retirement in 1977, Peter Hill-Norton was made Baron and a member of the House of Lords. As you can see, Lord Hill-Norton was quite an impressive chap and known as a tough and aggressive leader. In other words, he didn’t take no crap.

At some point Lord Hill-Norton took an interest in UFOs, and was unsatisfied with the MOD claiming that they were of no concern. He badgered the MOD with questions, trying to get them to actively investigate important cases. There are over 300 pages of correspondence between Lord Hill-Norton and the MOD in the latest batch of UK UFO files.

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Chili Peppers for Sinus Problems

Heat in Chili Peppers Can Ease Sinus Problems, Research Shows

ScienceDaily (Aug. 26, 2011) — Hot chili peppers are known to make people “tear up,” but a new study led by University of Cincinnati allergy researcher Jonathan Bernstein, MD, found that a nasal spray containing an ingredient derived from hot chili peppers (Capsicum annum) may help people “clear up” certain types of sinus inflammation.

The study, which appears in the August 2011 edition of Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, compares the use of the Capsicum annum nasal spray to a placebo nasal spray in 44 subjects with a significant component of nonallergic rhinitis (i.e., nasal congestion, sinus pain, sinus pressure) for a period of two weeks.

Capsicum annum contains capsaicin, which is the main component of chili peppers and produces a hot sensation. Capsaicin is also the active ingredient in several topical medications used for temporary pain relief. It is approved for use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and is available over the counter.

Ahhh, the Weirdness of Space

This is quite interesting and fun and informative for those of you who are planning a trip to Outer Space:

6 Everyday Things That Happen Strangely in Space

Natalie Wolchover, Life’s Little Mysteries Staff Writer
Date: 19 March 2011 Time: 11:53 AM ET

Welcome to Weightlessness
The crews of the International Space Station (Expedition 26) and the shuttle Discovery (STS-133) pose for a photo inside the newly attached Leonardo storage module, known as the Permanent Multipurpose Module, on March 1, 2011.

Credit: NASA

Watched pots, as they say, never boil. Besides, even if they did, why watch them? You know exactly what boiling water looks like.

But I bet you don’t know what it looks like in outer space.

Here are six everyday occurrences — including the boiling of water — that happen very differently in microgravity, plus explanations as to why.

Weak San Francisco Quake

Weak very shallow earthquake frightens downtown San Fransisco

Last update: August 30, 2011 at 8:47 am by By Armand Vervaeck and James Daniell

Earthquake overview : A weak but very shallow earthquake has frightened a lot of people living in downtown San Francisco.


Update : The fault line where the quake occurred is the Peninsula Section of the San Andreas Fault line.

Update : The current epicenter area has no historic earthquakes greater than 1.0 the last 7 days or NO quakes greater than 3.0 the last 40 years.

Update : The earthquake has been felt as far as Burlingame to the south,  Martinez to the East and San Anselmo to the North.

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Comet Elenin—Who Knows?

Comet Elenin is breaking apart, according to observations

Published on August 29, 2011 10:45 pm PT
– By Jim Duran – Writer
– Article Editor and Approved – Warren Miller

No larger image

( — Observations are in, Comet Elenin is breaking up!

A new report is in at and the report states that Comet Elenin is dimming and falling apart.

“I can confirm with many other astronomers that Elenin will not make perihelion this Fall,” Art Powell from Florida says. “Elenin’s coma is becoming elongated and this means it is falling apart.”

Comets are fragile ice rocks that can; and do break apart.

“I call BS!” yelled Jill Costner of Arizona. “They want to take it off the mainstream and it is still coming!”


Body Image/Body Size

Why staying fat could be more healthy than constant dieting

Jessica Laurence

By Jessica Laurence, Aug 16, 2011

f you’re tired of the battle with the scales and the misery of refusing a slice of cake, here’s some encouraging news.

Scientists in Canada have made the controversial suggestion that being overweight could actually be healthier than constant dieting.

The researchers said over a third of the obese men and women they studied were healthy or had only minor health problems.

People who kept dieting and then regaining the weight they lost were found to be less healthy overall than the overweight group.

The team, from York University in Toronto, kept tabs on the health of 6,000 male and female participants for 16 years.

The participants were given physical and medical tests, and the researchers then compared that group’s data with people of normal weights.

The team found that people were heavier did not have more danger of dying than someone who was a normal weight.

“This concept of healthy obesity just recently came to light,” lead author Jennifer Kuk, assistant professor at York University’s School of Kinesiology and Health Science, explained.

Wine & Waistlines

How a glass of wine a day could help you lose weight

Jessica Laurence

By Jessica Laurence, Aug 18, 2011

How a glass of wine a day could help you lose weight

Giving up alcohol in order to lose weight is one of the most annoying parts of being on a diet.

Dieters are usually advised to cut out wine, cocktails and beer, all of which are high in sugar and empty calories.

However the results of a new study have suggested that drinking a moderate amount of alcohol every day could actually stop us putting on weight.

According to scientists at the Navarro University in Spain, people who drink wine and diet could lose weight more easily than people who abstain, or those who drink other types of alcohol.

A spokesperson for the researchers explained: “Light-to-moderate alcohol intake, especially of wine, may be more likely to protect against, rather than promote, weight gain.”

“As positive associations between alcohol and weight gain were mainly found in studies with data on higher levels of drinking, it is possible an effect on weight gain or abdominal adiposity [fat around the middle] may only be experienced by heavy drinkers.”

The researchers said they analysed the results of 31 studies and did not find a link between moderate drinking and weight gain.

Ab-Fab…. What Else Can I Say… Bring on the Bubbly


‘Absolutely Fabulous’ To Make Anniversary Return To BBC

Absolutely Fabulous

First Posted: 29/8/11 15:00 GMT Updated: 29/8/11 20:54 GMT

RESS ASSOCIATION — International PR “guru” Eddy Monsoon and inebriated magazine editor Patsy Stone are to return to our screens in three new episodes of Absolutely Fabulous, the BBC has confirmed.

The award-winning comedy series will celebrate its 20th anniversary with the trio of 30-minute specials.

Jennifer Saunders and Joanna Lumley will reprise their celebrated roles as Edina and Patsy, and will be joined by other original cast members. Julia Sawalha will resume the role of Edina’s daughter Saffy, June Whitfield as her mother and Jane Horrocks as Bubble.

The original series aired from 1992 to 2003 with a special in 2004. The new collection of specials picks up in the present day, with fashion follower Eddy still working in PR and sex-mad Patsy still employed in the magazine industry.

In the first episode, fans will rejoin the ensemble in the midst of a life-changing experience for one – which affects them all, while in the concluding episode Eddy and Patsy play their own very special part in the London 2012 Olympics.

Saunders said: “Its great that we are able to celebrate our 20th birthday with all the original cast. Like a good bottle of champagne we hope that we have got better with time without losing any of our sparkle.