Your Brain Is the Universe – Part 1

By Deepak Chopra, M.D., FACP, Rudolph E. Tanzi, Ph.D., Joseph P. and Rose F. Kennedy Professor of Neurology at Harvard University, and Director of the Genetics and Aging Research Unit at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), P. Murali Doraiswamy, MBBS, FRCP, Professor of Psychiatry, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina, Menas C. Kafatos, Ph.D., Fletcher Jones Endowed Professor in Computational Physics, Director, Center of Excellence, Chapman University.

In our previous articles, we challenged a cherished point of view, that reality is material and external. There is a world “out there” that that every baby plops into when it is born. Convincing someone that this didn’t really happen is disturbing, and among scientists, whose worldview depends on the material world being real, hackles are raised as soon as you say otherwise. But we aren’t straying outside science in the quantum era. Our basic point, that the physical world lost its reassuring status, based on what the senses perceive, a hundred years ago when the quantum revolution began – is beyond dispute. (more…)

Why the Universe Is Our Home – It’s Not a Coincidence

By Deepak Chopra, M.D., FACP, P. Murali Doraiswamy, MBBS, FRCP, Professor of Psychiatry, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina, Rudolph E. Tanzi, Ph.D., Joseph P. and Rose F. Kennedy Professor of Neurology at Harvard University, and Director of the Genetics and Aging Research Unit at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), Menas C. Kafatos, Ph.D., Fletcher Jones Endowed Professor in Computational Physics, Chapman University

It would be reassuring to most people to discover that the universe is constructed to favor life. If the human race isn’t a freakish outcome of highly improbable chance events, we have every right to see the universe as our home. But this psychological reassurance strikes physicists and biologists as wishful thinking – the bulwark of modern science, from the most minuscule events at the quantum scale to the Big Bang itself, is the assumption that creation is random, without guidance, plan, mind, or purpose. (more…)

War of the Worldviews Part Two: Let’s Talk Evolution

In our touring debates on science versus spirituality, Caltech physics professor Leonard Mlodinow and I take turns claiming to be the underdog. This is never more confusing than when it comes to debating Darwinism. Evolution has been a wedge issue for a century and a half. Biologists consider Darwin’s concept of the evolution of species incontrovertible; indeed, it may be the single greatest idea in the history of science. But the toppling of Genesis and its creation story hasn’t convinced the public. Presidential candidates on the right can still win support for Biblical creationism as an “alternative theory,” while only a third of Americans claim that scientific evolution is adequate to explain the origin of life. The vast majority believe that God’s influence, whether small or large, must be part of the story. (more…)

War of the Worldviews: Let’s Talk Brain and Mind

People are surprised and often offended to discover that the truth is shifting, and yet a shift always happens at the moment of greatest certainty. If you canvassed a hundred neuroscientists about where the mind comes from, it would be a good bet that 99 would say the brain. There’s a solid wall of certainty there, which would automatically indicate that a new answer is ready to emerge, toppling all conventional wisdom.

I argue this new idea in War of the Worldviews, a new book co-authored with Caltech physicist Leonard Mlodinow. Taking the scientific side of the debate, Leonard supports the brain-is-mind position that has been forced upon brain scientists. I say forced, because neuroscience studies physical processes, and with sophisticated imaging technology, those processes are understood with great specificity in the brain. But physicality is the wrong place to look for mind. By analogy, you can study a piano down to its atoms and molecules, but that won’t tell you anything about how composers create music. (more…)

How to Inspire Your Brain

By Deepak Chopra, MD, FACP and Rudolph E. Tanzi, Ph.D., Joseph P. and Rose F. Kennedy Professor of Neurology at Harvard University, and Director of the Genetics and Aging Research Unit at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), co-authors of Super Brain: Unleashing the Explosive Power of Your Mind to Maximize Health, Happiness, and Spiritual Well-being. (Harmony)

We’ve entered a golden age for brain research, but all these new findings haven’t trickled down to the individual. Yet there are broad discoveries that make it possible to everyone to improve their brains. Let us state these succinctly: (more…)