I have written here many times about how one aspect of our ultimate evolution involves bringing together science and spirituality. We see the bridging of these fields in the cutting-edge philosophy of integral theory which shows the legitimacy of both inner ways of knowing as well as external. The scientific theory of Spiral Dynamics which outlines a sequence of worldviews through which humanity evolves, points to the melding of these disciplines in its higher turns. If one looks for it, then one can see growing evidence that we are moving in that direction.
Even the backlash by atheist scientists such as Richard Dawkins and others can be viewed as proof of humanity’s bridging science and spirituality. Why do they work so hard to argue against God and religion? On the one hand, we can see that their actions to tell us that believing in God is a delusion is a pushback towards the traditional view of God– the old man in the sky– and religions who cause wars and abuse children. Their efforts can be seen as moving as away from a traditional worldview and towards a modern scientific worldview. Yet the world is evolving beyond their modern worldview into a postmodern and ultimately integral worldview for science and spirituality come together. One might consider the atheist’s protests against God as an attempt to stop this evolution. In this light it’s easy to see these scientists as clinging to their fundamentalist scientific beliefs (i.e. science is the only way to knowledge) just as religious fundamentalists cling to their limited religious beliefs.
Humanity continues to inch closer to bringing science and spirituality together. On March 25, the John Templeton Foundation awarded their annual prize given to honor a living person who has made an exceptional contribution to affirming life’s spiritual dimension, whether through insight, discovery, or practical works. Their prize laureate went to scientist Francisco Ayala, a professor at the University of California at Irvine, who started his career as an ordained priest before moving into his current field where he is known for his research into the evolutionary history of the parasite. Yet, his $1.42 million award came for his contributions towards bringing science and spirituality together.
In accepting his award, Ayala forcefully denied that science contradicts religion. “If they are properly understood,” he said, “they cannot be in contradiction because science and religion concern different matters, and each is essential to human understanding.” He went on to refer to the world of art and specifically Picasso’s Guernica, where he noted that while science can assess the painting’s massive dimensions and pigments, only a spiritual view imparts the horror of the subject matter. He added that we must bring the 2 ways of knowing together in order to fully appreciate the totality of the masterpiece.
There is much more information about Ayala on the Templeton Prize website….including a set of short videos (scroll down to heading for “Big Questions”) where he outlines his view point on how science and spirituality work in harmony. Here is the link: Templeton Prize Website.
Check out all of Mark Gilbert’s books—available at Amazon. Click here to visit his Author Page. This includes his recent one Our Spiritual Rights and Responsibilities. In this book, he offers what he suggests are the 5 basic rights we all possess by virtue of our being these spiritual beings on planet Earth — and our 2 responsibilities we all hold in relation to one another! Check it out!