War of the Worldviews

  • by Leonard Mlodinow, Deepak Chopra
  • Narrated by Deepak Chopra, Leonard Mlodinow
  • 9 hrs and 46 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

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 thinkers battle over the cosmos, evolution and life, the human brain, and God, probing the fundamental questions that define the human experience.

How did the universe emerge?
What is the nature of time?
What is life?
Did Darwin go wrong?
What makes us human?
What is the connection between mind and brain?
Is God an illusion?

This extraordinary book 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?
From the Hardcover edition.


What the Critics Say

“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)
"Deepak Chopra did an excellent job explaining why the all-embracing holistic quantum field suggests a dynamic, alive cosmos. This is an interesting and provocative book which will be read and talked about for a long time to come.” (Hans Peter Duerr, Director Emeritus, Max-Planck-Institute for Physics and Astrophysics)
"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.)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful


I'm not sure what I was thinking when I bought this book, maybe a chance to hear some new perspective on big questions.

I left this one feeling disappointed on both sides, Mlodinow for not putting the hammer down harder, and Chopra for dwelling on his straw man arguments and offering up the incessant lists. When Chopra starts on a list, he really loses me, the book is no longer about world view, its a textbook for his brand of snake oil.

Chopra also falls into the trap of arguing against himself repeatedly throughout, using examples that clearly illustrate Leonard's point, then twisting them around to support magical thoughts that are clearly unrelated.

Mlodinow does too much floating around, it seemed like he doesn't want to really tear down Chopra's arguments as directly as Chopra does his. Maybe to keep the book moving along?

Mlodinow often rushes his reading, and Chopra's often wanders into a droning attempt at hypnotism, as far as I can tell.

It's not terrible, it was interesting to hear another point of view from where I stand, I just expected a little more from both sides.
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- HossBud

Not what I expect- but that's a good thing!

What made the experience of listening to War of the Worldviews the most enjoyable?

Deepak Chopra actually made a good argument for consciousness preceding matter, using Quantum Theory as support. This was unexpected and very welcome to hear because I was assuming that Mlodinow was going to "wipe the floor" with Chopra.

In contrast, I thought that Leonard Mlodinow only had a few good moments. He spent most of his time decrying the notion of a deity, even though Chopra did the exact same thing in his argument. Even more damning was Mlodinow's insistence on experimental proof, except, conveniently, where we are technologically incapable of experimentation in regards to several key concepts in physics.In other words, throw this theory out, but keep this other one, even though neither can be proven and both are accepted by different parts of the scientific community. Overall, Mlodinow only supports a few of his points with evidence. The rest is conjecture.

What was one of the most memorable moments of War of the Worldviews?

When Chopra stated that religion has failed human civilization, and that spirituality requires one to embrace science.

What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

Thought Chopra made an excellent argument, and supported it with sound scientific theories and experimental proof.

Thought Mlodinow could have been much better. One shining moment for him was the chapter about physical human brain function near the end of the book.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

The NEW discussion about who we are and where we came from.

Any additional comments?

This book was much better than I expected it to be. I recommend it to anyone interested in science, spirituality, or both.

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- John

Book Details

  • Release Date: 10-04-2011
  • Publisher: Random House Audio