The Copernican revolution challenged the Old Testament with the idea that the earth revolved around the sun; Darwin challenged the creation story with evolution; David Friedrich Strauss and a host of nineteenth-century skeptics dismantled the life of Jesus. It's literally a centuries-old question: how do we reconcile God with science? ABC News, undeterred by the prospect of trodden ground, recently hosted a Nightline Face-Off on the topic: "Does God have a future?"
Michael Schermer lays it out clearly in his opening statement. If God exists, then of course he has a future. If God doesn't exist, "then we're only really talking about the future of belief in God." He can't prove God's absence, but thinks that the deity is quickly having his market share stolen by natural science: what used to be only explicable through the divine now has a scientific explanation.
Deepak Chopra counters that he's "not here to defend the God of primitive theology." Nor is he going to "argue about [science]," which he says is unquestionably valid. He does, though, want to "upgrade science" as well as theology, and talks about the "deeper level of reality" around the beginning of life on earth, the beginning of the universe, and similar events. This, he says, is the "future of God." Famous "new atheist" Sam Harris and and prominent "New Thought" spiritualist Jean Houston join in.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.