An extract from:
Reality Check: Science Meets Religion
Do conflicts between science and religion make it impossible for you to
accept both? Or do you struggle with certain aspects of your faith because
science seems to undermine it? Maybe you believe in science and religion
but find it necessary to compartmentalize your mind to suppress the conflicts.
(That used to be me.)
One of these statements applies to most people. This is strange, given
over half the world’s population believes in God and most of us
believe in science. So how come they are so often regarded as being mutually
exclusive? This is a question I asked myself many years ago and I became
determined to find the answer. It seemed logical to suppose neither religion
nor science were wrong but that any apparent conflicts were due to misunderstandings
on both sides. So I investigated this and pondered on it for years, certain
this notion must be correct. Eventually I came to a satisfactory viewpoint
that seemed to prove religion and science were actually complementary.
This book is my attempt to explain this as simply as possible.
While I do think inspiration complemented my perspiration, this is just
a personal view and there is such a thing as human error. So please don’t
imagine I believe everything I say must be right—although I do believe
it would be right to think about everything I say. God shares a powerful
mind with us and he undoubtedly wishes us to use it. In what better way
might we apply it than by trying to better understand him?
Every person’s belief is individual, but not everyone has thought
deeply about such issues. Where to start? It might seem there are just
too many imponderables to even begin. Yet I hope that, as a result of
helping you to focus your mind through this book, you may thereafter be
able to relax into a logically-founded faith unfettered by niggling doubts
about whether it is sometimes at odds with science.
I hope to show you that theologian and scientist are looking at the
same picture without realizing it and that science is merely the study
of creation. I employ what I believe to be an exciting new way to convince
you there must be a God: by providing evidence that ‘brain’
and ‘mind’ are separate entities and that your non-physical
mind—and God’s—must lie beyond the realms of his creation:
the space-time continuum. During this fascinating journey we will question
the true nature of reality and I will explain why I believe both evidence
and logic suggest our consciousness survives death. I will also show how
the latest scientific theory may unknowingly reveal the location of Heaven—as
hinted at by the words of Jesus. This might sound fantastic, but so is
modern science—especially if it is brought to bear upon religion.
Trust me for now, for this is a powerful combination.
I hope accompanying me on this journey will allow you to gain a better
understanding of the ‘paranormal’; it is, after all, just
that part of ‘normal’ creation we do not fully understand.
We will consider why many of the classic arguments ‘against’
God are now inadequate, and evaluate which of the classic arguments ‘for’
God are the most convincing. As part of this exploration I introduce a
new ‘External Consciousness Argument’ to counter such arguments
against there being a God as the ‘Ultimate Boeing 747 Gambit’
proposed by Richard Dawkins in his book The God Delusion.
I am excited to be able to show you why the Bible creation story is
actually compatible with science and evolution—that there was both
‘evolution’ and ‘creation’ in God’s process—and
we will resolve enigmas like why God would ‘allow’ seemingly
bad things to happen. Finally I will explain how you can simultaneously
have a ‘destiny’ and ‘free-will’, and how this
relates to ‘the meaning of life’ and your ‘purpose in
Hopefully, you will find this book entertaining, accessible and as fascinating
to read as I found it to research and write. Please forgive my quips,
for such a serious subject can have its lighter side. Jesus was a human
being on earth, so I don’t doubt he sometimes enjoyed a laugh with
his friends; certainly his disciples must have caused him some amusement
at times. Did he joke? Well, he liked wordplay, which suggests he did.
Consider phrases about a camel passing through the eye of a needle (Mark
10:25) and the blind leading the blind and both falling into a pit (Matthew
If you are already a believer, I hope any new insight you gain through
this book may unburden your mind regarding apparent conflicts between
science and religion—and maybe also help you to convince a doubting
friend to believe. Or, if you never imagined there could be a sound logical
argument that could persuade you to believe in God, I hope this one might
prove to be your godsend.
Ian Kingsley, 2011
Removing the Blinkers
‘Truth is by nature self-evident. As soon as you remove the
cobwebs of ignorance that surround it, it shines clear.’
The fact we have separate words for ‘brain’ and ‘mind’
clearly reveals man’s gut-feeling they are separate entities. And
if they are it means the mind must be non-physical—for where else
could it be within your body? I need to firmly convince you of this because
certainty will remove the blinkers which mask an enlightened understanding
of creation. You will then be able to grasp the amazing nature of consciousness
and why a ‘mind’ many people call ‘God’ must exist
beyond space and time.
I wish to take you on an exciting journey to a viewpoint
where science and religion are compatible. Author Robert Jastrow has written
that: ‘The scientist has scaled the mountains of ignorance; he is
about to conquer the highest peak; as he pulls himself over the final
rock, he is greeted by a band of theologians who have been sitting there
for centuries.’ I will lead you to that same peak by an easy but
previously unexplored route. Those few theologians and scientists who
are already there took their own individual routes. Sadly for them, the
greater majority of their colleagues will not even take an interest in
what they have discovered. So it is brave of those theologians to admit
scientists may make a contribution towards overall understanding, and
for those scientists to give due respect to theologians when they agree
God did have a hand in creation.
Although not a lot of people know this, even the Catholic
Church has officially come round to the idea that it is not an anathema
to consider evolution as part of God’s plan. It’s a pity this
doesn’t filter through to more of the Christian Church. Consider
these admissions. On 22nd October, 1996, in his message to the Pontifical
Academy of Sciences, Pope John Paul II gave a defence of a caring God
who employed evolution. He said (my italics): “In his encyclical
‘Humani Generis’ (1950), my predecessor, Pius XII, has already
affirmed that there is no conflict between evolution and the doctrine
of the faith regarding man and his vocation, provided that we do
not lose sight of certain fixed points.” John Paul went on to say:
“Today, more than a half-century after the appearance of that encyclical,
some new findings lead us toward the recognition of evolution as more
than a hypothesis. In fact it is remarkable that this theory has
had progressively greater influence on the spirit of researchers, following
a series of discoveries in different scholarly disciplines. The convergence
in the results of these independent studies—which was neither planned
nor sought—constitutes in itself a significant argument in favour
of the theory.” Remember that. Two popes admitted evolution
might be fact. (A full transcript is available online. ) This could help
a lot during peace talks at the top of that mountain.
Put bluntly, despite traditional conflicts, two of the
most important Christian leaders in the world have confirmed they were
prepared to consider evolution may have been part of God’s process
of creation. I hope to provide evidence that is exactly what happened.
Given over half the world’s population believe in God, and there
is ample evidence supporting science and evolution, it seems logical to
suppose evolution must have played a part. All we need do then is to solve
this little enigma! A satisfactory answer to it would be a logical outcome,
after all, and logic is what this book is all about. And how wonderful
if this idea is right, for how could so much evidence on either side be
totally wrong? What we need are connections to tie the two different perspectives
together. This book aims to achieve that.
I began my career in the field of scientific research.
It taught me to carefully consider all the evidence I could find before
drawing any conclusions. Although I went to church as a child, my new
probing nature led me to question whether there was a logical foundation
for belief in God. Faith is easy for people who can just accept and believe—like
‘little children’, as Jesus put it—but my enquiring
mind demanded something more substantial.
Most people have a biased or pre-conditioned opinion about
the existence of God, and they give little or no thought as to whether
their view is sound judgement; their lives are far too busy to ponder
on what appear to be imponderables. But, after many years of research
and personal questioning, I reached a viewpoint which gave me a faith
so strong I now feel the need to share it—and hopefully make this
important consideration much easier for you. My faith is based on science,
the Bible and logic, and I find this a particularly strong trinity.
If there really is a God, and if truly believing in that
God could offer you eternal life after death, would you not consider it
worth a few hours of your time to investigate it further? If so, this
book makes that really easy for you. I hope its new insight, hard logic
and the evidence I shall present will make a critical difference for many
doubters. It could also help believers to convince others who might respond
to a modern approach that is not at odds with science. So please read
on, wherever you stand on faith. I want to show believers science need
not be undermining; it is, after all, just the intimate study of creation.
Nor need faith be blind, and the marvels of life and our universe, when
seen from an enlightened scientific perspective, need not be at odds with
a belief in God.
A man who knows faith can go hand-in-hand with science
is top scientist, Dr, Francis Collins, former Head of the Human Genome
Project in the USA, the project which cracked the code for human
genetics: the ultimate link between humankind and our creator. (Perhaps
you remember President Clinton’s momentous announcement of this
achievement on TV with Francis Collins at his side.) Collins knows all
about science and yet he has no doubt about the existence of God, as he
makes clear in his book The Language of God. He believes God
is responsible for our universe and he has looked at the ‘nuts and
bolts’ of creation more closely than practically anyone else in
Arguably, the most voluble opponent to that view must be
atheist Richard Dawkins, who has put forward his opposite opinion in books
such as The God Delusion. He believes chance was the only influence
in our world, that we are just lucky to have come into being, and that
anyone who believes in God is seriously deluded.
Creation is a difficult subject for anyone to fathom—not
to mention a time-consuming one—and that is probably why most people
leave all the thinking to others and then plump for what they consider
to be the most plausible argument. This book allows you to do that but,
be warned, it will make you think a little. But it is worth it if the
result is a unified view that embraces both science and religion—without
I believe one of the problems with scientists is that they
tend to think that predicting how a sequence of events takes place—better
still, putting a formula to it—gives it some inviolate rights of
existence which obviate the need for a creator. Yet they do not know how
things happen: just how things interact: cause and effect.
Ask a scientist where everything comes from and he will
point back billions of years to the ‘Big Bang’ as if this
explains everything. They may have formulae covering the expansion
of the universe, but whatever happened at the very instant of the Big
Bang—at the beginning of time—remains a mystery. Ask where
all the energy needed to create the Big Bang came from and the scientist
will shrug and say that one day science will have it cracked; it’s
just a matter of time. (So who created ‘time’, exactly?) Science
assumes this answer will lie in the ‘holy grail’ they call
the ‘Theory of Everything’ yet this, despite being named,
is really a non-theory: no more than wishful thinking. I think there is
more chance of them turning into believers than coming up with that. Three
decades ago, Stephen Hawking famously declared a Theory of Everything
was on the horizon, with a 50 percent chance of its completion by the
year 2000. In 2010, Hawking said he had given up—because there may
not be a final theory to discover after all. Yet, somehow, I cannot imagine
Hawking will be satisfied with a ‘Theory of Nothing’.
If there ever is a Theory of Everything, surely it must
specify that everything comes from a single source? A single
source would surely suggest ‘God’ in any case? Great knowledge
gives mankind an inflated sense of superiority, which is why many scientists
think ‘knowledge’ is the only altar to which they need bow.
The huge gap between science and religion is a hard one
for man to grapple with, given his past makes him inclined to believe
in a God offering eternal life beyond death; yet his present persuades
him to imagine everything came about by chance. Yet how could a universe
of space and time just happen by chance? How did energy and space suddenly
appear from nowhere? How did time begin? The ‘chicken-and-egg’
riddle has nothing on this.
As a result of this intellectual conflict, a problem many
believers face today is the need to compartmentalize their conceptions.
On the one hand they have a belief based on ancient religious texts, written
in days when man had no knowledge of science. On the other hand they see
compelling scientific evidence which sometimes appears to conflict with
their religious belief and cast doubt upon it. This uncomfortable juxtaposition
is hardly a satisfactory union. Many imagine the only solution is to choose
between the two—science or religion—which is why
I believe it is time to force a reality check to show this need
not be the case. We do not need to have split-personalities to be both
believers and realists; but we do need to be pragmatists. I am very certain
of this and hope to prove it because religion and science are equally
strong ‘beliefs’. Yes, I also use the word ‘belief’
in connection with science because that is all scientific theory really
is: faith in itself. If not, why does it change when scientists ‘learn’
more—and hence believe in something new? Ironically, in
that respect, religion is far more stable than science.
Have you heard of ‘Occam’s Razor’? A
very bright 14th-century English logician, theologian and Franciscan friar,
Father William of Ockham, came up with this. Briefly stated, it postulates
the simplest explanation for anything is most likely to be correct. In
this spirit I aim to show you why monotheism—belief in
a single God—does not, in any way, contradict the findings of science.
Furthermore, I will demonstrate why modern science is actually very close
to being able to show us the true nature of creation—and even where
Heaven might be. (Just suspend your disbelief about that for a while and
trust me, because I promise I really will!)
If you come to view religion and science as complementary,
I can assure you life and creation then seem to make a lot more sense.
It will even help you to understand some of the great enigmas of life:
like why, if there is a loving and caring God, such terrible things can
still happen in the world.
This logical approach can lead you to a place where spiritual
growth is possible in line with both the Bible and science. In other words,
I want to remove the blinkers which limit our understanding by pre-conditioning
and dogma and thereby reveal a wider picture in the light of modern knowledge.
We will get to grips with what I believe to be the true nature of reality
and creation. Instead of taking the extrospective route of science, looking
through microscopes and telescopes, or probing outer-space, I
aim to take an introspective route via the inner-space of a logical
If you looked at a masterpiece of art through a microscope
you would only see paint pigments and the weave of the fabric upon which
they are lodged. This is not as beautiful as the picture and it does not
get you any closer to understanding the talent of the artist: its creator.
So it is with this world. In order to understand the creation in which
we live—and its creator—we need to step back and realize something
very important. A creator can never be a part of his creation. A painter
might paint a representation of himself in a picture, but that will never
be a true, living being. So if our world is one of space and time, any
creator responsible for it must exist outside the realms of that
space and time.
Before Christians point out the Bible describes God as
walking on the earth (Old Testament only), having a humanlike personality,
and being the same as Jesus and the Holy Spirit, let me clarify something.
If we believe there is a single creator, he is also perfectly capable
of creating a physical being—and a spirit being—that
channel his thoughts and embody his personality: through a presence called
God, or Jesus. Even a computer game’s creator can create what are
called ‘avatars’, and we, as gamers, can control avatar representations
of ourselves in the electronic world he created: much the same thing,
conceptually. Similarly, if our separate minds subtly communicate
with our brains, it is no wonder we imagine the brain is doing all the
work. The primitive brain clearly does ‘perform’ many of the
tasks that are allocated to it. I do not deny this great ‘machine’
helps to control our physical body, but many of the things it does for
us run on autopilot: control of breathing being one of the most obvious.
The mind tackles more difficult stuff: like thinking.
I will show the real power of the mind lies beyond space
and time and that it has great influence on what happens in that space
with respect to time. The substance of mind must therefore be the same
substance as God.
We need to reconsider apparent conflicts between religion
and science and come to an understanding that makes sense in both. They
have to be different sides of the same coin: the ‘head’ is
of God and the ‘tail’ is his creation. The truth is that science
merely investigates creation; it cannot claim any responsibility for it
or truly understand it: for that takes a great leap of faith.
We tend to excuse our limited understanding by clinging
on to outmoded perceptions. When the Bible was written, the concept of
a space-time continuum was not understood, so there was no chance of anyone—including
Jesus—explaining that God existed somewhere beyond it. In the same
way, with our modern understanding of space, we can no longer envisage
a Heaven as being somewhere high up in the sky—the place we put
satellites—but that was the only unknown ‘space’ people
of that time could figure it could possibly exist. Now we know only the
international space station offers any form of habitation ‘up there’.
Jesus knew better than try to explain, and artist’s impressions
of angels—necessarily winged—reinforced an assumption that
became embedded in the human psyche. Now time—and space—has
moved on, and so should our conceptions.
The exciting journey upon which you are about to embark
begins by considering hard evidence to show the brain (something physical),
is quite separate to the mind (something non-physical). It then explains
that because the mind is non-physical, it lies outside the confines of
space and time and, because of this, does not cease to exist when the
physical body dies. Therefore eternal life is a distinct possibility and
there could, indeed, be a Heaven; amazingly, the latest scientific theories
may actually suggest where this is.
I will demonstrate how consciousness can exist outside
the brain in ‘out-of-body’ experiences and how information
is transferred between minds via telepathy and shared dreams. I will even
tell you about the remarkable dream I ‘shared’ with my wife.
(It is more detailed than any of the other recorded cases I have found,
and it certainly convinced us!)
I will prove that ‘mind’ is the source of all
creation, and this journey will show how you are created in the ‘mental’—not
‘physical’—image of God. I will show you the Bible’s
account of creation is actually in-line with evolution and science, and
that ‘reality’ is just in the mind of the beholder. I will
introduce you to a ‘Restricted Viewpoint Argument’ to help
you understand many of the enigmas concerning God, and to an ‘External
Consciousness Argument’ to formalize our understanding of the nature
of God. With its aid I will refute a host of the classic arguments against
there being a God and will evaluate classic arguments for there
being a God.
I refute Richard Dawkins much vaunted ‘Ultimate Boeing
747 Gambit’ which, roughly summed up, states that a God responsible
for the creation of the universe would require his own designer, ad
infinitum. I will show there is actually a fallacy in his argument,
just as there is in the so-called ‘Omnipotence Paradox’, which
considers arguments such as: ‘Could God create a rock so big he
cannot lift it?’ This particular argument is really just as silly
as it sounds, but others need a little more effort to counter. In all,
I consider 16 classic arguments ‘against’ there being a God
and show them to be erroneous or illogical, and I assess a similar number
of classic arguments ‘for’ there being a God before, hopefully,
coming up with a new and more effective argument that takes into account
the new insight gained during the course of this journey.
In order to soundly substantiate my arguments aimed at
proving there must be a God, I include many external internet links to
supporting evidence. May I please request you firstly read this entire
book before you follow any of these links. You will then avoid the
distraction such diversions will bring and better focus on our fascinating
journey. After that, please do follow the links, for they prove I am not
making this amazing stuff up. What is original in this book is the synergistic
way I pull these strands together into a cohesive whole. I am aiming at
unity, and if everything is God’s creation that is what we should
seek: unity. This is my ‘Theory of Everything—without
the maths’. Don’t worry, it will not get too deep; so you
won’t need a lifebelt.
I will show it is not paradoxical for you to have both
a destiny and free-will. I will also demonstrate how a more holistic view
of creation leads you to the very meaning of life and how determining
your personal ‘destiny-chain’ will allow you to discover your
purpose in life.
Despite the depth of the subject matter, I have chosen
not to introduce complex philosophical or theological terms into this
book because, apart from making it far less ‘reader-friendly’,
I do not want to go down existing paths lined with intimidating labels
and narrow pigeon-holes; I want to be free-thinking—and for you
to be likewise during the course of this very special journey. Why? Take
the label ‘dualism’, for example. It has somewhat different
implications in philosophy (the world has two fundamental entities, mind
and matter), psychology (mind and body function separately), and theology
(the world is ruled by two antagonistic forces, good and evil, and also
human beings have two natures: physical and spiritual). Do you see how
one little term immediately introduces complexity, confusion and assumption?
If I say I am talking about dualism then different people will already
be way ahead of me, yet they may baulk when my route leaves the one they
Assumptions or interpretations accepted without question
for hundreds—or even one or two thousands—of years might be
a little skewed due to earlier lack of knowledge about our universe and
science. So we should ask ourselves whether everything we have assumed
to be correct actually tallies with a reasonable acceptance of where science
stands today. If it does not, then is the solution to be found in careful
thought about interpretation? An example of this is the assumption that
Heaven is somewhere up in the sky. Space exploration has shown us that
is pretty unlikely. So let us shed dogma and consider everything afresh.
(As some reassurance for believers, let me say at this point that our
final destination does not question the Bible; it just offers a possible
explanation for one or two long-held puzzles.)
Rigidity would be a severe handicap on this journey, and
the synergy behind the thinking in this book is new, so ‘logic’
is its primary authority—not to mention three decades of pondering,
research and, thankfully, some compelling inspiration. So please do not
try to pin a label on me other than one which says ‘guide’.
I will be tentatively leading you through mountainous terrain, but I want
you to use a logical mind and a moral compass to follow where we are going,
not an existing map which will not depict this route. If you forego diversions
this journey should not prove too much of a struggle.
Please put aside preconceived notions for a while and consider
this entire book with a truly open mind. It is then an exciting adventure
that flexes the metaphorical muscles of the mind on a trip leading to
a ‘unified theory’ where science meets religion. Although
you can be sure there is some rocky ground to cross, we will navigate
it successfully, and I guarantee you will encounter some tremendous views
en-route: ones, I promise, that will always be held in your mind.
And understanding the nature of ‘mind’ is the first challenge.
At the moment it is firmly stuck within your brain, so firstly we must
release it from all that limiting grey matter. Follow closely as we climb
into a more rarefied atmosphere—through the mists of time.
Mind and Brain—Separate Entities
‘I was taught that the human brain was the crowning glory of
evolution so far, but I think it's a very poor scheme for survival.’
The first thing I need to do is to convince you is that
brain and mind really are separate entities, even if during normal careless
talk we do exchange the terms in phrases such as: ‘I’ve got
this tune on my mind,’ or ‘I’m racking my brains’.
I shall aim to do this by citing examples where the exchange of information
between minds obviously overcomes the physical constraints placed upon
the brains of those involved.
Firstly, we will consider evidence of information which
passes between people without conventional communication—via telepathy.
Like all supernatural phenomena, this is very hard to prove scientifically.
Some of the most common examples concern mothers well aware of their baby’s
needs even when out of sight and hearing of them.
A strong emotional bond seems to be a common success factor
in telepathy tests. This is something which future researchers would do
well to bear in mind; many picky scientists would prefer it to work well
between strangers before they believe. Intuitively, it hardly seems surprising
that close bonds are necessary for the merging of minds.
In his study of telepathy, Dr. Paul Stevens, at Edinburgh
University, recognized this. The subjects he used were ‘emotionally
close’ couples comprising lovers, friends and relatives. They were
split into groups of ‘senders’ and ‘receivers’.
Randomly selected video clips from a library of 100 were shown to the
senders who were told to try to telepathically transmit related information
to the receiver in a soundproof room 25 metres away. The receivers were
asked to speak in a stream of consciousness, stating the first things
that came to mind. Sound signals called ‘white noise’ lulled
the receiving partners into an ultra-receptive state and they were asked
to say what came into their heads while their bodies were measured for
physical changes. Many subjects were able to talk about the information
being seen by their partners. Skin conductance tests confirmed when receivers
were aware of receiving information. (One of several records of this can
be found online. )
Many of us have experienced successfully guessing who is
calling when the phone rings. Phone calls are particularly conducive to
telepathy. I guess this is because the caller is focusing on the recipient
and the synchronization of the ring causes the recipient to wonder who
is calling. Often the called person can guess who is calling if they are
emotionally close. Has this even happened to you and made you wonder about
In order to investigate this common experience, 1,000 telephone
telepathy tests were carried out by renowned biologist and author Doctor
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