The other day I was surprised to see an article in the Guardian (a liberal mainstream newspaper in the UK) saying that Richard Dawkins was named the ‘world’s top thinker’ in a poll from Prospect magazine. Apparently Prospect listed whom they consider to be the 65 most influential scientists and economists, and asked their readers to vote; they selected Richard Dawkins as #1. What?!

As we all know, Dawkins is an evolutionary biologist who first came to prominence with the publication of The Selfish Gene in 1976. Since then he has published twelve books in total, mostly along the lines of science vs. spirit. I don’t dispute Dawkin’s scientific training, but he is best known for his virulent atheism (along with Christopher Hitchens, who died last year). Both consider religion a poisonous hoax, and regard atheism as the mark of an independent mind.

I believe they (and their fans) are missing the point – several points, in fact.

1. They are quick to make a straw man out of the worst excesses of religion, using those admitted sins and transgressions to condemn all who have faith in a higher power. This is neither fair nor rational.

2. They set up a false dichotomy between the natural and supernatural worlds, implying that belief in one disqualifies you for respecting the other. I’m not talking here about evolution vs. creation – anyone with a brain knows this planet has been around for several billion years. However, casting the argument in terms of evolution vs creationism – with plenty of help from the religious right – indicates a certain lack of understanding regarding the underlying structure of the universe. If the creationists deny the underlying physical structure, then surely the atheists ignore the underlying energetic structure of the cosmos.

3. The most damning argument is that Dawkins and his colleagues have put an arbitrary cap on the very evolutionary process that produced rationality, a position they now stand upon as the ultimate in human development.

Let’s look at that last point in a little more depth, as I believe it is central to understanding the limitations of the scientific-rational perspective. Rationality is a highly-evolved way of looking at the universe, and it certainly beats the pants off prerational and/or mythical perspectives. According to holon theory, we all start out at level 1, which is about survival. Over time and with life experience, we move through level 2 (magical thinking), level 3 (myths), and level (rule and roles). Our local religions all started when their respective cultures were mainly at level four, so they emphasize hierarchies, obeying the rules and using guilt to keep people in line.
The Age of Enlightenment saw the dawning of level 5, which focuses on rationality, rights and individual expression. Instead of natural science, art and religion all being lumped in together, they took off in different directions, to the benefit of each. However, the disadvantage is that rationality developed such a head of steam that everyone forgot that there are other strands to the universe. As we move past level 5 rationality into level 6 community and networking, we can see that there are more complex levels of self-awareness available – not the prerational, like level 4, but the post-rational or transrational.

What does this have to do with atheism? Let’s take a step wideways and look at holon theory. Holons are part/holes; every individual holons is made up of earlier holons, and forms a part of more complex holons. (Example: a cell is whole and complete in itself, and also part of an organ. That organ is whole and complete, and also part of a body. You get the picture!) Thoughts and memes are also holons, so they are made up of parts, and in turn are themselves parts of greater, more complex wholes. There is no ceiling on levels of consciousness. So rationality cannot be the highest intelligence available to us, because rational persons are wholes, but at the same time parts of larger wholes on both the physical and energetic levels. If we see God as intelligence (truth and light), then we can easily imagine a larger, more complex level of self-awareness of which we humans form vital components. Each higher level will transcend and include all previous or lower levels, and there is no ceiling, so there is no limit to the complexity, intelligence and self-awareness available to humans.

The second tenet is that we only communicate with holons at our own level or lower. We do not easily understand those holons that are at a higher level of self-awareness. This is why religious conservatives don’t understand scientific reason, and in turn those at reason-based level 5 don’t understand those at a more expanded level. Because the adherents of reason just don’t get those who have a more transcendent experience, they assume that the non-rational is less than reason, rather than transcending and including reason.

These days, physicists are finally catching up with what some spiritually inclined thinkers have maintained all along: that there are many dimensions that we do not see with our physical senses, and these energy+information fields create the material worlds we do see. Some people get stuck at level 4 rules and roles, and others at the overpowering reason of level 5, yet there really are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in our philosophy. Sadly, aggressive atheists appear to be more interested in applying their own limited perspective rather than seeking the next step on the spiral of development. It really is possible to enjoy science and spirituality at the same time… and it’s our job to transcend and include both.

Author's Bio: 

Dr. Kyre Adept is a certified Geotran human programmer and integration coach, offering spiritual and energetic detox to bring your passion back to life. Her practice ART of Integration is based in Santa Barbara; she helps high-flyers all over the world to create their rich, delicious lives. Find out how human reprogramming can help you soar! Sign up now for your FREE strategy session at