Where lies the intersection between science and spirituality? As a former evangelical Christian who one day realized he no longer believed in God, I have struggled to define what spirituality means for me now. Can I in fact still call myself spiritual? Chris Mooney of Discover blog The Intersection answers this question eloquently in an article published in Playboy (warning: the online link includes erotic visuals), The Born Again Scientist.
People have asked me whether I am a rationalist. The term makes me uncomfortable because it discounts the sense of unspeakable wonder one feels when faced with the complexity, beauty and terror of nature. I have similar qualms about materialism. What we feel is just as important as what we know. Science might one day break the workings of the physical universe into a complete set of laws and equations, however I doubt that we can ever thoroughly understand our own personal or collective inner cosmos. If magic exists, it is here. True pilgrimage happens within.
I prefer the category of philosophical naturalism. One need not resort to supernatural explanations to insist that the human spirit transcends logic. Over millions of years this powerful, untamable experience has evolved naturally: intelligence, sensory complexity, love, and capacity for awe. This also gives clues to the basis of a morality: we owe sacred allegiance to the world which bore this richness.