Does society still need religion, or do reason and philosophy make better guideposts for the 21st century? On Tuesday, March 27, with Easter just around the corner, the “fantastic” (New Yorker) Intelligence Squared U.S. follows recent debates about the economy, dating apps, and humanitarian intervention with a debate on the motion “The More We Evolve, The Less We Need Religion.”

Best-selling author Dr. Deepak Chopra and emergency physician Dr. Anoop Kumar will defend religion’s place in the world during turbulent times. Debating against them are Michael Shermer, founder of the Skeptics Society, and Rebecca Goldstein, MacArthur Genius Grant-winning philosopher.

The debate will be held at NYC’s Kaye Playhouse at Hunter College and stream live online, then air soon after as part of the syndicated public radio show and podcast “Intelligence Squared U.S.” On March 27, online viewers can tune in at IQ2US’s website:

WHAT: Intelligence Squared U.S. Debates “The More We Evolve, The Less We Need Religion”

WHEN: Tuesday, March 27, 2018 / Reception 6:30-7:00 / Debate 7:00-8:45 PM

WHERE: Kaye Playhouse / East 68th Street between Park & Lexington Avenues / New York, NY 10065

TICKETS: $40 ($12 for students w/ ID). To purchase, visit

Debating For the Motion:

* Michael Shermer: Founder, The Skeptics Society & Best-Selling Author

Michael Shermer is the publisher of Skeptic magazine, a monthly columnist for Scientific American, and a Presidential Fellow at Chapman University. He is the best-selling author of several books, including “The Moral Arc: How Science and Reason Lead Humanity Toward Truth, Justice, and Freedom.” As a public intellectual, he regularly contributes op-eds, book reviews, and essays to the Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, Science, Nature, and other publications. His two TED talks, viewed nearly 8 million times, were voted in the top 100 of the more than 2,000 TED talks.

* Heather Berlin: Cognitive Neuroscientist

Heather Berlin, Ph.D., M.P.H., is a cognitive neuroscientist and assistant professor of psychiatry at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. She practices clinical neuropsychology at Weill Cornell Medicine in the Department of Neurological Surgery, and is a visiting scholar at the New York Psychoanalytic Society and Institute. She explores the neural basis psychiatric and neurological disorders, consciousness, dynamic unconscious processes, and creativity. Passionate about science communication, she is a founding committee member of the National Academy of Sciences’ Science and Entertainment Exchange, host of “Startalk All-Stars with Neil DeGrasse Tyson, and has hosted series on PBS and the Discovery Channel.


Debating Against the Motion:

* Dr. Deepak Chopra: Alternative Medicine Advocate & Best-Selling Author

Deepak Chopra, M.D., founder of the Chopra Foundation, is a world-renowned pioneer in integrative medicine and personal transformation. He is board certified in internal medicine, endocrinology, and metabolism. Chopra is also a fellow of the American College of Physicians and a clinical professor in medicine at the University of California, San Diego. TIME magazine has described Chopra as “one of the top 100 heroes and icons of the century.” The World Post and HuffPost global internet survey ranked “Chopra the #17 influential thinker in the world and #1 in Medicine.” Chopra has written more than 85 books translated into over 43 languages, including 25 New York Times best-sellers. In his recent national best-seller, “The Healing Self,” he and Rudolph E. Tanzi tackle the issue of lifelong health and heightened immunity.

* Dr. Anoop Kumar: Emergency Physician & Author, “Michelangelo’s Medicine”

Anoop Kumar, M.D., is a board-certified emergency physician practicing in the Washington, D.C. metro area, where he also leads meditation gatherings for clinicians. He is a frequent public speaker and the author of “Michelangelo’s Medicine: How Redefining the Human Body Will Transform Health and Healthcare.” As a child, Kumar was surrounded by the teachings of Eastern philosophy. He came to recognize a common message woven through philosophy, science, and spirituality — a practical message of well-being, cloaked in esoteric language. His passion is translating this message into modern applications.


A non-partisan, non-profit organization, Intelligence Squared U.S. was founded in 2006 to address a fundamental problem in America: the extreme polarization of our nation and our politics. Their mission is to restore critical thinking, facts, reason, and civility to American public discourse. The award-winning debate series reaches over 30 million American households through multi-platform distribution, including radio, television, live streaming, podcasts, interactive digital content, and on-demand apps on Roku and Apple TV. With over 140 debates and counting, Intelligence Squared U.S. has encouraged the public to “think twice” on a wide range of provocative topics. Author and ABC News correspondent John Donvan has moderated IQ2US since 2008.

For more information on Intelligence Squared U.S., contact Ray Padgett or Mark Satloff at Shore Fire Media.


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