Atheist Oncologist Returns to Faith While Treating Cancer Patients: Science Proves the Existence of Higher Power

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Dr. Stephen Iacoboni is portion of the babe boomer generation. Born successful 1952, helium came of property during the 1960s erstwhile the state was flushed successful the bubble of the perfect American Dream.

“I was raised arsenic a Roman Catholic, and I was precise faithful,” said Iacoboni, “but determination are immoderate inherent contradictions with Christianity, and erstwhile you’re young and idealistic, you don’t recognize that humans are imperfect, and truthful you blasted them for things that are conscionable portion of being a frail quality with faults.”

Iacoboni’s disillusionment came successful the aboriginal ’70s, erstwhile the societal problems festering successful America’s interior cities roseate to the aboveground with civilian rights protests and anti-war movements against the Vietnam War.

Epoch Times Photo Anti-war demonstrators, wearing achromatic armbands, capable the steps of the United States Capitol Building and clasp hands connected the time of the National Moratorium, connected October 15, 1969 successful Washington DC, to protestation against the continuing warfare successful Vietnam.  (AFP/Getty Images)

“I was raised to beryllium patriotic and believed that everyone was equal; I became a young big and [realized that] radical of colour don’t person the aforesaid rights and [we’re] slaughtering guiltless radical successful Southeast Asia [in the Vietnam War],” Iacoboni told The Epoch Times during a telephone call.

The United States withdrew from Vietnam erstwhile the casualties were excessively overmuch for the state to bear.

In the aftermath of the mislaid war, Christians, who mostly held blimpish views were blamed for the anti-communist policies that led to the United States’s eight-year involution successful the Vietnam War that led to mounting casualties, traumatized veterans, and stories of brutal killings Vietnam civilians by the U.S. military.

While Christians faced onslaught successful the nationalist forum for pushing the warfare agenda, modern subject was spouting breathtaking caller discoveries, framed successful narratives that denied the beingness of a higher being.

Science of the ’60s and ’70s had travel retired and said, ‘well, we person solved the riddle of life: the riddle of beingness is divisible to biochemistry, that everything that you do, each thought that you have, each emotion that you have, is based connected the DNA and you’re conscionable a chemic machine.’”

From the precocious ’50s to ’70s, discoveries successful DNA molecular biology exploded.

In 1953, James Watson and Francis Crick recovered that the DNA’s operation was a treble helical structure. Jérôme Lejeune demonstrated successful 1959 that diseases are familial with a survey showing that Down syndrome is attributed to being calved with an other chromosome 21 successful each cell.

By 1965, the archetypal transportation RNA (tRNA) was sequenced and it was discovered that RNA sequences successful sets of 3 corresponded to circumstantial amino acerb that nexus unneurotic to signifier proteins.

“I was a chemist astatine the clip and … I was young and good educated and stupid, meaning I wasn’t wise. I wasn’t capable to spot the fallacy successful that argument, and the statement went each the mode to saying that determination is nary crushed to judge successful the God of Abraham.”

Dr. Maurice Hugh Frederick Wilkins, 46, of Greenwich, England, stands with a exemplary  of a DNA molecule during a quality    league  successful  the New York bureau   of the Sloan-Kettering Institute for Cancer Research connected  Oct. 18, 1962. Specific sequences of 4  gathering  blocks—abbreviated arsenic  A, C, T and G—found successful  the DNA molecule springiness  an organism directions for creating peculiar  proteins. Wilkins shared the Nobel Prize for medicine   with 2  different   biochemists, Drs. Francis Harry Compton Crick and James Dewey Watson. (AP Photo/Anthony Camerano) Dr. Maurice Hugh Frederick Wilkins, 46, of Greenwich, England, stands with a exemplary of a DNA molecule during a quality league successful the New York bureau of the Sloan-Kettering Institute for Cancer Research connected Oct. 18, 1962.  (AP Photo/Anthony Camerano)

Iacoboni was fixed a publication successful aesculapian schoolhouse that shaped his younger years and influenced galore aesculapian students of that time. The publication was “Chance and Necessity,” written by biochemist Jacques Monod, a Nobel laureate and an atheist.

Monod shared the grant with François Jacob and André Lwoff successful 1968. The 3 of them proved that accusation carried successful the DNA is translated into proteins by means of a messenger, which we present cognize arsenic messenger RNA (mRNA).

They besides showed, utilizing lac operon (required for the transport and metabolism of lactose) from Escherichia coli, that whether the actions of enzymes (proteins which velocity up chemic reactions) were activated oregon suppressed was self-regulated by the DNA.

Monod utilized this uncovering to solidify his statement that biomolecular actions are controlled solely by our DNA and, therefore, determination was nary higher entity.

Despite the debunking of his statement implicit 30 years aboriginal by different atheist idiosyncratic with the find of epigenetics, Monod’s statement against the beingness of God persisted, and the bequest of despair helium near for antheral remained.

“The past covenant is successful pieces,” Monod wrote, “man knows astatine past that helium is unsocial successful the universe’s unfeeling immensity, retired of which helium emerged lone by chance. His destiny is obscurity spelled out, nor is his duty. The kingdom supra oregon the acheronian below; it is for him to choose.”

As an impressionable young big astatine the time, Iacoboni took Monod’s arguments arsenic fact. Disillusioned astir the world, the anti-religion communicative from some authorities and subject made consciousness to him.

“Because ‘Christians are hypocrites,” said Iacoboni, “their religion is based connected a fairy communicative astir thing that happened a agelong clip ago, and present we person impervious successful subject that determination is nary God.’”

For Iacoboni astatine the time, it was casual and astir apt much comfy letting spell of God than believing successful thing the respected seniors successful sciences were wholeheartedly denying.

“When you’re 20 years old, it’s not that hard to fto spell of God due to the fact that believing successful God requires definite constraints.”

“[The ’70s was] the clip of escaped love. There was commencement power … Everyone was looking for change.”

However, Iacoboni would soon find that his departure from faith successful his aboriginal 20s would extremity up requiring a agelong and affectional roadworthy backmost to wherever it each began.

Coming Back to Faith by Treating Cancer Patients

“In the archetypal decennary of the 21st Century, determination astir 2000 to 2010, I precise dilatory came astir [and returned to faith].”

Iacoboni’s publication “The Undying Soul,” published successful 2010, told of his affectional travel backmost to religion arsenic helium treated cancer patients, documenting his precise archetypal patients portion helium was inactive a fellow, to erstwhile helium became a practicing specializing oncologist.

Iacoboni practiced his fellowship successful MD Anderson, which remains to this day, a world-renowned university-based teaching hospital, and 1 of the premier crab probe facilities successful the world.

“I belonged astatine Anderson—philosophically, I mean. As a young, atheist intellectual, caller retired of med schoolhouse and afloat of hubris, I chose oncology due to the fact that I wanted to beryllium that subject and logic could triumph implicit anything—even cancer.”

MD Anderson crab  center MD Anderson Cancer Center astatine the University of Texas, connected Oct. 1, 2018. (Timothy A. Clary/AFP/Getty Images)

However, helium would soon realize, starting with the precise archetypal diligent helium treated astatine Anderson, that much often than not, modern subject could not halt the crab from leaching distant his patients’ lives.

Even worse, Iacoboni soon realized that portion treating patients was the hard part, what helium was confronted with and ill-prepared for was that his patients wanted an affectional healer and guide; they wanted him to assistance them look their deaths.

“Being an atheist, of course, I had nary answers.”

“[As the] atheist doc dealing with patients who are mostly agnostic, the dying is precise hard connected everybody,” Iacoboni said, “my patients who would not let themselves to person religion were very, precise tormented connected their deathbed.”

This world agonized Iacoboni. He knew thing was missing and successful the mediate of his vocation began searching for answers to assistance his patients connected the affectional journey.

Things started changing for him erstwhile helium started practicing successful a tiny agrarian town, a spot wherever astir each of his patients belonged to a faith.

The archetypal diligent who led him connected his travel backmost to religion was a antheral from Ukraine named Pavel. Pavel was a elemental farmer. He tended the livestock and crops adjacent the Chernobyl atomic reactor successful Ukraine. When the Chernobyl catastrophe happened successful 1986, the radiation turned his tomatoes yellow, greenish beans red, and his wheat shriveled up.

Yet Pavel’s woman and the different women crushed the grains into flour for breadstuff and they ate the strangely colored vegetables. Pavel and his household had nary choice. They either ate what they planted, oregon they starved.

It was truthful not astonishing that Pavel developed radiation-induced leukemia from the contaminated nutrient helium ate.

Pavel’s section infirmary successful Ukraine was ill-equipped to dainty his cancer, but helium had Russian relatives successful Washington. After telling his communicative astatine their church, the religion passed it to the authorities and their congressman, who was Tom Foley—at the clip the Speaker of the House—secured compassionate dispensation and a passport for Pavel who was flown into Washington for treatment.

Iacoboni was Pavel’s doctor, and though his household could supply nary wealth for his treatment, knowing each of the sacrifices made to bring the antheral to his office, Iacoboni was determined to bash each that helium could to assistance Pavel.

However, Pavel was already successful the precocious stages and would soon beryllium connected borrowed time. His archetypal humor trial showed that helium was severely anemic with his reddish humor compartment measurement astatine 10 percent with the mean scope 38-45 percent.

Yet, upon gathering the man, Iacoboni was taken aback by however blessed the antheral was with nary evident motion of illness.

At their gathering successful the infirmary room, Pavel jumped retired of furniture and shook Iacoboni’s manus truthful hard that helium could consciousness the calluses connected his palm.

As Iacoboni recalled successful his book:

“And then, dilatory and ceremoniously, helium bowed his head.

“I recovered myself taken aback by specified ceremonial deference. I assured him by word—and then, discovering helium spoke astir nary English astatine all, by assemblage language—that nary bows were necessary.

“Pavel smiled slightly, offering maine an look that spoke arsenic intelligibly and plainly arsenic possible: this isn’t astir what’s ceremonial oregon necessary, it’s astir appreciation…

“And, successful a word, grace.”

Iacoboni enactment Pavel connected humor transfusions for the anemia and past started chemotherapy. Pavel achieved remission, but lone for 9 months arsenic the drugs dilatory mislaid effectiveness.

Soon the leukemia took implicit and dispersed each implicit his body. Pavel’s spleen grew from the mean size of a murphy to a watermelon.

Pavel was dying.

However, passim the 9 months Iacoboni treated Pavel, helium was amazed to find that not lone was Pavel not anxious astir death, helium was anticipating decease with eagerness and wonder.

Pavel was a Christian, similar the galore radical successful the town. Iacoboni has treated galore Christians who, successful their death, recovered nary comfortableness successful their faith. Pavel’s faith, however, served him precise well.

“Unable to talk to maine successful words, helium communicated done the airy successful his eyes, his casual smile, and his contented attitude. He interacted with everyone this way, not conscionable me.”

On his ain spiritual travel and portion looking for answers, Iacoboni was drawn to Pavel’s grace and strength. Iacoboni knew his optimism and smiles were not a façade. Cancer strips distant each kinds of veneers, and helium has seen each sorts of patients.

Even arsenic the harm from leukemia became obvious, Pavel remained gracious and did not kick of the symptom helium was in. While galore patients whitethorn enactment up a brave beforehand and enactment stronger and healthier successful the session to person Iacoboni enactment them successful their denial of death, Pavel did not.

“His optimism ne'er felt forced successful immoderate way. When his dying assemblage sagged, and his vigor began to ebb, helium didn’t combat it. He conscionable fto it happen,” helium wrote successful his book.

Eventually, the last days came for Pavel and Iacoboni had to hospitalize him. Even connected his deathbed, Iacoboni was amazed to find that Pavel was smiling, comforting his friends and relatives.

It was hard for Iacoboni to pass with Pavel, fixed their connection barrier, truthful helium stayed with Pavel done the last 3 oregon 4 hours by the bedside trying to recognize this tiny elemental antheral truthful afloat of grace and strength.

“During that vigil I observed for the precise archetypal clip successful my vocation the uncommon and overwhelming quality of a spiritually contented death,” helium wrote.

Contrary to each the patients Iacoboni had treated during the past 15 years, Pavel chose to dice people without sedatives.

This allowed Iacoboni to enactment emotionally connected to Pavel to the end. Pavel kept his eyes open, and Iacoboni watched him intently.

Then successful the last minutes, Pavel’s regard changed, it looked “unwordly”—a look of serenity and selflessness Iacoboni had ne'er seen before.

At archetypal Iacoboni thought that Pavel was becoming comatose, but his pulse was going beardown and breathing unlabored.

Then Pavel’s “unwordly” look changed slightly, and conscionable capable to startle Iacoboni with the condemnation that helium was being watched by different sentient entity.

“Someone different than Pavel the man—his ego oregon his persona. But who…or what…could it be?” Iacoboni asked successful his book.

The information seemed to beryllium leaping retired astatine him, yet it was hard for him to judge it.

Iacobini stared and held his breath. He did not cognize however agelong it took him earlier helium relaxed and yet admitted. He wrote:

“Yes my friend, I see…’it’…”

“…I spot your soul.”

“In that infinitesimal of epiphany, of designation and actualization…Pavel fto go. His eyes closed, his breathing stopped and the country fell still.”

That night, Iacoboni learnt with condemnation an reply to the question that was haunting him aft each decease of his patients.

“Never again would I wonderment if determination was thing more.”

Epoch Times Photo “The Undying Soul” by Stephen Iacononi. (Courtesy of Dr. Iacoboni)

Pavel was the first, important portion successful Iacoboni’s travel backmost to faith.

“Now erstwhile I archer patients that they’re going to dice I nary longer deliberation I’m sending them to hell. I’m conscionable explaining to them the earthy process of the satellite we unrecorded in, and we request to travel with it and look decease itself,” said Iacoboni.

Telos: How Science Proves the Existence of a Designer

In 2010 Iacoboni began moving his publication “TELOS: The Scientific Basis for a Life of Purpose.” The publication was yet published successful 2022.

He expected if helium had spent each his clip penning the book, “Telos” would person taken him 6 months, but arsenic a practicing oncologist, it took him 10 years.

While Iacoboni returned to religion emotionally—as documented successful “The Undying Soul”—he was besides researching intellectually, trying to recognize wherefore what helium was taught was successful implicit absorption to what helium was experiencing.

He soon recovered that the subject helium had a steadfast content successful was flawed and missing cardinal grounds for its theories, adjacent though the theories are touted arsenic fact.

Throughout the book, helium follows the theories of beingness from assorted large philosophers and scientists including Aristotle, Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin, and galore much until the readers travel to an knowing of the contiguous day.

Pioneers of modern science, including Monod and Bertrand Russell, each argued that beingness was accidental and that humans were unsocial successful the satellite with nary higher entity.

“Man is the merchandise of causes which had nary prevision of the extremity they were achieving; his origin, his hopes, his loves and his beliefs, are but the result of accidental co-location of atoms,” wrote Russell.

Though these arguments made believers of their doctrine consciousness liberated, it besides led them to the “unyielding despair” Russell faced, conscionable arsenic galore of Iacoboni’s aboriginal patients experienced.

For, if their bodies and lives were accidental happenings, it eliminated their consciousness of purpose, the constituent of living.

“The infamous atheist Bertrand Russell said successful a akin code astatine a young age, ‘I considered suicide, which I would person done, but for the information that I recovered mathematics to beryllium truthful precise interesting,'” Iacoboni wrote.

Contrary to what helium was taught, Iacoboni observed quality and noticed beingness to beryllium brimming with intent and intention.

It was afloat of telos, meaning extremity oregon an eventual purpose.

Epoch Times Photo “Telos: The Scientific Basis for a Life of Purpose.” (Courtesy of Dr. Iacoboni)

“The champion illustration of this [purpose-driven life] successful the satellite is the emperor penguins. They locomotion 60 miles connected crystal to get nutrient and they capable up their stomachs and they locomotion 60 miles backmost and regurgitate the nutrient for the chick,” said Iacoboni.

“Why bash they bash that? Why doesn’t this penguin accidental I’m not walking 60 miles to provender immoderate anserine chick. I’m conscionable gonna capable myself up and past I’m gonna relax, they don’t bash that.”

Not lone bash emperor penguins endure this carnal labour to breed their young, Iacoboni’s publication besides showed that they person an innate knowing of thermodynamics successful incubation:

“Emperor penguins, which huddle unneurotic successful an Antarctic blizzard, each 1 rotating successful their crook from the halfway to the different rim of the ellipse and backmost again, sharing the acold and shielding each different successful the astir hostile situation connected earth. Nobody trained the penguin to execute this analyzable maneuver oregon explained to them that by cooperating successful this way, they would beryllium amended capable to past than if they conscionable went it alone. The indwelling cognition to enactment with specified intent was already wrong them, inherent successful their behavior.”

Their inherent thrust to rear their young importantly surpasses their earthy tendency to survive. This knowing of their ain physique, and however they should relation came wholly innate to them.

Epoch Times Photo Emperor penguins (Aptenodytes forsteri) successful Antarctica. (National Science Foundation)

Iacoboni gave galore examples of these innate drives successful his book. He observed however newborn giraffes wrong 10 minutes of commencement basal up connected their feet and suckle from their mother, performing a task innate to themselves.

Where did this innate knowing travel from?

Iacoboni argued that it was “designed” into the organism.

When we plan something, we imbue it with a circumstantial intent and intention, and seeing that beingness is filled with a earthy thrust that surpasses endurance alone, Iacoboni argued that determination indispensable beryllium a higher designer, careless of whether we tin spot this idiosyncratic oregon not.

“If you locomotion down the formation … and you find a sandcastle and cipher is around. You would person to inquire yourself the question, what is this happening doing here? Did the sand, the wind, and the h2o marque this thing? Self organized with unsighted forces? Or did idiosyncratic with a designing intellect enactment it together?” asked Iacoboni.

“Those are the lone 2 possibilities right? And I don’t deliberation there’s hardly anybody who’s not impaired, who would accidental ‘the soil and the upwind built a sandcastle.’ They would accidental ‘no, immoderate dada and his kids built a sandcastle, they played and they went home.’”

That is the aforesaid mindset Iacoboni established successful the mode helium looks astatine life. Though we whitethorn not spot the dada and the children gathering the sandcastle, we spot the intellect and plan successful the impermanent sandy construction, and successful surviving beings, Iacoboni tin spot the plan and quality too.

Sharks person a operation called the Ampullae of Lorizini that nary different animals have. It is simply a unsocial web of mucus-filled pores crossed its beforehand and sides that let the shark to drawback prey. Most sharks person a precise mediocre consciousness of sight, and they cannot aquatics that accelerated either, truthful what it wants is to beryllium capable to drawback a prey successful distress. That’s what its ampullae does; it tin observe turbulence astatine a distance.

One may, similar Charles Darwin, reason that it arose retired of evolution, meaning that sharks erstwhile did not person ampullae but past gained it done mutation (random alteration successful the DNA).

That whitethorn dependable large successful theory, but world often tells a antithetic story.

“The occupation is if you person random mutations you don’t spell anyplace constructively. Everything is destructive,” said Iacoboni, “In aesculapian fields, we cognize what mutations do, they termination you.”

In humans, mutations are the ground of genetically inherited diseases and cancer. Apart from creating drug-resistant bacteria and viruses, astir mutations for animals and plants pb to disease.

Further, sharks person 16,000 cardinal pairs of DNA, truthful it is besides a question of accidental to not lone person the mutations useful, but besides that determination indispensable beryllium combinations of mutations successful the due area, fixed that the different mutations elsewhere bash not termination the shark first.

Even successful the hypothetical script that the ampullae did travel from mutations, it raises the question of endurance for the shark without an ampullae, with mediocre eyesight and an mean quality to swim. How would it person survived implicit galore generations to summation the ampullae?

If the shark had bully eyesight and could drawback prey without the ampullae, past the sharks that are surviving present should beryllium some keen successful show and with ampullae, having the sharks gradually suffer their eyesight contradicts the mentation of endurance of the fittest wherever the 1 with the astir beneficial traits past and walk connected their traits.

Therefore, Iacoboni argued that the different plausible crushed is that it was each designed, with each the functions and intent people fused into the last exemplary of life.

“Organisms are astir organization,” Iacoboni wrote, adjacent the precise etymology of the connection organism is rooted successful order, and design.

Epoch Times Photo Like a whirl of shiny flakes sparkling successful a snowfall globe, the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope catches an instantaneous glimpse of galore hundreds of thousands of stars moving astir successful the globular clump M13, 1 of the brightest and best-known globular clusters successful the bluish sky. This glittering metropolis of stars is easy recovered successful the wintertime entity successful the constellation Hercules and tin adjacent beryllium glimpsed with the unaided oculus nether acheronian skies. M13 is location to implicit 100 000 stars and located astatine a region of 25 000 light-years. (NASA)

A ‘Call to Arms’

TELOS is simply a “call to arms,” said Iacoboni. It is not simply an exercise, nor a read, but alternatively the designation that a higher creator exists. Faithless individuals are doomed to the aforesaid misery and chaos experienced by Monod, Russell, and different atheist scientists cited successful his book.

“I’m not funny successful naming God, I’m not a theologian,” Iacoboni said.

“I lone privation you to judge successful a ultimate decorator and recognize that there’s a greater intent that permeates beingness and that you request to get successful interaction with if you privation to person a beingness worthy living.”