Book review: The Biology of Belief

by Bruce Lipton, Ph.D.


Lipton is a cell biologist whose “study of cells turned [him] into a spiritual person.” This is a highly readable science book, defining how beliefs control behavior and gene activity, and consequently the unfolding of our lives. It’s a fun learning tool that doesn’t dig too deeply, with an uplifting message.

Belief truly is biological. One interesting topic that Lipton addresses is the placebo effect. It “is quickly glossed over in medical schools so that students can get to the real tools of modern medicine like drugs and surgery. This is a giant mistake. The placebo affect should be a major topic of study in medical school.” Of course, Lipton is a realist; he realizes placebo pills are a threat to the pharmaceutical industry, as well as the scalpel holders, and Lipton is not one to mince words.

It should be pointed out that this is no dry textbook; it borders in places on metaphysical and holistic speculation. But the book is so darn fun. In this light, do not ignore the epilogue; it’s the best part of the book, where Lipton deals with speculative conclusions regarding our “me-ness” and the power of the mind that transformed him into a bubbly, optimistic believer. His “aha” moment was the realization that every protein in our bodies is a physical/electromagnetic complement to something in the environment … that environment being the universe, or to many, God.  As we are inextricably intertwined with the divine, survival of the fittest turns out to mean survival of the most loving.


  1. Sounds fascinating. Thanks.

  2. I’ve read “Biology of Belief” and heard Bruce Lipton speak in Seattle. His honesty was so clear, I quoted him in my book, “21st Century Science and Health.” Your observation of “bubbly, optimistic believer” is right on. The text also reflects a bravery to come out from his profession and admit the metaphysical. Thanks.

  3. Never met him, myself! Interesting to find out he’s exactly like the persona of his book! Thanks for sharing, Cheryl.

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