deepak chopra picks a fight with darwin’s ghost
Truly there’s no woo quite as insipid, nonsensical and self-serving as that of Deepak Chopra. After giving his critics a tongue lashing because they dared to point out his numerous errors and must therefore be cynical, arrogant jerks, the high priest of quantum pseudoscience unleashed yet another opus of inanity. Despite an alarming lack of education in physics, Chopra and his fellow cranks are going to upstage Newton and Darwin by revealing the doctrine of biocentrism. What’s biocentrism you say? Why it’s the power of wishful thinking on a cosmological scale. Apparently the universe we know was created by our conscious efforts and to prove the concept, he’s ready to trot out New Age fluff and creationist arguments seemingly stolen from Ray Comfort.
One wonders why peddlers of woo always want to take issue with long dead scientists whose work has been significantly updated by efforts of later researchers. Darwin’s natural selection was merged with genetics and produced a far more complete and elaborate theory. Newton’s work was greatly expanded by Einstein’s ideas about time and space. Why not go after modern theories? It is a little too hard for Chopra? Regardless, after a posturing match with the scientists’ ghosts, he lets fly with his first gem of imbecility.
In short, the attempt to explain the nature of the universe, its origins, and what is really going on, including evolution, requires an understanding of how the observer — consciousness — plays a role.
Ah yes, the old routine of collapsing the wave function on quantum randomness trick. In quantum mechanics, observing and measuring a particle reduces the number of its probable states to the observer. Note however, that it does not change the system itself. Whether you observe the system or not, it will still exist and do what it normally does. So where does the conscious part come in? Chopra doesn’t explain. Instead he goes straight into irreducible complexity arguments so broad, they would make even Behe cringe. Here’s a little snippet with a bit of light editing for style. Editing for sense would’ve been a futile effort.
There are over 200 physical parameters within the solar system and universe so exact, it strains credulity to propose that they are random — even if that is exactly what contemporary physics boldly suggests. These fundamental constants are not predicted by any theory — all seem to be carefully chosen, often with great precision, to allow for existence of life.
What are those 200+ precise parameters exactly? And why only a few hundred? If we’re going to start tossing out random numbers of supposedly fine tuned parameters for life, why not go for a thousand or ten thousand? It’s not like he actually gives us a list, so he can throw out any number he wants. What about alien life? Is that in the parameters too or are we limiting ourselves to only one planet while talking about the setup of the entire universe? And if those mysterious fundamental concepts aren’t predicted by any theory, from which cavity did he extract them and how does he know he measured them correctly and they really are calibrated?
Consider the meteor that wiped out the dinosaurs — if its trajectory had been slightly different, or the asteroid had been slightly larger, we might not be here. The odds are astronomically against everything happening exactly right. So the question is, is it dumb luck? But if you say something is an accident, it usually means you don’t understand the reason for it.
This is the part where we come to the snag in Chopra’s deterministic mindset. He assumes that because we evolved and we’re here, it means there must be a purpose to our existence and a process that created us. To back this idea, he needs to prove that we’re somehow required to be alive and evolve as we did, or the whole universe falls apart. We didn’t have to be here and if we were to be wiped out tomorrow, the universe would go on as per usual. Until he proves there’s a reason for our existence with something more than wishful thinking, wild claims that he made up on the spot, and appeals to vanity, his entire argument is a non sequtur.
It’s time to step back and take a look at the big picture. Evolution reminds us that we evolved in the forest roof to collect fruit and berries, not to ponder the nature of life itself.
So he’s transcended evolution because he can now ponder the complexity of life? Really, this vapid tripe with ridiculous claims, zero evidence and a complete and total lack of understanding of how basic physics work is the stuff that’s going to help us grow as a species and the kind of information deserving to be printed and sold to the tune of millions of dollars? No wonder Chopra cranks out three or four books a year. Those tomes don’t require even a smidgen of thought, research or coherence. They’re just a rolling record of blithering nonsense as it leaks from whatever’s left of his mind and those who buy them are in effect reading the brain dump of an ignorant, vain man who might as well have tossed his medical degree in the trash can and set it on fire since the last time he used the skills and knowledge which allowed him to earn it was a very, very long time ago.