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December 29, 2009


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Great post. My networks are in hearty agreement. Or at least my brain reports that they are.

Of course, it could be lying, or the networks may just be brains pretending to be networks, but which are actually being driven by other networks...

Ouch. My networks are telling my brain that their head hurts.

I've been pretty ranty, lately, and I'm watching Carl Sagan's Cosmos in an effort to cool down. The final straw that got me physically ranting was Chopra's use of "impossible."

Impossible is very much a woo-word, and as a skeptic, I despise it.

Very well argued. Kudos. I'll have to post this.

The final straw that got me physically ranting was Chopra's use of "impossible."

Yes, in this context apparently being used as shorthand for "outside most of my readers' personal experience or knowledge, so that my exaggeration here will serve to cement this concept into their oh-so-open minds."

Thanks for an excellent post. I think Chopra is projecting when he talks about the "negativity" skeptics(his critics) have towards him and his views.

If i am not wrong, he got frustrated on a live television show in a similar discussion with Dawkins years ago, where he couldn't stop himself from calling Dawkin's a "bigot" and a "fundamentalist" to his face. Dawkins later refused to acknowledge any public debate offer with Chopra; i think Michael Shermer should follow the same course. That will further frustrate and serve this antagonist person well.

Chopra talks about self-help, controlling emotions, "non-violence in thoughts" ...etc but he doesn't seem to practice it, or rather fails it. I am thinking... one way to attack Chopra is to take him down from the spiritual angle, arguing how his brand of skepticism-free "good science" (or psuedocscience for us); beliefs in life after death; dead souls speaking; paranormal etc doesn't match with an 'enlightened' spiritual world view (which doesn't deny an universal God, like in Nature or Eintein's God.) Just a thought.

or psuedoscience for us Nothing pseudo about it, Chopra's "science" is full-blown fantasy.

This douche gets regular time on a TV station up here - on again last night - Happy New Year

the "journalists" fawn all over him and hang on his every word salad

I would like to comment on the statement: "woo – by definition, extraordinary beliefs for which there is insufficient extraordinary evidence."

Hmmm... I like that. It reminds me of that crazy heliocentric theory no could prove with solid, empirical evidence, for so long. Thank goodness someone got around to figuring out how to prove that one.

I am sooooo relieved we have EVERYTHING figured out, that we have irrefutable, empirical evidence that proves or disproves all phenomena, lol!

Correction: "...no ONE could prove...". Too much caffeine. ;D


You should read The appeal to “science doesn’t know everything”.  It’s not that we have everything figured out – not at all.  It’s just that if you don’t restrict yourself to things that are backed by some evidence, or if there is at least some logical reason to suppose they might be true, you will believe in absolutely anything.

If you look at exactly how the heliocentric theory was eventually confirmed, you will see a long and extraordinary process taking place. Vast quantities of raw data being painstakingly assembled over many generations, flights of intuitive fancy mixed with mathematical calculations, checking all this against observations, and a willingness to let go of those ideas which don't work.

What of all that does Chopra do?

Nothing. Right? He's actually attacking that process while misrepresenting its results.

Sorry, but the guy is a heartless unethical ignoramus who has caused untold - unrecorded - suffering.

For example, mentioned here
towards the end of the article by PZ Myers.

Right. Chopra, a man who loves the word "impossible," who loves to claim absolute knowledge, is such a role model for people who love to speculate and bravely gather evidence in an effort to risk proving their hopeful ideas wrong.

Science works by dreaming up ideas and then trying to prove it wrong. In science, "you could be wrong" is something we have to live with in every experiment. We are fallible creatures, and science is a humbling process by which all our ideas face possible deaths by experiment.

Chopra would rather declare humility a sin so that he can continue to make arrogant presumptions without evidence.

The other major objection to the "TV set" model of the brain is that any TV can receive multiple channels, and any channel can be viewed on multiple TVs. What we appear to have with the brain is a whole bunch of TVs which can only show exactly one channel each, and each channel can only be viewed on one specific TV.

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