Deepak Chopra quote generator

I love this:

Via Unreasonable Faith we find that there is a robotic program, “The Wisdom of Chopra,” that can generate Deepak Deepities. Before going there, try the Unreasonable Faith quiz: which of these four statements was actually said by Chopra, and which were generated by the program:

“Perception is inherent in cosmic possibilities”;
“Interdependence inspires quantum life”;
“Hidden meaning is serving your own evolution”;
“Freedom heals self-righteous knowledge”.

My guess was the first one. I’ll let readers copy and paste the quotes into Google to find out the answer for themselves.

Anyway, here is the description of the quote generator:

It has been said by some that the thoughts and tweets of Deepak Chopra are indistinguishable from a set of profound sounding words put together in a random order, particularly the tweets tagged with “#cosmisconciousness”. This site aims to test that claim! Each “quote” is generated from a list of words that can be found in Deepak Chopra’s Twitter stream randomly stuck together in a sentence.

Here is my first result:

Eternal stillness is inherent in cosmic facts.

Other ways of knowing

It’s a popular meme amongst the sans-science crowd to claim there are ‘ways of knowing’ besides science. They don’t simply mean ways of ‘knowing’ things like whether or not someone loves us, but rather they mean ways of knowing significant, world view-altering things beyond our personal lives. That is, they want to bring their non-methods up to the level of knowing that science gives us (or, perhaps, they want to bring science down to their level). It’s sort of cute, but it never stands up to scrutiny. There is a reason, after all, why no respectable institution teaches that Adam and Eve actually existed – even if genetic facts didn’t tell us they are 100% fictitious, religion offers zero in the way of knowing otherwise.

So that brings me to Deepak Chopra. The anti-science quack is always embarrassing himself one way or another, and he does so in this video in exactly the same way the mainstream religious embarrass themselves when they talk about ‘other ways of knowing’:

The guy is entirely unable to answer the question. He waffles and waddles about, at some point launching into a weak attack of science, implying the entire field needs to evolve to include some weird, unscientific ideas he has. Just like the Expelled creationists, he wants to redefine science to fit the ideas he wishes were true.

The fact is, science is the best way of knowing that we have. It offers concrete methods for coming to conclusions as objectively as humanely possible. Chopra and other religious nutbags (i.e., the mainstream) want to substitute that objectivity for subjectivity – if we cannot confirm or falsify a claim, then all claims become equal, and wouldn’t you know it? that makes everything equal, giving religion and ‘spirituality’ (whatever that is) quite a bit more space to operate.

Leonard Mlodinow destroys Deepak Chopra

I love this video. Deepak Chopra, one of the biggest charlatans in the world, gets smacked around with incredible ease by Leonard Mlodinow, co-author of The Grand Design.

Dawkins and Chopra

Here’s an excerpt from Richard Dawkins’ “Enemies of Reason” documentary. It’s a bit old, but it’s important. I’ve long come to realize that anyone trying to utilize quantum mechanics for the sake of dishing out spiritual or medical advice is playing everyone for a sucker.

Deepak Chopra is not an intelligent person

Deepak Chopra is capable of saying some of the most incoherent things imaginable.

The idea that we live in an intelligent universe has thrived for quite a while. It’s an important idea because it would explain many things, including how we got here. I keep my eye out for any bit of evidence to support the theory, and a beauty surfaced recently on the PBS program, Nature, entitled “Clever Monkeys.” It turns out that monkeys are far more than clever. They may be tapping into the basic fabric of the cosmos.

Wow! The whole wide cosmos? Goodness gracious. The rest of this article is going to be amazing!

But the red colobus [monkeys] recently made a life-altering discovery. They found that if they eat a bit of charcoal from the abandoned fires of local villagers, their indigestion is cured. This had made them happier monkeys, and as a result their numbers have dramatically increased; not only that, but they are free to explore other food sources. These advantages aren’t felt by the white-and-black colobus, who haven’t hit upon the charcoal-eating trick. New generations of red colobus learn the habit by having it passed on from mother to child.

Oh. A population of monkeys started eating something random (because that’s what monkeys do) and it helped settle their stomachs.

Again. Oh.

It’s amazing how much critical knowledge is contained in this one anecdote. Self-medication is well known, but here the red colobus has hit upon the same property in charcoal that emergency room doctors use when a patient arrives with acute poisoning. Medical science is able to explain how charcoal absorbs toxins in the stomach. Monkeys can’t explain anything or do laboratory research. It is completely untenable to claim that they eat substances at random until they hit upon just the one perfect remedy — such random behavior isn’t seen among them.

God damn it. They’re monkeys. They eat whatever is in front of them. And no, Chopra, they aren’t doing it with the intent of hitting “upon just the one perfect remedy”; they discovered they felt better after eating charcoal. That’s it.

But this is not an intelligent man. He continues.

What we are witnessing is an intelligent discovery on the part of creatures who stand far below Homo sapiens on the evolutionary chain, and that discovery is being passed on from mother to child without genetic adaptation. To me, this means that quite a blow has been struck for intelligence being innate in the universe. It suggests that evolution itself has never been random but is guided by the principle of intelligence — not “intelligent design,” which is a red herring supplied by religious conservatives. The intelligent universe is a cutting-edge idea, not a throwback to scripture. As a theory, it gives us a much more elegant explanation for many things that are clumsily explained by falling back on randomness to explain every new development in Nature.

So many things wrong. Brain explode.

1) Homo sapiens do not stand atop any chain. In fact, there is no chain. Those monkeys are perfectly well adapted in their intelligence for the sake of being monkeys. Evolutionary success is not measured in particular characteristics or traits (should one want to compare species), but rather in survivability and longevity.

2) This does not indicate any sort of intelligent guidance. It indicates that monkeys eat a lot of crap. Sometimes that crap makes them feel good.

3) This is not an example of evolution. Chopra has no grasp of the concept.

At the moment, evolutionary theory refuses to abandon the notion of random selection, and geneticists cling stubbornly to the doctrine of random mutations to explain why new things appear in the unfolding story of life.

Evolutionary theory is so much more than Chopra knows. Selection is not random, plenty of mechanisms exist which help to explain the appearance of new characteristics and traits, and again, he hasn’t even offered an example of evolution in the first place. But just to be clear, he eventually comes right out and says it:

We all have a stake in this argument, however. Seeing the red colobus evolve before our eyes cannot be denied.

No, no, no, no.

Rather than saying that a larger brain made intelligence possible, why not say the opposite, that intelligence dictated a larger brain so that it could expand?

Because you have no evidence for the ridiculous claim that inherently says natural selection has foresight?

This guy is such a fucking joke.

Pouring a coat of sugar

PZ Myers has a post on cancer and the quacks and filthy liars who try to take advantage of the disease.

Barbara Ehrenreich had breast cancer, and ugly and frightening as that disease is, she found something else that was almost as horrible: the ‘positive thinking’ approach to health care. People are stigmatized if they fail to regard their illness as anything other than an uplifting, positive life experience, an opportunity to examine their lives and identify what is most important to them…and also, most disturbingly, if they fail to appreciate that the attitude that they bring to the problem will determine whether they live or die. It’s the Oprah-zation of medicine.

I can’t help but think of the Andreas Moritz’s and naturopaths of the world who are genuinely dangerous to the well-being of people struggling with cancer and other diseases. Some of these people are sincere, I can grant that. But sincerity does not equate to qualified. It does not equate to safe. And in the case of someone specifically like Moritz, it’s pure charlatanry. That adds a loathsome level to the situation, but the effect is precisely the same as a naturopath or janitor or Deepak Chopra ‘treating’ the disease.

Besides, it takes effort to maintain the upbeat demeanor expected by others – effort that can no longer be justified as a contribution to long-term survival. Consider the woman who wrote to Deepak Chopra that her breast cancer had spread to the bones and lungs: “Even though I follow the treatments, have come a long way in unburdening myself of toxic feelings, have forgiven everyone, changed my lifestyle to include meditation, prayer, proper diet, exercise, and supplements, the cancer keeps coming back. Am I missing a lesson here that it keeps reoccurring? I am positive I am going to beat it, yet it does get harder with each diagnosis to keep a positive attitude.”

Chopra’s response: “As far as I can tell, you are doing all the right things to recover. You just have to continue doing them until the cancer is gone for good. I know it is discouraging to make great progress only to have it come back again, but sometimes cancer is simply very pernicious and requires the utmost diligence and persistence to eventually overcome it.”

It’s disgusting. The man is preying on vulnerable people and he knows it. There isn’t an honest bone in his body. To make matters worse, he isn’t doing a damn thing to help the cancer-ridden bones (and lungs and livers and breasts and…) of anyone. Anywhere. Ever.

I thoroughly despise these sugar-coating, money-grubbing scumbags.