Monday, December 07, 2009

More with Chopra

It feels like it has been a while since I talked about old Deepak. He is a piece, a doctor that can get neither medicine or physics right. Yet he is a revered expert, particularly for us on the left side of politics.

So what has he said to get many in a huff? Instead of common sense, he specifically finds a bone to pick with skeptics (Hey, like my name!).

Various skeptics looked at his "thoughts":

... Anyway, he has gone to the very font of new age nonsense, the Huffington Post, to spew more woo: he’s written an article about why skepticism is bad. It’s almost a bullet-pointed list of logical fallacies. ...
Among the points Chopra tries to make are that:
  • Skeptics don't like speculative thinking. Cause I know I hate innovative and creative ideas, or creative imaginings of applications of science, or potential future discoveries. I'm such a dick. It is just lame. He throws out half-assed, unsupported, and easily disputed claims, and he gets pissed that other than the group than ignore him and those that listen eagerly at his feet...there are others that actually dispute and want sound foundations before they will treat his ideas as anything other than new age guru piffle. I know he finds that do the people selling crystals.

    This is pointed to by Steven Novella, who looks at where Chopra seems to sit:
    ... What this article demonstrates is that Chopra is unequivocally anti-science. That is the reason he attacks skeptics and skepticism. He wants his woo to get a free pass. He wants to be able to speculate wildly, without ever having to justify his claims with logic and evidence. Chopra laments being called “the emperor of woo-woo” – probably because he knows that this emperor has no clothes.

  • Then there is the beaut, that no skeptic has EVER made a major scientific discovery...ever. That is either blazing stupidity, or attempt to tightly control the definition of a major discoveries and skeptic. He no doubt has a few skeptics that are the good sort that won't be counted. Sagan Dawkins, Einstein, etc. All paved over or redressed for Chopra's needs.

It seems to come down to wonder. Skeptics have no sense of wonder. It is just a tired claim. It's like the denouncements atheist face. We can't be spiritual, have a sense of joy, have hope, happiness...we can't be fully human without embracing the guff pumped out my the likes of Chopra. And then there is the arrogance seen.

Sprinkle on the fairy dust, or you can never fly.

Jason Rosenhouse looks at some discussion among a couple of Christian scientist disagreeing.

We New Atheist types like to emphasize that religion ought not to be exempted from the usual requirement that assertions of fact be supported by evidence, and that both the methods and findings of science tend to weaken the case for traditional religious beliefs. For this we are accused, with tiresome lack of originality, of being arrogant. We are lectured about the limits of science and about how we can not prove there is no God. Sometimes we are even described as being like fundamentalists.

Such charges are nonsense, of course. It is not arrogant to grow irritated with those who demand respect for their religion without providing a shred of evidence in support of their beliefs. Arrogance is when you claim to know, with “know” in italics and clearly distinguished from “believe,” that some dubious bit of religious dogma is true.


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