Deepak Chopra hits a quantum discontinuity

In my relentless quest to bring the very latest and most objective reporting to Numenware readers, I jumped at the chance to go hear Dr. Deepak Chopra talk in person last night. Sometimes people can get their ideas across much better in person than on the written page (see earlier review of Chopra book). The occasion was his receipt of the Navind Doshi Bridgebuilder Award in an event held at Loyola Marymount University.

My conclusion: Deepak is trapped in one of his own quantum discontinuities—between irrelevance and confusion.

I already know that atoms are mostly made up of space. So what? I’ve already heard the analogy about how reality is like a movie being projected on a screen. Who cares?

I don’t understand why Chopra says that, before you “have a thought”, that thought was not in your brain, but lurking somewhere else, in some sea of consciousness. I can’t agree that the “discontinuity” between pieces of physical matter has anything to do with the temporal discontinuities in human processes of perception, and even if I did, what next? I’m at a loss as to what the audience, listening raptly, planned to do with the assertion that photons are the carriers of all information in the universe.

I’m astonished that Chopra doesn’t understand the Heisenberg principle, claiming it states that uncertainty is proliferating. I’m stunned that he mangles Godel’s incompleteness theorem into a proof of the existence of “creative jumps”, which he believes that “gaps in the fossil record” establish the existence of.

I’m amazed that in the cosmology or theology or philosophy or whatever it is that Chopra is trying to construct he fails to answer the most basic question: what is at the root of man’s fall, or, in his terms, the “fragmentation of consciousness”. I find unconvincing his argument that this fragmentation, whatever caused it, is responsible for Hurricane Katrina. I think it highly tautological, and therefore meaningless that the meaning of human existence is to ask “Why?”. I find it very odd that he apparently does not know the meaning of the word “phenomenon”, claiming that “consciousness underlies all manifestations” and then in the same breath calling it a “phenomenon”.

What I’m not surprised about is that people lap up this confused, pseudo-scientific mishmash. It’s merely the much hipper, New Age equivalent of good old religious myth.

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