The Lower Quote, As If You Didn't Know, Is By Richard Dawkins, Son.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Deep Disses Dawk - Still a Douche

In the latest issue of Skeptic, Deepak Chopra "reviews" Richard Dawkins' book, The God Delusion. I use quotes because he really only wants to use space and talk about his meaningful consciousness of quantum rivers flowing into the compassionate Universe, which is also conscious.

Let the fisking begin....

Chopper says that "Dawkins' position is absolute" That's not entirely true; while Dawkins is very firm in his stance, he is first and foremost a scientist able to be swayed by evidence. The problem for Deep is that none of his wishy-fruity ravings even make sense, let alone are able to be called "evidence".

Dawkins' anthropomorphic god is criticized as not being realistic and that "Allah isn't personified", nor are other deities. Well, just because Muslims aren't allowed to draw the guy doesn't mean he isn't thought of as a man. They say they want to go to the Garden of Paradise when they die and chill with Allah; what does Deepak think they envision? Probably "pure quantum consciousness", whatever the fuck that is.

Chopra then states that a lot of thinkers have "looked far beyond Dawkins" and that his view is narrow "compared to real forward thinkers". I guess because Deep only lists job titles and not individuals whose thinking he admires, we can assume that he includes himself on that list. He never offers any "real" forward thinking at all, just the same inane platitudes dealt with below.

Chumpra goes on to mention quantum physics at least five different times in his three-page book review. I'd like to take a minute at this point and say that Deepak has no goddamn idea what quantum physics is all about. He likes to say that the ideas of the Maharishi and Ayurveda are supported by modern discoveries in physics, and idea that is sharply rebuked by Ph.D physicist Heinz R. Pagels, former Executive Director of the New York Academy of Sciences from way back in 1986:
The presentation of the ideas of modern physics side by side, and apparently supportive of, the ideas of the Maharishi about pure consciousness can only be intended to deceive those who might not know any better.

Reading these materials authorized by the Maharishi causes me distress because I am a man who values the truth. To see the beautiful and profound ideas of modern physics, the labor of generations of scientists, so willfully perverted provokes a feeling of compassion for those who might be taken in by these distortions. I would like to be generous to the Maharishi and his movement because it supports world peace and other high ideals. But none of these ideals could possibly be realized within the framework of a philosophy that so willfully distorts scientific truth. ref.
Damning talk, yes it is.

See, Chopra says stuff like this:
...DNA is a molecule, and that fact opened Pandora's Box, because to be truly viable, genetics has to be compatible with quantum physics, our current best theory of physical reality..."
Firstly, nothing has to be compatible with anything. If it is, great. If it isn't, then one or both of the other ideas is wrong or needs revision, that's all.

Secondly, it's amazing how he says that quantum physics is "our" best theory. He includes himself subtly along with the physicists who thought up and tested and revised the theory when he has no idea what he's talking about. He brings up quantum mechanics in every essay, lecture, book and dinner party he goes to or writes about and he fucks it up at every turn. It's rather tiresome to keep pointing out.

Chumpra uses the phrase, "the superstition of materialism", a meaningless phrase akin to the odious "religion of Darwinism". It's designed only to appeal to his fawns who dutifully buy his Ayurvedic tongue cleaners at $7.00 a pop. Nice.

He says at length:
Once can say that two broad rivers of human experience have run into each other. One river carries science and objective observation of the world. The other river carries subjective experience and our craving for meaning, beauty, love, and truth. There is no reason why these two rivers need to be separated, and what we are seeing - despite Dawkins' hysterical defense of materialism - is a merging. Within a generation there will be accepted theories that integrate the world "out there" with the world "in here".
This is a completely nonsensical, non-sequitor ridiculous statement of a "fact" that exists only in the vacant, whooshing vacuum of Chopra's cranium.

Now we come to the turd that tops the excrement sundae that is this review. Deepak actually lets his huge balls out for some air and to say:
...random chance is one of the worst ways to explain how the universe evolved...Dawkins argues vociferously that natural selection isn't random...but he is equally vociferous that genetic mutation is random...
Can't you just see Hannibal Lector in his cell, Clarice pleading, "Tell me how to catch him, Dr. Lector", and Hannibal saying, "No! All you need to catch him is right in front of you!" He's actually explaining how evolution through natural selection works, but he's too thick to get it. Random mutations lead to changes in morphology in organisms which leads to non-random natural selection, weeding out useless or harmful mutations and keeping helpful ones. How fucking hard is that to comprehend?

Very, apparently.

Then comes this gem:
The brain contains an enormous amount of water and salt. Are we to assume that water is intelligent or salt is conscious?
Think about it when it's put in this analogy - bicycles contain two wheels made of rubber. Can a kid ride a rubber molecule down the street with his buddies? I think not. See, the parts of a thing don't have to possess the qualities of the finished thing, Jackhole. It's getting too difficult to not include ad hominems, sorry.

Then there's the obligatory incredulous statement about the nature of consciousness and the cool shit all around us:
...the reason to assume that consciousness exists is simple. There is no other way to account for it...there is enormous design, complexity, organization, and interconnectedness everywhere in nature. You can either say, 'I see it, let me explain it', or you can say, 'Ignore it, it's just a byproduct of randomness.
This is full of shit that pisses me off. Let's begin with the first bit. There may be other ways to explain consciousness - Douchepak can't think of one though, so he just declares loudly that there's no other way! None! Thanks, but I think I'll wait for the real scientists to slowly, carefully make their way towards an answer that's backed up by evidence and repeatable experiments.

Secondly, the bullshit of the next part almost makes my brain bleed. Really, I just about had a subdural hematoma and a seizure. It's scientists who look at things and say, "Let's try to explain this." No real scientist would ever see something and say, "Oh fuck that, it's just randomness...that's worthless." It's actually people like Chopper who see something they can't explain immediately and proceed to make something up that "feels right" (much like Colbert's "truthiness") directly off the top of their hollow-sounding heads.

The last two columns are a lot of fumbling around with what colour and sounds are within the brain, basically a huge argument from ignorance spilled out in the black and white of page fifty-four. Lastly, he makes a couple more appeals to quantum physics, and then declares that when you get to the "primal state of the universe", it is a "universal field that encloses all matter and energy". I guess no one ever told him that when you're defining something, you don't use that term in said definition.

All in all, this was painful to read, like everything of his I've ever had the displeasure of chewing through like a termite starving for nourishment. Skip this if you have the means and thanks for continuing to listen to my bitching.

1 Barbaric Yawps:

At 21/7/07 11:32 am, Anonymous Michael Smith said...

I agree with your comments. I would add this: an "explanation" that adds nothing to our knowledge or understanding of the thing we seek to explain is not an explanation at all; rather, it is an excuse to drop the inquiry.

To answer the inquiry, "How did all these species of living organisms get here?" by saying, "God designed and put them here" is the exact equivalent of answering, "Somehow". The "God did it" answer has the advantage of serving as an excuse to declare the inquiry over and done with, whereas the answer, "Somehow" is much too naked an admission of ignorance to justify the notion that we've found an explanation.

And of course, the further point is that the refusal to ask the next logical question, “How did this amazing God -- the one who designed all these living organisms -- how did he get here?”, the refusal to ask that question is wholly arbitrary.


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