Tuesday, November 28, 2006

It's all in my mind...

I see (via Pharyngula) that Deepak Chopra has been speaking nonsense again. 'Speaking nonsense' in this case is, I realise, quite redundant, as I have yet to find anything he's ever said which makes the slightest bit of sense.

Now, in the course of a series of articles which have been lamely flailing at Richard Dawkins's recent book The God Delusion, he's decided he can disprove materialism through, ahem, a thought experiment.

It involves a yellow flower. It is very silly.

And Dr. Chopra reaches 'conclusions' such as this:

That's why Dawkins will never find God. He's looking in the wrong place. The physical world can't deliver God, not because God doesn't exist, but because the solid, physical world is an illusion--as quantum physics proved long ago--and one must look inside consciousness itself to find what God is about.


What happens when we actually 'look inside consciousness' (whatever that might mean, since consciousness - whatever it might be - is not so much like a box)?

A scientist explains:

What a stimulus, such as the sight of a flower, does is to trigger a response in the pattern of electrical and chemical activity in the brain: associations are made between stored memories, sensations are remembered. What is generated when you visualize a flower is not the flower itself inside your head, or even an image of a flower: the pattern of electrochemical activity is recreated. It's rather bizarre that Chopra thinks a memory of a trumpet requires brass and acoustic vibrations inside your cranium, but he's clearly very naive.

Yes he is. And also a bestselling purveyor of a confused (but highly profitable) form of new age twaddle.

Were his little thought experiment in the least bit convincing, it would certainly be comforting: it would then be easier to believe that not only the yellow flower but also Deepak Chopra doesn't exist. So it is not without sadness that I witness materialism prevail...

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