Deepak Chopra slides farther into irrelevancy

Chopra has put up a third installment in his crusade against the ungodly, and my eyes glaze over. I can’t care any more. It’s just too stupid to inspire much concern.

His conclusion about sums it up.

Before proceeding with the next step in refuting the anti-God position, let’s pause to see what responders think. Do you think a random universe of concrete objects colliding by chance is the right model for creation?

At this point, he’s reduced to begging for crumbs of support from the people still reading his drivel, and to making up silly rebuttals to claims no one made. Hey, do you think the universe is a giant billiards table? If you don’t, can you tell me how smart I am? Please?


  1. June says

    Obviously, a much better story is that a being made of nothing made a universe out of nothing. Yeah, that makes a lot more sense than evolution!

  2. Caledonian says

    In the face of convincing arguments to the contrary, how else can an invalid thesis attract attention and money? The panderers have to misrepresent the points made against them and lie about the merits of their own claims.

    It’s simple economics.

  3. Maezeppa says

    “Before proceeding with the next step in refuting the anti-God position, let’s pause to see what responders think. Do you think a random universe of concrete objects colliding by chance is the right model for creation?”

    Since when did the majority decide whether gravity or nuclear fission was “right”? The last time I looked, the universe followed certain laws regardless of what anybody thought about it.

  4. George says

    “If the universe is self-aware, it would explain the formation of a self-replicating molecule like DNA far more elegantly than the clumsy, crude mechanism of random chance. As the astronomer Fred Hoyle declared (Hoyle was one of the first to seize on the notion of an expanding universe in the 1950s), the probability that random chance created life is roughly the same as the probability that a hurricane could blow through a junkyard and create a Boeing 707.”

    It’s obvious the guy hasn’t even read the book. Dawkins thoroughly picks apart the chance/Fred Hoyle argument.

  5. says


    “What’s wrong with this argument is that if you trace DNA down to its individual atoms, each is more than 99.9999% empty space. If you take an individual electron, it has no fixed position in either time or space.”

    ~Deepak Chopra
    God Delusion? Part 3

    “What’s this universe?
    What Dawkins says? asked
    Potli Baba of Lamp Lighter guru,
    his old friend of vedic ages.

    “Dawkins, that random-head,
    that purposeless creature,
    blurts out all crap
    when he reads my

    writings divine, arising
    out of my inner self
    blessed with blessings of
    1008 holy gods that almighty

    destined in the Intelligent
    Design of the creation of
    the universe and the
    intelligent human kind.”

    Lamp Lighter’s flames flashed
    intensely, wet beads of anger
    dripping from his forehead and face
    as if Shiva was all up in arms

    hurling his trident with
    mighty force into the heart
    of the soul-less creature.
    “look,” he said,

    “DNA is almost empty
    at its atomic base,
    so is cosmos empty,
    let’s face

    but God has placed
    spirits in all this space
    so that every thing
    stays in its place

    and create that magnificence
    of consciousness that
    in the universe pervades,
    making us aware of the

    awareness that God wanted
    us to feel in the first place.
    that’s what the universe is,” he said,
    “not randomness of that random-head —

    bodies colliding hither and thither,
    up and down without purpose in space,
    unaware of the Intelligent Design of
    their assignment in the proper place.”

    Lamp Lighter guru rambled
    on and on at such a rapid pace,
    his voice trembled when
    he called Dawkins a disgrace.

    ~white wings


  6. Rheinhard says

    I am assuming you intended your link to go to Chopra’s drivel, instead of linking back, Escher-like, to your own blog? If so could you correct it, just so those of us curious as the content of any pro-science dissenting positions Mr. Chopra decides to mischaracterize and mock?

  7. khan says

    Does the phrase “random chance” imply that there is something called “non-random chance”?

  8. commissarjs says

    So if I want something to be true that automatically makes it true. BRILLIANT! I had no idea that by merely wanting the universe to conform to the cosmology of Warhammer 40K would make it so. Thanks Deepak, I had no idea that reality was consensual.

  9. says


    “why do you look so down?” asked
    Maharishi Bingo Ram
    of Lamp Lighter Guru Mahan
    whose lamps were getting
    dimmer with every passing
    phase of the moon.

    “they call me a dingbat,
    they call me a moon bat,
    smarty pants, a money hat,
    a holy cow and a rat,” he answered,
    his hands clenching his head.

    “what do I do now? he asked.
    “go read 12th grade books,
    understand some science,
    carry on spiritual gobbledygook,
    don’t debate Hawkins or Dawkins
    you’re no way their match,” answered
    Maharishi Bingo Ram, his old friend.

    ~white wings

  10. Wells says

    Check this out!

    What Happens After We Die? (Part 3) by Deepak Chopra his latest post.

    “But if you break it down as a rational problem, the separate components aren’t totally mysterious:

    Is there proof that people have seen the afterlife?
    Is there proof of reincarnation?
    Is there proof of communicating with the departed?
    Can there be mind outside the brain?
    Is this mind the source of the soul?
    Can we find evidence that the universe itself is conscious, or that it is hospitable to consciousness as a field of information?”

  11. says

    Now I’m certain that Dr Chopra’s current incarnation is a punishment for horrific, inhuman deeds of great maleficence in a previous lifetime, probably for inventing Amway salesmen.

  12. says


    If Dr Chopra’s incarnation is the result of past sins, what sin did we commit that is so terrible it has Chopra as a punishment?

  13. idlemind says


    I’d think Chopra would be on to something if it weren’t, at base, a tautology. We’re made of matter, so if we’re conscious, at least our portion of “the universe itself” is conscious. Suffused in Chopra’s meanderings is the very dualism he elsewhere decries: he’s insisting that there is a ghost in the machine, but despite all his hand-waving he’s not shown that the “machine” is incapable of consciousness just as it is.

  14. says

    A Vedic Guru Refutes Science, a poem


    he’s a kook,
    too stupid to
    inspire any concern.

    I glaze over guru’s
    new drivel on his
    holy crusade against
    science and wonder,
    if he’s still living
    in Vedic ages,
    or thinks having
    fooled his dimwit
    followers now can
    fool us, scientists.

    he’s begging for
    crumbs for support,
    making silly rebuttals
    to claims that no one
    has made.

    not able to comprehend
    what Dawkins says,
    he goes explaining
    Vedic sciences that
    he understands well:

    up above is heaven
    where lives God,
    down below is hell
    from where comes Devil,
    and here on earth,
    everything is unreal,
    all illusion, all maya.

    Note: PZ Myers’ text at
    is partially paraphrased here.


  15. says

    time to peruse the scientific literature instead of watching the cow in Morris:

    Title: External Qi of Yan Xin Qigong differentially regulates the Akt and extracellular signal-regulated kinase pathways and is cytotoxic to cancer cells but not to normal cells
    Author(s): Yan X (Yan, Xin), Shen H (Shen, Hua), Jiang HJ (Jiang, Hongjian), Zhang CS (Zhang, Chengsheng), Hu D (Hu, Dan), Wang J (Wang, Jun), Wu XQ (Wu, Xinqi)
    Document Type: Article
    Language: English
    Cited References: 63 Times Cited: 0
    Abstract: Long-term clinical observations and ongoing studies have shown significant antitumor effect of external Qi of Yan Xin Qigong which originated from traditional Chinese medicine. In order to understand the molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying the antitumor effect of external Qi of Yan Xin Qigong, we have examined its cytotoxic effect on BxPC3 pancreatic cancer cells and its effect on the Akt and extracellular signal-regulated kinase pathways. We found that external Qi of Yan Xin Qigong dramatically inhibited basal phosphorylation levels of Akt and extracellular signal-regulated kinases, epidermal growth factor-mediated phosphorylation of extracellular signal-regulated kinases, and phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase activity. External Qi of Yan Xin Qigong also inhibited constitutive and inducible activities of nuclear factor-kappa 13, a target of the Akt and epidermal growth factor receptor pathways. Furthermore, a single 5 min exposure of BxPC3 cells to external Qi of Yan Xin Qigong induced apoptosis, accompanied by a dramatic increase of the sub-G1 cell population, DNA fragmentation, and cleavage of caspases 3, 8 and 9, and poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase. Prolonged treatment with external Qi of Yan Xin Qigong caused rapid lysis of BxPC3 cells. In contrast, treatment of fibroblasts with external Qi of Yan Xin Qigong induced transient activation of extracellular signal-regulated kinases and Akt, and caused no cytotoxic effect. These findings suggest that external Qi of Yan Xin Qigong may differentially regulate these survival pathways in cancer versus normal cells and exert cytotoxic effects preferentially on cancer cells, and that it could potentially be a valuable approach for therapy of pancreatic carcinomas. (c) 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
    Author Keywords: Akt; ERK1/2; external Qi; Yan Xin Qigong; pancreatic cancer
    Addresses: Yan X (reprint author), Inst Chongqing Trad Chinese Med, Chongqing, Peoples R China
    Inst Chongqing Trad Chinese Med, Chongqing, Peoples R China
    New Med Sci Res Inst, New York, NY 10107 USA
    Harvard Univ, Sch Med, Massachusetts Gen Hosp, Boston, MA 02114 USA
    Harvard Univ, Sch Med, Dana Farber Canc Inst, Boston, MA 02115 USA
    Harvard Univ, Sch Med, Childrens Hosp, Boston, MA 02115 USA

    E-mail Addresses:

  16. says

    What Happens After We Die? (Part 3) by Deepak Chopra his latest post.

    Shocks, a poem


    The first thing is, it will shock you
    Buy my book and read it

    The second thing is, it will shock you
    Buy my book and read it

    The third thing is, it will shock you
    Buy my book and read it

    If you don’t need so many shocks
    You still buy my book but don’t read it

    Click at the right hand top corner
    On the home page of my site and

    Keep your visa or master card ready.
    Both are accepted. God bless you.

    ~white wings

  17. V says

    “Q. What may shock or surprise readers most about this book?

    A. They may be shocked to find that the afterlife is a rational subject that is knowable to us before we die. Most people, even from educated backgrounds, accept the stories of heaven and hell they were told as children, and from that point on they assume that the afterlife is a matter of faith.” ~Deepak Chopra

    What Happens After We Die? (Part 3) by Deepak Chopra his latest post.

  18. says

    PZ: I can’t blame you for running fast and far before reading the comments.

    For, if you did, you would find that people read it to tell him he’s full of (A) himself, (B) ordinary human waste or (C) curry. The ratio is roughly 95% against his blathering.

    I, myself, love to reads just the comments (the text of his posts hurts my head). And I like to leave my own comments, offering advice as to where to go (no, not to hell; to Xian blogs, where they already “believe” his shite) and wishing him “good luck selling them there books!”

    What a tiresome little amphibian, is Deepak Chopra!


  19. suirauqa says

    I just don’t get this. I shall confess that my understanding of the natural sciences is inadequate compared to that of people working in the respective disciplines, many of whom are regular contributors to this blog. When it comes of clinical medicine and medical research, I am much closer to my turf, and the recent dollop of woo served by that Favorite Pharyngula Troll going by the name of Dwoo Hempel is beyond disbelief; it is downright disgusting, because unabashed promotion of this particular kind of alternative medicine preys upon the insecurities of the patients and undermines the efforts of medicine proper to treat them.

    I am referring to the paper that Dwoo Hempel quoted and posted the abstract of. I am also certain that s/he did not go much beyond the wordings of the abstract. Therefore, I am not sure what exactly s/he is trying to prove, that too, by displaying examples of bad science and worse editorial decisions.

    The quoted study is another example of mishmash of so-called Western medicine and traditional Chinese philosophy. As long as the paper discusses pancreatic carcinoma and signalling pathways involved, it sticks to the existent, proven facts. The methods employed for the study have that right amount of validity to offer the study some respectability. But the entire premises, hypotheses et alia, crumble with the mention of using hocus-pocus-gili-gili, a.k.a. external qi, as a valid method of treatment.

    I pored over the introduction to find references for ‘external qi’ and guess what? Every time I came back to a few books – but not any peer-reviewed journal article – books that talk about ‘Qi Nutrition powder’ (!), ‘Qi information water’ (!!), and so forth.

    The intro starts with a study from a Japanese group (in collaboration of the Chronobiology center of U Minnesota, of all places) that harps upon the tired old argument used by most alternative medical practices, that alternative medicine effects cannot be gaged appropriately by western scientific methods:

    Current Western medical treatment lays its main emphasis on evidence-based medicine (EBM) and cure is assessed by quantifying the effects of treatment statistically. In contrast, in Chinese medicine, cure is generally assessed by evaluating the patient’s “pattern” (Zheng) [cf. Glossary] and medicines are prescribed according to this. We believe that traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) cannot be evaluated precisely according to Western principles, in which a constant amount of the same medicine is given to a group of patients to be evaluated. When assessing cure using TCM, Zheng is more important than the determination of medical effects. This means that quantitative evaluation of TCM treatment can be very difficult.
    In this paper, we focused on the Yin-Yang [cf. Glossary] balance to determine Zheng, and at the same time attempted to determine the treatment effects by applying the concept of regulation of Yin-Yang according to chronotherapeutic principles.

    It is also of note that as long as they talk about proper science, cellular pathways and stuff, their references are proper peer-reviewed journal, but the moment they start talking about external Qi, the references cited become questionable.

    It saddens me that this kind of unscientific, evidence-starved studies get published in Elsevior journals, whereas we have to struggle hard and test, re-test, re-retest our results to get through a peer review system to get published.

  20. Joshua says

    You wouldn’t think so, Sophist, but apparently it is. At the very least, he seems to be running on vapour.

    “The panderers have to misrepresent the points made against them and lie about the merits of their own claims.”

    Frankly, that’s an insult to panderers. A lot of them are actually good at what they do, unlike Guru Chopra.

  21. Azkyroth says

    I think the consensus is that he’s been *pantomines inhaling deeply from a pipe* “running on vapor” for quite some time now…

  22. Tatarize says

    Shouldn’t that be slides “further” into irrelevancy? ‘Farther’ is more in distance; ‘further’ is more in degree.

  23. DrFrank says

    Thanks for that, suirauqa :)

    It always makes me laugh when someone says that their treatment isn’t suitable for scientific testing.

    It truly is the most pathetic excuse in the world – if it has any positive effect beyond placebo then that is measurable by a suitable trial. If not, then your treatment is bollocks, so bugger off.

  24. Caledonian says

    A lot of them are actually good at what they do, unlike Guru Chopra.

    He makes millions of dollars at it. I think that qualifies as success by most standards.

    It truly is the most pathetic excuse in the world – if it has any positive effect beyond placebo then that is measurable by a suitable trial.

    Not true, DrFrank! Placebo effects are also measureable by a suitable trial.

  25. j.t.delaney says

    It’s an interesting find, and I’m a little surprised that a peer reviewed journal with an impact factor of 3.871 would do this, but it just goes to show that even the peer review process is no substitute for critical thinking. If you can prove that Qi exists, I know of an easy way to make a million dollars:

    You could use a million dollars, couldn’t you Drew? Even if you’re too other-worldly to spend it on yourself, surely you could find some deserving orphans or leppers or something. Yes, you’ll have to split it with ‘ol Xin Yan (i.e. the guy who is first author of the paper, who did all of the cool hand-waving magic tricks in it, and who’s namesake “foundation” also funded this “research” to validate that his magical powers are real), but surely, even half a million is worth your time. Come on, you know you want it — go get it, boy!

  26. Torbjörn Larsson says

    The chances that Chopra would end his spiel with a huge dollop of quantum woo weren’t exactly what I would call random. (Implying of course that probability distributions are far from “clumsy” and “crude” processes. Except when Chopra is concerned, of course.)

    Rather, ghostly vibrations wink in and out of the universe thousands of times per second, and what lies beyond the boundary of the five senses holds enormous mysteries.

    Ironic that the same theory that is so often used as a spring board for woo is the one that prompted the discovery that no local variables are hidden behind it, which happens to be one of the easy results to grasp. It is obvious that Woopra should know this much, but chooses to focus on entanglement and other nonintuitive aspects.

    BTW, that muddlebrains like Chopra confuses matter and materialism is yet another reason to prefer the term naturalism, even though it is wider in scope.

    Elsevior journals

    Elsevier has been so much about the money that they ended up as Elsewhere publications.

  27. recovered says

    As a recovered former practitioner of chinese medicine, I recoil in horror whenever I read anything written by Deepak Chopra. The man is either a self-serving charlatan or a complete and utter moron. As for the bogus study abstracted above, as soon as a study mentions qi as some sort of real force, its time to stop reading. Its like a study that refers to god–the authors begin with the a priori assumption that qi exists–the rest is just poisonous fruit, so to speak. There is actually a lot of good solid research being done in China on the pharmacological properties of herbs. Unfortunately, there is also a tremendous amount of fraud in the field as well. The inability to guarantee proper oversight of these studies plus the new age mentality of 99% of those who practice Chinese medicine in the west finally drove me screaming from the fold. Its hard enough to trust research from china even when the basic premise is reasonable–e.g., herbs have active constituents. When the basic premise is metaphysical, its better to just look away–you are in the realm of the unreasonable and will not be able to communicate rationally with the believers. For whatever it is worth, the average modern chinese practitioner of traditional chinese medicine is far less likely to believe in so-called qi than the gullible westerners who have bastardized the tradition. china is largely an atheist culture heavily steeped in pragmatic science. Luckily tripe such as the above abstract is by far in the minority amongst typical chinese research. While such research is often shoddily done, it does mostly hew to a western scientific perspective. Fear not. Chopra is indeed irrelevant and the new age simpletons who follow him are a dying breed.

  28. says

    idlemind: Elsewhere someone posted evidence that shows that Chopra is not really a dualist at all – he’s a monist, albeit an idealist, not a materialist.