Thursday, October 04, 2007

Deepak Chopra and spoon bending

Deepak ChopraFew people rile me more than self-made millionaire, pseudo-guru and snake-oil merchant Deepak Chopra. During an interview with Richard Dawkins (in the mini-series The Enemies of Reason), Chopra was seen peddling his usual trade-mark pseudo-scientific mumbo-jumbo with which he deliberately conflates terms borrowed from quantum physics, Eastern philosophy and whatever else that makes up his plausible sounding but wholly incorrect pot-pourri that so appeals to his gullible wanna-believers.

Here's Liberal Values blog on Deepak and spoon bending (beep, beep: Deepak speaking) - my emphasis:
I have always maintained there is no such thing is supernatural or paranormal. All observed phenomena, if accurate, are natural and normal. We call something supernatural or paranormal when we can’t explain it. Once we know the explanation, its science. Before that it’s spooky. Everything I write about can be understood if you understand non locality and non local correlation and the inseparability of mind and matter as different expressions of consciousness. Let’s not waste any more time on spoon bending. For millions of people it’s now a trivial example of mind and matter as inseparably one.

So to Deepak, a magic trick (Uri Geller's source of a small fortune) is now science! Please note that the source text (link above) contains many interesting links. Visit them to your delight. I found this post using BlogRush:

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At 6:32 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

You call spoon bending "a magic trick." But let me ask: have you ever actually tried it yourself? Ever had direct experience of what you put down? Ever tested it in a class?

Well, I have, I went through a short training session, and then felt the strange moment when three heavy old metal forks suddenly seemed to turn into something like a very malleable putty. For my full account, see my blog at

Yes, spoon bending CAN be a magic trick. A magician CAN duplicate many strange effects. (James Randi has made his own fortune doing that.) But you overlook the possibility that the effect may also be real.

To paraphrase your quote from Liberal Values blog: We call something mere stage magic when we can't explain it within our accepted paradigm. If it's outside our mental box, then it cannot be real, we won't allow it, it must be mere magic. Because otherwise that would change everything more than we dare to accept.


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