Richard Dawkins takes a look at Deepak Chopra’s nonsense:
Quantum theory accounts for the anomolous behavior of light and atoms. It is astonishingly accurate but notoriously difficult to grasp. But Deepak Chopra, who once qualified as a doctor, has seized upon quantum jargon and applied it to healing. He claims that disease can be caused and cured by shifting consciousness… Chopra has managed to become a one man alternative health industry. He’s worth up to $75,000 per lecture and in this era of self absorbtion, he claims Michael Jackso, Modonna and Hilary Clinton as followers.
Deepak Chopra’s article is labeled:
His thesis: That skepticism toward God is unhealthy and dangerous:
Statistically, cynical mistrust is correlated with premature sudden death from cardio vascular disease. Since the skeptics who write venomous blogs trust in nothing, I imagine that God will outlive them. In the interests of better health, these people should read scripture, or at least a poem, twice a day. Doctor’s orders.
His dumbest statement: “No skeptic, to my knowledge, ever made a major scientific discovery or advanced the welfare of others.”
Some of the world’s greatest discoveries were made by people who were skeptical of the status quo. Take, for example, Copernicus:
The story of how a map of the world helped Copernicus to rethink the universe is rarely told. But the connection tells us something important about how great ideas are born. To understand it, we need to recall that medieval scholars didn’t consider geography and astronomy to be distinct disciplines. Instead, they considered them parts of a single field called cosmography – the study of the known world and its place in the cosmos. One of the field’s guiding principles went something like this: Looking down, we see up; looking up, we see down. By carefully studying the earth, cosmographers believed they could learn about the heavens, and by carefully studying the heavens they believed they could learn about the earth. Copernicus himself was a cosmographer, and shared this view.
We remember Copernicus as one of the first great thinkers of the modern scientific era, but he inhabited a profoundly medieval thought-world – a world in which astrology and alchemy commanded as much attention as geography and astronomy.
Copernicus had to break out of the medieval thought-world, he had to be a skeptic. He had to assume that the current thinking was wrong in order to create a new way of thinking:
Copernicus knew the theory of the off-center earth well from his student days. But he didn’t buy it. Mathematically, geometrically, logically – it just didn’t make sense to him.
Message to Deepak Chopra – Copernicus was a skeptic. Your statement “No skeptic, to my knowledge, ever made a major scientific discovery or advanced the welfare of others” is idiocy. Skepticism leads to innovation.
In the case of God, skepticism leads to rationality – God Is Imaginary.
Prayer does not even offer a placebo effect:
The three-year Study of the Therapeutic Effects of Intercessory Prayer (STEP), published in the April 4 American Heart Journal, was the largest-ever attempt to apply scientific methods to measure the influence of prayer on the well-being of another. It examined 1,800 patients undergoing heart-bypass surgery. On the eve of the operations, church groups began two weeks of praying for one set of patients. Each recipient had a praying contingent of about 70, none of whom knew the patient personally. The study found no differences in survival or complication rates compared with those who did not receive prayers. The only statistically significant blip appeared in a subgroup of patients who were prayed for and knew it. They experienced a higher rate of postsurgical heart arrhythmias (59 versus 52 percent of unaware subjects).
So we know, without a doubt, that prayer has no effect and may make things worse. That, however, does not deter the insane people who are members of the cult of Christian Scientists:
Prue Lewis listens as they explain their symptoms. Then Lewis — a thin, frail-looking woman from Columbia Heights — simply says, “I’ll go to work right away.” She hangs up, organizes her thoughts and begins treating her clients’ ailments the best way she knows how: She prays.
This is health care in the world of Christian Science, where the sick eschew conventional medicine and turn to God for healing. Christian Scientists call it “spiritual health care,” and it is a practice they are battling to insert into the health-care legislation being hammered out in Congress.
Leaders of the Church of Christ, Scientist, are pushing a proposal that would help patients pay someone like Lewis for prayer by having insurers reimburse the $20 to $40 cost.
The provision was stripped from the bill the House passed this month, and church leaders are trying to get it inserted into the Senate version. And the church has powerful allies there, including Sens. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.), who represents the state where the church is based, and Orrin G. Hatch (R-Utah), who said the provision would “ensure that health-care reform law does not discriminate against any religion.”
You have to pay someone for their prayers? Insanity.
Creationists like to say that there are no new species, but science sees speciation happen on a fairly regular basis. Here is one example:
On one of the Galapagos islands whose finches shaped the theories of a young Charles Darwin, biologists have witnessed that elusive moment when a single species splits in two.
Is there any delusion in human society as strong as the delusion of religion? Yes – Alternative Medicine
Is there any delusion in human society as strong as the delusion of religion? Yes – the delusion of Alternative Medicine
Ten years and $2.5 billion in research have found no cures from alternative medicine. Yet these mostly unproven treatments are now mainstream and used by more than a third of all Americans….
Science Thomas on 03 Nov 2009
When we step down from their mental ivory towers and really think about it, the assertion that science is just a belief or another way of creating dogmas is monstrously stupid. Simply put, if you believe in science, you have no idea what science is. You don’t believe that that there’s a couch in a coffee shop. You see it there. You can touch it, move it, smell it and it won’t suddenly vanish into thin air when you look away. You don’t believe in the sky being blue on a sunny day, you just look up and see it. And when was the last time that you believed in the existence of cars and planes? Looking at what’s out there, taking note of it, studying its properties based on what you can see, touch and smell is science. I never say that I believe in evolution because it’s a ridiculous thing to say. Instead, I looked at the available evidence on the subject and agreed that yes, this is the best way to explain how life came to be the way it is on this planet based on the available data.
For Darwin’s “Origin of Species” 150th Anniversary, Christians take action. “There is only one way to change the heart of a nation…”
On November 21, 2009, the world will celebrate the 150th year since the publication of Charles Darwin’s book “Origin of Species”. When my friend Ray Comfort heard about this, and that the book was public domain, he actually wrote a 50-page introduction to the book which gives a history of evolution, a time line of Darwin’s life, Adolf Hitler’s undeniable connection with the theory, Darwin’t racism, his disdain for women, Darwin’s thoughts on the existance of God, and put them in the book. He also lists the theory’s many hoaxes…
See also – “Using Common Sense to Debunk Evolution”:
Meanwhile, reality keeps plugging away:
Science Thomas on 06 Jul 2009
[Charlie Love] renamed mankind about 12 years ago for his students. Linnaeus called us Homo sapiens back in the 1700s, meaning in Latin, “Man, the wise”, and sadly, the name remains the same to this day. Charlie thought that “wise” was just a little bit premature, so he renamed him what he felt was more accurate: Homo creemythicus ritualensis hypocriticus – “Man, who believes in myths through rituals, and is a hypocrite about them”. These, he feels, are the only notions common to all mankind.
It seems there are other notions common to all mankind:
4) Anger, violence
Every rational person knows that “praying” to help a sick person is meaningless superstition, no different than offering the sick person a lucky horseshoe. But now scientists have confirmed it yet again:
Every few years, a group based at Hertford College at Oxford puts together a statistical analysis of all the studies conducted to date that have looked at whether praying for sick people helps them get better (or at least stay alive).
The latest has just been published, and it contains something pretty radically new in their conclusions: the evidence is now so clear cut that they think that no more studies should be done. The book is shut. Praying for sick people simply doesn’t work.
Also interesting is the fact that a study that had previously shown a positive effect of prayer on in-vitro fertilization success rates has now been exposed as a fraudulent study:
PRAYER HAS NO EFFECT. If you are religious, you need to accept reality. Talking to an imaginary being in the sky makes you look like an idiot. This page will help:
This is an older article, but it is relevant when talking about religion:
In a series of studies, Dr. Kruger and Dr. Dunning tested their theory of incompetence. They found that subjects who scored in the lowest quartile on tests of logic, English grammar and humor were also the most likely to “grossly overestimate” how well they had performed.
This would explain a great many things about the religious. For example, it explains why someone who knows nothing about evolution would be supremely confident that evolution is wrong, and that God therefore created all life.
Neil Tyson describes how scientifically advanced the Arabic world once was, and how that advancement was completely destroyed by Islam in the 12th century. It is an startling description:
Another reason why we MUST eliminate religion.
Science Johnson on 13 Feb 2009
Additional reading: READINGS IN EVOLUTION