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Why Deepak Chopra is hated but Max Planck can’t be

War of the Worldviews: Science Vs. Spirituality In “Re Jerry Coyne and buddy vs. Deepak Chopra: If rocks can be conscious, why can’t photons be?”, I noted that many people in science other than Chopra seem to have expressed points of view about the enduring mystery of consciousness that Coyne and his fellows would describe as “woo” – without attracting anything like the same “gnuhad” (new atheist jihad).

Is it because Chopra is rich and famous but those guys are only famous?

Naw. More likely, it’s because guys like Planck can somehow be ratcheted into the materialist camp or else the non-materialist aspects of their thinking could be discreetly ignored (passage of time, perhaps?). But Chopra cannot be processed in that way. He won’t let himself be. So he is the enemy.

One commenter notes,

Dr.Chopra has the right to say what scientists have been saying all along.Of course photons and rocks can’t have consciousness but why should a evolution biologist object to a statement which is bandied around as truth by his own tribe?

His own tribe—and 78% of evolutionary biologists are pure naturalist atheists—treats it as an unwelcome truth to be exorcised. That’s allowable because it cannot be avoided except for semantic contortions.

Another says,

Chopra is a fool. But ‘can photons have consciousness?’ sounds like panpsychism, which – to be dead honest – is vastly more reasonable than the inanities Coyne spews out on a regular basis.

Panpsychism is indeed reasonable; the question is whether or not it is correct.

Incidentally it need not mean that everything possesses something like human awareness, only that intelligence may be a fundamental fact of nature (cf. the collective mind of a beehive or the temporary one of a slime mold, which are not instantiated in any individual).

One reason we make no progress in understanding these matters is that too much effort goes into denying them or explaining them away, to say nothing of demonizing those who don’t go along with that approach. As for Coyne, who could wish to trade places with him, given that in this area that is all he has got now? That, and getting others to go along with him.

Note: Leonard Mlodinow, Stephen Hawking’s  co-author, also wrote a book with Chopra pictured above.

Also: Happy American Thanksgiving, and may the snow on your driveway melt away at the warmth of your smile. :) – O’Leary for News

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7 Responses to Why Deepak Chopra is hated but Max Planck can’t be

  1. Consciousness is NOT co-terminus with, or reducible to, material reality, therefore Panpsychism, as it is generally defined to be, is false.

    “As a man who has devoted his whole life to the most clear headed science, to the study of matter, I can tell you as a result of my research about atoms this much: There is no matter as such. All matter originates and exists only by virtue of a force which brings the particle of an atom to vibration and holds this most minute solar system of the atom together. We must assume behind this force the existence of a conscious and intelligent mind. This mind is the matrix of all matter.”
    Max Planck – The Father Of Quantum Mechanics – Das Wesen der Materie [The Nature of Matter], speech at Florence, Italy (1944) (from Archiv zur Geschichte der Max-Planck-Gesellschaft, Abt. Va, Rep. 11 Planck, Nr. 1797)(Of Note: Max Planck Planck was a devoted Christian from early life to death, was a churchwarden from 1920 until his death, and believed in an almighty, all-knowing, beneficent God.

    Four intersecting lines of experimental evidence from quantum mechanics that shows that consciousness precedes material reality (Wigner’s Quantum Symmetries, Wheeler’s Delayed Choice, Leggett’s Inequalities, Quantum Zeno effect):
    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1G_Fi50ljF5w_XyJHfmSIZsOcPFhgoAZ3PRc_ktY8cFo/edit

    Colossians 1:17
    And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.

  2. The Psalmist, I’m convinced, stated the truth, when he addressed God: ‘Lord God, true Light and Creator of Light’; in other words, a spiritual-physical light continuum, itself involving the paradox of the Incarnation.

    As a philosopher of science, who was a contemporary of Einstein and said to have been much admired by him, pointed out, evidently to no-one’s noticeable interest, a star in a distant galaxy must have known persons would be looking at it from the earth, in the event that they do, before it set off on its journey, billions of light years away, and many aeons ago.

    Moreover, light’s divine extension is corroborated by the omniscience of light to the Observer, with the latter always registering its absolute speed (when he is standing still or moving at a constant speed in the same direction.)

    Not only is light very closely associated with God in the Christian tradition, and indeed in other major religions, but NDE experiences attest to seeing Christ as a figure of extraordinary light.

  3. … and now among the latest findings concerning the Holy Shroud of Turin, it seems to have been established that the negative image on it must have been made by an extraordinary burst of, I think, laser photons; although it would take a laser device the size of a large house to even endeavour realistically to replicate such a phenomenon.

  4. I’m not really ‘into’ looking for scientific answers in scripture, but that struck me unavoidably.

    Nevertheless, I certainly don’t share the contempt for Young Earthers many sensible Christians feel they have go along with, because of the baying jackals of atheist nescience. What would they now about the price of fish and chip in any case?

  5. When you consider the precedence of mind over matter, and the specious nature of the concept of a plain ‘objective reality’, as opposed the inter-subjective reality of our perception of matter, as demonstrated by quantum mechanics, and then the fact that atheists not only bicker about the age of the earth, but revile Young Earth Creationists, it confirms in spades that they’re really not quite the ticket.

  6. Axel, YEC strikes some of us as a non-issue. As Sal Cordova points out in his post above today, consciousness is an enigma. It would be an enigma no matter what defensible Earth age you want to pick. I’ve never had a problem with NASA’s dating; I find it organized and convenient, but it’s not really a solution to key unanswered questions. – O’Leary for News.

  7. I’m sure that’s true, Denyse. But enigmas are a big ‘no-no’ for materialists, since they are the ‘nemesis’ entailed by the ‘hubris’, of the risible worthlessness of their fabled ‘promissory note’. Paradoxical thinggies like QM are kinda … counter-intuitive..

    I suspect they have a nagging hunch that a square can’t be simultaneously a circle. Nothing definite, you know. It’s not as if it were repugnant to logic or anything like that.

    And look where their ‘hubris’ has taken the bolder (or more brazen) astrophysicists…! A multiworld, string theories, insemination of the planet by extraterrestrials, and conjectured dark matter, as arcane as the Zodiac.

    But what more plausible candidate for an interface between the Creator’s Spirit and matter than photons, their ambiguous manifestation being only partially empirically observable – and that subjectively.

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