Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Deepak Chopra drops the woo bomb

You know you're in for some first class Chopra woo (or, as I think I'll call it from now on, Choprawoo, given that Dr. Chopra has "distinguished" himself with a certain kind of credulous woo that has become his trademark and therefore deserves a word of its own to describe it) from the very beginning:
The mystery of life cannot be solved without answering one essential question. Why are human beings intelligent? In common understanding, we are intelligent because of our brains, our brains are intelligent because of the operation of brain cells, and brain cells operate because of genes. By this reasoning, either genes must be intelligent in their own right, or by some magic of chemistry, molecules that lack intelligence produce it when combined in various ways.

So, is this whole line of thinking false? To a materialist it must be true without question, and any attempt to find intelligence outside the brain--meaning outside DNA--is preposterous. Except that it isn't.
Straw man argument. Scientists do not consider any attempt to find intelligence outside of DNA "preposterous." It is not a reasonable inference to conclude that because our brains are "intelligent" must imply that our genes are also "intelligent," nor do scientists make that argument. This is one big straw man combined with an argument from ignorance. It's an astounding simplification of how organs function.

(You know you live in an intellectually debased world when idiots like Chopra are rich celebrities.)

Posted via email from Garth's posterous

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