The stick didn’t work, so the carrot was dangled this morning.
Really, what do you think the chances are that this invitation came because Chopra really wanted to hear my views on science, versus the chance that he could use my name (as he does at the top of this screed) as someone who has participated in these woo-fests? The latter tactic—coopting scientists—is the Templeton Foundation Strategy. (BTW, I’m sad to hear that several well-known atheist/scientists are participating in this year’s Templeton-sponsored World Science Festival, including at least one who said he/she would never take Templeton money.)
At any rate, $4000 is not chump change, California is a nice place to visit, and if this were a reputable science meeting, or even a science-and society-meeting, rather than an instantiation of Big Quackery. I’d consider it. But as it is, I’ve sent my polite regrets. My reputation, such as it is, is not for sale.
My own comments are in bold.
Dear Professor Coyne,
On behalf of Deepak Chopra and The Chopra Foundation, I would like to invite you to participate as one of our speakers at The Chopra Foundation Sages and Scientists Symposium 2014. The dates are August 22-24, 2014 at La Costa Resort and Spa where my center is located.
It’s a three-day event with rich content on the topics of:
• Science and Consciousness
• Well being
• Peace and Justice
• World Transformation: Critical Issues with Creative Solutions
We also infuse the creative arts throughout the program as a form of critical thinking [???] — music, dance, poetry, etc. All of these components support the foundation’s mission: together we can help to create a more peaceful, just, sustainable, happier, and healthy world.
Past speakers have included Hans Peter Duerr, Henry Stapp, Rustum Roy, Leonard Mlodinow, Michael Shermer [SHAME ON HIM] , Joe Primack, Bruce Rosenblum, Lothar Schafer, Menas Kafatos, Rudy Tanzi [SHAME ON HIM], Subhash Kak, Neil Theise, Allan Savory, Amit Goswami, Bernard Haisch, Dean Ornish, Dean Radin, Dimitar Sasselov, Donald Hoffman, Duane Elgin, Elisabet Sahtouris, Elissa Epel, Fred Kuttner, Patrick Flanagan, Daniel Siegel, Richard Davidson, Stuart Hameroff, VA Shiva, Vilayanur Ramachandran and Murali Doraiswamy. Below is this year’s confirmed speaker’s list. [I recognize very few of these names, but I know mostly scientists, not sages]
In appreciation of your support, we will provide you with roundtrip economy air travel, hotel room and taxes, and honorarium of USD $4,000.00. [SUBSTANTIAL HONORARIUM, AT LEAST FOR A SCIENTIST] Additionally, we will gift you with complimentary program registration for you and the guest of your choice. Registration includes program lectures and materials, private Patron/Speaker activities, and program meals.
I am hoping that you will consider joining us. Should you like to discuss our invitation, I am reachable at [PHONE NUMBER REDACTED].
Thank you for your consideration and I look forward to hearing from you.
The Chopra Foundation
About The Chopra Foundation
Mission: To participate with individuals and organizations in creating a critical mass for a peaceful, just, sustainable, and healthy world.
1. Education and Research
– Self Directed Biological Transformation Study
– Mediation and the Aging
– Meditation and digital technology
a. Annual Sages and Scientists Symposium (www.choprafoundation.org)
b. Annual prizes to Sages and Scientists for contribution to the understanding of consciousness and their contribution to the betterment of humanity.
c. Collaboration with universities and institutions on research on the scientific understanding of consciousness.
2. Global Networks for Global and Personal Transformation
a. Collaboration with and support
– Food for Education – <http://www.foodforeducation.org>www.foodforeducation.org
– Project Why – <http://www.projectwhy.org>www.projectwhy.org
– Peace is a Lifestyle – peaceisalifestyle.com
– Weightless Project – weightlessproject.org
– Death Makes Life Possible Documentary
The Chopra Foundation Symposium
Sages and Scientists 2014
• Jack Andraka, Gordon E. Moore Award at Intel International Science and Engineering Fair and the Smithsonian American Ingenuity Award
• Anirban Bandyopadhyay, Senior Scientist in the National Institute for Materials Science (NIMS) Tsukuba, Japan.
• Keith Black, MD, Chairman and Professor, Department of Neurosurgery, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center [SHAME ON HIM]
• Gretchen Bleiler, Pro Snowboarder, Olympian, and Chopra Center Certified Teacher [THIS ISN’T A SCIENTIST, SO IT MUST BE A SAGE]
•Josephine Briggs, Director of National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine at the National Institutes of Health [DOUBLE SHAME ON ON HER! BUT OF COURSE THAT INSTITUTE, WHICH HAS NOT COME UP WITH ANY USEFUL “COMPLEMENTARY AND ALTERNATIVE” THERAPIES, FITS RIGHT IN WITH THIS MEETING. WILL THE GOVERNMENT LET HER ACCEPT THE $4000?]
• Deepak Chopra, MD. FACP, Founder of The Chopra Foundation, New York Times Bestselling author, Super Brain, War of the Worldviews, The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success and many more
• Steve Clemons, Washington Editor-At-Large for The Atlantic and National Journal; and Editor-in-Chief of AtlanticLIVE, National Journal LIVE, and QuartzLIVE. He is also Editor-at-Large for Quartz and an MSNBC contributor
• P. Murali Doraiswamy, MD, Professor of Psychiatry and Medicine at Duke University [SHAME ON HIM]
• Dr. Edith Eva Eger, Author and Lecturer, faculty appointment at the University of California, San Diego
• Elissa Epel, PhD, Associate Professor at University of California, San Francisco, in the department of Psychiatry, Co-founder of Telome Health, Inc., 2013 Rustum Roy Spirit Award Recipient
• Stuart Hameroff, MD, physician and researcher at the University Medical Center and Center for Consciousness Studies, and co-author with Sir Roger Penrose – Orchestrated Reduction Of Quantum Coherence In Brain Microtubules: A Model For Consciousness? 2011 Recipient of The Chopra Foundation Award
• Donald Hoffman, Cognitive Scientists and Author, 2013 Rustum Roy Spirit Award Recipient
• Thomas Insel, Director, National Institute of Mental Health [SHAME ON HIM]
• Sheena Iyengar, ST Lee Professor of Business, Columbia Business School Director of the Global Leadership Matrix (GleaM) Program
• Menas Kafatos, physicist, Founding Dean, Schmid College of Science, Vice Chancellor for Special Projects, Director of the Center for Excellence in Applied, Fundamental and Computational Science Professor, and author – The Nonlocal Universe and The Conscious Universe. 2011 Recipient of The Chopra Foundation Award
• Zoe Keating, One woman orchestra, Creative
• Christof Koch, PhD, Biophysics and Author, Chief Scientific Officer at the Allen Institute for Brain Science
• Poonacha Machaiah, cofounder BodyMindand.Me, CEO of ABOVE – A Bunch of Versatile Entrepreneurs
• Fred Matser, Entrepreneur, Humanitarian, and Author
• Leonard Mlodinow, PhD, Author, Subliminal: How Our Unconscious Mind Rules Our Behavior, Co Author, War of the Worldviews
• Efren Penaflorida, Pushcart Educator, 2009 CNN Hero of the Year, Dynamic Teen Company
• Kyra Phillips, Anchor/Correspondent, CNN, Documentary/Investigative [I HOPE SHE’S DOING INVESTIGATIVE WORK HERE]
• Masami Saionji, Chairperson of Byakko Shinko Kai, The World Peace Prayer Society, The Goi Peace Foundation, Author
• Eric Schadt, PhD, Director of the Icahn Institute for Genomics and Multiscale Biology
• Erhard Seiler, PhD, Physicist, Max-Planck-Institut fur Physik, Munich [SHAME ON HIM]
• Shaw-Child Family: Desmond Childs, Curtis Shaw, Nero and Roman Childs-Shaw, and Angela Whittaker
• Raj Sisodia, Co founder and Co Chairman of Conscious Capitalism, Inc.
• Jason Silva, Media Artist
• Sonima Foundation: Eugene Ruffin, Executive Director of Sonima Foundation, Dr. David Miyashrio, Superintendent of Cajon Valley Union School District, Dr. Timothy B. Baird, Superintendent of Encinitas Union School District, Scott Himelstein, former deputy Secretary of Education and Acting Secretary of Education for the State of California, Stedman Graham, Chairman and CEO of S. Graham Associates
• Steven Steinhubl, MD, Director of Digital Medicine at the Scripps Translational Science Institute, Clinical Cardiologist at Scripps Health
• Tara Stiles, founder and owner of Strala
• Eddie Stern, Co Director, Ashtanga Yoga, New York
• Rudolph E. Tanzi, Ph.D., Joseph P. and Rose F. Kennedy, Professor of Neurology, Harvard Medical School; Director, and coauthor – Super Brain, 2012 Recipient of The Chopra Foundation Award
• Neil Theise, MD, Pathologist, Adult Stem Cell Researcher, Professor of Pathology and Medicine, Beth Israel Medical Center of Albert Einstein College of Medicine [SHAME ON HIM]
• Robert Thurman, Jey Tsong Khapa Professor of Indo-Tibetan Buddhist Studies at Columbia University, Author, Co Foun
• Eric Topol, MD, Scripps Translational Science Institute, Professor of Genomics at The Scripps Research Institute
• Nobel Laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Mpho Tutu [PITY I WON’T GET TO MEET HIM]
•Pim van Lommel, MD, NDE-researcher, author of ‘Consciousness beyond Life’. [LOL. BUT I’M SURE THAT THE HEAD OF THE NIH’S CENTER FOR COMPLEMENTARY AND ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE WILL ENJOY CHATTING WITH DR. VAN LOMMEL]
• Bruce Vaughn, Chief Creative Executive Walt Disney Imagineering‹
In fact, shame on them all. But four thousand bucks is four thousand bucks, especially when you get paid to spend a weekend at a resort and spa in California.
What I’m wondering is why a man who has repeatedly engaged in invective against me, to the point of calling me an “evolutionary maladapted Homo Erectus” [sic], as evidenced below, would suddenly dangle this carrot before me?
In other words, why would Chopra invite an “ignoramus and a buffoon”, and someone “incapable of abstract thinking,” to such a distinguished gathering of woosters?
The answer’s pretty clear.