Deepak apologizes

May 29, 2014 • 10:06 am

I wouldn’t have seen this, as I don’t follow Twi**er, but I got an email from Chopra calling my attention to the following tw**t:

Screen shot 2014-05-29 at 11.56.11 AMIt was big of him to do this, though I wish it hadn’t appeared just when I said I wasn’t coming to to his Foundation’s conference, and, in my refusal, gave examples of his nasty tw**ts.  That may have given him the impression that my nonattendance was a petulant gesture because he’d been “mean” to me.

Well, his Twi**er invective did bother me a bit, but of course the real reason I’m don’t want to attend is the same reason why I don’t debate creationists: I don’t want to dignify pseudoscience, or give it credibility, by appearing on the platform with its advocates.

So I do accept Chopra’s apology, and laud him for being big enough to admit his meanness—which I still fail to understand given his fame and wealth and my own status as a minnow. But I still cannot bring myself to go to the conference, in which what real science is on tap seems deeply polluted with woo.  And I still reserve the right to criticize pseudoscience, even if it comes from someone who’s tendered an apology. Given a choice between Chopra withdrawing his “mean remarks” to me and his withdrawing his unsubstantiated claims about evolution, consciousness, and the like, there’s no doubt which I’d prefer.


37 thoughts on “Deepak apologizes

  1. Narcissists like Chopra and Bill O’Reilly often respond to criticism you wouldn’t expect them to even notice.

    1. We hear of “No Drama Obama,” vis-à-vis his even-tempered response to critics (e.g., the NY Times’s Maureen Dowd) who try to rake him over the coals for not feeding their bloviating emotion habit, especially those in that hotbed of narcissism and entitlement, the U.S. Congress, whom we “Exceptional” Amuricuns (of our own “free will”?) choose to elect.

      Lyndon Johnson on being president: “It’s like being a mule out in a hailstorm; you just have to stand there and take it.”

      Highly recommend Christopher Lasch’s “The Culture of Narcissism.”

    2. I have dealt with a couple of narcissists at work and it’s amazing how skewed their values are. Things that most people would brush off are big deals to them.

      1. And it is hilarious how skewed their own views of themselves are. They have absolutely no self awareness. I once had one tell me they were almost a “certified genius”. I laughed for weeks about that one, trying to figure out how one becomes certified & who the review board is.

  2. This happens with Chopra all the time. He gets worked up and mean and then apologizes. It is big of him to apologize but he really needs to change his behaviour so he no longer needs to apologize. As my high school Latin teacher used to say (when we apologized for either acting up in class – usually me for joking about funny pictures in our Latin books – or screwed up or Latin – translated lead when it is led), “I’m sorry” means “I will never do it again”.

    1. “…he really needs to change his behaviour…”

      He probably has a genetic disposition towards having a short temper. Of course, I’m sure that he thinks he can change those genetics….there’s a way to test woo embedded in there, but I doubt that he’ll follow up on it.

  3. I congratulate for your sensible and rational position. I still feel these Chopra’s apologies are not honest. And this is not the first time Chopra has engaged on personal and vile attacks. If I am not wrong, in a interview to Bill O’Reilly, Chopra lashed out Richard Dawkins with personal attacks, which, as expected, were celebrated by O’Reilly himself.

  4. Some years ago I read about an Italian con man who to bolster his reputation would hold a symposium to which many Nobel Prize winners would come. He would get them there with the gift of first class air travel and a week in a luxury hotel.

  5. If Chopra’s own theories were correct, couldn’t he just meditate a bit in order to change Jerry’s DNA into accepting?

    1. Or at the very least shouldn’t he be an exemplar of equanimity?

      It’s funny how self-help gurus often struggle with the very problems for which they claim to have solutions.

  6. What an interesting turn of events!

    Jerry, your response was on the mark but I can’t help but wonder if this is some devious ploy by Chopra.

    1. I think Jerry is being more gracious than I could be.

      I’m not sure of Chopra’s sincerity. He apologises for “mean” remarks, which I think trivialises the offence. I saw them as deeply vindictive.


      1. I’d say that they weren’t merely “mean” (which implies they could still be true), IMO they were maliciously false and defamatory.

      2. I see this as a classic nonpology calculated to improve Chopra’s chances of achieving his ultimate goal–bathing in the imprimatur of having a U of Chicago Professor of Evolutionary Biology on his quack panel.

          1. You’re right, it’s gotten (or has always been) quite personal to DC.

            And I’m sure I meant “basking,” but thanks for ignoring that.

  7. Check the time stamps. It is 10:42 pacific time. His apology tweet is stamped two hours ago. Your post is stamped 5am.

    He didn’t apologize until *after* your post about his invitation, and *well after* the invitation was emailed to you. So it is not your fault for pointing out his nasty tweets again. You didn’t miss anything. His apology is post hoc.

  8. It seems to me the not-pology from a scammer of the quantum proportions of Deepity is worth about as much as a bucket of warm woo.

    What does a bucket of woo go for these days, anyway?

    Oh, here it is:

    Bucket o’ Woo – $19.95
    But, wait, there’s more! With each purchase we’ll throw in a Quatloo of Quantum Consciousness ABSOLUTELY FREE!! That’s right, folks, a Bucket o’ Woo AND Quantum Consciousness for the low, low price of $19.95. Operators are standing by.

    Call BR-549 extension WooBaby NOW!

  9. I don’t think the apology was sincere. I think he saw your posting this morning about the invitation, your refusal, and acted hopefully on the slim calculation that if he offered an apology, you would change your mind and attend, giving him a victory of sorts.

  10. Deepak is amazingly insecure after all his time at this game, despite all his media recognition and subsequent commercial success. He has to have been admonished many times over the years by the woo community to refrain from paranoid lashing out at academics who refuse to sign on with his scheme. I suspect he betrays acute awareness of an inner void where conviction in his beliefs should reside.

  11. A noble and gracious acceptance of the apology from Professor Ceiling Cat.

    But there’s no doubt in my mind, after watching Chopra for more than a decade that his apologies are just as manipulative and slippery as everything else he does.

    After months of taunting, deluded gloating and absurd insults — all in proximity to his stupid conference, there is no way that he has suddenly realized the error of his ways. He’ll be back alternately provoking and spitting poison soon enough.

  12. I wouldn’t have accepted Chopra’s apology. What really matters is that people (a) admit their errors, (b) make some type of promise to at least try to address the error, and (c) follow through on their promise.

    Considering how few people these days do parts (b) and especially (c), I’ve come to think of an accepted apology and nothing more than granting permission to make the same mistake again.

    1. I agree. I think apologies by serial bullies are really just an additional form of manipulation, like a spousal abuser who “apologizes” after each beating they give their spouse. Until and unless Deepak repents his bullying ways and demonstrates that he has, in fact, changed then it isn’t really “big of him” to apologize, just opportunistic, to get something he wants.

  13. Chopra will probably never change his beliefs and will continue to to spout his pseudoscientific babble.Using quantum pshycics terms to give his babble some credibility to those who fail to question the accuracy of his comments.

  14. I am coming around to your point of view about debating creationists. Such debates only give them publicity, and will change few minds. We all need to work on finding effective ways to change minds–not through coercion of course, but simply holding their feet to the fire by asking pointed questions in a nonthreatening manner.

    One question I always ask, after having had some unproductive back-and-forth, is “What, if anything, would cause you to begin to question your religious beliefs?” (There are other ways to word the question, but that’s essentially it.) I’ve never really gotten a thoughtful answer to date. Usually they will say “nothing” or won’t answer at all.

    1. You saw how Hambone muffed that one didn’t you? It was shamefully stupid and he acted like he’s never considered the question before.

  15. An apology video following the apology video format, this time to Dawkins:

    What’s this spiritual master up to? His conflict with us radical materialists is hardly going through any meaningful changes. Why does he keep losing his cool over the same old stuff, and then apologizing?

      1. You have to be born in the US for the presidency, I think. Else Schwarzenneger probably would be president now. 🙂

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