Dawkins pursues Chopra’s Million Dollar Challenge

June 17, 2014 • 5:22 pm

Richard tw**ed the following a few days ago after Deepak put up his video offering a million dollars to solve the “Hard Problem” of consciousness.

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Then a bunch of people took it seriously (go here and here), some being quite critical.

So Dawkins had to clarify:

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I’m starting to wonder whether a sense of humor is a dying virtue.


48 thoughts on “Dawkins pursues Chopra’s Million Dollar Challenge

  1. Both tw**ts of The Good Doctor’s are ‘ust hilarious ! cuz they are so, so true !

    And — further — as re “ … you might lack background information,” why, that is t.h.e. entirety o’ those that ‘d call themselves my detractors and my foes !

    Ha ! These are mighty precious !

  2. Oh, please, it’s obvious to anyone with a mind/body duality that green is the frequency of quantum vibrations in the universal consciousness that correspond to jealousy – and it is not bound by your reductionist, materialist “science”. Duh. QED.

    Hard to believe Dawkins doesn’t get that…


      1. Speaking as a geologist, I endorse this statement.
        Now would be an appropriate time to go for a bicycle ride.

  3. This is the reason hashtags exist in Twitter: adding something like #ChopraChallenge would make it clear that that the tweet has a very specific background information, and not just a stand-alone joke.

  4. The underlying “reason” the universe(s) exists is that there is no such thing as nothing: consciousness, being a manifestation of that which is already here, cannot be the “reason” for, or cause behind, existence, any more than you can define a set by something that is included IN that set.

    Reality has a “persistence of existence” that indicates that it is not determined by our consciousness: I can leave a room and come back later, and everything’s still the same (taking into account the effects of time and other events, which are usually easily explainable); we have documents, artifacts, etc. from history that indicate that this world was here long before OUR consciousness came into being. One might ask, “If consciousness ‘creates’ the world, WHOSE consciousness? Mine? The bum on the corner?” Deepcrap treads very close to solipsism in his assertions, but it’s been apparent for a long time that one of the tenets of the “New Age” woo-wooers is, “You ARE God”

    I know one thing: if I WAS God, you better believe that my life, and this world, would be significantly different than they are now!

    1. I think people (as do I) have difficulty getting our heads around the notion of time being dependant on our concious concept of it. For example, why do we perceive a second as a second rather then a year?
      Is the “rate of change” of the universe dependent on a conciousness that is perceiving it (ie. our sense of the rate of “time”) or does it exist outside of it? It may, but without a concept of time what is the real “rate of change”? Without concious creatures “experiencing time” the universe is over as soon as it began, is it not?
      I am obviously not a physicist but I have a feeling it has something to do with the speed of light. Basically, how does the universe work without the conecpt of time?
      If someobody could dumb down an explanation for me it would be great.

      1. Actually, it is rather complicated and the puzzle of time is a major topic of research in physics these days. Almost all of our major physical theories, that are very very accurate, are symmetrical with respect to the direction of time. The equations work, make sense, going forward or backward in time. Per the theories it is as permissable for an event to be undone as it is for it to be done.

        There are two notable exceptions to this. One is the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics which describes entropy. Entropy, by the way, is no more dependent on consciousness than gravity or electromagnetism. Whether or not anyone is there to perceive it or not, there is no good reason whatsoever to suppose that entropy would not continue plodding along as our theories describe, and a whole lot of reasons to suppose that it would.

        The other is the process of “measurement” in quantum mechanics.

        “Alone among all of the well-accepted laws of physics, quantum measurement is a process that defines an arrow of time: Once you do it, you can’t undo it. And that’s a mystery. [Sean Carroll, From Eternity To Here: The Quest For The Ultimate Theory Of Time, Chapter 11]

        To make things even more fun there is no clear understanding or agreement even among experts on just what constitutes a measurement (observation), or what exactly happens when it occurs (wave function collapse). One thing is clear though, and that is that the maths that describe this do not allow for going back after the wave function has been measured and thereby collapsed. And the theory has been very precisely accurate in predicting observations and experiment results for decades.

        1. Thanks, looks like I’ll have to check out Sean Carroll’s book.
          Deepak seems to be engaging in the age old religious tradition of inserting supernatural assertions into these areas that are not yet fully understood, then claiming that it’s good for us. All the hallmarks of religious bunk.

    2. I suspect that part of Chopra’s success comes from the fact that his fans don’t need to feel that they are God, but are happy to be told that they are *a* god. As long as Chopra’s “philosophy” leads people there, he will always have customers.

  5. Out of the Twitter replies to Dawkins, it looks to me that only one misses the point. The others are just flippantly playing around.

  6. Dawkins is being a bit naive if he thinks that everybody will obviously recognize his identification of love with a quantum spiritual energy vibrations as sarcasm. 95% of DCs followers will probably have read it and though – oh wow, Dawkins, that’ such a deep insight into the soul of the universe!

    1. Hasn’t somebody already produced the random deepity program? You ask it a question and out pops a deepity? Theologians better be looking over their shoulders — they’ll be out of work soon. 🙂

  7. Science still can’t explain where the wind goes when it stops. It must go into another dimension, until it decides that it serves the highest good for it to come back.

    1. Wind goes to a state of Quantum Indeterminacy which these days is somewhere between the state of Kansas and the state of Nebraska.
      Oh, and jealousy (green) is a combination of sadness(blue) about losing your love and fear(yellow) of doing anything about it. QED
      OK, I know that that’s only a thought experiment so Dawkins only has to think about sending me my million bucks.

    2. Everyone knows that, when the wind dies, it goes to wind heaven where it can blow to its heart’s content.

      1. Indeed. If you aren’t sure whether someone is being sarcastic or not, just check if they are British or Australian.

  8. My share of banalities:

    Not eveerybody will uncerstand Dawkins’ sarcasms because on the internet the audience can be extremely diverse.

    I, for instance, a non native speaker of English, understood that Dawkins was joking, because I know him, but failed to find what was funny.

    Some people who do not even know Dawkins that well will misunderstand him even more.

    Dawkins, whom I love, by the way, writes “If you don’t understand a tweet (… )” The problem is that you may not realise that you do not understand the tweet.

  9. Prof Dawkins, you’re not in America now. you need to spell out SARCASM in letters 10 METRES tall, not that ‘Merkin unit of measure.

  10. It’s actually a misconception that jealousy is green. In fact, only its eyes are green. The colour of the rest of it is unspecified.

    “O, beware, my lord, of jealousy;
    It is the green-ey’d monster, which doth mock
    The meat it feeds on.”

    — Iago in Othello, by W Shakespeare.

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