Deepak Chopra Explains It All For You: Conscious Photons!

By Carl Zimmer | August 24, 2005 5:01 pm

Well, Dr. Chopra has given us part two of his ruminations on evolution with a post that will make physicists cringe as much as biologists.

My favorite line: “Consciousness may exist in photons, which seem to be the carrier of all information in the universe.”

Excuse me while I chat with my flashlight.

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Evolution

Comments (12)

  1. darwinfinch

    How spiritual! How profound! How SMUG!

    How utterly, painfully ridiculous!

    People seem to desire literature that speaks to them, or simply confounds but impresses them, to be proven LITERALLY true, which in this age means that it interpret “science” as proving by experiment its own Truths as being objective, scientific truth. This has often been done cleverly and with reasonable honesty, and is sometimes interesting (I liked Capra [Copra?], as well as that “noosphere” or something Frenchman, as a teen), but finally is entirely besides ANY point, reality being what it is.

    That things like ID and the above are offered, and paid for, as “explanations” proves only that a lazy, vain sucker is born at least every minute.

  2. Greg Peterson

    The idea that photons carry “all the information in the universe” would probably come as quite a surprise to Dembski. What would become of his brand of pseudo-information theory in (unavoidable pun) light of this notion?

  3. Juke Moran

    I rue the day that sees me even faintly begin to defend Mr. Chopra’s artificially-sweetened pop-metaphysical tidbits, but…
    The idea that consciousness is an electro-magnetic cloud of amorphous and shifting architecture that arises spontaneously in the neuronal interstices of the brain?
    As I understand it that’s the consensus, or close to as much of a consensus as there is.
    There’s a nifty sleight-of-hand whereby the susceptible can be almost convinced of their own non-existence by a careful explanation of the illusion of selfhood produced by the body’s need for a brain to regulate its actions.
    Defying that is more an act of faith than it is a reading of the evidence.
    “I am, by golly.”
    And nobody really understands exactly what photons are.

  4. Here in Turkey we have a saying: one lunatic threw a stone into a well, and ten people couldn’t get it out. I get that feeling whenever I come across statements like “If we came from monkeys, how come the monkeys are still there?” or “Why have sharks stayed the same for zillions of years?” Anyone who read a book about dinosaurs written for ten-year-old kids would be able to answer that question.

    The only other case where I have seen such repetitive arguments in the face of the evidence is when I used to hang out with people who took amphetamines and couldn’t remember what was said to them five minutes earlier.

  5. Juke Moran

    On the other hand there’s Paul Erdös.
    And then on still another hand if I could find one there’s Chopra’s third leading “principle”:

    3. The primary evidence for intelligence in the universe isn’t design but consciousness. In some mysterious way Nature knows what it is doing.

    which is scary.

  6. cats

    Buddha says: there’re 84,000 bugs in a drop of water.

    Chopra says: Consciousness may exist in photons, which seem to be the carrier of all information in the universe.

    Oh, give me a break…

  7. Don’t we all have something better to do read Chopra’s drivel?

  8. The assertion that photons carry consciousness is disproved by the existance of Talk Radio.

  9. Photons?

    No surprise – what comes out of your flashlight isn’t much different from Deepak Chopras’s thoughts (except for the frequency).

  10. Actually, you all misunderstand poor Deepak. As you should be able to tell by his name, he is a Vulcan. What he is saying, essentially, is: Photon torpedos were very intelligently designed.

    Many people have tried to reason with Deepak in the past two days. While he clamors for reasonable discussion of his ideas, all he does is toss them forth and then run from them to his next quickly posted message as soon as it “gets hot”. He discusses nothing. There were nearly 100 highly insightful answers to his “questions”
    and one might have hoped he would make his next post a response to some of the best arguements. Instead, in just slightly over 24 hours, he put up 3 different posts.

  11. Antonio

    In a very simple way Capra may be right. think about it this way…Using logic: Scientists all aggree that (for the most part) all life on the earth is powered by the sun. Science roughly equates life being defined by the presence of consciousness. If we strictly adhered to the principles of evolution from the primodial soup. Life occured when inorganic material in the presence of sun light mysteriously “sparked” to life. Logically, life (consciousness) must come from the Sun (light energy). If this is so can not we conclude photons (packets of light) are directy related to consciousness? Draw your own conclusions, I haven’t read Chopra’s book, but it seems he must have tried to hard to explain this very simple and appearently evident relationship.

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The Loom

A blog about life, past and future. Written by DISCOVER contributing editor and columnist Carl Zimmer.

About Carl Zimmer

Carl Zimmer writes about science regularly for The New York Times and magazines such as DISCOVER, which also hosts his blog, The LoomHe is the author of 12 books, the most recent of which is Science Ink: Tattoos of the Science Obsessed.

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