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Digital Subscriptions > Skeptical Inquirer > Jan Feb 2016 > Deepak Chopra’s ‘Physics’

Deepak Chopra’s ‘Physics’

Deepak Chopra attempts to connect fundamental concepts of physics to consciousness and spirituality. He started (ab)using physics with his book Quantum Healing. But does he pass the first test of a true scientist: professional integrity?

It Starts with a Swindle

Crackpot scientists are very fond of abusing and trivializing science—especially physics—and particularly fundamental physics. It is therefore critical to fight crackpot science where it hurts the most: at the fundamental level. While there is much critique of the promoters of pseudoscience and their ideas are debunked at the factual level, few profound analyses of the fallacy of the way they misuse fundamental science are available. My purpose in this article is to help fill this gap.

One of the early trivializers of fundamental physics is Deepak Chopra, whose indiscriminate use of words such as quantum, energy, field, and non-locality renders them as frivolous as a burp after a course of tandoori chicken. Accordingly, it is worthwhile to examine his “physics” and unravel the egregious conceptual blunders he incessantly concocts, especially when these blunders serve as the foundation for the conclusions that he touts as scientific facts to his readers and followers.

The Book

Chopra came to prominence by publishing Quantum Healing, a trend-setting book on mind/body medicine in which he beguiles his readers into believing that Ayurveda, the traditional Indian medicine, has a scientific basis. His mission ever since has been to tout the message that the universe is conscious, that consciousness creates and governs matter, and that modern physics is at the heart of this message. The pernicious tactic that he uses for this purpose is to decorate his speeches and writings with the names of famous physicists such as Einstein, Planck, Schrödinger, and Heisenberg and to attribute his own ideas about mind and matter to them.

Since Quantum Healing initiated the fashionable trivialization of one of the greatest scientific and intellectual achievements of mankind, it is instructive to present for the layperson a rigorous scientific evaluation of that book’s content. But first we have to evaluate the professional integrity of the author. After all, the primary premise of science is honesty. Stanley Pons and Martin Fleischmann were credible scientists before their hasty announcement of the discovery of cold fusion in March 1989, after which they fell out of grace in the scientific community (Huizenga 1992). Does Quantum Healing stand the test of scientific honesty?

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The ‘Lie Detector’ Test Revisited: A Great Example of Junk Science Trends in Scientific Knowledge, Education, and Religion The Science of Meaning Mistaken Memories of Vampires: Pseudohistories and much more.
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