update: My blog post was removed from the “related articles” section and my comment has still not made it out of moderation. I feel pretty confident in my assertion below that the writer of “Poetic Mapping” doesn’t want his/her ideas challenged. Pretty typical, especially for a Chopra supporter.
Someday, people are going to learn to check a blog before they ping it and include it in their “related articles,” (seriously, who doesn’t do that? I always read it first, or at least scan it).
The blog, Poetic Mapping: Walking into Art has pinged me and so I’ve challenged them. We’ll see if my comment gets through moderation (often, they don’t. Theists –– even vaguely-defined Chopra-esque theists –– often don’t want their ideas challenged right on their own blogs).
The blog post in question is titled, “NaBloPoMo XII: God in the Post-Newtonian Era” and makes such statements as,
“I don’t think the argument [between Richard Dawkins and Deepak Chopra] can be won either way until we understand the reasons why, for example, someone is diagnosed with a massive terminal cancer one day that disappears entirely overnight. I don’t think the argument can be won either way until we have the answers to the universe, largely consisting of the mystery of dark matter. We live in the Post-Newtonian Era. I think it’s time for a Post-Newtonian approach to scientific reasoning that includes an investigation of non-falsifiables (such as experiences deemed psychic/spiritual).”
That’s a lot, so I won’t even go into the statement about “non-falsifiables” and how the lack of a null hypothesis renders experimentation useless. I instead concentrated on a sharing a little bit of critical thinking. If you can get people to ask “why, how,” and “what if,” you have hopefully made a good start. So here’s my comment in full, for posterity!
“I don’t think the argument can be won either way until we understand the reasons why, for example, someone is diagnosed with a massive terminal cancer one day that disappears entirely overnight. “
We don’t have to answer each instance of this definitively, we just have to offer more reasonable and likely natural explanations than “God diddit.” Equipment or human error, misread results, mislabeled tests… In terms of not-overnight remission of cancer, some forms do shrink themselves over time with very little treatment. It’s not a miracle, but something we need to be understanding much better to see if we can learn something about why those cancers are different than the more savage ones.
Despite Deepak’s post hoc ergo proctor hoc, you might want to ask yourself some questions about the nature of your universe pie-maker. Perhaps, if it really is removing tumors from certain people, what criteria is it using to choose them while thousands of other suffer? Or, if you can’t explain something as complex and mysterious as the universe without a “higher” being, then what do you use to explain this higher being, assuming he’s a complex being himself (otherwise what’s the point in worship?)
I think I did pretty well, don’t you?