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  • Dressing Down The President

  • Happy Birthday, Brigadier

  • Ice-cold humour (Thanks to David for the link)


  • Pascal's wager, Odin's loophole and the afterlife preview challange

  • Biocentrism Demystified

    “It is almost irresistible for humans to believe that we have some special relation to the universe, that human life is not just a more-or-less farcical outcome of a chain of accidents reaching back to the first three minutes, but that we were somehow built in from the beginning.”
    -Steven Weinberg

    “You are here to enable the divine purpose of the universe to unfold. That is how important you are.”
    -Eckhart Tolle

    1. Introduction
    The impulse to see human life as central to the existence of the universe is manifested in the mystical traditions of practically all cultures. It is so fundamental to the way pre-scientific people viewed reality that it may be, to a certain extent, ingrained in the way our psyche has evolved, like the need for meaning and the idea of a supernatural God. As science and reason dismantle the idea of the centrality of human life in the functioning of the objective universe, the emotional impulse has been to resort to finer and finer misinterpretations of the science involved. Mystical thinkers use these misrepresentations of science to paint over the gaps in our scientific understanding of the universe, belittling, in the process, science and its greatest heroes.
    In their recent article in The Huffington Post, biologist Robert Lanza and mystic Deepak Chopra put forward their idea that the universe is itself a product of our consciousness, and not the other way around as scientists have been telling us. In essence, these authors are re-inventing idealism, an ancient philosophical concept that fell out of favour with the advent of the scientific revolution. According to the idealists, the mind creates all of reality. Many ancient Eastern and Western philosophical schools subscribe to this idealistic notion of the nature of reality. In the modern context, idealism has been supplemented with a brand of quantum mysticism and relabeled as biocentrism. According to Chopra and Lanza, this idea makes Darwin’s theory of the biological evolution and diversification of life insignificant. Both these men, although they come from different backgrounds, have independently expressed these ideas before with some popular success. In the article under discussion their different styles converge to present a uniquely mystical and bizarre worldview, which we wish to debunk here.





 

Comments

why would you want to demystify biocentrism, or idealism, or solopsim, or whatever we're calling it? it's a perfectly lovely idea, congruent with heisenburg, doesn't hurt anybody. you old curmudgeon.

I love that getting stabbed by a spear is somehow a better gamble than going to church.

Valhalla awaits, you just have to arrive with a pain in the ass. Then you get to play cowboys and indians all day for as long as you want - i.e., until everybody is tired of it and Odin issues a last call. I'm with this guy, I've heard nothing about what the hell we're supposed to do in heaven that doesn't sound like a total bore. And wasn't that a surprise about Calvin - he's a sadist.

For the health care re-form legislation, I'm with Mad Kane and Dean. If reconciliation will work, OK. Otherwise, scrap it all and start again.

I'm with you Gypsy Sister. And like Mad Kane I blame Obama. Like most Democrats, he has no spine. Instead of attempting to convince Repubicans to vote for health care reform, he should have been carefully explaining the merits of a public option in a way that people could understand. He should have appointed someone as health-care 'czar' who was fully dedicated to health-care reform.. someone like Howard Dean or Hillary Clinton.

I think Obama blew it politically - no question. However, I'm not at all convinced that Hillary would have had any more success. The right-wing noise machine is vastly more developed and more bloodthirsty than it was 15 years ago when Hillary got her ass handed to her on the same issue. (Dean would have been better, I think.)

Harry and Louise were pikers compared to the full blast propaganda war Obama ran into. Again, for the life of me, I cannot understand how he could expected anything less. The only way health-care reform had a chance was if it had been rammed through by April, at the latest. He allowed the GOP to get his foot off their necks. He should have have made (and should now make) it completely clear to Lieberman that his chairmanships were and are totally conditioned on his 100% adherence to the party line on several key issues. At this point, Lieberman should be so totally crucified that Mel Gibson can make himself another torture-porn flick. (To be fair to Obama, Bush so totally screwed up everything that his administration was in crisis mode from the first day – Bill Clinton didn't face anything like the mess that Obama did and does.)

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