History, Evolution, and The Darwin Debate

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Chopra on evolution

April 11th, 2015 · No Comments


The amusing article at the Dawkins site on Chopra echoes my own post on Chopra (link above) but I am suddenly mindful that better stated, ironically by this critic, Chopra’s views point to something his critics don’t see: he is aware of the problems with darwinism. For Dawkins fan club members to make fun of him for this is a bad way to go: there Chopra will be proven right. Darwinism is on the way out.
Chopra’s great heresy is??:

An emerging view, alternate to Darwin’s random mutations & natural selection is that consciousness may be the driver of complexity/evolution.

If darwnism fails these sentiment will pop out of the brain in a more than random cascade of thought mutations. The correct response to this statement is, prove it.

It is ironic that ‘consciousness’ as the term is used by Bennett, frequently cited here, is also a cosmic energy (at a low scale, ‘god’ and buddha are way beyond what we call ‘consciousness’) and it just might be able to do something about evolution. Evolution by natural selection fails, but even a slight derandomizer could greatly increase the odds of a process closing on a ‘design principle’, but never quite there. It would be an equivalent to Maxwell’s demon in some sense and partition probabilities.
That’s a nice idea, yet I have no evidence it is true. We will solve the evolution mystery in short order when we get a handle on the way it works, observe it. If it is design process, OK. If it is a derandomizer that tweaks probabilities then OK. I can’t guess here.

Meanwhile Chopra the new age guru gets a bad press next to a good press. Chopra never claimed to be an enlightened guru, so he is not a fraud, as so many say. He is an Indian public intellectual on a global stage who writes a lot of books which people read. He is still a man on a path, something his public teaching belies.
I think that he could outsmart himself and start thinking he is a what he is not.
In any case, I am not sure, but I think that the bald statement that consciousness drives evolution in some sense is probably just verbiage, as yet.
His money is obcence and I think he should spread the wealth. I could use a smart piece of his action, in my buddhist beggar’s bowl.
The question of wealth and meditation is treacherous. Spiritual poverty is dubious, but the poor Gautama brought enlightenment and hope to many, many of them poor.
A rich man buddha who reached enlightenment would dash the hopes of the spiritually poor and send them into a new form of despair. And riches and enlightenment would fuel the cruelties of a host of vultures, Ayn Rand types, would could mock the poor and torture them, as a gesture of the enlightened. It was like that once before when the enlightened could torture the poor as unenlightened, and Nietzsche proposed its revival, but that form of enlightenment turned out to be a high octane fraud, soon gone, in a smirk of Shiva with his trident. So in the end Chopra will do a round trip to beggary. It won’t be long now. I find the question not very much to worry about. Gautama finished off the lushes. Buddha walking out of the palace was somehow decisive.
But a cash advance in my begging bowl could sure help.

There can be no question, Chopra is an idiot, but you are either a buddha or a complete idiot, so it follows.

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