The Deepak, part I: Chopra goes after Professor Ceiling Cat

I have deeply affronted The Deepak with my recent piece in The New Republic criticizing him and Rupert Sheldrake.  Chopra has written an outraged letter to the magazine, flaunting his impeccable scientific credentials, and I have replied. You can read the exchange at TNR‘s online piece, “Deepak Chopra responds to pseudoscience allegations. Jerry Coyne fires back.

I must say that I quite like my response. It will make the old quack even more peevish.

What I like about Chopra is that despite his air of amiability, he’s really got a thin skin and can’t help responding. And that just gets him in more trouble. He also angers very easily when criticized, as we saw in his recent debate with Dawkins.

95 Comments

  1. Jesper Both Pedersen
    Posted November 18, 2013 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

    (http://www.popcorngif.com/61/bunny-eating-popcorn/)

    And sub.

  2. Posted November 18, 2013 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

    I recently saw a tweet Deepak made in response to the debate they had with Richard Dawkins saying he “didn’t expect him to understand – willful ignorance”, to which I responded “a shame because Richard had the perfect opportunity to observe willful ignorance during debate.”!

    Your response in the link is great, Jerry, really nail on the head type stuff!

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted November 18, 2013 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

      Chopra has arrogance in spades! I’ve seen him tweeting physicists as well trying to push is ridiculous “quantum” ideas. I mean really, he is telling physicists they are wrong, which would be fine if he backed it up but he publicly confronts them with woo crap!

    • Don
      Posted November 18, 2013 at 7:42 pm | Permalink

      Absolutely. Withering and yet serenely rational.

  3. Posted November 18, 2013 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

    Love this assessment: “that despite his air of amiability, he’s really got a thin skin and can’t help responding. And that just gets him in more trouble.”

    I see this ALL the time in certain folks, particularly withIN certain demographics … … AllYA’all already KNOW who YOU are.

    Yours quoted here, Dr Coyne, for these genrés of folks: such the perfect descriptor thereof.

    Blue

  4. µ
    Posted November 18, 2013 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

    Chopra: “Consciousness is the driver of evolution. Every time you eat a chicken or a banana it transforms into a human.”

    Chopra is right. His arguments clearly illustrate that some humans are operating with the consciousness and mental faculty of a banana.

    • Posted November 18, 2013 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

      Who else but Chopra could have the imagination to link digestion with evolution? Why not the reverse? Every time Chopra eats a nut he becomes a little more…oh, never mind.

    • Posted February 28, 2014 at 9:42 am | Permalink

      i thought it transformed into poop

  5. Diana MacPherson
    Posted November 18, 2013 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

    Hahahahaha! I laughed through all 4 paragraphs of Chopra’s indignant listing of his credentials. He spent the whole article being haughty & trying to show he is in a position of authority so ergo, we should take his woo as fact.

    I loved your response and yes he has a very thin skin – this is apparent every time he engages in debate with real scientists.

  6. NewEnglandBob
    Posted November 18, 2013 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

    Chopra quacks and quacks and quacks. He shows himself as a quack every time he opens his mouth and spews nonsense.

    Hoisted by his own petard!

    • Posted November 18, 2013 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

      Hoist by his own canard?

      • Jimbo
        Posted November 19, 2013 at 6:31 am | Permalink

        Now that is beautiful.

      • Larry Gay
        Posted November 19, 2013 at 9:25 am | Permalink

        Now he’s just a dead duck.

      • Posted November 20, 2013 at 6:32 pm | Permalink

        Win.

        /@ | LAX

  7. Posted November 18, 2013 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

    Does anybody understand how come Mlodinow coauthored a book with Chopra?

    • John Taylor
      Posted November 18, 2013 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

      $$$

    • Trophy
      Posted November 18, 2013 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

      The wiki article doesn’t give any indication that he actually agrees with Chopra: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_War_of_the_Worldviews_%28book%29

      I think the likely case is that Chopra is using him to pad his legitimacy. Maybe someone who has read the book can comment.

    • Trophy
      Posted November 18, 2013 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

      Actually it looks like Mlodinow was highly critical of Chopra’s bullshit arguments: http://advaita-academy.org/books/War-of-the-Worldviews.ashx?m=a

      He constructs many straw men misrepresenting what science is and what it stands for – science is reductionist, science builds boundaries, science separates, science dehumanizes emotion etc. etc. He then goes about shooting down his imaginary paradigms. Leonard very ably and with evidence disproves the constructs of Deepak and educates him on the scientific method of unbiased investigation. …

      Deepak writes as if scientists believe that genes only decide the behavior. He says, ‘There is supposedly a love gene, a criminal gene, even a faith gene’ (p: 104).

      Leonard, time and again, page after page, painstakingly and patiently explains the method of science to Deepak. Deepak even had to be reminded that he was a Physician.

      And so on.

      • infiniteimprobabilit
        Posted November 18, 2013 at 11:48 pm | Permalink

        Mlodinow _really_ should have remembered Richard Dawkins’ dictum on refusing to debate William Lane Craig: “Look good on your CV, not so good on mine”.

  8. Howard Neufeld
    Posted November 18, 2013 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

    Jerry – Your reply to Chopra was spot on, and you should, as you say, like your response. A job well done!

  9. krzysztof1
    Posted November 18, 2013 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

    Sure, I can understand the Deepster’s point of view. If you disagree with him and point out problems with his thought, that’s bullying. The basis of woo is “let a thousand schools of BS contend (but everyone agree with everyone else!)”

    • Posted November 18, 2013 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

      Well yes, Alt-Woo is a big tent.

      Hence the high proportion of clowns.

  10. Posted November 18, 2013 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

    Well done Jerry, I’m glad that you and Steve Novella are so well articulating what most of us are thinking when we hear and read all of these completely unsubstantiated claims from people like Chopra, who should be ashamed of themselves for being so arrogant when real scientists are putting in the hard yards to conduct their science properly and without all the ego massaging attention

  11. eric
    Posted November 18, 2013 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

    You absolutely nailed it.

    The funny thing is it would be so trivially easy for a real scientist to defend themselves and Chopra utterly fails at it. I doubt the public would have recognized the failure without Jerry’s response, but IMO to any scientist its going to be obvious: the fact that his defense includes not one single peer-reviewed publication pretty much says it all.

  12. Posted November 18, 2013 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

    Thank you Jerry for challenging. Chopra (and Rupert) has been a destruction for science teachers in some developing countries; young, un-matured students watch his non-sense propaganda and reject their teachers.

    • Jesper Both Pedersen
      Posted November 18, 2013 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

      Well, that’s kind of depressing. Aren’t they snarter than that?

      • Posted November 18, 2013 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

        Conspiracy theories + drugs + Chopra= students gone astray… my experience.

        • Jesper Both Pedersen
          Posted November 18, 2013 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

          What a waste of human potential…hopefully they’ll develop some better bullshit-o-meters as they grow older.

  13. Mr. Twelve
    Posted November 18, 2013 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

    Twitter Exchange Today:

    Troy of Is: @SamHarrisOrg PLEASE read where @DeepakChopra and I address you in this new article: (Link) #science #spiritual #RT

    Sam Harris: @troyofis @DeepakChopra I have dutifully read your article. Your confusion is as gorgeous as a Faberge egg — and half as useful.

    • RFW
      Posted November 18, 2013 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

      Sam Harris’s comparison of Chopra’s confusion to a Faberge egg is off base. I’ve seen Faberge eggs (and other pieces). Though they were basically baubles for the hyper-rich of the day, the meticulous attention to detail makes them something every human can be proud of. And hence, about 10⁶ times as useful as Chopra’s nonsense.

      There aren’t many man-made things that one can say are perfect, but the output of the Faberge atelier qualifies. Chopra’s b.s. doesn’t; in fact, it’s such a joke that it’s a model for imperfection.

      • Posted November 18, 2013 at 7:13 pm | Permalink

        I think Sam means it in an “impressive” and/or “exquisite” sense. “Impressive” because you don’t encounter confusion like that every day, and “exquisite” because of how thorough and intense the confusion is.

        I kind of like it. It’s high-brow snark.

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted November 18, 2013 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

      Burn!

  14. Art Rigsby
    Posted November 18, 2013 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

    Jerry, great job of nailing the buffoon.

  15. krzysztof1
    Posted November 18, 2013 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

    The Deepak quotes you provided are choice!

    If the Moon exists in consciousness “only,” then that must also be true of the Earth. But he says that the Earth IS conscious. So an artifact of consciousness is itself conscious? Conversely, the Moon must also be conscious. But wait–there’s no life on the Moon. . . . Hmmmm. Deep deep deepity deep deep.

    • Posted November 18, 2013 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

      Also: derp.

    • Posted November 18, 2013 at 7:22 pm | Permalink

      I think Derp-ak is pulling a bait-and-switch there.

      “Everything exists in consciousness and nowhere else” could be reasonably interpreted as noting that if no conscious entity exists to experience reality or receive sensory input, that would be tantamount to nothing existing; iow, we can only experience reality because we are conscious.

      But he tries to force another interpretation on it: therefore, everything is conscious.

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted November 18, 2013 at 7:31 pm | Permalink

      We don’t see or really sense the entire RF spectrum so does that mean it doesn’t exist.

      Also, I wish we could see the whole spectrum because things would be really shiny!

      • JohnnieCanuck
        Posted November 19, 2013 at 5:08 am | Permalink

        The night sky would be fantastic. There are lots of radio frequency sources spread across the sky and then there’s UV, X-ray and gamma ray sources.

        This NRAO tour shows some of what we unaided humans are missing out on.

        Deepak is yet another proof that a lot of people are willing to pay to be lied to. He has a talent for it.

        • Diana MacPherson
          Posted November 19, 2013 at 7:07 am | Permalink

          Yes & the day would be a lot brighter! Plus we’d be able to avoid harmful X-rays & gamma rays because we’d see them 🙂

          Also, people would understand how wifi & microwave ovens are not nuclear technology & not ionizing radiation which would stop this silly anti wifi activism.

      • krzysztof1
        Posted November 19, 2013 at 9:57 am | Permalink

        Excellent point. I guess bees can see ultraviolet, so it exists. But we’d have to ask them, to be sure.

        • Jesper Both Pedersen
          Posted November 19, 2013 at 10:14 am | Permalink

          They’d probably deny ever seeing any such thing and sue our asses off for honey theft.

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted November 19, 2013 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

      I just saw this article Sean Carroll posted, confirming the existence of the moon. Ha!

      • krzysztof1
        Posted November 19, 2013 at 8:01 pm | Permalink

        Yup. There it is!! Deepak can go fly a kite.

  16. Jerry
    Posted November 18, 2013 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

    Unfortunately, when I try to watch the debate between Chopra and Dawkins, youtube says that the video is not available in my country. Does anyone know of any copies anywhere?

  17. Posted November 18, 2013 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

    Fantasimo! I think you’ve really pissed him off this time.

    I just loved your response. In a few short paragraphs you’ve literally ripped his clothes to shreds. The man is pantsless! I wonder if he’s even conscious of his nakedness. I doubt it. He’ll just harden up even more and start using his word salad technique to try to insult your intelligence even more.

    Oh, I’m makin’ more popcorn and waitin’ now for scene #2!

    What a clown.

  18. Posted November 18, 2013 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

    If you want to see an example of “educated” people failing to understand science, read the comments at the New Republic piece (which is linked to).

    OMG, it is depressing. Mind you, almost every comment is given by someone who considers themselves to be smart and educated. This is a version of Dunning-Kruger among those with degrees.

    • AJ
      Posted November 19, 2013 at 4:49 am | Permalink

      “How have people come to be taken in by [this bullshit]? We must not underestimate the size of the market for works of this kind, for philosophy-fiction. Just as compulsory primary education created a market catered for by cheap dailies and weeklies, so the spread of secondary and latterly tertiary education has created a large population of people, often with well-developed literary and scholarly tastes, who have been educated far beyond their capacity to undertake analytical thought.”
      Peter Medawar (1961), Mind 70: 99-105.

      • Larry Gay
        Posted November 19, 2013 at 9:36 am | Permalink

        Indeed, and from what I have been able to learn this “no child left behind” stuff does not help develop analytical thinking.

  19. keith jameson
    Posted November 18, 2013 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

    Professor of Pseudoscience, Keepda Crap,oh… Do Americans use the word pillock? Nice article Jerry.

  20. Pliny the in Between
    Posted November 18, 2013 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

    Perhaps this is just another example of the quantum phenomena that Deepak is so fond of – his woo exists in an indeterminate state between insightful and nonsensical until observed by a real scientist at which time his wave function collapses to being full of —.

  21. scottoest
    Posted November 18, 2013 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

    I don’t know if he should, but Chopra makes my skin crawl every time I read his nonsense. He’s either a charlatan, or a fool who has made millions from saying foolish things. Either one makes me angry.

    He’s one of those people I fantasize about locking in a room with some reputable physicists and biologists, while they systematically tear apart all of his woo, and broadcast the entire thing on network TV. Make him directly own up to his absurd statements, to people who won’t be cowed by his profound-sounding gibberish.

    • truthspeaker
      Posted November 18, 2013 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

      Sufficiently advanced incompetence is indistinguishable from malice.

      • Chris
        Posted November 19, 2013 at 5:34 am | Permalink

        Brilliant. I may have to steal that line.

    • Pliny the in Between
      Posted November 18, 2013 at 3:29 pm | Permalink

      Do you think that he would ever concede to a room full of experts? I have my doubts. Chopra uses the same tools used by all the sophisticated theologians- they all insist that there is something beyond the realm of the observable that’s pulling all the strings. This cosmic ‘whatever’ (god, quantum intelligence, matrix, etc.) can rig the game so all of us silly materialists simply don’t get to see the whole picture. That requires a healthy media budget in order to purchase all their metaphysical insights.

      In the end it all comes down to them saying, “you can’t disprove my magical theory!” My response has just become, “maybe, but if it’s so well hidden that it doesn’t affect observed reality at the subtlest level, then why should I even care?”

  22. Posted November 18, 2013 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

    Hear, hear and well said.

  23. Sastra
    Posted November 18, 2013 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

    Great response to his mediocre response.

    There’s a lot of money (and thus a lot of incentive) for academic forums which are willing to push airy-fairy ideas like Quantum Spirituality and Alternative Medicine. Non-scientists often mistake this for scientific legitimacy, a genuine controversy or a cutting-edge discovery. So Deepak is playing into his strength: smart people like what he says. So does the general public.

    I’ve asked people who sincerely buy into this science-of-spirituality crap why there has been no Nobel Prize for what must surely be the most game-changing discoveries of all time. Their answer? It’s coming real soon.

    And until then there’s a conspiracy against the ideas because they are too frightening and humbling for established scientists to bear.

    • Jesper Both Pedersen
      Posted November 18, 2013 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

      What the deuce is it they’re expecting to come?

      • Sastra
        Posted November 18, 2013 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

        They apparently expect that some tests for ESP, precognition, healing energy, vitalism, prayer, or some other version of irreducibly mental supernaturalism will be validated and get the Nobel Prize. Materialism is overthrown. They then expect mainstream scientific recognition — and an abject apology from manmy skeptics.

        They also expect the atheists to keep denying it even when the evidence is so overwhelming that one would have to be positively perverse to fail to recognize defeat. They think we are on the cusp of that now — if not over that line.

        • Jesper Both Pedersen
          Posted November 19, 2013 at 12:52 am | Permalink

          Unbelievable. If only all those resources were spent on actual science instead.

          I think fear of death are at the core of many people’s need to believe, but still I wonder what it is about some fairly intelligent folks that makes them susceptible to certain kinds of woo?

          Maybe I’m just underestimating the power of good feelings…

          • Diana MacPherson
            Posted November 19, 2013 at 6:58 am | Permalink

            I’ve started watching the new JJ Abrams series, Almost Human. Last night the human (played by Karl Urban) explained to his synthetic human that you tell someone that a loved one has died by saying they’ve gone to a better place. They synth asks why you would say that if it is unknown what happens to living beings when they die & the human explains that it’s to make them feel better. He then goes on to say that humans have to believe that to make things better for them.

            A little bit of atheism seeping into prime time! 🙂

            • Jesper Both Pedersen
              Posted November 19, 2013 at 7:32 am | Permalink

              I’m already exited to see his version of star wars and it’s not due until late 2015…. it’s gonna be a long wait. 🙂

          • Posted November 19, 2013 at 10:21 am | Permalink

            I think it is precisely because one is intelligent and independent of mind that some people fall for stuff. (I have had friends like this, which is why I started to wonder.) In my view, critical thinking and science also have to be taught even to the most intelligent. They are *skills*. Some people may also have some intrinsic ability in the skills, but they are also *not* intelligence broadly construed (just as the ability to be musical, for example).

    • Posted November 18, 2013 at 7:32 pm | Permalink

      “…coming real soon. Any time now…”

      Where have we heard that before?

  24. gravityfly
    Posted November 18, 2013 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

    It seems The Deepak continues to have some die-hard fans, like this commenter:

    “Isn’t evolution by natural selection a marvelous example of intelligence inherent in nature?”

    • µ
      Posted November 18, 2013 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

      Indeed!

      Isn’t disease evolution, leprosy, and the HIV a marvelous example of intelligence inherent in nature?

      Isn’t mutation such as trisomy 21 a marvelous example of intelligence inherent in nature?

      Isn’t the evolution of cooperation & conflict, fratricide, and warfare a marvelous example of intelligence inherent in nature?

    • Posted November 18, 2013 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

      I have been reading those. Most of the comments so far are pro-evidence.

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted November 18, 2013 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

      The only appropriate response to that person’s comment is a slap.

  25. Jon Mummaw
    Posted November 18, 2013 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

    As Carl Sagan said, “They laughed at Columbus, they laughed at Fulton, they laughed at the Wright brothers. But they also laughed at Bozo the Clown.”

  26. Scote
    Posted November 18, 2013 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

    Ah, that was lovely. You have a gift for clear science writing and cutting to the chase. Using an extended quote by Chopra was brilliant, as was your simple and effectively demonstrated thesis.

  27. Posted November 18, 2013 at 2:34 pm | Permalink

    This is gold! Excellent response.

    Sometimes I think Deepity & Co are so narky because it’s not the 1980s-90s anymore and anyone, anywhere can criticise them and call them on their bullshit instantly, thanks to the intertubes.

    Back in the day they could publish an article or book or leave the Oprah studio feeling smug and awesome because noone stood up and said “bollocks!” or because bad reviews were buried in newspapers and easy to avoid but now, every time they appear anywhere or write anything, they have to know in the back of their mind that someone, somewhere is composing a response designed to shred them.

    Woo might have found a happy home on the ‘tubes, but it’s also a happy hunting ground for those of us who oppose snake-oil and conmen (even if Deepity actually believes what he peddles, he’s merely proven that the best conman is the one who first cons himself).

  28. JonLynnHarvey
    Posted November 18, 2013 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

    It’s an interesting phenomenon that sometimes bad ideas often get started with articulate advocates but as they get discredited the diehard defenses of them get increasingly worse.

    The notion that consciousness was a driver of evolution was made in an articulate (though largely unconvincing way- lots of airy speculation) by R.M. Bucke in his tome “Cosmic Consciousness”, but as evidence piled up against it, defenders of the same idea become increasingly inarticulate and confused.

  29. Christopher
    Posted November 18, 2013 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

    Oh man, now that is beautiful.

  30. JBlilie
    Posted November 18, 2013 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

    Wow! Well said Jerry!!

    Coyne 2, Deepity 0

    I’m sure he ears are burning. I don’t think you left him any holes to wriggle into!

  31. Dawn Oz
    Posted November 18, 2013 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

    Jerry,

    What a champion you are – to continue to confront these woo carriers. Chopra is a hideous example of someone who wants a foot in both camps – and ya just can’t!!!

    Thanks always.

  32. Lianne Byram
    Posted November 18, 2013 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

    Great response Jerry.

  33. Sameer
    Posted November 18, 2013 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

    Great response Dr. Coyne.

    After reading the long list of Chopra’s credentials, there is one thing that puzzles me: why do respectable institutions like Columbia University and Northwestern University have this woomeister as faculty? Interestingly in both of these universities Chopra is teaching courses in the business school. Having fleeced the gullible to enrich himself he certainly knows the ways of good businessmen. The “Update in Internal Medicine” conference – associated with Harvard University also has Chopra as keynote speaker. His talk is supposed to be about “Superbrain: Using the Brain to Go Beyond the Brain”. That’s got to be some woo laden talk about “universal consciousness”.

    I was surprised when physicist Leonard Mlodinow co-wrote a book with this guy and not surprisingly Chopra lists “…books co-authored by full professors, researchers and scientists at Harvard Medical School, Mount Sinai Medical School – New York, Duke, and Chapman University.” as one of his credentials. Like they say, these look good on Chopra’s resume but probably not so good for his co-authors?

    I’m sure that these people and these institutions know that Chopra is a quack. So what gives?

    • Dawn Oz
      Posted November 18, 2013 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

      Sameer, now that is an important point, for he is being supported by card carrying credentialers. Why are these people in his camp at all? Perhaps someone should ask them……like Jerry perhaps?!

    • Posted November 19, 2013 at 10:22 am | Permalink

      Money.

  34. Posted November 18, 2013 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

    Absolutely perfect response, Jerry. I can’t remember the last time I enjoyed reading something so much. Well done.

  35. Achrachno
    Posted November 18, 2013 at 8:49 pm | Permalink

    Go, Jerry, go! Deeply affront him some more, please. 🙂

  36. Posted November 18, 2013 at 9:14 pm | Permalink

    “I must say that I quite like my response.”

    I read those exchanges, yes totally agree.
    You’re concise, to the point. Not all chili and pepper, but with lean but adequate body .. quite excellent!

    (add a bit of bitter sweet maybe? – there might be a niche for fifth horsemen?)

    😀

  37. madscientist
    Posted November 18, 2013 at 11:41 pm | Permalink

    What, no response from Rupe? Maybe he’s getting soft in his old age; it used to be such great fun to rile him and watch him blather.

  38. Tumara Baap
    Posted November 19, 2013 at 1:04 am | Permalink

    Jerry your response was par excellent. Yup, Chopra must be red with rage. A real scientist employs clarity and simplicity of language against the hoity-toity of a wannabe. If one can be succinct, use plain english, and for good measure have a strategic re-cap of one’s main point, and yet pull it off, such a honed message gets delivered with devastating penetration.

  39. Diane G.
    Posted November 19, 2013 at 1:21 am | Permalink

    Jerry, you can shoot fish in a barrel better than anyone I know of! 😀

    • Dominic
      Posted November 19, 2013 at 3:02 am | Permalink

      I just do not understand why people allow themselves to get into thye barrel with him!

      • JohnnieCanuck
        Posted November 19, 2013 at 5:30 am | Permalink

        I always visualised this as the person with the gun standing beside the barrel and the fish swimming around inside it. It seems to me it would be a mistake to get into the barrel with the fish and then start shooting at them.

        Unfortunately this catfish has nine lives and one incidence of being shot down will not dissuade him, not while there are still suckers out there willing to bite a quantum hook.

        • TJR
          Posted November 19, 2013 at 6:59 am | Permalink

          The gun would need a wide dispersion of shot too, like a shotgun, to catch them all.

          Using a standard rifle to shoot a small number of fish in a barrel could be quite tricky if the barrel was full of water and the fish moving.

          We may be overthinking this simile.

          • infiniteimprobabilit
            Posted November 19, 2013 at 11:53 pm | Permalink

            Well no, if you use a sufficiently heavy calibre the shockwave will account for the fish in no uncertain terms.

            And in Deepak’s case, he supplies so much ammunition you could use a Minigun and still not run out.

        • Posted November 19, 2013 at 7:16 am | Permalink

          I think Dominic was referring to Chopra’s followers.

          • JohnnieCanuck
            Posted November 19, 2013 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

            Thanks, I think you’re probably right.

    • Chris
      Posted November 19, 2013 at 5:43 am | Permalink

      That wasn’t shooting, that was dropping grenades, anvils, depth-charges, the lot.

  40. Jiten
    Posted November 19, 2013 at 10:55 am | Permalink

    I loved the clarity of you excoriating response. It was coruscating.

  41. JohnnieCanuck
    Posted November 19, 2013 at 5:35 pm | Permalink

    Hmm.

    Excoriate: to skin or flay.
    Coruscating: sparkling or scintillating.

    Your word choices are interesting and somewhere between exoteric and esoteric.

  42. Marcel Volker
    Posted November 20, 2013 at 9:58 am | Permalink

    The win is strong in your reply Jerry, good hatchet job there!


%d bloggers like this: