Dawkins pursues Chopra’s Million Dollar Challenge

Richard tw**ed the following a few days ago after Deepak put up his video offering a million dollars to solve the “Hard Problem” of consciousness.

Screen shot 2014-06-17 at 7.13.40 PM

Screen shot 2014-06-17 at 7.22.33 PM

Then a bunch of people took it seriously (go here and here), some being quite critical.

So Dawkins had to clarify:

Screen shot 2014-06-17 at 7.27.37 PM

I’m starting to wonder whether a sense of humor is a dying virtue.



  1. Blue
    Posted June 17, 2014 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

    Both tw**ts of The Good Doctor’s are ‘ust hilarious ! cuz they are so, so true !

    And — further — as re “ … you might lack background information,” why, that is t.h.e. entirety o’ those that ‘d call themselves my detractors and my foes !

    Ha ! These are mighty precious !

  2. GBJames
    Posted June 17, 2014 at 5:38 pm | Permalink


    • Diane G.
      Posted June 18, 2014 at 1:23 am | Permalink


  3. d4m10n
    Posted June 17, 2014 at 5:50 pm | Permalink

    Reblogged this on Blue Ball Skeptics and commented:

  4. NewEnglandBob
    Posted June 17, 2014 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

    Oy Veh!

  5. Scote
    Posted June 17, 2014 at 6:09 pm | Permalink

    Oh, please, it’s obvious to anyone with a mind/body duality that green is the frequency of quantum vibrations in the universal consciousness that correspond to jealousy – and it is not bound by your reductionist, materialist “science”. Duh. QED.

    Hard to believe Dawkins doesn’t get that…


  6. Posted June 17, 2014 at 7:00 pm | Permalink

    Love makes the world go round? Preposterous! Everybody knows that money makes the world go round. Not only that, but round and round.

    • Moarscienceplz
      Posted June 17, 2014 at 7:10 pm | Permalink

      Yes, and religion makes the world go pear-shaped.

      • Jeffery
        Posted June 17, 2014 at 7:52 pm | Permalink

        Religion makes the world go CRAZY!

      • Kevin Alexander
        Posted June 18, 2014 at 2:09 am | Permalink

        No, religion makes the world go boom!

    • Doug
      Posted June 17, 2014 at 7:11 pm | Permalink

      Fat-bottomed girls make the rockin’ world go ’round, but I don’t know about other worlds.

      • Moarscienceplz
        Posted June 17, 2014 at 7:24 pm | Permalink

        It’s British slang. Check out Urban Dictionary.

        • Moarscienceplz
          Posted June 17, 2014 at 7:25 pm | Permalink

          Oops, sorry. I misinterpreted your post as a reply to mine.

        • Posted June 17, 2014 at 7:28 pm | Permalink

          The world and the rockin’ world have the same physical correlates. Apologies in advance if I misused Deepakity terminology.

      • gravelinspector-Aidan
        Posted June 19, 2014 at 4:12 am | Permalink

        Speaking as a geologist, I endorse this statement.
        Now would be an appropriate time to go for a bicycle ride.

  7. Posted June 17, 2014 at 7:11 pm | Permalink

    This is the reason hashtags exist in Twitter: adding something like #ChopraChallenge would make it clear that that the tweet has a very specific background information, and not just a stand-alone joke.

  8. Stephen Barnard
    Posted June 17, 2014 at 7:15 pm | Permalink

    Envy is green. Jealousy is teal.

    • Kevin
      Posted June 17, 2014 at 8:36 pm | Permalink

      Jealousy is black and green is the color of my third favorite Skittle.

      • Posted June 18, 2014 at 4:53 am | Permalink

        Black is the color of my true love’s hair …

        • JohnJay
          Posted June 18, 2014 at 8:30 am | Permalink

          Black is the color of my love’s true hair.

          (The Smothers Brothers)

  9. Jeffery
    Posted June 17, 2014 at 8:03 pm | Permalink

    The underlying “reason” the universe(s) exists is that there is no such thing as nothing: consciousness, being a manifestation of that which is already here, cannot be the “reason” for, or cause behind, existence, any more than you can define a set by something that is included IN that set.

    Reality has a “persistence of existence” that indicates that it is not determined by our consciousness: I can leave a room and come back later, and everything’s still the same (taking into account the effects of time and other events, which are usually easily explainable); we have documents, artifacts, etc. from history that indicate that this world was here long before OUR consciousness came into being. One might ask, “If consciousness ‘creates’ the world, WHOSE consciousness? Mine? The bum on the corner?” Deepcrap treads very close to solipsism in his assertions, but it’s been apparent for a long time that one of the tenets of the “New Age” woo-wooers is, “You ARE God”

    I know one thing: if I WAS God, you better believe that my life, and this world, would be significantly different than they are now!

    • Boris Molotov
      Posted June 18, 2014 at 5:19 am | Permalink

      I think people (as do I) have difficulty getting our heads around the notion of time being dependant on our concious concept of it. For example, why do we perceive a second as a second rather then a year?
      Is the “rate of change” of the universe dependent on a conciousness that is perceiving it (ie. our sense of the rate of “time”) or does it exist outside of it? It may, but without a concept of time what is the real “rate of change”? Without concious creatures “experiencing time” the universe is over as soon as it began, is it not?
      I am obviously not a physicist but I have a feeling it has something to do with the speed of light. Basically, how does the universe work without the conecpt of time?
      If someobody could dumb down an explanation for me it would be great.

      • darrelle
        Posted June 18, 2014 at 7:42 am | Permalink

        Actually, it is rather complicated and the puzzle of time is a major topic of research in physics these days. Almost all of our major physical theories, that are very very accurate, are symmetrical with respect to the direction of time. The equations work, make sense, going forward or backward in time. Per the theories it is as permissable for an event to be undone as it is for it to be done.

        There are two notable exceptions to this. One is the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics which describes entropy. Entropy, by the way, is no more dependent on consciousness than gravity or electromagnetism. Whether or not anyone is there to perceive it or not, there is no good reason whatsoever to suppose that entropy would not continue plodding along as our theories describe, and a whole lot of reasons to suppose that it would.

        The other is the process of “measurement” in quantum mechanics.

        “Alone among all of the well-accepted laws of physics, quantum measurement is a process that defines an arrow of time: Once you do it, you can’t undo it. And that’s a mystery. [Sean Carroll, From Eternity To Here: The Quest For The Ultimate Theory Of Time, Chapter 11]

        To make things even more fun there is no clear understanding or agreement even among experts on just what constitutes a measurement (observation), or what exactly happens when it occurs (wave function collapse). One thing is clear though, and that is that the maths that describe this do not allow for going back after the wave function has been measured and thereby collapsed. And the theory has been very precisely accurate in predicting observations and experiment results for decades.

        • Boris Molotov
          Posted June 19, 2014 at 3:31 am | Permalink

          Thanks, looks like I’ll have to check out Sean Carroll’s book.
          Deepak seems to be engaging in the age old religious tradition of inserting supernatural assertions into these areas that are not yet fully understood, then claiming that it’s good for us. All the hallmarks of religious bunk.

    • Observer
      Posted June 18, 2014 at 5:41 am | Permalink

      I suspect that part of Chopra’s success comes from the fact that his fans don’t need to feel that they are God, but are happy to be told that they are *a* god. As long as Chopra’s “philosophy” leads people there, he will always have customers.

  10. Posted June 17, 2014 at 8:34 pm | Permalink

    That bile duct crack in the comments is kinda funny.

  11. John D
    Posted June 17, 2014 at 11:50 pm | Permalink

    Out of the Twitter replies to Dawkins, it looks to me that only one misses the point. The others are just flippantly playing around.

  12. Alex
    Posted June 18, 2014 at 12:10 am | Permalink

    Dawkins is being a bit naive if he thinks that everybody will obviously recognize his identification of love with a quantum spiritual energy vibrations as sarcasm. 95% of DCs followers will probably have read it and though – oh wow, Dawkins, that’ such a deep insight into the soul of the universe!

    • Posted June 18, 2014 at 4:55 am | Permalink

      Hasn’t somebody already produced the random deepity program? You ask it a question and out pops a deepity? Theologians better be looking over their shoulders — they’ll be out of work soon. 🙂

  13. Torbjörn Larsson, OM
    Posted June 18, 2014 at 12:20 am | Permalink

    That’s a response everyone can quantum spiritual energy vibration.

  14. Posted June 18, 2014 at 1:37 am | Permalink

    Science still can’t explain where the wind goes when it stops. It must go into another dimension, until it decides that it serves the highest good for it to come back.

    • Kevin Alexander
      Posted June 18, 2014 at 2:21 am | Permalink

      Wind goes to a state of Quantum Indeterminacy which these days is somewhere between the state of Kansas and the state of Nebraska.
      Oh, and jealousy (green) is a combination of sadness(blue) about losing your love and fear(yellow) of doing anything about it. QED
      OK, I know that that’s only a thought experiment so Dawkins only has to think about sending me my million bucks.

      • Posted June 18, 2014 at 3:26 am | Permalink

        Exactly. Quantum Meteorology is the new paradigm. Steven Hawking has never denied that. When will Richard Dawkins admit it?

    • reasonshark
      Posted June 18, 2014 at 4:39 am | Permalink

      Everyone knows that, when the wind dies, it goes to wind heaven where it can blow to its heart’s content.

  15. Robert Seidel
    Posted June 18, 2014 at 3:19 am | Permalink

    Time to dust up the concept of the irony mark; with so many emoticons around, we could just handle this one more, I think:


    • John Scanlon, FCD
      Posted June 18, 2014 at 3:36 am | Permalink

      Isn’t it enough to know that the writer is English?

      • TJR
        Posted June 18, 2014 at 4:19 am | Permalink

        Indeed. If you aren’t sure whether someone is being sarcastic or not, just check if they are British or Australian.

      • Posted June 18, 2014 at 4:58 am | Permalink

        Well, people have to pay attention too, and that’s hard.

  16. Gordon Knott
    Posted June 18, 2014 at 3:49 am | Permalink

    “Roses are red
    violets are purple.
    Sugar’s sweet
    & so is maple syrple.”
    –R. Miller

  17. teacupoftheapocalypse
    Posted June 18, 2014 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

    So does this mean that my, or the other man’s, grass is greener?

    • Damien
      Posted June 19, 2014 at 12:23 am | Permalink

      Mould is greener on the other side.
      Alexander Fleming

  18. Damien
    Posted June 18, 2014 at 11:42 pm | Permalink

    My share of banalities:

    Not eveerybody will uncerstand Dawkins’ sarcasms because on the internet the audience can be extremely diverse.

    I, for instance, a non native speaker of English, understood that Dawkins was joking, because I know him, but failed to find what was funny.

    Some people who do not even know Dawkins that well will misunderstand him even more.

    Dawkins, whom I love, by the way, writes “If you don’t understand a tweet (… )” The problem is that you may not realise that you do not understand the tweet.

  19. gravelinspector-Aidan
    Posted June 19, 2014 at 4:16 am | Permalink

    Prof Dawkins, you’re not in America now. you need to spell out SARCASM in letters 10 METRES tall, not that ‘Merkin unit of measure.

  20. jeremyp
    Posted June 19, 2014 at 8:37 am | Permalink

    It’s actually a misconception that jealousy is green. In fact, only its eyes are green. The colour of the rest of it is unspecified.

    “O, beware, my lord, of jealousy;
    It is the green-ey’d monster, which doth mock
    The meat it feeds on.”

    — Iago in Othello, by W Shakespeare.

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