Monday Deepakity

It’s always a good week when it starts with Deepak trying to show his credibility as a scientist. He tw**ted this at me yesterday (I got informed by email), with the obvious message that REAL SCIENTISTS take him seriously. Or, perhaps this is a tacit admission on his part that HIV causes AIDS after all. . .

Screen shot 2015-02-08 at 5.37.17 PM

I wonder two things. Why on earth would Montagnier let himself be interviewed by Chopra? (One possibility: Orac has described some of Montagnier’s dabblings in woo after he got the Big Prize.)

And I wonder if the French scientist knows that Chopra has waffled about whether he sees HIV as the cause of AIDS? (Chopra has now admitted it, but hasn’t said that he erred previously, nor clarified the role of “right thinking” in getting AIDS.)

Universe to Chopra: talking to a good scientist doesn’t make you one, too.


  1. steve oberski
    Posted February 9, 2015 at 7:16 am | Permalink

    If you are planning on making this a regular Monday morning article you should have no lack of source material.

    Deepak is a gift that just keeps on giving.

    • GBJames
      Posted February 9, 2015 at 7:31 am | Permalink

      By some definition of “gift”.

      • steve oberski
        Posted February 9, 2015 at 9:00 am | Permalink

        For sense evolution, compare Old French enerber, enherber “to kill with poisonous plants.” In many Germanic languages “poison” is named by a word equivalent to English gift (such as Old High German gift, German Gift, Danish and Swedish gift; Dutch gift, vergift). This shift might have been partly euphemistic, partly by influence of Greek dosis “a portion prescribed,” literally “a giving,” used by Galen and other Greek physicians to mean an amount of medicine (see dose (n.)).

    • Posted February 9, 2015 at 7:36 am | Permalink

      “Deepak is a gift …”

      You appear to have unnecessarily inserted an “f” …


      • Diana MacPherson
        Posted February 9, 2015 at 9:06 am | Permalink

        Maybe he means Gift in German. That I can accept.

    • still learning
      Posted February 9, 2015 at 7:51 am | Permalink

      Maybe he’s a gif git?

  2. George
    Posted February 9, 2015 at 7:53 am | Permalink

    I refuse to support the local PBS station – WTTW in Chicago. During their pledge drives, they bring out the hucksters to hawk their crap. Foremost among them is Deepakity. He has a three hour show on The Future of God which is in heavy rotation and has seven more showings scheduled.

    I used to write to WTTW to complain to no avail. They have also allowed the quack psychiatrist (and graduate of the now defunct Oral Roberts Medical School) Daniel Amen to pollute the airwaves.

    IF PBS has to resort to this to survive, it should be put out of its misery.

    • Jeff Rankin
      Posted February 9, 2015 at 8:18 am | Permalink

      Rocky Mountain PBS does that as well and it makes me crazy. When I first saw it, I couldn’t believe I was seeing an infomercial on PBS. It wasn’t Deepak, it was some other guy, but just as full of woo woo. And like the Deepak show, it was long – hours long.

  3. Benjamin Branham
    Posted February 9, 2015 at 8:01 am | Permalink

    Deepak can only say that because the days of Mccarthyism are behind us. Otherwise Montagnier would have become a NOT REAL SCIENTIST by association the moment he agreed to have a discussion.

  4. NVSkeptic
    Posted February 9, 2015 at 8:14 am | Permalink

    From my Amazon review of his latest book…

    “Reading Deepak is like taking your brain and tossing it into a blender with a science book, a bible, and a quart of LSD. What comes out is a stream-of-lack-of-consciousness mishmash of words & ideas with absolutely no meaning.”

    My guess would be he’s just trolling Montagnier looking for ingredients to his next word salad.

  5. Posted February 9, 2015 at 8:17 am | Permalink

    You can tell it was a serious science-y conversation by the candles and graven images in the background.

    Deepak Chopra can only interview scientists; Professor Ceiling Cat helps people become scientists – and gets to look at one in the mirror every morning and watch him shave.

    • DrBrydon
      Posted February 9, 2015 at 8:25 am | Permalink

      Came here to say this. If I had just seen a picture of the set, I would not have guessed this was intended for a scientific discussion.

      • Posted February 9, 2015 at 9:12 am | Permalink

        Great mind! Apparently the “Future of God” is also on display behind the counter at my favorite Chinese restaurant. I tell you what, if the FoG has Honey Walnut Prawns like theirs, I’m in!

  6. kevinj
    Posted February 9, 2015 at 8:24 am | Permalink

    “Universe to Chopra: talking to a good scientist doesn’t make you one, too.”

    Thats his next tweet sorted
    “Jerry Coyne admits universe can interact with us”

    Although obviously written in a deepity way.

  7. Ionescu
    Posted February 9, 2015 at 8:38 am | Permalink

    Well, don’t sweat the small stuff.

    2015 is the International Year of Light. With UNESCO on the branding poster. All about science[1]. Only that can’t be in France, a catholic country superficially disentangled from the Vatican junk. On the French page you can enjoy the scientific light of Jesus saving souls[2]. Organized by Youth for Christ. To discover the Bible message.


    • Heather Hastie
      Posted February 9, 2015 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

      Way to take advantage: “je suis la lumiere du monde” indeed! More like: “je suis la mort du monde”.

      I am the light of the world.
      I am the death of the world.

      • Ionescu
        Posted February 10, 2015 at 2:26 am | Permalink

        If Jebus is the light, how come god named the other guy Lucifer? Is Jebus the dark light we see in discos?

  8. Brygida Berse
    Posted February 9, 2015 at 8:41 am | Permalink

    Why on earth would Montagnier let himself be interviewed by Chopra?

    The Nobel disease?

  9. Randy Schenck
    Posted February 9, 2015 at 9:26 am | Permalink

    Deepak Chopra is so bad – he makes a freight train take a dirt road.

  10. aldoleopold
    Posted February 9, 2015 at 9:39 am | Permalink

    I don’t understand why Montagnier would stoop this low. Glad that Robert Gallo didn’t join him.

  11. gunnerkee19
    Posted February 9, 2015 at 9:55 am | Permalink

    After reading the article provided by the link in Jerry’s post it seems as though the Nobelist has become as whack as Deepak. This makes Deepak’s attempt at validating his credentials quite ironic, as it only further invalidates them, I believe. It seems as though Deepak is getting desperate to gain Dr. Coyne’s acknowledgement. These are my viewpoints, so could be off the mark, I don’t know.

    • Posted February 9, 2015 at 10:02 am | Permalink

      Re desperation I had the same though, the way boys pull on the braids of the girls they like. Someone’s got a secret admirer I think … ! 😻

    • Sastra
      Posted February 9, 2015 at 10:12 am | Permalink

      One of the best ways to rally the troops is to introduce them to the enemy. Chopra’s tw**ts are directed at Jerry for the same reason a Christian fund-raising letter will quote Richard Dawkins or PZ Myers.

      “Do you want to be like this??? Do you want the world to be like this???”

      It doesn’t just motivate the followers; it also heartens the leader.

  12. Sastra
    Posted February 9, 2015 at 10:09 am | Permalink

    This again supports my point that many people with supernatural views don’t think they’re anti-science because they live in a kind of bubble. Creationists will somberly inform you that evolution is a theory in crisis and that most biologists are now discarding it. Global warming deniers are sure that the evidence is increasingly on their side. New Agers are convinced that vitalism is alive and well in physics. The echo chamber in which they live parades the carefully chosen “experts” before them and distorts their understanding of the genuine consensus in the field.

    If they don’t believe their pseudoscientific view IS mainstream, then they at least think it is a viable, legitimate option. If the criticism gets too pointed, they will retreat to the claim that their views are cutting edge, daring, and on the brink of setting off a paradigm shift.

    It is only when worst comes to worst that they’ll suddenly spin around and accuse their critics of “scientism.” Now they bring out those subjective but powerful Other Ways of Knowing which remain immune to debate on common ground. This stuff is beyond science.

    Deepak Chopra is rather impressive I think in that he appears capable of taking all these positions at once.

    • gunnerkee19
      Posted February 9, 2015 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

      “Deepak Chopra is rather impressive I think in that he appears capable of taking all these positions at once.”

      I don’t know about Deepak being impressive, only because he’s very transparent in all the positions he takes, is he not? I see him swinging to whichever stance he feels will instantiate his claims, and when someone cries BS he moves to the next one his clever mind conjures. I wonder what his true motivation is. He may not even know. Is it money? Perhaps in the beginning. Is it for accolades? That one seems to be a major driver, but I am by trade a layman so my views are guesses at best.

      • Sastra
        Posted February 9, 2015 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

        I meant Chopra’s impressive like a massive train wreck or the perfect storm.

        My guess is that he believes more of his bs than not. After all, he is surrounded by true believers, toadies, admirers, and sycophants. Under those circumstances even people who started out knowing full well they’re perpetrating a con start to believe that no, they’re really on to something. Direct positive feedback is extremely powerful. Given the enormous cultural push to be at least spiritual if not religious it’s perfectly possible that Chopra was at least a little sincere to begin with.

        • Heather Hastie
          Posted February 9, 2015 at 2:11 pm | Permalink

          Pew did a survey recently on what the public thinks is scientific concensus vs what scientists say is scientific consensus on a number of topics e.g. evolution, big bag, global warming. The results are as you’d expect and as you outlined above – many people live in an echo chamber.

  13. Diane G.
    Posted February 9, 2015 at 8:57 pm | Permalink

    How little of him.

  14. Posted March 5, 2015 at 8:38 am | Permalink

    So, I just came across Professor Brian Cox’s comments about controversial astrology-believing Tory MP David Tredinnick: “an outlier on the spectrum of reason.”

    Deepak is well into the ultraviolet, I think.


%d bloggers like this: