The problem with pseudoscience is that it takes perfectly intelligible terms and theories like “quantum mechanics” and “energy”, and contorts them to a nonsensical framework, thus hiding bogus theories behind a veneer of good science.
“Spiritual” Charlatans like Deepak Chopra basically pass off their “revelations about consciousness” to the public by using science-y sounding words, with no regard for their meaning. The public then falls for the it sounds like science, and science is for smart people, so he’s probably smart enough to not be talking shit effect. But of course this does not mean that he isn’t.
Before you get to the mad-lib below, let me argue in a Chopran framework to make my point about pseudoscience:
Quantum mechanics is weird and consciousness is weird, therefore anything is possible, and your thoughts create the universe.
Scientifically literate people will immediately know that I am talking nonsense, but for those less literate, there is no way to gauge the accuracy of my Chopran argument. This is the peril of pseudoscience.
If you too want to sound like a quantum guru of bunk like Deepak, create your own mad-lib using the form below!
Here’s what I came up with:
The mind is like a neutron. In both cases, when the quantum entanglement occurs, the physical reality of the eternity becomes apparent. It is only due to the energy that surrounds us all that we can participate in consciousness. From this we know that the womb of creation [he actually uses that one] exists. Amazingly, Evolution is the perfect analog to this phenomenon. This deep connection is the result of homeopathic dilutions. It is enthralling that there is a fundamental link between us and vibrational auras and that consciousness is always found in the wave-particle duality.
Now doesn’t that sound science-y and profound? So it must have something to it right?
Absolutely not. The New Age spirituality movement is steeped in this kind of self-delusion and gibberish, hiding from reality inside the annals of the newest and most counter-intuitive sections of science. They believe that this gives them some bastardized form of legitimacy; “energy” is now the answer to every philosophical dilemma. The goal of transcendence, as it increasingly seems, is to be simultaneously as confused and confusing as possible.
Beyond selling books and wasting people’s money/time, the New Age interpretation of science is clearly a pseudoscientific cult that no more contributes to rational understanding of the universe than my mad-lib contributed to philosophy. It is a hollow attempt to stay relevant in an increasingly science-based society.
Make sure to create your own mad-libs and send them in to firstname.lastname@example.org, or comment below. I will pick the best satire of Chopran flim-flammery and post it up on the site.
[Via Calamities of Nature]