Chopra’s new $1 Million Challenge 23


Deepak_Chopra_s_One_Million_Dollar_Challenge_to_the_Skeptics_-_YouTubeSharon Hill over at Doubtful News reports on Deepak Chopra’s latest bit of shenanigans, he has a new challenge that he has targeted specifically at James Randi as follows …

I challenge the non “amazing” Randi & his professional debunkers & skeptics to explain normal experience & offer them a $1 million prize.

Seriously?

Yep, here is the man himself …

It is the usual nonsense … “How does electricity going into the grid become an experience in a three dimensional world in space and time. Prove that and you get a million dollars“. We also have to publish an explanation of consciousness in a peer-reviewed journal, and apparently the problem he feels we have is that we are bamboozled by matter.

So what is really going on here?

This is simply his attempt to distract people from the rather embarrassing observation that he makes rather a lot of weird claims, and has exactly zero objective evidence for any of them.

The context of all this is that James Randi has had a $1 Million Dollar challenge running for many decades now that offers to pay out to anyone who can demonstrate a supernatural or paranormal ability under agreed-upon scientific testing criteria. Over a thousand people have applied to take the challenge, but none has yet been successful.

I’ve personally sat in on several tests, and have seen that it is indeed totally fair and open. Those taking part and treated with great respect, and judgement is suspended. If indeed the test was actually passed then that would be a truly fascinating discovery, but every time it has been a fail, much to the great surprise of those who try.

Those who do go forward for testing are truly convinced that they have a gift, and rather sadly have simply fooled themselves, and so when tested under totally impartial controlled conditions, nothing is manifested.

What is rather interesting to observe is that those that refuse to take part are the professionals. The big name psychics, and purveyors of woo such as Deepak, when faced with the idea of taking part in a totally impartial test, rapidly duck and run for the hills – apparently they are too busy or too important to actually prove their claims. You would think that it would be in their interests to prove their claims, but the truth is that they are rather more interested in maintaining the rather lucrative flow of income that they fraudulently scam out of desperate people seeking hope.

There are essentially different categories here, there are individuals who truly believe in what they promote, and also outright frauds who know it is a scam. I tend to lean towards the thought that Deepak truly believes his own press, but I’m not really sure.

Key Points

So there are a couple of key points here:

  1. The burden of proof rests with those making claims, and so this latest challenge from Deepak is simply a very dishonest attempt to shift that burden of proof. His assertion that “consciousness creates reality.” is essentially bullshit. Has he ever provided one jot of objective evidence for any of his weird claims? … nope.
  2. He might get upset about the criticism he faces, and so tries to pushback like this, but criticism of his claims matters. He claims that his practices can extend the human lifespan and treat chronic disease, and so the problem with all that is that he is giving people false hope that may obscure the possibility of an effective medical treatment.
  3. Consciousness is still an unknown, our understanding of it is growing all the time, but there is still much to learn. That fact that we do not fully understand it does not entitle him to assert that his claims are true, he needs to cite evidence … and he never does … ever, so his claims should be dismissed.

Finally

Does he really have $1 Million to pay out? Yes he does, he has successfully conned rather a lot of money out of his followers, but of course this is not a real test just his latest PR stunt.


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23 thoughts on “Chopra’s new $1 Million Challenge

  • Dolfin Jones

    Chopra may be open to criticism and even ridicule on many things but he seems dead right on this particular point. Who among us can reasonably explain the phenomenon of conscious existence? And if we cannot do that how can we be sure we understand anything really? This entire universe we see may in fact be nothing but a dream. But who’s dream is it?

    (btw- He’s misquoted in the caption. He does not say “How does electricity going into the grid..”, what he actually says is “going into the BRAIN”)

  • Matt Faw

    Dear Dr. Chopra, I accept your challenge. My explanation for how and why conscious experience arises in the brain is summarized in the following 6-minute video that I created, and I have a full researched paper to back it up.

  • George Little

    What has happened to Police Bunko squads? Aren’t the around any more, protecting the people from this kind of nonsense?

  • Patrick Fitts

    It seems that after everything that he said the challenge was this:

    Get a falsifiable explanations of consciousness into a peer reviewed journal and he will pay out $1M. I can think of all kinds of falsifiable explanations. They would all be falsified, but he didn’t differentiate that. Now I just have to make it into a journal.

  • cincinnatidavid

    Once it seemed that a Randi challenger’s chance of correctly passing the given challenge was about 1 in 1000. Pretty nervy of Randi! Or maybe I miscalculated.

    • Kurt Jensen

      If someone claiming paranormal abilities can actually do what they claim, their chances of passing the challenge are 100%. Simply because approximately 1000 people have failed doesn’t mean the odds of being successful are .1%. Just because 1000 average people my age can’t run a 4 minute mile doesn’t mean my chance of doing so is .1%; I’d say my chance of running a 4 minute mile is zero.

      • cincinnatidavid

        Well, that’s not what I was getting at. The specific challenge had about 1 in 1000 chances of success. It struck me as risky that Randi would provide such a challenge, knowing that so many may try this out.

  • Dustin Moore

    I can prove for a fact that I am telepathic & that there are people who DON’T like me because of it. You would think everyone would find it to be amazing, but some fear I am stealing from their mind when the truth is that I can’t go into ones head I get hit by what people think (they don’t believe me) but I am well known in a small town & a city for it! some love it/some hate it! I am broke because it is actually a curse as well as a gift. Someone brings me I’ll pass flying colors gauranteed ;) Dustin J. Moore will honestly win this I promise

    • Dustin Moore

      I can show anyone as long as they look at me and think or think of me from far away (though far away is trickier to prove since I hear a lot of people from afar/ whole conversations) ;) I can repeat word for word even big words like “bilatterally” have been used. I have a story to tell

      • Dianne

        Dustin don’t let these morons get you down, There are few people that god had bestowed gifts to, and I guess you are one of the lucky ones. So keep your chin up, and put on a happy face…:)

        • Water

          There is a large group of people out there who profits through lies and deceit. Their victims are usually vulnerable and grieving people. This goes violently against many of my ethics and principles.

          There are sceptics. They manage to expose these frauds over and over and over again, thus decreasing the cases of scams and deceit. With the internet, the majority of the world population is now aware that not even a SINGLE person has EVER been able to prove their alleged supernatural powers.
          This makes it even harder for frauds and scammers to be successful and you can’t deny that this is a good thing for the world.

          Now the only hope for the frauds, are people who believe simply what they would like to believe, such as you. Now even they will often resort to “it’s true, you simply haven’t seen the things I’ve seen” stories without ever being able to prove those claims, thus lowering themselves to the level of the frauds.

          Now that I’ve laid all of this out, are you able to explain how I am the moron here or will you admit the emptiness of your judgement either verbally or by silence?

    • Water

      Well Dustin, I have good news for you. Your days of being broke are over when you show mr. Randi that you’re ready to join the X-men.

      And considering no one ever before claimed Randi’s prize, that means you’re the only real telepath in 7 billion people and the first in millions of years of human evolution.

      Enjoy your million dollars.

  • Paul

    “You don’t know one thing about consciousness” WOW, I know you call people names. “Normal Experience, Paranormal Experience, you forgot DELUSIONAL experience.

    You challenge Randi to get published in a peer reviewed journal, he has been reviewed in skeptic journals and as far as I can tell, you have not.

    WOW, what a crock of crap. Randi, is not making these claims, you are and then you are telling him to prove it otherwise LOL. Not how it works buddy. Nice try! Space and Time LOL hahahahaaa ha a a a a……..

  • Brett Guillory

    Someone should just show this man a lightbulb lighting up a 3 dimensional room. I mean, really? He’s distributing his stupid video through the internet. On computers. That run on electricity…