Originally Posted by ollinger
^ I see no reason to consider him either delusional or fraudulent. He's a popularizer who tries to simplify the message a bit for the masses, not in itself a bad thing. Popularizers tend to be targets because of envy of their commercial success; Carl Sagan was a competent scientist (per my brother who was a friend and colleague of his) who also was ripped because he was able to cash in while simplifying things for the TV audience.
Wrong tree, I'm afraid. I've got no problem with Chopra being a popularizer, but a big problem with what he is popularizing and how he is doing it.
I adored Carl Sagan. Your brother is right, he was a competent scientist who got ripped for being a popularizer of science rather than doing the lab/theoretical/experimental work that scientists do. That perception of Sagan was only accurate regarding his later years. Before Sagan became Mr. Science, he had several important contributions in astronomy, notably regarding the greenhouse effect on Venus.
There is a big difference though: Sagan's populism was for scientific, i.e., properly verifiable, things. Deepak Chopra popularizes a warped and cherry-picked version of eastern culture. I grew up in India, and have a fairly good grasp of the things that Chopra appropriates from the culture and wraps into his own clarified bullshi
t. On related matters, it is entertaining to see people like Leonard Mlodinov or Sam Harris or Michael Shermer debate Chopra, but therein lies the problem. By associating their names with him, they give Chopra much-needed credibility. With them, he is an unusual spiritual thinker. Without them, he is just a fool.