“THREE decades ago, few scientists were courageous enough to break ranks and question their own belief system,” Deepak Chopra writes.
“Even calling science a belief system sounded outrageous – religion is a matter of belief, science a matter of facts.”
What follows are excerpts from Deepak Chopra’s recent article in the San Francisco Chronicle SFGate – Dr. Rupert Sheldrake’s top 10 list on Scientific Ideology – and H. P. Blavatsky’s “Ten Items” of natural law in Isis Unveiled (Vol. 2:588), called “the fundamental propositions of the Oriental philosophy.”
“The most far-seeing scientist who was willing to break ranks then, as now, was Rupert Sheldrake, who risked his impeccable credentials as a Cambridge biochemist with real joy, like a man suddenly able to breathe.
“Thirty years after his first heretical books, Sheldrake’s new one, ‘Science Set Free’ is a landmark achievement. No science writing has inspired me more.”
“Sheldrake’s essential point is that science needs setting free from ten blind dogmas. These dogmas embrace a true belief system as much as Roman Catholicism or any other faith. Behind the daily activity of gathering data, science assumes certain things about reality that, according to Sheldrake, are unsupportable.
“The first dogma, for example, holds that the universe is mechanical. If that is so, then everything in the universe is also mechanical, including human beings – or to use a phrase from the noted atheist Richard Dawkins, we are ‘lumbering robots.’
“From a scientist’s perspective, to understand everything that you need to know about human beings, you only have to tinker with all the mechanical parts of genes and the brain until there are no more secrets left.”
“Clearly such a view leaves no room for the soul, which becomes a wispy illusion that needs to be swept away. But then, so does the self, because there is no region of the brain that contains ‘I,’ a person.
“As long as ‘I’ is a hallucination formed by complex neural circuitry, one can throw out – or reduce to mechanical operations – love, beauty, truth, compassion, honor, devotion, faith, and so on, the whole apparatus that makes a person’s life feel valuable. A random universe has no purpose; therefore, giving lumbering robots a purpose is dubious.”