The Sweigart Report: Don’t Listen to Deepak | Vol. 3 / No. 14.1

Deepak Chopra | Photo: Maximum Mitch, CC BY-SA 2.0
Deepak Chopra | Photo: Maximum Mitch, CC BY-SA 2.0

Common visitors to the Skeptic Blogosphere will know, as I do, that pretty much anything that comes out of Deepak Chopra’s mouth becomes instantly suspect because of its source. He’s said so many wrong, crazy, or just plain incomprehensible things over the years that I’m starting to wonder where he comes up with it all. And now he’s at it again.

The Forbes headline reads “Deepak Chopra Says Bacteria Listen to Our Thoughts,” and it’s just more of the same. Here’s a sample:

“We are the awakening of bacterial consciousness…”

“GMO interferes with [your gut microbiome’s] ecology. It is the life of the earth. And when it gets inflamed, it sends out metabolites that cause disruption of the activity, both of the epigenome and of the gene directly.”

“The bacterial genes are listening to your thoughts…”

No, Deepak, they aren’t. Your gut bacteria aren’t conscious by any sane definition of consciousness. Your gut bacteria don’t know GMO crops from “organic” ones or irradiated ones or any other cultivated ones. Your bacteria do not listen to your thoughts. You are a quack, who often says things that are patently untrue to promote your bestselling books.

But hey, with over twenty New York Times “best-sellers,” it must be profitable to be a quack at least.

Happy Monday, everyone.


Richard Ford Burley is a writer and doctoral candidate at Boston College, as well as an editor at Ledger, the first academic journal devoted to Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. In his spare time he writes about science, skepticism, feminism, and futurism here at This Week In Tomorrow.


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