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Thread: Would you rather give a TED talk and be banned, or just give a TED talk?

  1. #1 Would you rather give a TED talk and be banned, or just give a TED talk? 
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    Since I found out about Sheldrake's 'banning' I found others as well. Really interesting stuff has been banned. And not without evidence either, like rich people actually don't create our jobs (given by a successful business man). It made me wonder what other really interesting stuff is being denied us by TED.


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    If they have banned Sheldrake, it gives me hope that they are maintaining high standards.

    And this stuff isn't being "denied us" (otherwise you wouldn't know about it). You can find Sheldrake's inane blathering all over the place.


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    Who's Sheldrake?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    Who's Sheldrake?
    This pseudoscientist: Rupert Sheldrake - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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    Ted hasn't banned anyone...but he does like the ladies and bud light

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    Fixin' shit that ain't broke.
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    Ted talks are by invitation. They invited him once, he gave a talk. After a large number of people not only complained but conclusively showed that his talk was factually wrong, the talk was archived and the link removed from the main list. It wasn't deleted, it's still viewable if you have the link. It's likely that he won't be invited again though, which isn't technically the same as banning.

    EDIT: I just went and checked. It's still up on their site, but not on their youtube channel. The pages on the site (there are many blog and conversation entries) give reasons for its removal from youtube, which amount to what I said above.
    Last edited by Karsus; January 22nd, 2014 at 06:18 PM.
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    If Morphic Resonance was A Thing then Humans would probably be galaxy-shaped and not people-shaped.
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    But some people are galaxy shaped. They just ate a whole heap of food to get that way.
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    I've read Sheldrake. He appears to provide evidence to me. His interview on Skeptiko, also on you tube, was quite amazing. He calmly and intelligently demolishes the TED position. Have a look at it. Amazing guy. I like guys like this taking on the establishment.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harry Cowper View Post
    I've read Sheldrake. He appears to provide evidence to me. His interview on Skeptiko, also on you tube, was quite amazing. He calmly and intelligently demolishes the TED position. Have a look at it. Amazing guy. I like guys like this taking on the establishment.
    Then, unfortunately, you don't appear to have much of an idea about how science is practised. What appears like good evidence to you falls way short of proper scientific standards. Contrary to popular belief, science is not a status quo setup as some people imagine, but if you are going to try and topple well established theories with some extraordinary claims, then you damned well better have some extraordinary evidence and some legit research to back them up. Sheldrake does not even come close. Simple as that.

    It's all good and well to think up new avenues of science and we all crave it actually, but it means nothing if it doesn't adhere to the strictest of quality controls. There is an unending torrent of people trying to propose new science, but a vanishing number of them have any legitimacy whatsoever. You have to learn how to tell which is which and it seems you are failing at present.
    Disclaimer: I do not declare myself to be an expert on ANY subject. If I state something as fact that is obviously wrong, please don't hesitate to correct me. I welcome such corrections in an attempt to be as truthful and accurate as possible.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Harry Cowper View Post
    He appears to provide evidence to me.
    The key word there is "appears".
    ei incumbit probatio qui dicit, non qui negat
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harry Cowper View Post
    I've read Sheldrake. He appears to provide evidence to me.
    Then he's a better conman than scientist.
    "Sometimes I think the surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us." -Calvin
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    ...or Harry's as gullible as a creationist...
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    Yes - it is easy to mistake open mindedness for gullibility. Being open minded is an important skill in science. I am trying to maintain it, lest I give in and just become another jaded scientific hack. Kalster, Sheldrake is a world renowned awards winning scientist. I am interested in your suggestion that you possess a superior scientific standard than him. You must be quite something. I mean really. I feel privileged. I'm not being sarcastic. Can you, in the interest of science, provide some evidence, or at least an example of Sheldrake's published research, which shows how unscientific he is? Can anyone?
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    He's the one making an extraordinary claim.

    It's his responsibility to provide the extraordinary evidence if he ever hopes to be taken seriously by people who know what they're talking about.
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    Sheldrake is a world renowned awards winning scientist.
    And there are Nobel Prize winners who've publicly advanced completely daft ideas when they've ventured away from the area they researched and published in for decades.

    There is such a thing as being too clever by half - a trap ready and waiting for super smart people who've won acclaim and awards in their special scientific niche. (Especially if you're unwilling to do the hard work necessary to learn the basics in a topic you are not an expert in.)
    "Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen." Winston Churchill
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  18. #17  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harry Cowper View Post
    Yes - it is easy to mistake open mindedness for gullibility. Being open minded is an important skill in science. I am trying to maintain it, lest I give in and just become another jaded scientific hack. Kalster,
    No it isn't, gullibilty is very obvious. Speaking as a scientist (no doubt one you would consider a "jaded scientific hack") open minded means being open to new explanations based on new data not being so open minded your brain has fallen out so you are taken in by pseudoscience.

    Quote Originally Posted by Harry Cowper View Post
    Sheldrake is a world renowned awards winning scientist. I am interested in your suggestion that you possess a superior scientific standard than him.
    a) see adeladys post
    b) in his field he may be world renonwned and a better scientist than I am, outside of that field he is behaving like a pseudoscientist nut-job, that is what I pointed out.

    Quote Originally Posted by Harry Cowper View Post
    You must be quite something. I mean really. I feel privileged. I'm not being sarcastic. Can you, in the interest of science, provide some evidence, or at least an example of Sheldrake's published research, which shows how unscientific he is? Can anyone?
    There are plenty, try Google (or even just the references in the wiki article I posted).

    EDIT after re-reading I noticed you say "published research", as none of his pseudoscientific guff can be considered research (making shit up doesn't count) I suppose you may win this one on a technicality.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harry Cowper View Post
    Yes - it is easy to mistake open mindedness for gullibility. Being open minded is an important skill in science. I am trying to maintain it, lest I give in and just become another jaded scientific hack.
    Except, of course, you are not a scientist. (Neither am I, BTW.)

    Being open minded is not a skill, it is most people's default position. It needs to be unlearned. The skill that needs to be developed (slowly and painfully) is critical thinking, scepticism and analysis. This is much more demanding; it requires imagination and hard work.

    Being open minded is easy, it just requires you to say, "wow, cool."

    Being critical requires you to go through an entire process of:
    • could that work? if so, how?
    • how many ways could that be tested?
    • has the researcher done that?
    • what was their experimental method?
    • what did they do to eliminate bias (making it blind or double blind, etc)?
    • what other explanations could there be?
    • what has the experimenter done to test and/or eliminate the other effects?
    • what other tests could be done to disprove this?
    • how has the data been analysed?
    • is that valid?
    • is that result significant?
    • what are the error bars and sources of error?
    • how does it compare to a null or chance result?
    • how can these results be reproduced in a different way?
    • has anyone done that?
    • how did their experimental set-up and results compare?


    That is just to start. Then you might want to get serious about it.

    Sheldrake is a world renowned awards winning scientist.
    Even if true, that is irrelevant. (I say "even if true", because I know nothing at all about the man.)

    I am interested in your suggestion that you possess a superior scientific standard than him.
    I don't see where Kalster, or anyone else, has suggested that. Have you looked at Sheldrake's experimental methods and statistical analysis? Or have you just read his books and taken his word that his extraordinary claims are true? Can you point to anyone else who has reproduced his results in a rigorous scientific manner? Because that is what science demands, not "open mindedness".
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    Thought so. Great science guys - 'look up google', 'check our Wiki articles I wrote', no evidence to support your claims. For all your huff and puff, and proclamations about the scientific method, you guys don't sound too good at it in reality. And fancy saying an open mind needs to be unlearnt! Science is a method of testing open minded ideas. Anyone who practices the scientific method is a scientist by definition. It is not a Taliban camp? Einstein would not have said imagination is more important than knowledge, if that were so. How are you guys coming up with anything innovative if you walk around closing minds? Let's try and keep fascism out of science.
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    Wow someone seems to have downloaded a crackpot cliche machine. I suggest you actually study science and how it works before you make more of a fool of yourself by pontificating from a position of ignorance. You are supporting the guy making ludicrous claims, the burden of proof is on you not us. That's how science works, if you are making a claim against the mainstream you are wrong by default until YOU provide evidence to support your position, it is not up to the scientist to "prove you wrong" (a typical crank chant).

    It's not about keeping fascism out of science, it's about keeping unsupported nonsense out of science. If you have data that backs up your claims present it. Empty rhetoric and extolling the benefits of "open-mindedness" won't cut it. If you present evidence I'll address it (note yootube videos don't count, books don't count, any loon can do those; I mean proper peer-reviewed science), if you don't I'll leave you to play make-believe.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harry Cowper View Post
    Thought so. Great science guys - 'look up google', 'check our Wiki articles I wrote', no evidence to support your claims. For all your huff and puff, and proclamations about the scientific method, you guys don't sound too good at it in reality. And fancy saying an open mind needs to be unlearnt! Science is a method of testing open minded ideas. Anyone who practices the scientific method is a scientist by definition. It is not a Taliban camp? Einstein would not have said imagination is more important than knowledge, if that were so. How are you guys coming up with anything innovative if you walk around closing minds? Let's try and keep fascism out of science.
    This is bonkers, Harry. You must know that the world is full of liars, charlatans and people who are just no bloody good. So there is no obligation to take seriously the ravings of every nutter on the street corner. If there were, nobody would ever get anything done. So we ALL in practice use criteria to decide who is worth listening to. Sheldrake's ideas are not so far supported by reproducible evidence, so they do not as yet qualify as accepted science. So we are entitled to be sceptical that they have value until someone, Sheldrake or a disciple of his, manages to produce some. The onus is on him to come up with the goods, not on the science community to prove him wrong.

    You can call us closed-minded if you like, but any decent discipline has to maintain some STANDARDS, otherwise it becomes contaminated with any old shit and ceases to command any intellectual respect.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harry Cowper View Post
    Thought so. Great science guys
    So what have you done to validate Sheldrake's claims?

    And fancy saying an open mind needs to be unlearnt!
    Science is based on evidence, and you appear to be providing good evidence of this hypothesis.
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    We're calling Sheldrake a liar.

    Prove us wrong.
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    Hey - I wasn't calling him the liar or a con man. I've read his stuff. And I have read the work of others who have replicated his experiments, including the sense of people being stared at and other phenomenon linked with Psi, for example. Now before you get too excited... don't bother suggesting psi research is pseudo science as well, cos if you do I'll know for sure you don't know what you are talking about, i.e., all tip and no iceberg.

    Just trying to get into this robust discussion environment here. I noticed straight away that people don't pull punches, so I wanted to see if you could take them as well as deliver them.

    And I don't mind making a fool of myself. Well perhaps I'm not all the way there, but generally I don't take it as personal as I used to. Actually, not being prepared to be thought of as a fool can make one a bit of a sheep in science - and when I talk about 'science' what I of course mean is the scientific method of searching for truth. I've been around long enough to know that one can be as unscientific in a lab as anywhere else. And please, I've studied physical sciences and the humanities for long enough. No more sanctimonious lectures on the scientific method. It just makes you sound like first years.

    Guys, you have to be prepared to be thought of as a fool if you are going to do anything innovative in your life. So embrace it! You're going to have to learn to live with it. Fearing what other people think will debilitate you. Now look whose getting all sanctimonious. Come and join me in being though of as a fool. You'd be surprised the kind of company you will have. And the conversation is more interesting too.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harry Cowper View Post
    Hey - I wasn't calling him the liar or a con man. I've read his stuff. And I have read the work of others who have replicated his experiments, including the sense of people being stared at and other phenomenon linked with Psi, for example. Now before you get too excited... don't bother suggesting psi research is pseudo science as well, cos if you do I'll know for sure you don't know what you are talking about, i.e., all tip and no iceberg.

    Just trying to get into this robust discussion environment here. I noticed straight away that people don't pull punches, so I wanted to see if you could take them as well as deliver them.

    And I don't mind making a fool of myself. Well perhaps I'm not all the way there, but generally I don't take it as personal as I used to. Actually, not being prepared to be thought of as a fool can make one a bit of a sheep in science - and when I talk about 'science' what I of course mean is the scientific method of searching for truth. I've been around long enough to know that one can be as unscientific in a lab as anywhere else. And please, I've studied physical sciences and the humanities for long enough. No more sanctimonious lectures on the scientific method. It just makes you sound like first years.

    Guys, you have to be prepared to be thought of as a fool if you are going to do anything innovative in your life. So embrace it! You're going to have to learn to live with it. Fearing what other people think will debilitate you. Now look whose getting all sanctimonious. Come and join me in being though of as a fool. You'd be surprised the kind of company you will have. And the conversation is more interesting too.
    Harry, have you ever considered why "scepticism" is considered important in the physical sciences? Scientific skepticism - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harry Cowper View Post
    Hey - I wasn't calling him the liar or a con man. I've read his stuff. And I have read the work of others who have replicated his experiments, including the sense of people being stared at and other phenomenon linked with Psi, for example. Now before you get too excited... don't bother suggesting psi research is pseudo science as well
    There has been some good scientific research into psychic phenomena (as well, inevitably, as some bad). As far as I am aware (and obviously I have not read every single piece of research in the area) every scientific study has failed to show any convincing evidence for any psychic phenomena (including being stared at). Feel free to provide some references to such research, if there is something new I might not be aware of.

    and when I talk about 'science' what I of course mean is the scientific method of searching for truth.
    I am glad to hear that (although, I would point out that science doesn't really deal in "truth"; that is more the domain of philosophy, religion and art). One important part of the scientific method is refusing to accept new ideas until there is irrefutable evidence. I'm just not sure you get that bit of it yet.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harry Cowper View Post
    Guys, you have to be prepared to be thought of as a fool if you are going to do anything innovative in your life.
    To quote my British friends, "Bollocks". This is another item on the crank calling card.
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    Fearing what other people think will debilitate you. Now look whose getting all sanctimonious. Come and join me in being though of as a fool. You'd be surprised the kind of company you will have. And the conversation is more interesting too.
    What makes you think anyone is fearing anything?

    As for interesting. There's quite enough interest to be had in finding out about good, well-done science to keep anyone happy for a lifetime.
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    Hey Strange - actually there is now an overwhelming body of evidence for psi effect. If you want to see a modern selection go to Dean Radin's SHOW ME page with downloadable articles on psi and psi-related topics, all published in peer-reviewed journals. Most of these papers were published after the year 2000. Most report experimental studies or meta-analyses of classes of experiments. But these are only recent ones. There are many more done over the last 50 years that together show convincing evidence - One telepathy test involved one person predicting what cards another is looking at, conducted at Duke University, and showed a probability that the results were caused by chance as 1 chance in 1027, that is, 10,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 to 1.

    Since the 1920’s the Ganzfeld ESP Test experiment has been repeated by a vast number of different universities, including Harvard University, Duke University, Cambridge University, Cornell University, Standford University, the University of Leningrad, the University of Amsterdam, and the McGill University in Montreal. The odds against chance accounting for the results is 3X109, that is, three trillion quadrillion to one. The results of these tests have been published in some of the most respected scientific journals, including Science and Nature. There are countless others, and by the way, Radin did some research on being stared at, as well as others. Radin undertook a meta analysis of research conducted by Rupert Sheldrake and others testing people’s ability to tell if they are being watched. It showed an effect that would only be attributed to chance at a staggering probability of 202 octodecillion to 1, (i.e., 2 X 1059 to one). Go to his SHOW ME page and you'll get a whole lot more. This also takes into account things like the a bottom-draw effect.

    Oh, and I agree skepticism is important. But this can go too far. For example, Dawkins appeared on an Australian ABC program last year saying, for example, that there was not a shred of evidence to support ESP. Of course, he was either lying, or an incredibly bad scientist, ie, making totally unsupported and unresearched claims - on national radio, mind you. It is like soccer fans turning into hooligans. It can go from healthy stuff, to rather unhelpful stuff.
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    ‘Sheldrake is an excellent scientist: the proper, imaginative kind that in an earlier age discovered continents and mirrored the work in sonnets.’ New Scientist
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    This can only go one place from here. You people are beyond help, as usual. Pseudo.
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    Disclaimer: I do not declare myself to be an expert on ANY subject. If I state something as fact that is obviously wrong, please don't hesitate to correct me. I welcome such corrections in an attempt to be as truthful and accurate as possible.

    "Gullibility kills" - Carl Sagan
    "All people know the same truth. Our lives consist of how we chose to distort it." - Harry Block
    "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." - Aristotle
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harry Cowper View Post
    Hey Strange - actually there is now an overwhelming body of evidence for psi effect. If you want to see a modern selection go to Dean Radin's SHOW ME page with downloadable articles on psi and psi-related topics, all published in peer-reviewed journals. Most of these papers were published after the year 2000. Most report experimental studies or meta-analyses of classes of experiments. But these are only recent ones. There are many more done over the last 50 years that together show convincing evidence - One telepathy test involved one person predicting what cards another is looking at, conducted at Duke University, and showed a probability that the results were caused by chance as 1 chance in 1027, that is, 10,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 to 1.

    Since the 1920’s the Ganzfeld ESP Test experiment has been repeated by a vast number of different universities, including Harvard University, Duke University, Cambridge University, Cornell University, Standford University, the University of Leningrad, the University of Amsterdam, and the McGill University in Montreal. The odds against chance accounting for the results is 3X109, that is, three trillion quadrillion to one. The results of these tests have been published in some of the most respected scientific journals, including Science and Nature. There are countless others, and by the way, Radin did some research on being stared at, as well as others. Radin undertook a meta analysis of research conducted by Rupert Sheldrake and others testing people’s ability to tell if they are being watched. It showed an effect that would only be attributed to chance at a staggering probability of 202 octodecillion to 1, (i.e., 2 X 1059 to one). Go to his SHOW ME page and you'll get a whole lot more. This also takes into account things like the a bottom-draw effect.

    Oh, and I agree skepticism is important. But this can go too far. For example, Dawkins appeared on an Australian ABC program last year saying, for example, that there was not a shred of evidence to support ESP. Of course, he was either lying, or an incredibly bad scientist, ie, making totally unsupported and unresearched claims - on national radio, mind you. It is like soccer fans turning into hooligans. It can go from healthy stuff, to rather unhelpful stuff.
    Yes, I'd agree, and I'm sure some others on this forum would, that ESP remains a research topic at the fringes of science. But I also think James Alcock makes a pertinent critique of it, when he says it suffers from basic defects from the scientific viewpoint, notably (to my mind) the difficulty in obtaining reproducible effects and, due to this, a basic inability to subject the various theories to falsifiability testing.

    I'd be interested to know if the theory of "morphic resonance" makes any predictions that can be tested by experiment or observation, by neutral parties. This is where most ESP seems to fall down. Do you know of any? And have they been tested? And by whom? And with what result?

    It seems rather to resemble LENR (a.k.a. cold fusion), in possibly being what some sceptics call a "zombie science", that is a sociological phenomenon kept alive by the belief of its devotees, rather than a solid body of reproducible observation for which an explanatory hypothesis is required.

    After all, ESP seems to have made no progress, after about a hundred years of attempts to apply science to it. I struggle to think of any other field of scientific study where this is the case, apart from the various dead ends that have been explored and, rightly, dumped when they led nowhere.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harry Cowper View Post
    Hey Strange - actually there is now an overwhelming body of evidence for psi effect. If you want to see a modern selection go to Dean Radin's SHOW ME page with downloadable articles on psi and psi-related topics, all published in peer-reviewed journals. Most of these papers were published after the year 2000. Most report experimental studies or meta-analyses of classes of experiments.
    I give up.

    What if Dean Radin's Right? - The Skeptic's Dictionary - Skepdic.com
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    Quote Originally Posted by exchemist View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Harry Cowper View Post
    Hey Strange - actually there is now an overwhelming body of evidence for psi effect. If you want to see a modern selection go to Dean Radin's SHOW ME page with downloadable articles on psi and psi-related topics, all published in peer-reviewed journals. Most of these papers were published after the year 2000. Most report experimental studies or meta-analyses of classes of experiments. But these are only recent ones. There are many more done over the last 50 years that together show convincing evidence - One telepathy test involved one person predicting what cards another is looking at, conducted at Duke University, and showed a probability that the results were caused by chance as 1 chance in 1027, that is, 10,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 to 1.

    Since the 1920’s the Ganzfeld ESP Test experiment has been repeated by a vast number of different universities, including Harvard University, Duke University, Cambridge University, Cornell University, Standford University, the University of Leningrad, the University of Amsterdam, and the McGill University in Montreal. The odds against chance accounting for the results is 3X109, that is, three trillion quadrillion to one. The results of these tests have been published in some of the most respected scientific journals, including Science and Nature. There are countless others, and by the way, Radin did some research on being stared at, as well as others. Radin undertook a meta analysis of research conducted by Rupert Sheldrake and others testing people’s ability to tell if they are being watched. It showed an effect that would only be attributed to chance at a staggering probability of 202 octodecillion to 1, (i.e., 2 X 1059 to one). Go to his SHOW ME page and you'll get a whole lot more. This also takes into account things like the a bottom-draw effect.

    Oh, and I agree skepticism is important. But this can go too far. For example, Dawkins appeared on an Australian ABC program last year saying, for example, that there was not a shred of evidence to support ESP. Of course, he was either lying, or an incredibly bad scientist, ie, making totally unsupported and unresearched claims - on national radio, mind you. It is like soccer fans turning into hooligans. It can go from healthy stuff, to rather unhelpful stuff.
    Yes, I'd agree, and I'm sure some others on this forum would, that ESP remains a research topic at the fringes of science. But I also think James Alcock makes a pertinent critique of it, when he says it suffers from basic defects from the scientific viewpoint, notably (to my mind) the difficulty in obtaining reproducible effects and, due to this, a basic inability to subject the various theories to falsifiability testing.

    I'd be interested to know if the theory of "morphic resonance" makes any predictions that can be tested by experiment or observation, by neutral parties. This is where most ESP seems to fall down. Do you know of any? And have they been tested? And by whom? And with what result?

    It seems rather to resemble LENR (a.k.a. cold fusion), in possibly being what some sceptics call a "zombie science", that is a sociological phenomenon kept alive by the belief of its devotees, rather than a solid body of reproducible observation for which an explanatory hypothesis is required.

    After all, ESP seems to have made no progress, after about a hundred years of attempts to apply science to it. I struggle to think of any other field of scientific study where this is the case, apart from the various dead ends that have been explored and, rightly, dumped when they led nowhere.
    Hi Exchemist - yes - Many of the experiments done at universities outside of the US were independent. The Ganzfeld ESP Test experiments were also performed by scientists who professed not to believe in the effects, including Edward Degado-Romero from the University of Georgia and George Howard from the University of Notre Dame. To their apparent disappointment they also achieved a hit rate of 32% - consistent with those done around the world. They then changed the test and created another theory, which did not show positive results, and then discounted the lot. Not really objective of them.

    Now morphic resonance has been around in different forms for quite some time. Morphic resonance takes forward the work of several eminent scientists in the late 19th and early 20th century, the German biologist Hans Spemann, Russian scientist Alexander Gurwitch and Austrian-American biologist Paul Weiss. They proposed a ‘morphogenetic field' which helps account for the development of an embryo. There has been a substantial amount of research around embryonic development, communication between living tissue that can't be accounted for without the modelling of this kind of field around organisms that works with DNA to develop an organism - Sheldrake is the more famous for it, but he appears to be just one of a few.

    If the bulk of evidence wasn't there, I'd be skeptical too. Actually I was. But after looking into it, its hard go back. Recently, some of the most prominent skeptics admitted, for example, that ESP had passed the test of science (Carter, C. Does Telepathy Conflict With Science? Many are starting to think not, The Epoch Times, 2012) . Does Telepathy Conflict With Science? | Beyond Science | Science | Epoch Times

    Kalster - come on, I was enjoying your comments. You said you welcomed corrections in an attempt to be as truthful and accurate as possible.

    Last edited by Harry Cowper; January 28th, 2014 at 06:28 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harry Cowper View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by exchemist View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Harry Cowper View Post
    Hey Strange - actually there is now an overwhelming body of evidence for psi effect. If you want to see a modern selection go to Dean Radin's SHOW ME page with downloadable articles on psi and psi-related topics, all published in peer-reviewed journals. Most of these papers were published after the year 2000. Most report experimental studies or meta-analyses of classes of experiments. But these are only recent ones. There are many more done over the last 50 years that together show convincing evidence - One telepathy test involved one person predicting what cards another is looking at, conducted at Duke University, and showed a probability that the results were caused by chance as 1 chance in 1027, that is, 10,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 to 1.

    Since the 1920’s the Ganzfeld ESP Test experiment has been repeated by a vast number of different universities, including Harvard University, Duke University, Cambridge University, Cornell University, Standford University, the University of Leningrad, the University of Amsterdam, and the McGill University in Montreal. The odds against chance accounting for the results is 3X109, that is, three trillion quadrillion to one. The results of these tests have been published in some of the most respected scientific journals, including Science and Nature. There are countless others, and by the way, Radin did some research on being stared at, as well as others. Radin undertook a meta analysis of research conducted by Rupert Sheldrake and others testing people’s ability to tell if they are being watched. It showed an effect that would only be attributed to chance at a staggering probability of 202 octodecillion to 1, (i.e., 2 X 1059 to one). Go to his SHOW ME page and you'll get a whole lot more. This also takes into account things like the a bottom-draw effect.

    Oh, and I agree skepticism is important. But this can go too far. For example, Dawkins appeared on an Australian ABC program last year saying, for example, that there was not a shred of evidence to support ESP. Of course, he was either lying, or an incredibly bad scientist, ie, making totally unsupported and unresearched claims - on national radio, mind you. It is like soccer fans turning into hooligans. It can go from healthy stuff, to rather unhelpful stuff.
    Yes, I'd agree, and I'm sure some others on this forum would, that ESP remains a research topic at the fringes of science. But I also think James Alcock makes a pertinent critique of it, when he says it suffers from basic defects from the scientific viewpoint, notably (to my mind) the difficulty in obtaining reproducible effects and, due to this, a basic inability to subject the various theories to falsifiability testing.

    I'd be interested to know if the theory of "morphic resonance" makes any predictions that can be tested by experiment or observation, by neutral parties. This is where most ESP seems to fall down. Do you know of any? And have they been tested? And by whom? And with what result?

    It seems rather to resemble LENR (a.k.a. cold fusion), in possibly being what some sceptics call a "zombie science", that is a sociological phenomenon kept alive by the belief of its devotees, rather than a solid body of reproducible observation for which an explanatory hypothesis is required.

    After all, ESP seems to have made no progress, after about a hundred years of attempts to apply science to it. I struggle to think of any other field of scientific study where this is the case, apart from the various dead ends that have been explored and, rightly, dumped when they led nowhere.
    Hi Exchemist - yes - Many of the experiments done at universities outside of the US were independent. The Ganzfeld ESP Test experiments were also performed by scientists who professed not to believe in the effects, including Edward Degado-Romero from the University of Georgia and George Howard from the University of Notre Dame. To their apparent disappointment they also achieved a hit rate of 32% - consistent with those done around the world. They then changed the test and created another theory, which did not show positive results, and then discounted the lot. Not really objective of them.

    Now morphic resonance has been around in different forms for quite some time. Morphic resonance takes forward the work of several eminent scientists in the late 19th and early 20th century, the German biologist Hans Spemann, Russian scientist Alexander Gurwitch and Austrian-American biologist Paul Weiss. They proposed a ‘morphogenetic field' which helps account for the development of an embryo. There has been a substantial amount of research around embryonic development, communication between living tissue that can't be accounted for without the modelling of this kind of field around organisms that works with DNA to develop an organism - Sheldrake is the more famous for it, but he appears to be just one of a few.

    If the bulk of evidence wasn't there, I'd be skeptical too. Actually I was. But after looking into it, its hard go back. Recently, some of the most prominent skeptics admitted, for example, that ESP had passed the test of science (Carter, C. Does Telepathy Conflict With Science? Many are starting to think not, The Epoch Times, 2012) . Does Telepathy Conflict With Science? | Beyond Science | Science | Epoch Times

    Kalster - come on, I was enjoying your comments. You said you welcomed corrections in an attempt to be as truthful and accurate as possible.

    OK Harry, so, what predictions does morphic resonance make, how and by whom have they been tested, and with what results? After all your study, and with your degree of enthusiasm for it, you should be able to mention a couple of examples, I should have thought.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tiet Nguyen View Post
    ‘Sheldrake is an excellent scientist: the proper, imaginative kind that in an earlier age discovered continents and mirrored the work in sonnets.’ New Scientist
    'Sheldrake is an excellent scientist: the proper, imaginative kind that in an earlier age that failed to discover the philosopher's stone and mirrored the work in sonnets. ' Me
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harry Cowper View Post
    Kalster - come on, I was enjoying your comments. You said you welcomed corrections in an attempt to be as truthful and accurate as possible.
    I do, but you weren't correcting me. Don't think I and most other people in this thread haven't been through this before. You also misunderstand. If telepathy of any kind was shown conclusively to be a real phenomenon, I and everyone here would be amazed and absolutely delighted.

    Thing is, after lifetimes of claims, it just doesn't stand on a strong scientific footing. You are being mislead. You are being taken in by the passion and apparent sincerity of the writers and their astonishing claims, along with your own desire for it to be true. There is an unending list of non-scientific claims being made with equal passion and apparent sincerity and a massive stack of books about all of it, ranging from crystal powers to alien abduction to bigfoot and faith healings and on and on and on ad infinitum.

    Despite your claims to the contrary, you are NOT exhibiting an understanding of the scientific method and critical thinking. Science IS open to anything, as long as it is arrived at through a strict adherence to quality controls. We humans are far too easily bamboozled.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harry Cowper View Post
    Hi Exchemist - yes - Many of the experiments done at universities outside of the US were independent. The Ganzfeld ESP Test experiments were also performed by scientists who professed not to believe in the effects, including Edward Degado-Romero from the University of Georgia and George Howard from the University of Notre Dame. To their apparent disappointment they also achieved a hit rate of 32% - consistent with those done around the world. They then changed the test and created another theory, which did not show positive results, and then discounted the lot. Not really objective of them.
    If you don't consider taking the time to perform the experiment then forming a conclusion based on the outcome as objective, I don't know what is...
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harry Cowper View Post
    And fancy saying an open mind needs to be unlearnt!
    Anyone who thinks there is some credibility in this point of view(really?) might want to take a look at this other thread:
    History Channel is Really Ruining the Public's Idea of Science
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    There has been a lot of insults, but actually Harry has been the only one to come up with any evidence. And moving this to the pseudo science section was just being a bad sport about it.

    Hey - I just realised...I've now had my own experience of being banned - well, moved to the naughty section, along with the Sheldrakes of the world.... I get it now..
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tiet Nguyen View Post
    There has been a lot of insults,
    True, but most of them were justified.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tiet Nguyen View Post
    but actually Harry has been the only one to come up with any evidence.
    Utterly false, unless you have a very different meaning for "evidence" than anyone with a scientific background would accept/

    Quote Originally Posted by Tiet Nguyen View Post
    And moving this to the pseudo science section was just being a bad sport about it.
    Nope, it is pesudoscience, just because you are scientifically illiterate enough or gullible enough to believe it doesn't make it science. It's not about being a bad sport, it's about quality control.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tiet Nguyen View Post
    There has been a lot of insults, but actually Harry has been the only one to come up with any evidence. And moving this to the pseudo science section was just being a bad sport about it.
    But he hasn't, yet.

    He's given some examples of people working on various things at various times, but it is all vague and unspecific as to WHAT has come out of it that stands up in a scientific sense.

    He has yet to answer my enquiry to him about Morphic Resonance, namely, to give examples of predictions made by this theory, what attempts have been made to test them, by whom, and with what result. I'm waiting for answers to this. I don't know whether you can perhaps help by providing some, can you?

    You see, there is all the difference in the world between people just working away on something, and then writing up what they have done, and actually coming up with a concrete, falsifiable theory and subjecting it to reproducible testing. This is typically where studies of ESP fail to deliver the goods, which is why they have gained no acceptance in the science community to date.

    If Morphic Resonance is science, then it should successfully predict experiments or observations that confirm it , which can be carried reproducibly, by neutral parties. I doubt that it can, but I am willing to be convinced otherwise.

    Over to Harry and yourself.
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    I'm just saying, people wanted examples and he supplied them. You might want more but surely you need to do some work of your own. You can't just keep saying people are incompetent scientists or frauds etc... in the face of research that has actually been quoted, without having some grounds for it, without having some examples to show yourself. Call me naive, but it looks to me that it needs to cut both ways. I don't fall for the "extra-ordinary claims ..." line of Carl Sagan's. Who is it that determines what is 'extra-ordinary'. I think it is more about what isn't the prevailing view in science, which isn't so holy as it changes all the time.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tiet Nguyen View Post
    I'm just saying, people wanted examples and he supplied them. You might want more but surely you need to do some work of your own. You can't just keep saying people are incompetent scientists or frauds etc... in the face of research that has actually been quoted, without having some grounds for it, without having some examples to show yourself. Call me naive, but it looks to me that it needs to cut both ways. I don't fall for the "extra-ordinary claims ..." line of Carl Sagan's. Who is it that determines what is 'extra-ordinary'. I think it is more about what isn't the prevailing view in science, which isn't so holy as it changes all the time.
    WHAT examples did he give? I saw none.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tiet Nguyen View Post
    ‘Sheldrake is an excellent scientist: the proper, imaginative kind that in an earlier age discovered continents and mirrored the work in sonnets.’ New Scientist
    Would you please provide the issue date and page number for this quotation. I should like to see who made it and in what context.
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    Hi Galt. You are probably not going to like this. It is on the front page of his whole book "A New Science of Life" Buy A New Science Of Life (Life Sciences: General Issues Book) by Rupert Sheldrake (9781848310421) Online at Bookworld with free shipping. I guess there are those who would call them gullible, easily led, over-enthusiastic, wishful thinkers too, Like they called Harry? I would suggest then it would be quite easy to get your stuff published in the mag.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tiet Nguyen View Post
    I guess there are those who would call them gullible, easily led, over-enthusiastic, wishful thinkers too
    Yeeees.
    Then again we have this (from 2011):
    Sheldrake book: Did we really say that?
    Graham Lawton, deputy magazine editor

    It's usually a pleasure to see CultureLab reviews being mined for promotional pull-quotes. But not always. Sometimes it feels like desperate barrel-scraping on behalf of the publisher.

    Icon Books recently re-issued a book called The Presence of the Past: Morphic resonance and the habits of nature by Rupert Sheldrake, first published in 1988. For those who don't know Sheldrake, he is an independent researcher who believes, among other things, that dogs are telepathic.
    The front cover carries a single promotional quote:

    "'Engaging, provocative... a tour de force'. New Scientist."
    Eh?
    Given that we didn't review this "fully revised and updated" edition, we were a little surprised. Where did Icon get this quote from? Did they make it up? Did Sheldrake use morphic resonance to retrieve it from the future?
    Er, no. It turns out that New Scientist reviewed the first edition nearly 23 years ago (21 July 1988, page 63 - it's too old to be on the New Scientist archive but Icon kindly sent us a PDF). The reviewer, American historian Theodore Roszak, did indeed say it was "engaging, provocative" and "a tour de force" (though not in that order).
    Back then, Roszak gave Sheldrake the benefit of the doubt. Today, attitudes have hardened and Sheldrake is seen as standing firmly on the wilder shores of science

    Entire quote given to point out that A) Sheldrake's publisher (in at least one instance) was not above rearranging a quote AND applying it to a book that wasn't actually reviewed by New Scientist (and therefore were misleading prospective readers) and B) DO NOT hold the opinion you have quoted.
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    You know - I was just about to go on and say - well done. Thank you. I stand corrected. Then I saw you were talking about a different book and a different quote.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tiet Nguyen View Post
    You know - I was just about to go on and say - well done. Thank you. I stand corrected. Then I saw you were talking about a different book and a different quote.
    I'll leave you, John G and Dywddyr to sort this one out.

    But don't forget, I'm also still looking forward to answers to the questions I asked you and Harry. I'm fully willing to engage in a civil discussion about this, if you can come up with concrete examples.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tiet Nguyen View Post
    You know - I was just about to go on and say - well done. Thank you. I stand corrected. Then I saw you were talking about a different book and a different quote.
    Well, Tiet, if you had gone through Sheldrake's Wiki entry, you would see that those sentiments no longer exist. In his second book that Dywyddyr mentioned, the positive review was given by someone in 1988. The re-release would get a bad review according to New Scientist, as would and does all of his books today by well respected science publications and scientists.

    Wouldn't you concede that that would be the case for his first book as well, i.e. that the New Scientist quote was from back in 1981 (or older still)? Why would they endorse the first one so strongly and criticise the rest so strongly now? Then further still, I find the quote curious in that it doesn't seem to describe the book, but Sheldrake himself. He was in fact a good scientist before he started writing down all of this claptrap. In fact: "A 2012 profile in The Guardian described the Sheldrake of that era as "one of the brightest Darwinians of his generation".[3] His development with Philip Rubery of the chemiosmotic model of polar auxin transport has been described as "astonishingly visionary".[39] Their work in the 1970s was confirmed in the 21st century" - Wikipedia

    Does that magically make any of his new claims legit simply because he USED to be a good scientist? Hell no.

    In light of this, the only conclusion is that the quotes are at least slightly dishonest and/or quote mined. His morphic resonance stuff simply does not stand up to rigorous scientific scrutiny.

    Edit: I see the re-released and expanded version published in the US under the title "Morphic Resonance: The Nature of Formative Causation" now omits the New Scientist quote and instead sports a glowing endorsement by Deepak Chopra. That's more like it.
    Last edited by KALSTER; January 31st, 2014 at 07:16 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tiet Nguyen View Post
    You know - I was just about to go on and say - well done. Thank you. I stand corrected. Then I saw you were talking about a different book and a different quote.
    Largely irrelevant which book/ quote they were talking about.
    A) It shows that publishers aren't above selective quoting for promotional purposes, and
    B) It clearly states Sheldrake is seen as standing firmly on the wilder shores of science.

    I.e. however he was regarded in the past that view no longer pertains.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rupert Sheldrake, from his website.
    Thanks to molecular biology, we know what genes do. They enable organisms to make particular proteins. Other genes are involved in the control of protein synthesis. Identifiable genes are switched on and particular proteins made at the beginning of new developmental processes. Some of these developmental switch genes, like the Hox genes in fruit flies, worms, fish and mammals, are very similar. In evolutionary terms, they are highly conserved. But switching on genes such as these cannot in itself determine form, otherwise fruit flies would not look different from us.
    The assertion that genes, do not or cannot, code for morphology is patently ridiculous. Just google "genes code for morphology".

    This thread so totally belongs in the TRASH!
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    Quote Originally Posted by GiantEvil View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Rupert Sheldrake, from his website.
    Thanks to molecular biology, we know what genes do. They enable organisms to make particular proteins. Other genes are involved in the control of protein synthesis. Identifiable genes are switched on and particular proteins made at the beginning of new developmental processes. Some of these developmental switch genes, like the Hox genes in fruit flies, worms, fish and mammals, are very similar. In evolutionary terms, they are highly conserved. But switching on genes such as these cannot in itself determine form, otherwise fruit flies would not look different from us.
    The assertion that genes, do not or cannot, code for morphology is patently ridiculous. Just google "genes code for morphology".

    This thread so totally belongs in the TRASH!
    I'd agree with trash, but I think casual readers need to see Sheldrake debunked as much as possible. You can't see the Trash if you are not logged on.

    Morphology genes are the Hox genes, among others, if I am not mistaken.
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    Hi Tiet. Thought I lost you. Been moved I see to the naughty corner like Sheldrake. Got to separate you from real science subjects like "what are you doing right now" and "jokes". Don't worry, you're in good company. I started to provide some research, as you can see, but as you saw this was totally ignored, even by exchemist, who I provided it for. I even gave him some research done by 'non-believers'. He then moved it on to Morphic Resonance. If I had thought I was getting somewhere, I might track through my stuff and find the references. And if Exchemist wants to acknowledge the stuff I gave in the already, I might even do it. As you suggest, it has to cut both ways.

    I've found the contributions above valuable, even Kalster's, as I can see he took the time to look into the matter somewhat. While I concede I need to more careful with Sheldrake now, thanks to the advice, I also think that there is a responsibility on those who call Sheldrake a fraud and a crank etc... to read his stuff. From the responses above, people who should know better seem to be relying on second hand information to form their views. I am also of the view that we don't have to solve everything about a phenomenon before we can see it as a legitimate line of research. One gets the feeling from the above that there is an in principle position not to investigate ESP or Morphic Resonance, just because it has not been fully explored (see the irony). I know from a whole lot of different research that there are anomalies through nature that can make sense by considering a multi-dimensional field around an organism. It has alignments with Morphic resonance, and like Gravity itself, deserves research, even if we don't know everything about it.

    The other thing you have observed is the inherent bias (sure of both sides) but particularly of the more seasoned commentators above, reflecting to some extent what institutional science is like. It isn't their fault. It is called mindsets. Researchers like Professor Bernd Lingelbach, Professor Allan Snyder and Daniel Kahneman (who often talks about how his work was ridiculed as pseudo science before he won a Nobel Prize for it) show that people are blinded by their own expertise. Their preconceived view of the world can dominate the the way they interpret information to the extent their brains blind them, literally, to alternative views or the merits of them. Education or levels of intelligent do not help either. Check out a reported by Lehrer ‘Why smart people are stupid’, The New Yorker, June 2012. This is why when they can't understand why someone else disagrees, they resort to personal swipes like - someone has a pathology as a wishful thinker - has a need to believe, implying they are of course immune to such conditions. Not saying I don't have my bias of course. Happy to admit it. But I'm not calling any area of science taboo. To do this I think, is the only place where 'extraordinary evidence' would be required.

    In the words of Frank Zappa, “A mind is like a parachute. It doesn't work if it is not open.”
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  56. #55  
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    Hi guys

    Just popping in to give my 2 cents worth.

    I just wanted to say how much I appreciate that this thread is still alive and well despite the considerable debating going on between mainstream science and the defence of more arcane hypothesis. The debate going on here is vigorous but considered and quite diplomatic. I especially liked the way Harry that you used indirect referral in your last post to make your salient comments as opposed to reverting to personal attack on a perspective you obviously are quite interested in.

    The result of this debate is producing a very interesting thread (at least to me) that progressively becomes more interesting as it evolves. While none of us are privy to Sheldrake's mindset, we can certainly seek to learn about his viewpoints from reading his works before we are in a sound position to offer critical comment. That is a valid position to take in science for much of what hard science is about (particularly with contemporary science) is in being able to extend directions of enquiry well beyond simple small tweaking adjustments of mainstream accepted theory.

    The reason for this of course is that mainstream accepted theory has progressively been unified over the course of time to a point where an interdisciplinary approach to progression is required and that requires a collaboration of mindsets and perspectives to critically review and address. To achieve this as an isolated enquirer (without the support of collaborators) is such an ambitious goal that I doubt from this viewpoint whether there will be any further major revolutions in theory. As it currently stands we are likely to see very minor extensions of mainstream theory as opposed to major revolutions (which maybe is exactly what is needed in further unifications). As an analogy for example, let’s assume that Ptolemy’s astronomical model was merely extended through small steps that did not significant depart from consensus view. This would significantly hold back science. It therefore took a few isolated thinkers to have to scheme in silence to overturn this view. While the scientific over-turn was significant, the real merit was in these thinkers testing mainstream view at considerable risk.

    For example, here we are dispatching Sheldrake immediately as a nutter despite the possibility that he has contributed to science from his past works. I have to trust those that say he is a nutter on this forum as unfortunately in this debate not much has actually been discussed about his ideas at all. All of you would demand however that I should go ahead and make up my own opinion and are just giving their considered viewpoints. However the reality is (particularly for those who do not have the requisite skills to make this assessment) that in a single utterence of 'he is a nutter' from respected members here who have made valuable contributions in the past on this forum that I should perhaps 'trust' their opinion. In doing so I therefore have to consider that at least those that hold this view have spent the time to assess his ideas and have validly come to this opinion from a sound scientific basis. What is happenning here is coersion of the scientific process. Many weaker minds would fall prey to this. This is not science, this is a simple human condition of wielding a power axe. On one hand comments on this thread are saying that we should now accept Sheldrake as a crank despite any contribution he may have made previously to science.....then on the other hand I need to accept a simple statement of 'he is a nutter, without a valid reason as to why' based on a members valuable previous contributions they have made on this forum and I should trust that opinion. Can you see the irony of what is going on here? You may say there is no irony as I should go and make an assessment of Sheldrake myself, but I am not capable of making this assessment without collaboration from experts out there.

    Today we see this risk threatening those that step outside of mainstream dogma with a nations expulsion of the thinker or the loss of a career. Why does science have to be this way? This is not science, this is interference in science by subjective personal beliefs and opinion and the impact if power-bases in the scientific community.

    For example in areas of cognitive science where ideas such as morphic resonance is proposed, it is exceedingly difficult to progress the theory alone unless you are a specialist across an array of disciplines (eg. geneticist, neuroscientist, behaviour researcher etc.) While it may be very likely that this idea of morphic resonance might be very wrong, it’s definition provided here is not so exotic that it can be dispatched without at least consideration. It is touching on areas of genetic research and cognitive research that we are still quite unclear about.

    Let’s just throw our minds back to when Einstein was dabbling with his thought experiments in SR and GR before he ventured forth with his fully fledged theories. In this initial dabbling before he threw his developed thoughts to the mathematicians to progress, it would have been very hard to bounce ideas about with collaborators (particularly with SR as at this stage his respect in the profession was limited. His achievements are therefore remarkable because of this lone gun approach to ‘considerable’ theory extension (not really just a tweaking of ideas of Newton, Maxwell, Faraday, Leibnitz, Mach and Lorentz). As luck would have it he broke through with SR which gained his standing in science and made mainstream science far more amenable to his theory on GR which required an even greater mindset and theory extension.

    Why is it in the interests of science to leave the hard yards to individuals as mainstream view refuses to consider in detail the propositions put forward. Isn’t it in the interests of science (particularly in theoretical science) to have at least experts at the disposal of inquisitors who are prepared to at least work with the theory before a valid judgement can be performed?

    While I understand the need to be very protective of accepted mainstream theory due to it's solid footing it holds with observation, I don't think it is in the interests of science to be so diabolically dogged in it's resistance to at least consider exotic theories particularly emanating from those scientists that have already contributed significantly to the mainstream view. Examples I would site in this regard are David Bohm. Unfortunately I am not fully aware of Sheldrake and his ideas as I have not spent considered time and effort trying to understand them. I therefore cannot dispatch them until I have read and considered them and also bounced around the ideas in detail with colleagues who can add their considered perspective.

    I actually think that Science needs to learn a lot from the project managers out there who can draw on the diverse skill sets of professionals in the diverse array of fields that are related to any hypothesis to collectively work on that hypothesis towards a solution. For example, imagine that as members of this forum we were asked by a hypothetical boss out there to come up with a theory of the universe in say the next year as our careers depended on it.

    As opposed to taking a lone journey to try and attempt this apparently impossible task to avoid the ire of mainstream view, if all the participatory minds in this forum for example commenced from 1st principles as opposed to commencing from their own biased viewpoint of accepted theory, then given the faith I have of the mindsets on this forum, as a project manager, I think that just by thought alone we could go a fair way into solving this puzzle. All we would have to do is recognise that at each step in our thought processes from first principles we just have to ensure that accepted theory such as SR, GR, QM etc. can still be satisfied in this process. This way we therefore recognise that each theory works very well in their respective domains of application but a broader theory exists of the universe that embodies al these domains.

    Anyway, all I can say about Sheldrake is that I will take the time to get to know his ideas personally before I throw them into a bucket simply because of the respect he is due to his previous contributions to science and also by the apparently considered and fairly *non-crank* manner in which he has sought to defend his position from quite hostile response. I think it is fair to say we have probably lost a lot of good scientists who could have significantly further contributed to science from the actions of 'less valuable' scientific contributors who simply have had an axe to grind. Yes there are cranks out there we need to watch out for and smite but also there are also 'masses' out there looking for a simply lynching that we must also stamp on in the interests of science.
    Last edited by Implicate Order; January 31st, 2014 at 09:37 PM.
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  57. #56  
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    Implicate Order - thank you so much for your insightful contribution. I'm in awe!
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  58. #57  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harry Cowper View Post
    Hi Tiet. Thought I lost you. Been moved I see to the naughty corner like Sheldrake. Got to separate you from real science subjects like "what are you doing right now" and "jokes". Don't worry, you're in good company. I started to provide some research, as you can see, but as you saw this was totally ignored, even by exchemist, who I provided it for. I even gave him some research done by 'non-believers'. He then moved it on to Morphic Resonance. If I had thought I was getting somewhere, I might track through my stuff and find the references. And if Exchemist wants to acknowledge the stuff I gave in the already, I might even do it. As you suggest, it has to cut both ways.

    I've found the contributions above valuable, even Kalster's, as I can see he took the time to look into the matter somewhat. While I concede I need to more careful with Sheldrake now, thanks to the advice, I also think that there is a responsibility on those who call Sheldrake a fraud and a crank etc... to read his stuff. From the responses above, people who should know better seem to be relying on second hand information to form their views. I am also of the view that we don't have to solve everything about a phenomenon before we can see it as a legitimate line of research. One gets the feeling from the above that there is an in principle position not to investigate ESP or Morphic Resonance, just because it has not been fully explored (see the irony). I know from a whole lot of different research that there are anomalies through nature that can make sense by considering a multi-dimensional field around an organism. It has alignments with Morphic resonance, and like Gravity itself, deserves research, even if we don't know everything about it.

    The other thing you have observed is the inherent bias (sure of both sides) but particularly of the more seasoned commentators above, reflecting to some extent what institutional science is like. It isn't their fault. It is called mindsets. Researchers like Professor Bernd Lingelbach, Professor Allan Snyder and Daniel Kahneman (who often talks about how his work was ridiculed as pseudo science before he won a Nobel Prize for it) show that people are blinded by their own expertise. Their preconceived view of the world can dominate the the way they interpret information to the extent their brains blind them, literally, to alternative views or the merits of them. Education or levels of intelligent do not help either. Check out a reported by Lehrer ‘Why smart people are stupid’, The New Yorker, June 2012. This is why when they can't understand why someone else disagrees, they resort to personal swipes like - someone has a pathology as a wishful thinker - has a need to believe, implying they are of course immune to such conditions. Not saying I don't have my bias of course. Happy to admit it. But I'm not calling any area of science taboo. To do this I think, is the only place where 'extraordinary evidence' would be required.

    In the words of Frank Zappa, “A mind is like a parachute. It doesn't work if it is not open.”
    Sorry Harry, I was not aware I was "moving it on" to morphic resonance. I thought this thread was about Sheldrake and why his theory is not considered science. That theory, I had understood, is morphic resonance. Which is why I asked you the questions I did, about morphic resonance.

    These were: what predictions does morphic resonance make, how and by whom have they been tested, and with what results? Just a couple of examples would be fine.

    If on the other hand you don't think morphic resonance is science, then we are all agreed and it answers the original question about the TED attitude to Sheldrake.

    BUT, until we can get a proper discussion going on specifics such as this, whining about prejudiced mindsets is unwarranted.
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  59. #58  
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    Sorry everyone. Party's over.

    Harry, Tiet, Jignesh were really speaking with one voice.

    They are one voice. No more. All banned.
    "Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen." Winston Churchill
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  60. #59  
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    Quote Originally Posted by adelady View Post
    Sorry everyone. Party's over.

    Harry, Tiet, Jignesh were really speaking with one voice.

    They are one voice. No more. All banned.
    Thanks. So that's another advocate of pseudoscience exposed as a devious charlatan. There seems to be a lot of it about.
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  61. #60  
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    One voice, half a brain.
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  62. #61  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harry Cowper View Post
    While I concede I need to more careful with Sheldrake now, thanks to the advice, I also think that there is a responsibility on those who call Sheldrake a fraud and a crank etc... to read his stuff. From the responses above, people who should know better seem to be relying on second hand information to form their views.
    I have one of Sheldrake's books. I have read it. I wanted his hypothesis to be true. (Since you do not know me, you cannot know how intensely and sincerely I wanted it to be true.) Unfortunately I found his thesis wholly unconvincing.

    Edit: I really ought to read the entire thread before replying to earlier posts. Harry/Tiet will likely never read this now, but at least what I hope is an open mind is on record.
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  63. #62  
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt View Post
    I have one of Sheldrake's books. I have read it. I wanted his hypothesis to be true. (Since you do not know me, you cannot know how intensely and sincerely I wanted it to be true.) Unfortunately I found his thesis wholly unconvincing.

    May I ask why you want his hypothesis to be true?
    "The only safe rule is to dispute only with those of your acquaintance of whom you know that they possess sufficient intelligence and self-respect not to advance absurdities; to appeal to reason and not to authority, and to listen to reason and yield to it; and, finally, to be willing to accept reason even from an opponent, and to be just enough to bear being proved to be in the wrong."

    ~ Arthur Schopenhauer, The Art of Being Right: 38 Ways to Win an Argument (1831), Stratagem XXXVIII.
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