Rupert Sheldrake’s Response to Banned TED Video: The Science Delusion [video included]

Posted by on March 19, 2013 in Conscious Living, Spirituality, Videos with 63 Comments
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Rupert Sheldrake’s Response to the TED Scientific Board’s Statement

Rupert Sheldrake
March 18, 2013

I would like to respond to TED’s claims that my TEDx talk “crossed the line into pseudoscience”, contains ”serious factual errors” and makes “many misleading statements.”

This discussion is taking place because the militant atheist bloggers Jerry Coyne and P.Z. Myers denounced me, and attacked TED for giving my talk a platform. I was invited to give my talk as part of a TEDx event in Whitechapel, London, called “Challenging Existing Paradigms.” That’s where the problem lies: my talk explicitly challenges the materialist belief system. It summarized some of the main themes of my recent book Science Set Free (in the UK called The Science Delusion). Unfortunately, the TED administrators have publically aligned themselves with the old paradigm of materialism, which has dominated science since the late nineteenth century.

TED say they removed my talk from their website on the advice of their Scientific Board, who also condemned Graham Hancock’s talk. Hancock and I are now facing anonymous accusations made by a body on whose authority TED relies, on whose advice they act, and behind whom they shelter, but whose names they have not revealed.

TED’s anonymous Scientific Board made three specific accusations:

Accusation 1:
“he suggests that scientists reject the notion that animals have consciousness, despite the fact that it’s generally accepted that animals have some form of consciousness, and there’s much research and literature exploring the idea.”

I characterized the materialist dogma as follows: “Matter is unconscious: the whole universe is made up of unconscious matter. There’s no consciousness in stars in galaxies, in planets, in animals, in plants and there ought not to be any in us either, if this theory’s true. So a lot of the philosophy of mind over the last 100 years has been trying to prove that we are not really conscious at all.” Certainly some biologists, including myself, accept that animals are conscious. In August, 2012, a group of scientists came out with an endorsement of animal consciousness in “The Cambridge Declaration on Consciousness”. As Discovery News reported, “While it might not sound like much for scientists to declare that many nonhuman animals possess conscious states, it’s the open acknowledgement that’s the big news here.” (http://news.discovery.com/human/genetics/animals-consciousness-mammals-birds-octopus-120824.htm)

But materialist philosophers and scientists are still in the majority, and they argue that consciousness does nothing – it is either an illusion or an ”epiphenomenon” of brain activity. It might as well not exist in animals – or even in humans. That is why in the philosophy of mind, the very existence of consciousness is often called “the hard problem”.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hard_problem_of_consciousness

Accusation 2:
“He also argues that scientists have ignored variations in the measurements of natural constants, using as his primary example the dogmatic assumption that a constant must be constant and uses the speed of light as example.… Physicist Sean Carroll wrote a careful rebuttal of this point.”

TED’s Scientific Board refers to a Scientific American article that makes my point very clearly: “Physicists routinely assume that quantities such as the speed of light are constant.”

In my talk I said that the published values of the speed of light dropped by about 20 km/sec between 1928 and 1945. Carroll’s “careful rebuttal” consisted of a table copied from Wikipedia showing the speed of light at different dates, with a gap between 1926 and 1950, omitting the very period I referred to. His other reference (http://micro.magnet.fsu.edu/primer/lightandcolor/speedoflight.html) does indeed give two values for the speed of light in this period, in 1928 and 1932-35, and sure enough, they were 20 and 24km/sec lower than the previous value, and 14 and 18 km/sec lower than the value from 1947 onwards.

1926: 299,798
1928: 299,778
1932-5: 299,774
1947: 299,792

In my talk I suggest how a re-examination of existing data could resolve whether large continuing variations in the Universal Gravitational Constant, G, are merely errors, as usually assumed, or whether they show correlations between different labs that might have important scientific implications hitherto ignored. Jerry Coyne and TED’s Scientific Board regard this as an exercise in pseudoscience. I think their attitude reveals a remarkable lack of curiosity.

Accusation 3:
“Sheldrake claims to have “evidence” of morphic resonance in crystal formation and rat behavior. The research has never appeared in a peer-reviewed journal, despite attempts by other scientists eager to replicate the work.”

I said, “There is in fact good evidence that new compounds get easier to crystallize all around the world.” For example, turanose, a kind of sugar, was considered to be a liquid for decades, until it first crystallized in the 1920s. Thereafter it formed crystals everyehere. (Woodard and McCrone Journal of Applied Crystallography (1975). 8, 342). The American chemist C. P. Saylor, remarked it was as though “the seeds of crystallization, as dust, were carried upon the winds from end to end of the earth” (quoted by Woodard and McCrone).

The research on rat behavior I referred to was carried out at Harvard and the Universities of Melbourne and Edinburgh and was published in peer-reviewed journals, including the British Journal of Psychology and the Journal of Experimental Biology. For a fuller account and detailed references see Chapter 11 of my book Morphic Resonance (in the US) / A New Science of Life (in the UK). The relevant passage is online here: http://sciencesetfree.tumblr.com/

The TED Scientific Board refers to ”attempts by other scientists eager to replicate the work” on morphic resonance. I would be happy to work with these eager scientists if the Scientific Board can reveal who they are.

This is a good opportunity to correct an oversimplification in my talk. In relation to the dogma that mechanistic medicine is the only kind that really works, I said, “that’s why governments only fund mechanistic medicine and ignore complementary and alternative therapies.” This is true of most governments, but the US is a notable exception. The US National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine receives about $130 million a year, about 0.4% of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) total annual budget of $31 billion.

Obviously I could not spell out all the details of my arguments in an 18-minute talk, but TED’s claims that it contains “serious factual errors,” “many misleading statements” and that it crosses the line into “pseudoscience” are defamatory and false.

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  1. Mechanistic medecine is a complete reduction of science.

  2. Howard@yahoo.com' Howard Brinton says:

    Priesthood in scientific circles are self supporting caste spreading falsehoods is a social problem born of arrogance, greed and nothing scientific.LOL.

  3. jj.degroot@yahoo.co.uk' JJ de Groot says:

    I would like to watch this as a start of a nice change of opinions and views, and please spare the moral comments ….. I like to think that the truth is a game of perspectives and fact, if there is discussion then there is an in-balance, and there where the fun starts ..

  4. alpholive@yahoo.com' chip says:

    Rupert is one hell of a role model. High praise for bare footedness.

  5. wetmntvalley@gmail.com' Candice says:

    too bad for TED, they have really damaged their brand beyond repair. perception now will place them in the info control column. It is so brilliant that they would challenge Sheldrake of all people – it will send his book to the best seller list and forever connect the TED taint to it. struck a nerve did he?

  6. mxmyst@gmail.com' Michael Williams says:

    Sadly, it appears the TED Conference has been hijacked by the Reductionist/Materialists, who now run the show. I’ve lost whatever confidence I did have in the event until these narrow minded ones are rebuffed, which doesn’t appear to happen in the foreseeable future.

  7. rlohlhausen@gmail.com' R Ohlhausen says:

    It’s rather interesting because Rupert said what he has always said, for 30+years, at an event entitled “Challenging Existing Paradigms.”… it would seem that they either were completely ignorant of Sheldrake’s work or they really didn’t want to have their paradigms challenged after all and it was some kind of polemic or point they wanted to make. Either way, it has become all to apparent recently that TED has crossed-over into darker waters.

  8. I thought Sheldrake was brilliant. I’ve read the his Wiki page and listened to the TED talk posted. It has already been established in astrophysics that the current physics and mathematics aren’t sufficient to cope or understand what is being discovered in these fields. It’s a shame that the scientific community is acting like the crazed catholics from the middle ages and tying up science in dogma and absolutism considering how science has evolved over millenia. To remove him from places like TED is censorship which I wholeheartedly deplore. Has science forgotten that it was exploratory minds that made discoveries that couldn’t be explained fullly at the time?

    As for his morphic resonance theory, it has already been shown in marine biology that plankton ‘acts consciously’ as a group to benefit the group, some plankton self-sacrifice to enable their neighbours to flourish – a clear example of collective consciousness at work. At the turn of the last century, a Russian scientist proposed that consciousness, or collective thought acts to influence its surroundings. It was termed the noosphere, something I’ve been researching a lot lately as its theory for a collective consciousness, god, spirits, memories etc., that can help to explain what is otherwise unexplainable.

    Sadly, most brilliant and progressive thinkers were persecuted in their life time and only vilified after their deaths. Science needs to get its head out of its ass and remember its roots and have an eye on the future.

  9. *should say vindicated, not vilified… typing in a fury, lol.

  10. allanrockwell@yahoo.ca' Allan Perck says:

    Yep, it seems Ted has turned over to the dark site… or should we call him Darth Dogma?

  11. clearoakcn/@aol.com' Mike Conover says:

    It is a truism that the esablished order is self-supporting and resists change. TEDx has certainly become mainstream and established. A brand name that has a (well deserved, I think) reputation of cutting edge intellectual exposure to preserve. The (ironic) truth is that preservation and cutting edge will always be in tension. Instead of giving someone the platform to present that/those person’s perspective and talk differing with Sheldrake, they chose to take his talk down. The opposite of the concept of a platform for cutting edge ideas, thought, and presentation. Too bad for them. Sad for me and all the other folks who have gained wisdom, understanding, and insights from Tedx talks and those we have encountered on that platform.

  12. EllenkoratNje@hotmail.com' Ellen Korstanje says:

    TED stands for Technology, Education and, Design. If TED does not allow open inquiry as an aspect of their supposedly educational goal, who will? Not publicizing the names of their board members who banned the Rupert Sheldrake talk is like withholding the names of the chemical compounds in fracking: a gross abuse of the public information dynamics of which of which the U.S. is SUPPOSED to be the foremost advocate.

    • elansunstar@gmail.com' elan sun star says:

      AND we dont see the “S” in the acrtonym TED for Science so why is science the issue for TED? And not one of these critics has read Ruperts boooks Their Science is based on prejudice Science and since they are afraid of debate then true science and scientific debate cannot occur But no one at TEd nor the critics has read Rupert’s books for the details and the footnotes and scientific paper quotes.

  13. Kudos to Rupert Sheldrake whose reputation and scientific endeavors precede and follow him. TED has indeed lost their credibility for visionary promoting.
    I hope some level headed scientists will take up the challenge to explore deeper beyond “constants”.

  14. ecoartist1@bellsouth.net' J.A. says:

    TED: bought and sold by the highest bidder: fear. Unfortunately, the flatlanders have only further pancaked their own one-dimensionality. Sheldrake rising!

  15. elansunstar@gmail.com' elan sun star says:

    The two prominent issues are that TED enver read Rupert’s books and 2) they wont reveal who their “Science Board” is and who is on it . Yes this event will bring an astounding book (The Recent (Science Delusion or in the US Science Set Free) to the forefront BUY the downlaodable audiobook version via Audible as it is a revelation in insight and humor. I have learned that TED is TED they are good at what they do and yes it is “owned” and has a board.

  16. Watching his Sheldrakes 18 minute presentation actually did create a paradigm shift in me, and I thought I had already completed all the paradigm shifts I was going to complete given I spent thousands of hours in meditation and doing psychic related sessions after living for 27 years not knowing what I or others were capable of. Sheldrake helps the growing number of us whose realities are so different from mechanistic science that negates what we OBSERVE and EXPERIENCE on a minute to minute level. It helps us deal with the INSANITY of a viewpoint and dogma disguised as the truth under the lofty title of Science. Science has been hijacked by those with an agenda just as God has been hijacked by various politicians! We must take it back so it can do what it was intended, move humanity forward, not backwards.

  17. mrskingone@yahoo.com' Susan Bard says:

    Yes, science is a belief system which includes in it dogmas, inaccuracies, contradictions, unknown factors, assumptions, theories stated as facts, and can be intellectually restrictive by intentionally ignoring information and questions that challenge what science believes it has already “proven” (constants). What also annoys me is the theory often touted by “scientific people” that the abandonment of religions and spiritual “beliefs” will result in the acceptance and proving that Science is the only truth and is therefore “universal” truth.

    The problem is that Science is nowhere near possessing universal truth. I have argued forever the manner in which Darwinism is taught in schools. Darwin’s Theory of Evolution is a THEORY. Its not taught as though it is. And in this way it has been set forward as scientific “gospel” and therefore as the alternative to religion (religion becoming a hiss and a byword in Scientific circles). And so by this reasoning religion should not be studied in Schools. This even though a great deal of who and what we are as people is based on Humankind’s spiritual ventures and not just on our scientific ones. I don’t believe that Science can begin to replace or explain Humankind’s Spiritual experiences and aspirations. I don’t believe Science can replace them or explain them away. And I think its STUPID TO BAN THIS VERY REASONABLE TED TALK!!

  18. Marianscottmaui@gmail.com' Marian scott says:

    Good for TED, the way Sheldrake characterizes scientists is far off the mark. Which branch of scientists is he talking about? Geologists? Astro physicists are always acknowledging that dark matter is a theory. Do any of your supporters ever actually read what scientists say? To speak of science as the new church dogmatism is just wuwu.

    • luc_rockit@yahoo.com' luc says:

      mainstream science

    • elansunstar@gmail.com' elan sun star says:

      Read the book
      Science Set Free and get a LOT of data
      he is not criticising jsut pointing out inconsistencies and also variables in those factors heretofore considered stable and invariable such as the speed of light / His exampoes in the book are hundred fold.

    • philip-cockburn@talktalk.net' Philip Cockburn says:

      Suggest you read “The Field” by Lynne McTaggart and watch “TheLiving Matrix” DVD to open your mind to what is really going on outside the Dogma of the mechanistic and materialistic world.

      • elansunstar@gmail.com' elan sun star says:

        ….and read his recent book “Science Set Free” for the specific research and insights he only begins to talk about in the 20 minute talk….

    • elansunstar@gmail.com' elan sun star says:

      If you wont enter into direct scientific debate with him as he has requested then where is the science you talk of. And you are not capable of critiquing his statements in a 20 minute talk since you have not even read his book(s) especially the one this talk is based on (Science Set Free). What are you basing your critique on madame? Reactions? Prejudice? Would you liek to debate Sheldrake with specific questions and honroable debate?

    • cooperstwo@yahoo.com' Susan says:

      Afraid that you’ve got that wrong…do scientists ever read published peer reviewed work that doesn’t fit their old paradigms – or are they afraid their egos will suffer too much (and their pocketbooks) if they even consider new ideas and possibilities. History has shown (just read the history of how neuro researchers were kept down) over and over that closed minds, “scientists” invested in their theories and with TENURE won’t open their minds one iota – it’s all about fear, not about good, inquisitive science – just read Sheldrake’s book and you will have an epiphany, promise!

      • Marianscottmaui@gmail.com' Marian scott says:

        Just watch Morgan Freedman’s “Through the Wormhole” and you will have an epiphany too. I did mention that I have been aware of Sheldrake morphic fields since 1981 didn’t I?

        • cooperstwo@yahoo.com' Susan says:

          I have and I didn’t – have you read Sheldrake’s new book or are you just talking and talking and talking about how he is wrong and the “establishment” is right??

          • Marianscottmaui@gmail.com' Marian scott says:

            I’m sorry, I thought I was talking to people interested in consciousness and I didn’t expect to run into rudeness for expressing a different opinion.

          • Marianscottmaui@gmail.com' Marian scott says:

            What do you think science is? The anti Christ? If you will have the good manners to read the thread you will see that I did not attack Sheldrake, I defended scientists. I thought this was about consciousness, not reactive faith based defense.

          • cooperstwo@yahoo.com' Susan says:

            faith based???

          • Marianscottmaui@gmail.com' Marian scott says:

            You appear to believe what Sheldrake says or why would you defend his thesis? His ideas are not proven. I am so far from establishment , I’m the far far mystic beatnik who loves science as the New Age iit turns out is based on belief. Although I would characterize my self as deeply spiritual, I am interested in real discovery and objective data, and that is science. Many people are afraid science will undermine their beliefs. I am not as my Spirit doesn’t depend on anything outside me.

          • cooperstwo@yahoo.com' Susan says:

            congratulations.

          • Marianscottmaui@gmail.com' Marian scott says:

            Thanks love.

          • How this has all gotten out of hand Sheldrake never “attacked science” that is an emotionally reactive definition of what he did which is not science but reaction.
            If any skeptic had the minimal brin power to read or listen to Sheldrakes new book he would hear ALL the data presented. it is Science that is odds with its own formerly static measurements. Sheldrake was not postulating anything but presenting what has been found in many labs around the world for the last 150 years as anomalies.
            All this “so called” science is the farthest thing from sane rtional research just reactive skeptics
            Read Sheldrakes books dont watch 20 minute youtube videos The youtube generation is mentally handicapped ..with data and prone to comment too much . If these skeptics are scientists then why dont they even have the capacity to read Sheldrakes last book? Can we get an answer to that?
            Dont carry this discussion any further if you have not read the book
            If you have not then contact me directly.
            https://www.facebook.com/elan.star?ref=tn_tnmn

          • How this has all gotten out of hand Sheldrake never “attacked science” that is an emotionally reactive definition of what he did which is not science but reaction.
            If any skeptic had the minimal brin power to read or listen to Sheldrakes new book he would hear ALL the data presented. it is Science that is odds with its own formerly static measurements.

            Sheldrake was not postulating anything nor did he ever remotely attack “Science” but presenting what has been found in many labs around the world for the last 150 years as anomalies.
            All this “so called” science is the farthest thing from sane rational research just reactive skeptics .If therre was any “attack” it was to perster TED to take this talk down..Sheldrake never “attacked” if so then in your vaulted scientific detailed analysis with facts state such and get on with life and leave Sheldrakes talk intect “as is”
            Read Sheldrakes books dont watch 20 minute youtube videos The youtube generation is mentally handicapped ..with data and prone to comment too much . If these skeptics are scientists then why dont they even have the capacity to read Sheldrakes last book? Not studying his insights would not be called “science” nor was it rational discussion.
            Can we get an answer to that?
            Dont carry this discussion any further if you have not read the book
            If you have not then contact me directly.
            https://www.facebook.com/elan.star?ref=tn_tnmn

  19. gabsmacjoy@gmail.com' Gaby says:

    A sad day for TED – the only way forward in science is the continuous challenge of new ideas, pointing out anomalies in any current theory or paradigm. Just imagine a world without those questions and new ideas – we might still believe that the earth is the center of the universe and/or flat. So really nothing new under the sun – Galileo, Copernicus both knew the incredibly strong ‘defense system’ the current ‘powers that be’ – they ended up in prison so as to silence them. It is strange though that TED Talks has succumbed to this powerful ‘defense system’ – in a way Sheldrake has been silenced as well. I thought this was exactly what TED Talks was about…..giving those innovative, creative and challenging ideas a platform, a place for new and unusual thoughts to be voiced and heard. So that the debate may go on, to help us all – on this planet – find our way forward!!

  20. scottc@telkomsa.net' clive scott says:

    Crucifiction by ignorance as usual.

  21. philip-cockburn@talktalk.net' Philip cockburn says:

    Excellent talk by Sheldrake! Science is (or should be) all about new ideas. Russell’s law states that the resistance to new ideas increases by the square of their importance. There is however, nothing more powerful than idea whose time has arrived. Criticism will strengthen it and controversy will help it spread.
    Many other scientists have been villified for their ideas (eg Fritz-Albert Popp who lost his job at a top university, and it was 25 years before his ideas were accepted) but have been proved right over the course of time.

    • elansunstar@gmail.com' elan sun star says:

      Excellent insights
      Few have even read his last book and comment merely on a 20 minute talk. Liked your insights.

  22. elansunstar@gmail.com' elan sun star says:

    AND we dont see the “S” in the acronym TED for (Science) so why is science the issue for TED? And not one of these critics has read Ruperts boooks Their Science is based on prejudice Science and since they are afraid of debate then true science and scientific debate cannot occur But no one at TED nor any of the critics has read Rupert’s books for the details and the footnotes and scientific paper quotes. They comment on a 20 minutes talk not on his science which can only be caontained in a 500 page book not a 20 minutes talk. No Debate TED Now science, Debate IS science Refutation is not science it is prejudive , TED….. Rupert present more than adequate science in the book..but TED and its so called board ofscientists and non scientific commentators has not accepted the scientific debate request. THAT is the lack of science… it is called lack of entering into scientific debate….

    • gussie@sonic.net' Gussie says:

      You said it, Elan! What should be removed is the unscientific “science board” not Sheldrake’s talk. The “board” is quite mistaken in its accusations regarding what Sheldrake said. Supposedly the purpose of TED is to stimulate ideas, to make readers think, and their medievalist action of removal of his words is certainly in opposition to that purpose. Shot yourselves in the foot, Board!. Too bad.

      • Marianscottmaui@gmail.com' Marian scott says:

        Debate science? Science is verified. Philosophy may be debated and you may be convinced by one point of view. You can debate Sheldrakes lovely theory, but whoever won that debate would not have proved his theory. Did you notice it’s Sheldrake critising s science initially?

  23. gussie@sonic.net' Gussie says:

    Hello, Marian,

    The science he’s theorizing about is the same kind of science that hooted at Alfred Wegener, who theorized “continental drift”–but later Wilson and Vine discovered the evidence on the ocean floor, that created a new science, tectonics. A man named Popp was booted from his university job because of his ideas–which were proven to be correct 25 years later. Darwin’s theory of evolution is still only a theory, but it’s taught in schools as if it were gospel.

    Many scientists decry religion and psychic experiences, but they happen just the same. When I was 13 I overheard my mother telling our neighbor about the dream she’d had the night before–that her father, wearing a black, blue and white plaid shirt, came in the kitchen door of the farmhouse, and dropped dead on the floor. The next day, Friday, she took my brother and me out of school and drove to the farm. I slept that night on a couch in the dining room, where I could see the kitchen door. On Saturday morning he came in, wearing that shirt–and dropped dead on the floor. My grandmother tried to revive him; she told me to bathe his feet in hot water, while she pumped his arms, to no avail.

    Basically, what Sheldrake is saying is “Look again.” Science is not set in stone. It is conducted by human beings who may be mistaken in their interpretation of the evidence, some of whom will defend that interpretation, no matter what.

    I’ve always believed that “ceramics” meant working with clay to make dishes,
    vases, figurines, and other items solid but fragile. But NASA uses ceramics to shield the radioactive “fuel” that makes heat as it decays, which makes electricity that will run the Cassini probe for 10 years or more. And more recently, using chemistry, scientists have developed “flexible ceramics” which certainly seems like an oxymoron at first reading. The method is expected to be developed for many medical and electronic uses.

    Why should the board have thrown out his talk? What exactly did they think they were defending? Something is not necessarily true (or false) because people have believed for years or decades that it was one or the other.

    • Marianscottmaui@gmail.com' Marian scott says:

      To Gussie
      Thanks for you thoughtful reply, I was interested in your own experiences.
      I am looking at science and religion from the far side. My parents were Theosophists, I had visions of pagan gods and the Holy Mother as a child. My BA is in art, ceramics specifically . I majored in psychedelics in Big Sur in the sixties , entered a mystical school and spent 15,000 hours in meditation.
      I have friends who dropped out of being nuclear physicists, I live on Maui, home of the alternate spiritual beliefs.
      I became interested in science from taking psychedelics, why do birds fly the patterns of the clouds? Thermals! Why does it look as if there is so much space in our bodies? Because the ratio of matter to space is very small indeed!
      What interested me in science was confirmed data, look at the rock layer, count down and there is the evidence of fire, ocean, volcano.
      I meet for coffee with astro physicists , they say, we think it works like this. The Dalai Lama says the same, we think it works like this. Few religious people speak in those terms, they are convinced, it is faith.
      There is an interesting article in Mays Discover magazine “where is thought” it is about the body mind , something mystics and body workers at Esallen have been saying for years. To quote , ” some scientists argue the evidence points to something far deeper and more radical. It’s not just that our bodies influence thought: it’s that thought itself is a system that simultaneously takes place in the brain, the body and the environment around us. ”
      Sounds like Sheldrake may get verification from the cognitive scientists. TED acted precipitously no doubt, but attacking science would call your ideas into question.
      Most of the defending comments are reaction to science being perceived as the enemy of spirit and therefore your hard held beliefs. Desperately held beliefs that lead to the suspension of finding truth.
      I spent most of my life helping found the New Age only to find that people just invented another belief system and are afraid to look. Afraid like the church was , please just look through the glass Galileo pleaded. To equate scientists with the Holy Church as some pleading Sheldrakes case did is faith based fear.

    • gussie@sonic.net' Gussie says:

      Marion, I was not attacking science per se, but I repeat, “what Sheldrake was saying is “Look again.” Science is not set in stone. It is conducted by human beings who may be mistaken in their interpretation of the evidence, some of whom will defend that interpretation, no matter what.”

      And, “Something is not necessarily true (or false) because people have believed for years or decades that it was one or the other.”

      True science is not involved with either of the foregoing, but both paragraphs seem to me to be what some or all of the board was doing. I LIKE “We think it works like this.”

      You speak of “attacking science” and that my ideas would be objectionable–but I don’t have any theories. When you were majoring in psychedelics and testing them, I was raising three young daughters, all of whom, as adults, have religious faith although I did not indoctrinate them. They sometimes went to Sunday School with friends; they do not attend any church now. The same with me–I find most dogma of whatever denomination unacceptable, but though I do not attend, I, too, have faith–it is what resonates within me, and if it does not resonate, I disregard it. I accept all religions in my acquaintances, will not argue with them about it. It would be like trying to sell iceboxes to Eskimos. My friends, fortunately, do not suffer from fanaticism.

      One thing I do believe, which you may take issue with, is that at bottom all science will be shown eventually to have a spiritual basis.

      You say, “Most of the defending comments are reaction to science being perceived as the enemy of spirit and therefore your hard held beliefs. Desperately held beliefs that lead to the suspension of finding truth.” To whom are you talking here? Not me. I defended Sheldrake because I considered his statements reasonable–not necessarily fact–& because I considered the board to have been unreasonable in withdrawing his talk from the TED list.
      My faith had nothing to do with it. “Look again!” I don’t believe most of the anti-board commenters said (or thought) what you think they did.

      • Marianscottmaui@gmail.com' Marian scott says:

        I don’t take issue with science finding there is consciousness pervading the Universe. My hope is we find sciencific data brings unity to humanity. I’m just a dreamer but I expect human consciousness to evolve. Scientists have shown that 10,000 hours of meditation makes permanent changes to the brain. Also that stimulating one area of the brain produces peak experiences, deep spiritual insights even in people who have no religious background. I know you were not yourself attacking, you were the one who answered, this is titled Conscious Life and your answers are insightful, thank you Gussie.

  24. gussie@sonic.net' Gussie says:

    Marion, I was not attacking science per se, but I repeat, “what Sheldrake was saying is “Look again.” Science is not set in stone. It is conducted by human beings who may be mistaken in their interpretation of the evidence, some of whom will defend that interpretation, no matter what.”

    And, “Something is not necessarily true (or false) because people have believed for years or decades that it was one or the other.”

    True science is not involved with either of the foregoing, but both paragraphs seem to me to be what some or all of the board was doing. I LIKE “We think it works like this.”

    You speak of “attacking science” and that my ideas would be objectionable–but I don’t have any theories. When you were majoring in psychedelics and testing them, I was raising three young daughters, all of whom, as adults, have religious faith although I did not indoctrinate them. They sometimes went to Sunday School with friends; they do not attend any church now. The same with me–I find most dogma of whatever denomination unacceptable, but though I do not attend, I, too, have faith–it is what resonates within me, and if it does not resonate, I disregard it. I accept all religions in my acquaintances, will not argue with them about it. It would be like trying to sell iceboxes to Eskimos. My friends, fortunately, do not suffer from fanaticism.

    One thing I do believe, which you may take issue with, is that at bottom all science will be shown eventually to have a spiritual basis.

    You say, “Most of the defending comments are reaction to science being perceived as the enemy of spirit and therefore your hard held beliefs. Desperately held beliefs that lead to the suspension of finding truth.” To whom are you talking here? Not me. I defended Sheldrake because I considered his statements reasonable–not necessarily fact–& because I considered the board to have been unreasonable in withdrawing his talk from the TED list.
    My faith had nothing to do with it. “Look again!” I don’t believe most of the anti-board commenters said (or thought) what you think they did.

    • gussie@sonic.net' Gussie says:

      To Whom it May Concern:

      My apologies for sending my last reply twice. I’m new here & am not quite used to how the program works. I get down on the floor (ow! ouch! oowee!)
      and knock my noggin on the floor to show my sorrow.

      • alas i did the same with no recourse to delete the 2nd

        • gussie@sonic.net' Gussie says:

          Hello, Elan,

          Thanks for trying. I, too, tried to delete it; fortunately the site has taken it out.

          I don’t have or want a facebook account. I would enjoy talking with you without other “ears” flapping.. My name, no caps, at sign sonic dot net. I commend you for your intelligent & lucid prose. In regard to certain others, I feel that “you can ‘tell’ a person, but you can’t tell that person much” especially the anti-Sheldrakes and the TED board. Science may not be “set in stone” but apparently some minds are. So I prefer not to wade any further into that particular fray.

          Regards,
          Gussie

  25. Behrendt@gmail.com' last minute 2013 says:

    hi,I just thought you might want to know that your blog is out of wack when I see it on my iphone. Im not sure if it has something to do with my phones browser or your website? just saying

  26. Marianscottmaui@gmail.com' Marian scott says:

    Thanks, I just keep hitting the wrong space , I don’t have a web site.

  27. What Sheldrake did in his book and the talk to a sharter degree is point out actual scientific data that shows anomalies. That is all he never once criticized this religion called “science” which is meant to refer to reductionist mechanics not the spirit of observation adn true inquiry..which is real science. The term Science has become just like the term “god” it is meaningless as everyone has their hidden emotional reaction with no standard reference for what the terms mean Science does nto mean banning a talk nor is science about rejecting a persons stating scientific facts. What Sheldrake was talking about was sicneifically verifioed events in many labs around th world over a long long period. And he humorously jokes about the big religion called “Science”
    lookm at how everyone worshops adn venerates the term “science” and ther eis no such thing Ther eis replicated tests but when dealing with “small particles” the observer is a BIG factor .
    Study real physics and you find that standard classical large scale physics is not the same as quantum particles adn the human factor.

    Any by the way any scientist worth their fame has a sense of the “unknown”
    the fact that physics will never “know it all” not on the level of feelings and intentions and creativity. All claims to the contrary are boasting materialists with no snese of AWE… The more you know about science lots of science the more you say OMG!

  28. Marianscottmaui@gmail.com' Marian scott says:

    Élan, I don’t do Facebook but will give email, I am interested in examining all discovery. I’m fresh out of belief from spending too big a part of my life in trancedental idealism. So as a senior in the New age I may be moving in a different direction from those under 70. I have become pragmatic, my favorite branch of science is geology. I felt intuitively that genetics would find we had Neanderthal genes. I’m thrilled they found tiny people fossils on Floris island. If scientists make up as many stupid theories as religious leaders have humanity is probably doomed.
    I entered this dialog in response to someone proclaiming science is the new Inquisition, that Rupert is like Galileo and the scientists are the pope.
    I don’t want to read Rupert Sheldrake, I am not debating his value or ideas. I am appalled that anyone on a forum titled Conscious Life can so misunderstand the amazing information science is delivering. They are human too and as deceitful as any other human. Scientists can be greedy, vindictive and plagiarize as any other human. But to dismiss the fabulous verified data available to us because it’s called science is not rational. Over the temple of Apollo in Dehi it says ” Man know thyself”.

    • Marianscottmaui@gmail.com' Marian scott says:

      Élan, you are right scientists know they can never know some things, the more they look the more questions there are. Feelings are not well understood. Eye witnesses cannot be trusted to have seen the truth. Matter is such a tiny amount compared to space, even an atom is mostly space and this is not theory it’s observed. There is a place in the brain that if stimulated gives spiritual visions even to atheists. This is scientific discovery, if no where else, God exists in the human brain. People like myself who come from mysticism find more in common with scientists than religious people. Fred Hoyle said, ” not only is the Universe queerer than we think, it’s queerer than we can think”. That’s what I call a scientist. With respect for your point of view, Marian

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