The Science Delusion, a talk banned by TED

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Re: The Science Delusion, a talk banned by TED

Post by LucidFlight » Sun Jun 29, 2014 8:08 am

FBM wrote:Please don't make me. :worried:
*nudge*

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Re: The Science Delusion, a talk banned by TED

Post by FBM » Sun Jun 29, 2014 8:21 am

Xamonas Chegwé wrote: You say that almost like being reminded of Linus Pauling is a good thing. :nono:
:spray: Not really so bad, though. He did a lot of good shit, followed up by some really tinfoil-hat shit. As far as I can tell, the good shit he did has had more influence than the batshit Vit. C shit.
Hermit wrote:I think his talk was binned, and rightfully so, because he maintained that telepathy is real and the mind stretches out from the body to the extent that kind of touches the stars, and backed those claims up with no more than typical new age hand waving. His comments on the constancy of the speed of light and the force of gravity were humorously delivered and thought provoking, though. Had Skeldrake expanded on that sort of instead of taking off into fairy land, the TED board would either have decided to not bin the talk or finished up with tremendous amounts of egg on face. By going off the deep end he has also provided a convenient pretext for the people he criticised not to reply on those matters.
I honestly wonder how much of that he genuinely believes. I suspect that he may be using it rhetorically, strategicallly merely to rattle some cages. Again, I've only just stumbled upon him today, so I don't have a lot of information to go on yet. I agree that cages need to be rattled from time to time, but not that just any old off-the-wall bullshit should be proposed in the effort.

For example, science (if I may be forgiven for the anthropomorphization) does presume a number of things that it can't prove, such as the assumption that the physical laws we've ascertained apply pervasively throughout the entire universe. While I understand the utility of such an assumption, I do have to admit that it is, strictly speaking, unproven. However, that doesn't entail "pixies in the garden" sort of claims. If he were wise, he'd rein that sort of thing in a bit. There's a philosopher of science whose name escapes me at the moment who does a much better version of the Emperor's New Clothes thing wrt scientific assumptions, but without going over the edge into all that paranormal crap. I will search for his name and get back to you on it.

Edit: Paul Feyerabend
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Re: The Science Delusion, a talk banned by TED

Post by FBM » Sun Jun 29, 2014 8:29 am

LucidFlight wrote:
FBM wrote:Please don't make me. :worried:
*nudge*

The Science Delusion [on Ratskep]

:sigh: OK, I guess I'll give it a go. You never know. There may be some useful links amongst the rhetoric.
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Re: The Science Delusion, a talk banned by TED

Post by Hermit » Sun Jun 29, 2014 8:48 am

FBM wrote:I honestly wonder how much of that he genuinely believes. I suspect that he may be using it rhetorically, strategicallly merely to rattle some cages. Again, I've only just stumbled upon him today, so I don't have a lot of information to go on yet. I agree that cages need to be rattled from time to time, but not that just any old off-the-wall bullshit should be proposed in the effort.

For example, science (if I may be forgiven for the anthropomorphization) does presume a number of things that it can't prove, such as the assumption that the physical laws we've ascertained apply pervasively throughout the entire universe. While I understand the utility of such an assumption, I do have to admit that it is, strictly speaking, unproven. However, that doesn't entail "pixies in the garden" sort of claims. If he were wise, he'd rein that sort of thing in a bit. There's a philosopher of science whose name escapes me at the moment who does a much better version of the Emperor's New Clothes thing wrt scientific assumptions, but without going over the edge into all that paranormal crap. I will search for his name and get back to you on it.

Edit: Paul Feyerabend
Yes, Feyerabend. Also Kuhn and not so recently, David Hume. You could go as far back as Plato's cave for trenchant epistemological analyses, and there were several other Greek philosophers who to one extent or another anticipated what later minds had to say on the matter.

I think Sheldrake really does believe the paranormal crap he is spouting. Have a look at the list of books he has authored. Earlier I randomly picked a name among the inhabitants cloud-cuckoo-land as a quasi fellow traveller. It turns out that Deepak Chopra very much approves of Sheldrake for bringing religion and science together.
So you talk about mobs and the working classes as if they were the question. You've got that eternal idiotic idea that if anarchy came it would come from the poor. Why should it? The poor have been rebels, but they have never been anarchists; they have more interest than anyone else in there being some decent government. The poor man really has a stake in the country. The rich man hasn't; he can go away to New Guinea in a yacht. The poor have sometimes objected to being governed badly; the rich have always objected to being governed at all. Aristocrats were always anarchists. - G.K. Chesterton

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Re: The Science Delusion, a talk banned by TED

Post by FBM » Sun Jun 29, 2014 8:50 am

Hermit wrote:...It turns out that Deepak Chopra very much approves of Sheldrake for bringing religion and science together.
Well, that's a fucking red flag if there ever was one. :roll: :airwank:
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Re: The Science Delusion, a talk banned by TED

Post by pErvinalia » Sun Jun 29, 2014 8:52 am

Seth will love this guy, then!
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Re: The Science Delusion, a talk banned by TED

Post by Mr.Samsa » Sun Jun 29, 2014 9:46 am

FBM wrote:
JimC wrote:Sheldrake, eh?

The pixies at the bottom of his garden cleared off because he was stalking them all the time...
I've only just run across him. I gather that he has a reputation. Seems he would be easy to villify using guilt by association, no doubt.
That pretty much sums up most discussions on him.

Now, to be absolutely clear, I've spent an inordinate amount of time criticising the work and claims of Sheldrake (mostly his work with "psychic" dogs) but far too often people will swing so far away from him that they'll deny uncontroversial points simply to avoid agreeing with him. He does make some good points in "The Science Delusion" and they are worthwhile things to discuss - arguably they are outlined in more detail and more eloquently by other people but I think he does a decent enough job. However, as you say, because he goes into the crazy stuff people are forced to deny the simple stuff.
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Re: The Science Delusion, a talk banned by TED

Post by Hermit » Sun Jun 29, 2014 9:53 am

Mr.Samsa wrote:far too often people will swing so far away from him that they'll deny uncontroversial points simply to avoid agreeing with him. He does make some good points in "The Science Delusion" and they are worthwhile things to discuss - arguably they are outlined in more detail and more eloquently by other people but I think he does a decent enough job. However, as you say, because he goes into the crazy stuff people are forced to deny the simple stuff.
Hermit wrote:I think his talk was binned, and rightfully so, because he maintained that telepathy is real and the mind stretches out from the body to the extent that kind of touches the stars, and backed those claims up with no more than typical new age hand waving. His comments on the constancy of the speed of light and the force of gravity were humorously delivered and thought provoking, though. Had Skeldrake expanded on that sort of instead of taking off into fairy land, the TED board would either have decided to not bin the talk or finished up with tremendous amounts of egg on face. By going off the deep end he has also provided a convenient pretext for the people he criticised not to reply on those matters.
;)
So you talk about mobs and the working classes as if they were the question. You've got that eternal idiotic idea that if anarchy came it would come from the poor. Why should it? The poor have been rebels, but they have never been anarchists; they have more interest than anyone else in there being some decent government. The poor man really has a stake in the country. The rich man hasn't; he can go away to New Guinea in a yacht. The poor have sometimes objected to being governed badly; the rich have always objected to being governed at all. Aristocrats were always anarchists. - G.K. Chesterton

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Re: The Science Delusion, a talk banned by TED

Post by Mr.Samsa » Sun Jun 29, 2014 10:10 am

Hermit wrote:
Mr.Samsa wrote:far too often people will swing so far away from him that they'll deny uncontroversial points simply to avoid agreeing with him. He does make some good points in "The Science Delusion" and they are worthwhile things to discuss - arguably they are outlined in more detail and more eloquently by other people but I think he does a decent enough job. However, as you say, because he goes into the crazy stuff people are forced to deny the simple stuff.
Hermit wrote:I think his talk was binned, and rightfully so, because he maintained that telepathy is real and the mind stretches out from the body to the extent that kind of touches the stars, and backed those claims up with no more than typical new age hand waving. His comments on the constancy of the speed of light and the force of gravity were humorously delivered and thought provoking, though. Had Skeldrake expanded on that sort of instead of taking off into fairy land, the TED board would either have decided to not bin the talk or finished up with tremendous amounts of egg on face. By going off the deep end he has also provided a convenient pretext for the people he criticised not to reply on those matters.
;)
Yep, your comments and a few others in this thread have been great - a refreshing change from the usual comments on the topic. If he kept it to a discussion on the limits of science or the philosophical assumptions of science then it would have been a much more valuable discussion, but the crazy new age shit ruins it.
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Re: The Science Delusion, a talk banned by TED

Post by Bazzer » Sun Jun 29, 2014 10:20 am

Sheldrake? He's a right quack.

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Re: The Science Delusion, a talk banned by TED

Post by JimC » Sun Jun 29, 2014 10:33 am

Most of the reasoned critique against a scientific interpretation of the world involves either examples of narrow-minded arrogance on the part of the odd individual scientist, or criticism of the inevitable bureaucratic inertia involved in any human endeavour of any large scale.

None of it diminishes the basic truth, that it is the only valid method of systematically attempting to develop a rational understanding of the universe. Which is not to say that it is the only valid way for humans attempting to express their own identity...
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Re: The Science Delusion, a talk banned by TED

Post by Tero » Sun Jun 29, 2014 11:32 am

Whooptedoo! He reads old books and "measures" the speed of light. :prof:
It obviously proves telepathy!
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Re: The Science Delusion, a talk banned by TED

Post by Hermit » Sun Jun 29, 2014 11:53 am

Tero wrote:Whooptedoo! He reads old books and "measures" the speed of light. :prof:
It obviously proves telepathy!
That is a gross representation. It does not reflect well on you at all.
So you talk about mobs and the working classes as if they were the question. You've got that eternal idiotic idea that if anarchy came it would come from the poor. Why should it? The poor have been rebels, but they have never been anarchists; they have more interest than anyone else in there being some decent government. The poor man really has a stake in the country. The rich man hasn't; he can go away to New Guinea in a yacht. The poor have sometimes objected to being governed badly; the rich have always objected to being governed at all. Aristocrats were always anarchists. - G.K. Chesterton

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Re: The Science Delusion, a talk banned by TED

Post by Tero » Sun Jun 29, 2014 1:43 pm

All it was is a god of the gaps talk.
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Re: The Science Delusion, a talk banned by TED

Post by FBM » Sun Jun 29, 2014 1:52 pm

Not quite. He was legit about the need for scientists to confront the degrees of uncertainty in their work; his train didn't leave the tracks until he started positing things about telepathy and the like, imo.
"A philosopher is a blind man in a dark room looking for a black cat that isn't there. A theologian is the man who finds it." ~ H. L. Mencken

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