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Old 20th February 2009, 07:33 AM   #1
Edx
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Randi CONFESSED he LIED !!! -- Rupert Sheldrake

Im having a discussion on another forum and Rupert Sheldrakes name has come up. You can read the whole post here but I will post here a few quotes.

He started off saying this:

"I've seen a scientist, having a presentation on google techtalks (it's even here somewhere) about his rigorously proven everyday telepathy and he talked about how Randi lied about the refutation of that telepathy reaserch findings. . Randi even gave up and confessed he lied. "

I then pressed him for what he is talking about and he posts this youtube video for a Google Techtalks presentation by Rupert Sheldrakes and says this:

"(towards the end of the video, during final open questions)

Rupert Sheldrake, a biologist, is that scientist talking here on google techtalks about how them both tried to discredit his research without their own evidence and without any interest in discussing Sheldrake's evidence
."

I had never heard about Sheldrake before and cant find that much information on him on here so can someone please point me in the right direction, or at least tell me what the whole deal with Randi was?

As I say you can read more of what this guy said to me here if it helps.
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Old 20th February 2009, 07:37 AM   #2
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Ask Randi himself. Shoot off an email. I've read about Sheldrake and the guys research is a joke among the scientific community. Or as one of my daughters profs at MIT said, "Sheldrake is the village idiot of the scientific community, or would be if any serious sceintist would even want to include him in our community".
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Old 20th February 2009, 08:05 AM   #3
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For those of us who don't want to view the other thread and watch the 97 minute video, could you please tell us if Sheldrake cites a source, or if you can cite a source for Randi lying?
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Old 20th February 2009, 08:31 AM   #4
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@kittynh: Thanks, might do as its probably the best idea.

@jimtron: This is the claim here . The main issue with it is when he says... "This is simply not true, and Randi now admits that he has never seen the tape".

Theres also this page which has some email correspondence between Randi and Alex Tsakiris, and this article which claims:

"...this is exactly the kind of independent research, by a major university, James Randi has been calling for. We even agreed to forgo the million dollar prize he offers in order to secure his involvement and resolve this question scientifically, but he refused."

The responce I have seen Randi give is this, but there may be more I dont know of.

" In describing his "dog" tests some years back, I made an error, promptly admitted it, and seemed at that point to have been written off his list as an incompetent, a condition that's remained ever since. "
--- Jan 17th 2003 Commentary

Last edited by Edx; 20th February 2009 at 08:33 AM.
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Old 20th February 2009, 10:06 AM   #5
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I followed those links, but I don't see where Randi "confessed" to a lie.
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Old 20th February 2009, 10:13 AM   #6
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Sounds to me like Sheldrake is taking a page from the Book of Woo - after you've been thoroughly discredited, make up a controversy to give everyone some sense that you actually matter.

Sheldrake is a wedge, the simplest of all the tools.
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Old 20th February 2009, 11:13 AM   #7
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You're too kind, Matt. Truth is, Sheldrake has never offered scientific proof of his claims, mainly because he can't.

EDX, seriously; you have better ways to spend your time.
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Old 21st February 2009, 05:35 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by jimtron View Post
I followed those links, but I don't see where Randi "confessed" to a lie.
My point exactly, Sheldrake claims Randi made claims about the video tape but then claims Randi subsequently says he never saw the tape. I guess thats what this guy Im talking with is talking about when he says Randi confessed he lied, but I want to know if Sheldrake pulled this out of his ass totally or if it refers to a real event thats got distorted or something.
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Old 21st February 2009, 10:12 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Edx View Post
My point exactly, Sheldrake claims Randi made claims about the video tape but then claims Randi subsequently says he never saw the tape. I guess thats what this guy Im talking with is talking about when he says Randi confessed he lied, but I want to know if Sheldrake pulled this out of his ass totally or if it refers to a real event thats got distorted or something.
Without even bothering to Google this, ISTR that this refers to the "dog going to the window" video. Randi said that "we had seen it" and did not find it convincing. He later "had to admit" that he had not seen it but depended on a report from a German associate. If you note that Randi did not say "I saw it", the statement can easily seen as him speaking for the JREF organization.

The fact that the Woos have to bring this up over and over again as though it proves something awful about "the perfidious lying Randi", just shows the paucity of their case.

Let Randin's friends prove they have ever completed and submitted an application for the MDC and I would be really impressed.

As far as Sheldrake's experiments and conclusions are concerned, not only has he failed to convince the "failed washed up atheist magician", he has also failed to convince any scientist.
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Old 21st February 2009, 10:19 AM   #10
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Randi and Sheldrake have quite a history. You might want to go farther into looking at some more SWIFT issues. (Not as much fun as the Randi/Gary Schwarz history, but still very interesting.)

Unless Sheldrake has something signed in ink or an actual video of Randi saying something, I wouldn't put much store in his homeopathological arguments. (Homeopatho- because like Dr. Gary, he has an infusion of about 1 part evidence or truth to about a million parts blah-blah.)
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Old 21st February 2009, 11:07 AM   #11
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But the OP had words in ALL CAPS!!!! With EXCLAMATION POINTS!!!!1!1!!!
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Old 21st February 2009, 11:17 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by jimtron View Post
For those of us who don't want to view the other thread and watch the 97 minute video, could you please tell us if Sheldrake cites a source, or if you can cite a source for Randi lying?
At about 00:05:52 into the video,
Rupert Sheldrake cites a source:
Quote:
"it's part of a theory I've developed, which I don't have time to explain today."
Rupert earned a Ph.D. and lectures?
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Old 21st February 2009, 12:57 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Ernie M View Post
Quote:
"it's part of a theory I've developed, which I don't have time to explain today."
Rupert earned a Ph.D. and lectures?
Presumably in Advanced Tergiversation and Applied Procrastination.
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Old 21st February 2009, 03:42 PM   #14
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I can't see any sense in this at all.

First of all, EDX sends us to a site where some ignoramus is refusing to back up his accusation that Randi lied.

Then I listened to Sheldrake's speech until my eyes glazed over. I admit I could not hack the entire showing. Sheldrake gives notiong but anecdotal evidence of the powers he describes:

"Wild animals can sense someone looking at them [using esp]."

Any hunter will counter that with other anecdotal evidence, such as "If you're downwind, quiet and stealthy, and conceal yourself with a blind or by hiding most of your body out of sight of the animal, better yet use camouflaged clothing, you can get your shot."

Sheldrake quotes an anecdote from a book to support his claim that "people can sense wild animals looking at them."

He cites the tiger hunter Jim Corbett (born July 1875 died 1955). I have read that book. It describes dozens of native people being stalked by maneaters and then the animal rushes them and takes them down. Why didn't they sense the animals?

Sheldrake believes that our consciousness extends beyond our brains, and this belief is the basis of his hypothesis to explain the existence of esp and similar phenomena.

Sheldrake hypothesizes that the the retinal image we have when we see an object is actually outside of our brain; the image is the object itself, so our consciousness is as big as our field of vision.

Well, my TV has shown me space shots of objects as far away as Jupiter's moons.. Therefore my television set is almost as big as the planetary solar system.

Then to support that Randi lied, EDX says "The responce [sic] I have seen Randi give is this, but there may be more I dont [sic] know of."

And EDX sends us to a site which contains this quotation:

" In describing his "dog" tests some years back, I made an error, promptly admitted it, and seemed at that point to have been written off his list as an incompetent, a condition that's remained ever since. "

--- Jan 17th 2003 Commentary

EDX, this is insulting to us. The site you quote makes no mention of Randi at all. The quotation is attributed to "UK rader Peter Fox ". The full quotation is

"My experience with Rupert Sheldrake has all been by e-mail, and my attempts to test his wonders have been refused. In describing his "dog" tests some years back, I made an error, promptly admitted it, and seemed at that point to have been written off his list as an incompetent, a condition that's remained ever since. "
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Old 21st February 2009, 07:17 PM   #15
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Babbits,
I think you're leaning towards thinking that EDX is doing a set-up, here. Yet, I think, that EDX is "Ed" over there - the one asking them for any actual evidence.
Mind you, your points are accurate, but I think you're seeing something a little bit sinister, and I see someone who just hasn't organized his thoughts (or post) very well. We see this semi-regularly around here. (We also see anti-Randi trolls, too, but I don't feel that EDX is in that group.

EDX,
I read this as you - acting as a skeptic - having difficulty with the bombast of one of the people in the discussion. If that's correct, Babbits' summary is very good. As I was insinuating above, there's a long history of Sheldrake trying to get people to take his "research" seriously, but not producing any real research. And, more to the point of your discussion - Sheldrake's (as with Gary Schwarz) argument is EXACTLY the same sort of hyperbole that that poster is throwing at you.

"Hey, man! You talk about science! I could bring you science, because boy do I have science. Yeah, I'm all sciencey and stuff, but this is just a chat and you need to trust people 'cuz if you don't, man, you're just like too dumb, ya know!" It's like an old flower child argument supporting pyramid power or crystals. Just open your mind up and you'll be free. WHAT A BUNCH OF CRAP.

This kind of argument can be very frustrating if you're the lone voice of reason. All you can do is brush away all the rhetoric and keep to the single point - "Yeah, that and a buck will get you a cup of coffee, but what about that evidence you were going to provide?"

If you want to see a similar approach, see Jeff's current SWIFT and the commentary. "Can't you just be nicer to the little psychics who really aren't bothering you?" Poppycock.
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Old 22nd February 2009, 03:44 AM   #16
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Even if Randi commits murder, it doesn't make Sheldrake's delusions any nearer to reality.
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Old 22nd February 2009, 07:38 PM   #17
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Hi Foolmewunz,

No, I didn't think EDX was setting us up. I think he found the site frustrating. Jimtron did too, I think. But he was politer than I was.

I hope I was not unfair. I, too, found the site "thezeitgeistmovement.com" to be rather irritating. But I thought EDX didn't do a good job of presenting the issue to us.

Maybe he was just frustrated with it.
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Old 22nd February 2009, 07:51 PM   #18
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I'm not much good with statistics, but this Sheldrake chappie should perhaps not tell us he's a biologist. His reasoning is unscientific.

Example: Sheldrake supports his claims re esp by citing many reports by mothers (anecdotal "evidence ").
Mothers, babies and breastfeeding:

Mothers report that when they are away from their babies, they can tell when the baby "needs them".

First of all, they may begin spontaneously lactating. (I guess that's the soggy bra syndrome. )
Second, they "believe" that their baby needs them.

Typical anecdote.

Woman is out shopping. Suddenly she believes that her baby needs her. At the same instant, approximately, she may begin spontaneously lactating. She phones home. Some person answers the telephone. That person confirms that, yes indeed, the baby actually needs the mother!

By "needs the mother" may we assume S. means the baby needs to breastfeed?

Since Sheldrake does not define baby, may we assume he means a child under the age of one year?

Since Sheldrake does not define the caregiver basis for deciding whether or not to report that the baby needs the mother, as opposed to having some other need, we ask:

What criteria can we accept, for the purposes of determining if the baby is transmitting its need to its mother?
- Baby cries?
- Baby is fussing?
- Baby sends esp signals to the caregiver ?
- Caregiver is tired of taking care of the baby?

May we assume the caretaker reports that the baby is fussing or crying?

Outcomes:

a) The mother goes home and confirms that the baby did in fact need her.

b) The mother goes home and finds that her belief was wrong; the baby did not need her.

Sheldrake says he has calculated the odds against outcome (b) at a billion to one against pure chance.

A billion to one!

In the face of such virtually impossible odds, the hypothesis that the mother and child communicate by esp is not just supported, but confirmed?
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Old 22nd February 2009, 09:32 PM   #19
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Babbits,

Okay - we concur. I think we're just more familiar(some of us) with the infamous moving of goal posts and dodging of issues of some of these guys.

Essentially, what you cite is Sheldrake's overall problem (and once again, the problem of Gary S). These people cite a group of anecdotes that they've put into card files as scientific evidence. And if that evidence consists of scoring a full hit for answering positively to, "Have you ever had the feeling that your baby needed you and then had that turn out to be true?", then they're going to get scores of 90/95%. They don't mention the number of times that the baby was sound asleep.
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Old 23rd February 2009, 10:11 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by babbits View Post
I'm not much good with statistics, but this Sheldrake chappie should perhaps not tell us he's a biologist. His reasoning is unscientific.

Example: Sheldrake supports his claims re esp by citing many reports by mothers (anecdotal "evidence ").
Mothers, babies and breastfeeding:

Mothers report that when they are away from their babies, they can tell when the baby "needs them".

First of all, they may begin spontaneously lactating. (I guess that's the soggy bra syndrome. )
Second, they "believe" that their baby needs them.

Typical anecdote.

Woman is out shopping. Suddenly she believes that her baby needs her. At the same instant, approximately, she may begin spontaneously lactating. She phones home. Some person answers the telephone. That person confirms that, yes indeed, the baby actually needs the mother!

By "needs the mother" may we assume S. means the baby needs to breastfeed?

Since Sheldrake does not define baby, may we assume he means a child under the age of one year?

Since Sheldrake does not define the caregiver basis for deciding whether or not to report that the baby needs the mother, as opposed to having some other need, we ask:

What criteria can we accept, for the purposes of determining if the baby is transmitting its need to its mother?
- Baby cries?
- Baby is fussing?
- Baby sends esp signals to the caregiver ?
- Caregiver is tired of taking care of the baby?

May we assume the caretaker reports that the baby is fussing or crying?

Outcomes:

a) The mother goes home and confirms that the baby did in fact need her.

b) The mother goes home and finds that her belief was wrong; the baby did not need her.

Sheldrake says he has calculated the odds against outcome (b) at a billion to one against pure chance.

A billion to one!

In the face of such virtually impossible odds, the hypothesis that the mother and child communicate by esp is not just supported, but confirmed?
And what baby does not always need its mother. Has a mother ever rushed home and her baby not been awfully glad to see her?

Me thinks that Sheldrake might think he knows his dogs but is absolutely clueless about babies. I wonder if he has ever seen one?
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Old 23rd February 2009, 10:22 AM   #21
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Mother rushes home, sensing that baby needs her because baby needs feeding every 3 hours, and she is late, hence her milk leaking everywhere...
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Old 23rd February 2009, 07:00 PM   #22
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Anybody remember 'morphogenic fields?' Mice in China would learn a maze and others in U.S. would as a result learn it faster? The big test with a beloved Japanese children's poem, a new poem, and Japanese gibberish and the test group was supposed to recall the oft heard children's poem.

The test was a total joke, and even then they didn't get strong results. He and Uri should do a combo act in Vegas.
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Old 25th February 2009, 04:48 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by recursive prophet View Post
Anybody remember 'morphogenic fields?' Mice in China would learn a maze and others in U.S. would as a result learn it faster? The big test with a beloved Japanese children's poem, a new poem, and Japanese gibberish and the test group was supposed to recall the oft heard children's poem.

The test was a total joke, and even then they didn't get strong results. He and Uri should do a combo act in Vegas.
Do you have a link? I don't doubt you, but I want to read up on it, and honest-to-god the first thing I thought of when you said "morphogenic fields" was the cat Greebo turning into a man in Terry Pratchett novels... ; )

It would not surprise me at all to discover that this was some ridiculous real-world hypothesis at which Pratchett was poking fun and that I didn't get the joke out of sheer ignorance.
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Old 25th February 2009, 06:32 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by Edx View Post
My point exactly, Sheldrake claims Randi made claims about the video tape but then claims Randi subsequently says he never saw the tape. I guess thats what this guy Im talking with is talking about when he says Randi confessed he lied, but I want to know if Sheldrake pulled this out of his ass totally or if it refers to a real event thats got distorted or something.
I agree. As with other Sheldrake claims, this should be treated skeptically as well until we have actual evidence-such as Randi's own words- and not just Sheldrake's words.
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Old 17th March 2009, 05:55 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by babbits View Post

EDX, this is insulting to us. The site you quote makes no mention of Randi at all. The quotation is attributed to "UK rader Peter Fox ". The full quotation is

"My experience with Rupert Sheldrake has all been by e-mail, and my attempts to test his wonders have been refused. In describing his "dog" tests some years back, I made an error, promptly admitted it, and seemed at that point to have been written off his list as an incompetent, a condition that's remained ever since. "

I don't think that's right though, from my understanding this is Randi talking, take another look:

http://www.randi.org/jr/011703.html

Quote:
UK Reader Peter Fox confronted a major actor in the paranormal field, one who has written extensively on the subject, and is a popular person on interview shows in the UK. My experience with Rupert Sheldrake has all been by e-mail, and my attempts to test his wonders have been refused. In describing his "dog" tests some years back, I made an error, promptly admitted it, and seemed at that point to have been written off his list as an incompetent, a condition that's remained ever since.

Peter did well, I think, in spite of being in "enemy territory," so to speak. Battling on another man's turf is usually unwise, but sometimes unavoidable...
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Old 17th March 2009, 08:41 AM   #26
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Good God. Haven't we beaten this to death already?

Let this damned thing DIE already.
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Old 17th March 2009, 08:47 AM   #27
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Randi made a mistake, or lied, depending on the motive: he said he had seen the video - he had not. I think it was an honest mistake, honestly admitted, nothing more, nothing less. We all make mistakes.

I am FAR more concerned about this -- http://www.randi.org/site/index.php/...the-bible.html which is utterly dreadful woo/ct promotion. See http://www.internationalskeptics.com...d.php?t=137026 I have drawn it to the attention of a few academics in the relevant area - Tim has replied. Was he paid to promte this nonsense? I have spent many years defending James Randi, but even the best can occasionally be misled.

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Old 28th March 2009, 11:30 PM   #28
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It's wild to see you guys defend Randi's LIES!!!!!!!
You are true followers

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yQzXg...e=channel_page
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Old 28th March 2009, 11:58 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by The Professor View Post
It's wild to see you guys defend Randi's LIES!!!!!!!
You are true followers
What is "wild" is your defense of Sheldrake, who is either a liar or delusional, and ho has never shown any proof of any of the ridiculous claims he has made. Let's accept your stupid assertion that Randi "lied"... for the sake of argument, let's pretend that Randi is completely unreliable, or doesn't even exist at all. Now, we are left with the fact that Sheldrake's claims are still stupid, still unsubstantiated, still without any merit whatsoever.

Making a personal attack on James Randi doesn't mean that Sheldrake's claims are any less idiotic. James Randi could be the worst person on Earth, completely nonexistent, or anything else that makes you feel better. Discrediting him doesn't make Sheldrake any less illegitimate.
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Old 29th March 2009, 07:51 AM   #30
Roadtoad
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Originally Posted by The Professor View Post
It's wild to see you guys defend Randi's LIES!!!!!!!
You are true followers

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yQzXg...e=channel_page
Show how Sheldrake is correct, or even how you are. Then, and only then, do you have the room to talk.
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Old 29th March 2009, 08:02 AM   #31
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It's funny, in a pathetic kind of way, how Slim or Jim Callahan will come back here once in a while and spout nonsense out of the blue. Almost as if they need attention and when they aren't getting it, they drop in here to say something inane.

Slow days at The Magic Cafe, Slim?
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Old 29th March 2009, 12:30 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by RoboTimbo View Post
It's funny, in a pathetic kind of way, how Slim or Jim Callahan will come back here once in a while and spout nonsense out of the blue. Almost as if they need attention and when they aren't getting it, they drop in here to say something inane.

Slow days at The Magic Cafe, Slim?
I always figured they were kept locked up somewhere but were occasionally let out to visit the public library.

. . . . . . . . but you may be right.
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Old 29th March 2009, 12:56 PM   #33
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Even if we assume Randi really did lie, and confessed to it, etc. How does that vindicate Rupert Sheldrake's ideas? Can he demonstrate that they are scientifically reliable and repeatable? Does he have the theoretical framework to extract a strong "signal", or is he just playing with "noise"?
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Old 30th March 2009, 01:07 AM   #34
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Randi CONFESSED he LIED

Isn't this just a variation on the Epimenides paradoxWP?
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Old 31st March 2009, 12:57 AM   #35
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Originally Posted by recursive prophet View Post
Anybody remember 'morphogenic fields?' Mice in China would learn a maze and others in U.S. would as a result learn it faster? The big test with a beloved Japanese children's poem, a new poem, and Japanese gibberish and the test group was supposed to recall the oft heard children's poem.

The test was a total joke, and even then they didn't get strong results. He and Uri should do a combo act in Vegas.
Ahh thats where I have heard of Sheldrake. This was all tied up with that 100th Monkey nonsense.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/100th_Monkey
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Old 31st March 2009, 05:48 PM   #36
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Originally Posted by cj.23 View Post
Randi made a mistake, or lied, depending on the motive: he said he had seen the video - he had not.
No, he said "we" had seen the video, meaning the JREF. He neither lied nor made a mistake.
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Old 31st March 2009, 05:56 PM   #37
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I have never lied, not once. If I have, may God strike me dead.........................
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Old 31st March 2009, 06:01 PM   #38
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.........still here!!!!!


Hah, take that religious people. I have just proved tha....................
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Old 31st March 2009, 06:03 PM   #39
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Originally Posted by godless dave View Post
No, he said "we" had seen the video, meaning the JREF. He neither lied nor made a mistake.
OK, just was not clear then!

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Old 31st March 2009, 06:05 PM   #40
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Originally Posted by Wowbagger View Post
Even if we assume Randi really did lie, and confessed to it, etc. How does that vindicate Rupert Sheldrake's ideas? Can he demonstrate that they are scientifically reliable and repeatable? Does he have the theoretical framework to extract a strong "signal", or is he just playing with "noise"?

a) it doesn't

and

b) no idea, but I'm still waiting publication of an experiment of his in text message telepathy conducted last year - I'll know more after that!

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