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Old 6th January 2015, 04:27 PM   #1
dlorde
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Sheldrake open lecture at Canterbury Christ Church University UK

I recently booked a philosophy course at Canterbury Christ Church University, UK, and was surprised to receive, with the course summary info, a leaflet invitation to an open lecture on Saturday Feb. 7th, by Rupert Sheldrake, called 'Extended Minds and the Realm of Spirits'.

This is one of a series of open lectures for MA students and the public, called 'Myth, Cosmology, and the Sacred'.

Now, I think it's fair enough to examine these issues and get the word straight from the horse's mouth - but I was a little disconcerted by the credulous and uncritical promotion of bad science in the promotional blurb:
Quote:
Our minds seem to extend far beyond our brains. Many experiments have now shown that people can influence others at a distance just by looking at them, even when all normal sensory clues are eliminated. Intentions can have effects at a distance, and can be detected telepathically, as shown in experiments with dogs that know when their owners are coming home, and in people's ability to anticipate who is about to call on the telephone, or send them an email or a text message. In addition, our minds link us to the spirit realm including angels, saints and ancestors. Rupert will explore how spirits work and how they influence us, and how we influence them.
For anyone who wishes to go, it's 6:15pm to 8:15pm and costs £5. Details are in the link above - which also has contact details to which expressions of concern may be sent.

I won't be going, but I'm seriously considering a complaint about that embarrassing blurb.
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Old 6th January 2015, 04:34 PM   #2
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The venue probably doesn't write the blurb.
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Old 6th January 2015, 05:04 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by dlorde View Post
I recently booked a philosophy course at Canterbury Christ Church University, UK, and was surprised to receive, with the course summary info, a leaflet invitation to an open lecture on Saturday Feb. 7th, by Rupert Sheldrake, called 'Extended Minds and the Realm of Spirits'.

This is one of a series of open lectures for MA students and the public, called 'Myth, Cosmology, and the Sacred'.

Now, I think it's fair enough to examine these issues and get the word straight from the horse's mouth - but I was a little disconcerted by the credulous and uncritical promotion of bad science in the promotional blurb:

For anyone who wishes to go, it's 6:15pm to 8:15pm and costs £5. Details are in the link above - which also has contact details to which expressions of concern may be sent.

I won't be going, but I'm seriously considering a complaint about that embarrassing blurb.
Just love the "telepathic dogs"

Come home at the same time every day and somehow your dog is "telepathic" if they work it out.
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Old 6th January 2015, 05:09 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by dlorde View Post
Now, I think it's fair enough to examine these issues and get the word straight from the horse's mouth....
That may not be the correct part of the horse.
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Old 6th January 2015, 05:23 PM   #5
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Breaking news: dogs can learn a routine.
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Old 6th January 2015, 05:26 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
That may not be the correct part of the horse.
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Old 6th January 2015, 05:27 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by p0lka View Post
Breaking news: dogs can learn a routine.
They can also detect when their master's scent drops below a certain level in the house.
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Old 6th January 2015, 05:33 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
The venue probably doesn't write the blurb.
Perhaps, but they really should vet what they publish on their web site.

OTOH, maybe I'm being over-sensitive about this...?
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Last edited by dlorde; 6th January 2015 at 05:34 PM.
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Old 6th January 2015, 06:46 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by dlorde View Post
Perhaps, but they really should vet what they publish on their web site.
As much as they should vet who speaks at their venues.
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Old 6th January 2015, 08:19 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
As much as they should vet who speaks at their venues.
It appears they know exactly who is speaking at their venues. All five speakers in the lectures are woos (parapsychology, divination, paranthropology, a spiritual teacher on channeling wisdom from the Pleiades, and Sheldrake).

The 'Myth, Cosmology and the Sacred' programme was created by Angela Voss, a musician who teaches the “Cultural Study of Cosmology and Divination” and “Western Esotericism” and who is a practicing astrologer and tarot reader.

The roster of tutors at this unaccredited school looks quite woozy. Artists, writers, musicians, “poetry therapist”, psychology, parapsychology, “paranthropology”, religion, divination, astrology, mindfulness, philosophy. While some of those things can be legitimate academic fields, they can all also be quite flaky. This groups looks to be more on the flaky side.
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Old 6th January 2015, 08:56 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by DevilsAdvocate View Post
The roster of tutors at this unaccredited school looks quite woozy.
Wiki would appear to disagree

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canterb...rch_University
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Old 6th January 2015, 09:18 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by MG1962 View Post
I see. Apparently that section of the website (including the list of tutors and describing the courses as non-accredited) it is just for the Community & Arts Education programme (not the whole university).
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Old 6th January 2015, 09:23 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by DevilsAdvocate View Post
I see. Apparently that section of the website (including the list of tutors and describing the courses as non-accredited) it is just for the Community & Arts Education programme (not the whole university).
Yeah thats really all it could be. Liberal arts degrees have traditionally had little to do with actual education lol
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Old 7th January 2015, 04:40 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by DevilsAdvocate View Post
I see. Apparently that section of the website (including the list of tutors and describing the courses as non-accredited) it is just for the Community & Arts Education programme (not the whole university).
Yes, in general, the university has a good reputation (I know a number of graduates), but it seems that one department is infested with woo-meisters. I don't particularly care about that, but I do object to them using bad science to support their woo.
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Old 7th January 2015, 07:00 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by The Fool View Post
Just love the "telepathic dogs"

Come home at the same time every day and somehow your dog is "telepathic" if they work it out.
One of may cats is telepathic and psychic. She can tell when I need to go to the toilet first thing in the morning and warns me be jumping on the bed and sitting on my abdomen, putting pressure on my bladder

I must inform Sheldrake.

The other one seems to have precognition about when he is going to be fed in the morning and alerts Mrs Don by clawing at her face about 2 minutes beforehand.
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Old 7th January 2015, 07:04 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by The Fool View Post
Just love the "telepathic dogs"

Come home at the same time every day and somehow your dog is "telepathic" if they work it out.
Originally Posted by p0lka View Post
Breaking news: dogs can learn a routine.
To be fair, they did use random timings in the dog test, so it's more than just routine.

However, IIRC, the researchers themselves were not blinded, nor was there anything done to control for secondary cues, like the sound of the car approaching. Again, I'd have to check to be sure, but I believe part of the protocol was a phone call between the house researcher and the owner befor ethey came in, which is obviously a clue the dog could pick up on.

The research is junk, but not because the dog learned a routine.
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Old 7th January 2015, 07:49 AM   #17
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Just a little side-note.... Dogs have remarkable hearing too. Our German Shepherd constantly went to the door a minute before I parked the car, regardless of when I came home. (I'm a cop... often late)

He could hear the car. We figured it out when I had to get the crappy muffler fixed. I surprised him several days in a row with the new, quieter car. Then, he picked up on the new muffler's sound. Apparently, he could pick it out a full city block away!
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Old 7th January 2015, 08:11 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by Bikewer View Post
Just a little side-note.... Dogs have remarkable hearing too. Our German Shepherd constantly went to the door a minute before I parked the car, regardless of when I came home. (I'm a cop... often late)

He could hear the car. We figured it out when I had to get the crappy muffler fixed. I surprised him several days in a row with the new, quieter car. Then, he picked up on the new muffler's sound. Apparently, he could pick it out a full city block away!

They didn't control for the dog hearing the owner driving up to park?!

Sheldrake must know he's just playing to ignorance and gullibility. He's conning all these people, appealing to their shallow ideas about ESP and paranormal "possibles"… and the Universities are cynically building up these flakey wings to bring in extra money. Their reputations can only be damaged, as time goes on, and all this bs works out… in a hundred years, with no more demonstrable development, when all this "new age commences now" hope has become old-fashioned self-delusion, demonstrated through the tired old seances of cash-spinning seminars leading to nothing over the years, Youth will move on, and all this circus will cease to be.
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Old 7th January 2015, 08:47 AM   #19
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Odd, the quote function is not inserting the quoted text. ANyone else run into that?

Anyway...

Quote:
They didn't control for the dog hearing the owner driving up to park?!

Sheldrake must know he's just playing to ignorance and gullibility. He's conning all these people, appealing to their shallow ideas about ESP and paranormal "possibles"… and the Universities are cynically building up these flakey wings to bring in extra money. Their reputations can only be damaged, as time goes on, and all this bs works out… in a hundred years, with no more demonstrable development, when all this "new age commences now" hope has become old-fashioned self-delusion, demonstrated through the tired old seances of cash-spinning seminars leading to nothing over the years, Youth will move on, and all this circus will cease to be.
If you want some real fun, do some looking into his "psychic parrot" research. Again, IIRC, the owner was shown pictures (or words, can't recall exactly), and the parrot, in another room, was graded on whether or not it spoke a word associated with that. To be fair, they did have a list of 20 specific words they were using, with matches pre-defined (i.e.-there was none of the fuzziness about "well, that word sorta matches").

However, the parrot had a much, much higher vocabulary than 20 words, and he threw out any trial in which the word the parrot said was not one of those 20.
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Old 7th January 2015, 09:10 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by The Don View Post
One of may cats is telepathic and psychic. She can tell when I need to go to the toilet first thing in the morning and warns me be jumping on the bed and sitting on my abdomen, putting pressure on my bladder

I must inform Sheldrake.

The other one seems to have precognition about when he is going to be fed in the morning and alerts Mrs Don by clawing at her face about 2 minutes beforehand.
No worries, the cat already did that.
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Old 7th January 2015, 10:33 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by The Don View Post
One of may cats is telepathic and psychic. She can tell when I need to go to the toilet first thing in the morning and warns me be jumping on the bed and sitting on my abdomen, putting pressure on my bladder

I must inform Sheldrake.

The other one seems to have precognition about when he is going to be fed in the morning and alerts Mrs Don by clawing at her face about 2 minutes beforehand.
My old cat could tell when my wife was about to come home so the cat must have been psychic, or had better hearing than I do.
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Old 9th January 2015, 03:58 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by The Don View Post
One of may cats is telepathic and psychic. She can tell when I need to go to the toilet first thing in the morning and warns me be jumping on the bed and sitting on my abdomen, putting pressure on my bladder

I must inform Sheldrake.

The other one seems to have precognition about when he is going to be fed in the morning and alerts Mrs Don by clawing at her face about 2 minutes beforehand.
Maybe you ought to lend them to Sheldrake?
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Old 9th January 2015, 09:50 AM   #23
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If Rupert is going to whine again that his ideas are being suppressed, someone should speak with a loud voice the friendly request that he stops that embarrassing whining.
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Old 9th January 2015, 04:37 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by Daylightstar View Post
If Rupert is going to whine again that his ideas are being suppressed, someone should speak with a loud voice the friendly request that he stops that embarrassing whining.
It would help if the used a language he understands:

Arf, Arf, bark, bark.
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Old 10th January 2015, 01:22 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by Hellbound
Odd, the quote function is not inserting the quoted text. ANyone else run into that?

Anyway...

Quote:
They didn't control for the dog hearing the owner driving up to park?!

Sheldrake must know he's just playing to ignorance and gullibility. He's conning all these people, appealing to their shallow ideas about ESP and paranormal "possibles"… and the Universities are cynically building up these flakey wings to bring in extra money. Their reputations can only be damaged, as time goes on, and all this bs works out… in a hundred years, with no more demonstrable development, when all this "new age commences now" hope has become old-fashioned self-delusion, demonstrated through the tired old seances of cash-spinning seminars leading to nothing over the years, Youth will move on, and all this circus will cease to be.
If you want some real fun, do some looking into his "psychic parrot" research. Again, IIRC, the owner was shown pictures (or words, can't recall exactly), and the parrot, in another room, was graded on whether or not it spoke a word associated with that. To be fair, they did have a list of 20 specific words they were using, with matches pre-defined (i.e.-there was none of the fuzziness about "well, that word sorta matches").

However, the parrot had a much, much higher vocabulary than 20 words, and he threw out any trial in which the word the parrot said was not one of those 20.

It never does. The easiest way to do it is to click on the PM icon copy the entire post into the normal reply window - with Opera and mouse gestures it takes about 5-seconds.
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Old 12th January 2015, 06:39 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by jimbob View Post
It never does. The easiest way to do it is to click on the PM icon copy the entire post into the normal reply window - with Opera and mouse gestures it takes about 5-seconds.
No, I meant the quote post button wasn't putting in the post I quoted. It was simply opening a new reply window with nothing in it. I had to manually add that. Seems to happen every now and again, can't seem to find a cause.
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Old 12th January 2015, 07:19 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by Hellbound View Post
No, I meant the quote post button wasn't putting in the post I quoted. It was simply opening a new reply window with nothing in it. I had to manually add that. Seems to happen every now and again, can't seem to find a cause.
As I post in sympathy with the symptom, it bloody works. Ah well. Must be morphic resonance or summin'.
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Old 12th January 2015, 09:39 AM   #28
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There was a thread on "empty edit box" syndrome which I can't find. Change editor mode, using the A/A button in the upper right hand corner, and the problem will go away.
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Old 13th January 2015, 04:41 AM   #29
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Tah, will try that!
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Old 13th January 2015, 06:44 AM   #30
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Originally Posted by dlorde View Post
I recently booked a philosophy course at Canterbury Christ Church University, UK, and was surprised to receive, with the course summary info, a leaflet invitation to an open lecture on Saturday Feb. 7th, by Rupert Sheldrake, called 'Extended Minds and the Realm of Spirits'.

This is one of a series of open lectures for MA students and the public, called 'Myth, Cosmology, and the Sacred'.

Now, I think it's fair enough to examine these issues and get the word straight from the horse's mouth - but I was a little disconcerted by the credulous and uncritical promotion of bad science in the promotional blurb:

For anyone who wishes to go, it's 6:15pm to 8:15pm and costs £5. Details are in the link above - which also has contact details to which expressions of concern may be sent.

I won't be going, but I'm seriously considering a complaint about that embarrassing blurb.
Just started a book written by Richard Wiseman, "Paranormality", where he debunks a lot of the **** that Sheldrake goes on about, and it struck me about the "psychic dog" claims. And that probably stems from a dog called Jaytee who earned brief fame in the '90's from his supposed ability to "psychically" discern when his owner decided to come home, indicated by his supposed regular visiting of the front door porch of the owner's home at the time she decided to come home. Both Wiseman and Sheldrake did studies (of data collected by Wiseman's team) which lead to conflicting conclusion, Wiseman finding no psychic ability in the dog, Sheldrake concluding based on a priori assumptions that the dog was psychic. Relevant reading material can be found here.

In short Sheldrake is a credulous idiot willing to believe in any unsubstantiated nonsense provided it agrees with his pre-existing prejudices. No educational institute in its right mind should give him the time of day, never mind a platform such as Canterbury Christ Church have done to promote his valueless nonsense.
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Old 14th January 2015, 08:15 AM   #31
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Originally Posted by Donn View Post
Tah, will try that!
It had to do with the ['] character (among others) triggering problems in the WYSIWYG editor in Firefox. I had to set default editor in User CP:

Misc Options
Message editor interface
Standard Editor
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Old 14th January 2015, 08:29 AM   #32
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Originally Posted by Olowkow View Post
It had to do with the ['] character (among others) triggering problems in the WYSIWYG editor in Firefox. I had to set default editor in User CP:

Misc Options
Message editor interface
Standard Editor
Huh. I'm using IE rather than Firfox. And it isn't consistent, which is part of the problem. I can't identify what causes it.
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Old 14th January 2015, 08:44 AM   #33
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Originally Posted by Hellbound View Post
Huh. I'm using IE rather than Firfox. And it isn't consistent, which is part of the problem. I can't identify what causes it.
Sorry for this derail. This will no doubt wind up in AAH, but I think the original thread(s) are gone from Forum Help & Member Support. It was an intermittent problem that popped up just after the move from JREF, and took some real sleuthing by TemporalIllusion, but that is what we decided was the solution. It's kind of a nuisance, since the "Standard Editor" gets tricky with all the [stuff in brackets], but you can use the A/A button to toggle to the WYSIWYG editor and back to the Standard Editor just before hitting "Submit Reply".

The problem does not exist when using the Chrome browser.

ETA: I'll PM TemporalIllusion to see if perhaps we can somehow make that thread on the text box problem reappear.

Last edited by Olowkow; 14th January 2015 at 08:47 AM.
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Old 14th January 2015, 05:10 PM   #34
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Originally Posted by Gulliver Foyle View Post
In short Sheldrake is a credulous idiot willing to believe in any unsubstantiated nonsense provided it agrees with his pre-existing prejudices. No educational institute in its right mind should give him the time of day, never mind a platform such as Canterbury Christ Church have done to promote his valueless nonsense.
I don't agree Sheldrake is an idiot - his analyses are quite clever, but I think he's an example of how even a clever man can be subject to blinding confirmation bias. He's abandoned sceptical and critical thinking and failed Feynman's dictum by fooling himself.

I agree with you about the wrong of giving him a public educational platform as a respected scientist, particularly when taxpayer's money (i.e. my money) is involved.
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Old 15th January 2015, 02:59 AM   #35
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I particularly liked* his idea in the 1990s that before people worked out balistics arrows flew in triangular trajectories because people expected them to. IIRC he pointed to the Bayeux tapestry for this idea.



*may not actually be true
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US 16.4% of GDP of which 48.2% is public expenditure - 7.9% of GDP is public spending
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Old 16th January 2015, 08:32 AM   #36
Gulliver Foyle
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Originally Posted by dlorde View Post
I don't agree Sheldrake is an idiot - his analyses are quite clever, but I think he's an example of how even a clever man can be subject to blinding confirmation bias. He's abandoned sceptical and critical thinking and failed Feynman's dictum by fooling himself.
In all honesty any person who has abandoned sceptical and critical thinking because it disagrees with their prejudices richly deserves the term blithering idiot. And as you point out that is what Sheldrake has done.
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Old 16th January 2015, 09:18 AM   #37
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Originally Posted by Gulliver Foyle View Post
In all honesty any person who has abandoned sceptical and critical thinking because it disagrees with their prejudices richly deserves the term blithering idiot. And as you point out that is what Sheldrake has done.
He's an example of a scientist who has gone to the dogs.
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Old 16th January 2015, 10:57 AM   #38
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Originally Posted by tsig View Post
He's an example of a scientist who has gone to the dogs.
I wonder whether the dogs saw that coming and ran away
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Old 18th January 2015, 07:46 AM   #39
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Originally Posted by Gulliver Foyle View Post
In all honesty any person who has abandoned sceptical and critical thinking because it disagrees with their prejudices richly deserves the term blithering idiot. And as you point out that is what Sheldrake has done.
Well... OK. My point is that he's not a stupid man per-se, but a deluded one.
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