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Rupert Sheldrake

24 March 2013
Inside science

The peculiar decision by TED to take down the video talk given by Rupert Sheldrake, apparently due to a faction ganging up on them and blasting them with disapproving emails, has perhaps backfired going by the number of critics of the policy. What TED have done is to shift the videos elsewhere and have provided space on their blog for Sheldrake, and Hancock, to respond – go to http://blog.ted.com/2013/03/14/open-for-discussion-graham-hancock-and-ru… … and they have refuted all the TED 'advisory board' accusations, ticking them off one by one and well worth a read through – will only take a minute or so.

I must confess I never realised people took TED talks seriously – but you live and learn I suppose. One wonders how closely the advisory board actually paid attention to what was being said on the video talks as they have clearly misconstrued the arguments to an amazing degree. Perhaps they only read the emails by the TED patrol group officionado squad – did they sign off with a salute. Basically, the talks were only a brief synopsis of their ideas and anyone can go into a high street book shop and purchase or order the full monty if they so wish. Is the patrol mob next going to fix their sights on standing in the lobby of book stores watching what the customers carry out with them.

It's quite a few years since I read about 'morphic resonance' and some parts of it seemed to work in real life. I must admit I only got half way through Hancock's 'Supernatural' before giving up – but that was more to do with attention span. Hancock writes big books and that one was definitely fairly heavy – and not of great interest to people that drug culture has largely passed by. Both theories are at the cutting edge. It can be argued Hancock's archaeology is also at the cutting edge – going to places not visited by mainstream (at the time). Marine archaeology is catching up with 'Underworld' it could be argued – and geologists have yet to catch up with the ideas on the melting ice sheet in Canada, as a rapid process (esker formation and location). Obviously, Hancock spoils it by going over the top, appealing to oddities as in 'Fingerprints of the Gods' etc. – but he is a journalist as much as anything else and it is all about selling your work, and wild and wonderful ideas do sell books. He created a genre in the process and many others have followed in his footsteps – and will continue to do so in spite of the pompous dismissals and ridicule. Where there is muck, and there is an awful lot of muck and nonsense in science and archaeology, there be monies at the bottom of the tree roots, little nuggests of information that can be spun.

These are not mainstream consensus theories and that is why they were attacked – but should everybody conform with each other. What is it about this consensus idea – why do people want to believe the same thing as the one sitting next to them. We desperately need scientists to think outside the box. Dumbing down science, like TED and the 'raging few' attack dogs unleashed on TED comments, have only caused some novel ideas to be taken down – not fit for consumption by the general public. Really. Look at some of the other TED talks, ones that pander to the consensus view – and you will see the other side of the coin. The human condition is to investigate, query, and think about the mundane differently. In this Sheldrake and Hancock ring true – but the thought police sadly do not. Look at the damage caused by scientists, and activists, crowding the foyer in support of global warming. Its turned out to be utter nonsense, a collective delusion. I suggest the attacks on Sheldrake are in the same vein, a symptom of the same pathetic small minded mental condition generated by peer pressure resembling 'school classroom behaviour' rather than joined up adult debate. Why conform at all costs and shun the outsider, poke your tongue out and pull faces, call them names or bully and bellow like a baloon losing air. Is that a means to get their own way? Hopefully, as in CAGW excesses, such as calling deniers 'flat earthers' or worse, there will likewise be some backfiring going on – and more people may be encouraged to go out and find out just what Rupert Sheldrake has been saying for so long.

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