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Rupert Sheldrake, Barking Mad or Right?

Discussion in 'Members Lounge' started by Little Ghostman, Apr 29, 2017.

  1. Little Ghostman

    Little Ghostman Well-Known Member Most Helpful Member

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    BIO:
    Rupert Sheldrake, Ph.D. (born 28 June 1942) is a biologist and author of more than 80 scientific papers and ten books. A former Research Fellow of the Royal Society, he studied natural sciences at Cambridge University, where he was a Scholar of Clare College, took a double first class honours degree and was awarded the University Botany Prize. He then studied philosophy and history of science at Harvard University, where he was a Frank Knox Fellow, before returning to Cambridge, where he took a Ph.D. in biochemistry. He was a Fellow of Clare College, Cambridge, where he was Director of Studies in biochemistry and cell biology. As the Rosenheim Research Fellow of the Royal Society, he carried out research on the development of plants and the ageing of cells in the Department of Biochemistry at Cambridge University.

    While at Cambridge, together with Philip Rubery, he discovered the mechanism of polar auxin transport, the process by which the plant hormone auxin is carried from the shoots towards the roots.

    From 1968 to 1969, based in the Botany Department of the University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, he studied rain forest plants. From 1974 to 1985 he was Principal Plant Physiologist and Consultant Physiologist at the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) in Hyderabad, India, where he helped develop new cropping systems now widely used by farmers. While in India, he also lived for a year and a half at the ashram of Fr Bede Griffiths in Tamil Nadu, where he wrote his first book, A New Science of Life.

    From 2005-2010 he was the Director of the Perrott-Warrick Project funded from Trinity College,Cambridge. He is a Fellow of Schumacher College , in Dartington, Devon, a Fellow of the Institute of Noetic Sciences near San Francisco, and a Visiting Professor at the Graduate Institute in Connecticut.

    He lives in London with his wife Jill Purce and two sons.

    He has appeared in many TV programs in Britain and overseas, and was one of the participants (along with Stephen Jay Gould, Daniel Dennett, Oliver Sacks, Freeman Dyson and Stephen Toulmin) in a TV series called A Glorious Accident, shown on PBS channels throughout the US. He has often taken part in BBC and other radio programmes. He has written for newspapers such as the Guardian, where he had a regular monthly column, The Times, Sunday Telegraph, Daily Mirror, Daily Mail, Sunday Times, Times Educational Supplement, Times Higher Education Supplement and Times Literary Supplement, and has contributed to a variety of magazines, including New Scientist, Resurgence, the Ecologist and the Spectator.


    I wont post the video, but one thing he does say in the TED banned one struck me. Matter cannot be made or destroyed, but at the time of the big bang that is exactly what happened.

    I have no idea what I think about the guy, Genius or crackpot I have no idea. I must admit with those credentials I would be cautious of calling him mad myself.
     
  2. hexreader

    hexreader Member

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    If
    I would hope that this statement is taken out of context, but I know you well enough to believe he really said that.

    If the guy really stands by that statement, then I would guess that he is perfectly sane, but arrogant. How can he possibly know what happened at the time of the big bang given the current lack of knowledge?

    Just because someone is a genius, doesn't prevent them from talking through his/her bottom sometimes.

    Your mate Hawkins used to state with an air of authority: "it makes no sense to talk about time before the big bang", but what happened before the big bang is now being asked regularly.

    The best Scientists say things like: "The current scientific consensus is" - or maybe "as close to a scientific fact as we can ascertain", but this is very long winded if used all the time.

    I would take assertions of certainty as short-hand for simply "to the best of my knowledge"
     
  3. Little Ghostman

    Little Ghostman Well-Known Member Most Helpful Member

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    He says alot worse than the quote I gave lol, TED banned him and pretty much destroyed his career. When he talks about what happened though, you get a really niggly feeling, if he is right (just dont ask me), then he must feel like those that said the world wasnt flat, when back in the day it was (well according to the brains of the day).

    Its not worth tracking it down, I didnt post the video because its one of those that goes into things that cause trouble. but he is famous enough that some might know of him. I stumbled on the video following Quantum mechanics ones, the one you posted was excellent! Kind of proved and disproved it at the same time. A real head scratcher.

    Ok its not electronics, but alot of people on here like science in general. And alot like the head ache inducing science :D.
     
  4. dave

    Dave New Member

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  5. hexreader

    hexreader Member

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    He could perfectly well be right, but if he is right, it is because he happened to hit on the right theory. The way I see it is that there is no basis for him to claim his idea as anything more than one of several competing theories (along with other theories yet to be formulated).

    It is good to think of new possible explanations, but IMHO he fails to be Scientific if he claims his theory to be the right one without some really good proof behind it.

    Sadly Scientists are people and they work in an imperfect world, which makes them and sometimes their results imperfect.

    I reckon the best way forward is to try and pick out the good science from the bad, and be aware of bias, corruption, error etc

    Somebody has a signature on one of the forums with a quote from Feynman, something like "the easiest person to fool is yourself"
     
  6. Little Ghostman

    Little Ghostman Well-Known Member Most Helpful Member

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    Depends on which video you watch, in some it dosnt across like he is saying 'your all wrong', well not as such. In a nutshell he has ten dogmas of science, some you think......yeah maybe, others I find hard to swallow. But its really hard to simply dismiss him as a crack pot. The concern being, if you dismiss him then it throws dark shadows on the institutes etc that he was a part of. He has been very high profile in some serious level jobs, so in some ways its like saying alot of the great institutions picked an idiot.

    Again I really am unsure what to make of it, so its filed away in the think about it later bin :D.
     
  7. tcmtech

    tcmtech Well-Known Member Most Helpful Member

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    I think you are just learning about the difference between being credible and being credentialed.

    A person who has all the credentials in the world is still wrong if they say something like 2

    + 2 = 5.

    If you are willing to spend the money and time plus shake the right hands and kiss the right butt you can become credentialed to say you are the world expert anything even if all you do is talk out your butt and say easily disproven nonsense for the rest of your career.

    I suggest getting comfortable with that fact of life to where it doesn't together you because once you get out of highschool and go to college you're going to see a lot of that in the higher education and real world working environments. Just because some has a bunch of pieces of paper and general accolades behind their name doesn't mean they aren't still dumb as a rock and half as useful being a rock doesn't have an ego and agenda to feed. :facepalm:

    That happens a lot more than you know and most of us care to admit. :oops:
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2017
  8. Little Ghostman

    Little Ghostman Well-Known Member Most Helpful Member

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    What even my beloved Royal Institute!!!! Surely not :arghh:. You just destroyed my ambition of standing there giving a talk :arghh::arghh::arghh::meh:

    You sure know how to upset a guys day :D
     
  9. JimB

    JimB Super Moderator Most Helpful Member

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    Many people go off at various tangents, some in a fairly benign manner, some in quite horrific ways.

    Examples:

    David Icke, first saw him reading the news etc on the TV in North West England, now a conspiracy theorist and general nutter.

    Harold Shipman, a doctor in general practice turned into a murderer of old ladies.

    Adolf Hitler, a corporal in the German army in 1st world war. I guess we all know what he go up to, and persuaded millions of others to follow him.

    Funny old world.

    JimB
     
  10. Little Ghostman

    Little Ghostman Well-Known Member Most Helpful Member

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    I had to look David Ike up....... ex pop star? Man he had some issues... Takes some large ones to make his claims though :D.

    Shipman, was on a documentary a few days back. Apparently opened a clinic in his prison cell!!! before topping himself. I think it was a docu on Manchester prison.

    Hitler, nothing you can say really.
     
  11. JoeJester

    JoeJester Active Member

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    Here's the banned talk ... Science Delusion.



    Here is Sheldrake's page with the whole story, links to charges, responses, comments, et al.

    http://www.sheldrake.org/tedx-whitechapel-the-banned-talk

    Banning a talk that is within the theme of the talks .... Visions for Transition: Challenging existing paradigms and redefining values (for a more beautiful world) ... sounds like suppression the opine. Actually two were suppressed.

    I'm listening to Rupert's talk now. He has some interesting challenges.

    A line from https://weilerpsiblog.wordpress.com/2014/03/20/remembering-what-happened-to-tedxwesthollywood/

    And Handcock's banned talk ...

     
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2017
  12. JoeJester

    JoeJester Active Member

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    Things change as mankind's ability to measure changes.

    From Galileo's thermometer to today's thermometer, the accuracy certainly has improved.

    The second went from 1/60th of a minute to 1/86400th of a solar day to One second is the time that elapses during 9,192,631,770 (9.192631770 x 10 9 ) cycles of the radiation produced by the transition between two levels of the cesium 133 atom.

    Even cesium oscillators need a nudge now and then to get them to agree with UTC and UTC gets a nudge to agree with UT0. Those nudges are time steps, or in the case of the UTC agreement, an attosecond per second advance or retard of the oscillator.

    Why can't there be disagreement with a constant? Granted if I were testing a constant and there were a constant bias, I would be looking at my test methods and practices to ensure the fault wasn't mine or my equipment. I normally would expect a varying number for the offset and not a constant offset.

    Yeah, the some standards are a political decision made by an international body.
     
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2017
  13. Pommie

    Pommie Well-Known Member Most Helpful Member

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    I think Albert would have something to say about that.

    Mike.
     
  14. Little Ghostman

    Little Ghostman Well-Known Member Most Helpful Member

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    LOL, I better go back and rewatch!! your all making me doubt what I heard now :p. I think the biggest question in science is................What Did Albert say on his death bed? How frustrating the great man says something, and the one person there dosnt understand German!!! Grrrr.

    Thanks for posting that Joe, I decided against it. I get in enough trouble lol.

    Mike I would love to hear your thinking on black holes! Quantum mechanics and things outside of the norm, really interest me. I like the fact we dont know it ALL. Something that sticks in my mind from way back...................

    Seems like a long time ago, I was probably around 9 ish. My dad was involved with some experiment involving genetics. He was telling me that when he was a bit younger the human genome was just being mapped, at the time it was thought if every computer in the world, were linked together and worked solely on the project, then mankind would have the complete gene map for humans in around 130 years.

    He was saying at the time computers doubled in power every 5 years, and yet before he died the human genome had been mapped! DNA sequencing had dropped from 14 days to 2 days (back then). So in a way its made me an optimist, just because we cant do something today, dosnt mean tomorrow will be the same. We have a old PCR amplification machine in the barn, when it was new back in 199x, it cost nearly £100K. Today the same type of machine with the same capabilities can be had on ebay for around £250, with more functionality!
     
  15. tcmtech

    tcmtech Well-Known Member Most Helpful Member

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    None of us have to look any further than the forums we frequent to see that effect in play.

    Every forum I have been on for any length of time had at least one formerly assumed to be knowledgeable or respectable member grab hold of some idiotic stand on something that no matter how much reality was thrown a them they would not drop it even if it meant totally ruining every shred of respect and credibility to outright alienating themselves from their peer groups and anyone else with even a grain of basic rational sense as well.
     
  16. JimB

    JimB Super Moderator Most Helpful Member

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    I can agree with that.
    JimB
     
  17. tcmtech

    tcmtech Well-Known Member Most Helpful Member

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    I've always wondered what a person has to be like in real life that will destroy a long term online representation of themselves rather than admit they didn't know something or that they were simply wrong or just didn't know as much about something as they claimed to which lead to them getting one upped by someone more knowledgeable in the area than they were.

    I've participated on over 20 forums in assorted areas since I first went online 10 or so years ago and I have seen at least one or more people every one of them do it. Some well respected active forum member who had been there for years and had thousands of good sane posts to their name gets one upped or simply proven wrong over something basic or some event in life they have absolutely no control over or that will have little if any effect on them personally puts them over the edge of no return turning them into some raging lunatic, idiot troll or just a pathetic eternally angry fool for largely nothing more than an unwillingness to take a moment and learn about what it is they now claim to hate and be in such utter irrational defiance of.

    I guess some people's lives are just that shallow and fragile and their egos and belief systems that poorly founded and uncompromising that just having something not go their way or having some key information presented to them that shows what they thought is not complete or as accurate as they wanted it to be is enough to destroy them to the point of online and or real life social suicide. :confused: :(
     
  18. Little Ghostman

    Little Ghostman Well-Known Member Most Helpful Member

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    Well I am going to mark the date on the calendar!
     
  19. JoeJester

    JoeJester Active Member

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    That's probably best for now. Otherwise, you'd better start researching to present the question in a cogent manner.

    I also tend to agree with TCM's assessment of online persona's and mankind's resistance to contrary assessments against their own views.

    After all, we still have flat-earthers. Some don't believe in polar wobble.

    GPS ... the end all to navigation. However, depending on where you are in the world, you can have an offset, that you can eliminate by telling the GPS where you are located. Most recent example of that was some searchers were looking for a downed WWII aircraft in Greenland. They tested their GPS against a standard and were off a considerable distance. Then they went into the setup and said they were in Greenland and the error was reduced considerably. Electronic Navigation aids can be wrong.
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2017
  20. tcmtech

    tcmtech Well-Known Member Most Helpful Member

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    Historically those definitions and changes took a long time to come about from one to the the other as the sciences and technology behind them grew.

    As far as I know there have never been any huge world changing discoveries or advancements that ever happened in a day or even a decade or less. Even with as rapid as our sciences and technologies advance today pretty much everything is still based on well founded theories and or proven facts that were first discovered or defined some time ago.

    Given that natural rate of change I have hard time believing anyone who starts making a big fuss aobut something that appears to fall well outside of what is already known somewhere and understood t some degree. Especially so if what they say can't be easily confirmed yet everything that goes against it can.
     
  21. hexreader

    hexreader Member

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    @ LG

    I assume you saw Horizon "dancing in the dark" earlier?

    It is on iPlayer, but tricky to find. Click on Categories - Science and Nature - 23 episodes (to the right of Horizon) and select the older episode "dancing in the dark"

    2 years old episode, but as far as I know still relevant
     

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