TED Backs Down: People Power Wins Against Censorship

Following popular outcry in response to TED’s censorship of recent TEDx talks by leading thinkers Graham Hancock and Rupert Sheldrake – and against the accompanying slanders on their reputations – TED is forced to retract its position and put the talks back online in a “reserved” area of their site. By then, however, pirate copies already existed and from these, in an example of guerrilla action on the internet, hundreds of people independently uploaded the talk to their own Youtube channels.  Just one of these many Youtube channels indepently hosting the talk in defiance of TED is here.

This week saw a remarkable victory in the court of human justice with the public climb-down by internet media giant TED in light of their error in censoring last week, the challenging talks by leading thinkers Graham Hancock and Rupert Sheldrake. The much loved TED brand has been called on its trustworthiness for the first time and forced to retract its position.

The videos of the talks by Hancock and Sheldrake, which went down a storm at a recent TEDx conference  in Whitechapel, London – ‘The War on Consciousness’ (Hancock) and ‘The Science Delusion’ (Sheldrake)  – were removed Thursday 14 March from the TEDx Youtube channel , with TED citing “factual and scientific errors”, none of which they were subsequently able to substantiate, sparking a public internet outrage.

Graham Hancock said on Facebook, following TED’s rebuttal:

“I want to put on record my immense appreciation and respect for the tremendous efforts made by so many members of my Facebook community to get this injustice righted, not only by their posts here but by their engagement on the TED website and the blog posts they have made there. I am touched and heartened, buoyed up and encouraged by this remarkable level of support and it is a sign of the times that our voice has been heard.

“TED continue to refuse to restore the talks to the original platform on which they appeared – the TEDx Youtube channel … I regard it as unfortunate in the extreme that all the conversations and comments that appeared there have been hidden along with the talks, and that those original links have been broken, and I will continue to press for the restitution of our talks to the TEDx Youtube channel separate from and in addition to the presence they now have on the TED blog pages.”

TED – the world renowned nonprofit organisation devoted to ‘Ideas Worth Spreading’ which started out as a four-day conference in California 25 years ago – has hosted talks by many of the world’s most prestigious global thinkers, including Bill Gates, Richard Branson and  Al Gore.  TED talks have now garnered over 800 million views.  At a TED conference, presenters speak for 18 minutes and their talks are made available as free inspiration on TED.com.

TED’s ‘TEDx’ platform provides a way for individuals or groups to organise local events around the world and so it was that Hancock and Sheldrake came to talk at a one-day TEDx conference in London’s Whitechapel on 12th January, an event dedicated to “Challenging Existing Paradigms”, along with ten other leading pioneers of what has become widely known as ‘The New Consciousness’ movement.

Hancock’s talk, The War on Consciousness, drew on cutting-edge academic research to suggest that the emergence into fully-modern human consciousness, less than 100,000 years ago, was triggered by shamanism and visionary plants like ayahuasca. He criticised our society’s rejection of visionary and altered states, and criminalisation of hallucinogens like ayahuasca, saying he believed they could be a crucial catalyst for the further positive evolution of human behaviour.  By contrast, he highlighted our society’s alarmingly wide use of “anti-depressant” pills, “attention-deficit” pills, coffee, tea, alcohol and sugar to alter consciousness, around which industries are built, suggesting a society based on this consciousness was not working.

Hancock’s presentation concluded:  

“I stand here invoking the hard-won right of freedom of speech to call for and demand another right to be recognised and that is the right of adult sovereignty over consciousness. There’s a war on consciousness in our society, and if we as adults are not allowed to make sovereign decisions about what to experience with our own consciousness while doing no harm to others, including the decision to use responsibly ancient and sacred visionary plants, then we cannot claim to be free in any way and it’s useless for our society to go around the world imposing our form of democracy on others while we nourish this rot at the heart of society and we do not allow individual freedom over consciousness.”

The talk, along with Sheldrake’s, was duly posted on the TEDx Youtube channel on 13th February, where Hancock’s talk was viewed by more than 132,000 people (Sheldrake’s by more than 35,000) before TED removed them last Thursday, 14th March, following complaints made to the TED organisation by sceptic bloggers such as atheists Jerry Coyne and P.Z. Myers who proposed that the lectures were pseudoscience and were tarnishing the TED brand.  Under pressure from these bloggers and their readers, TED ultimately decided to pull the videos from their Youtube channel, citing complaints from their “Science Board” (the members of which still remain undisclosed).

TED’s decision provoked a furore of anger and protests against TED on social networks about censorship, in response to which TED created a special blog post on the TED site where the two presentations could be viewed (but no longer be externally embeddable on other websites). Responding to the criticism, TED staff claimed, “We’re not censoring the talks. Instead we’re placing them here, where they can be framed to highlight both their provocative ideas and the factual problems with their arguments.”

On Monday TED finally publicly retracted their actions, by crossing out their original misleading statements about Hancock and Sheldrake on the Blog Discussion page.  They also opened up a new page for further discussion.  On this page they honestly concede, that deluged with outraged messages, they:  “…felt compelled to accelerate our blog post and used language that in retrospect was clumsy. We suggested that we were flagging the talks because of ‘factual errors’ but some of the specific examples we gave were less than convincing. Instead of the thoughtful conversation we had hoped for, we stirred up angry responses from the speakers and their supporters.”

The flood of comments in response to TED’s latest action – both on the TED blog post and on Facebook – highlight the power of the internet and social media for lobbying with large powerful organisations.

A commentator on the TED Blog page said:

“And so TED now you see the power of the free market. Treat your supporters with contempt and watch as your support dries up and people vote with their feet. Beware the power of the internet and the boycott. Goodbye TED. TED= Tired Educational Doctrine.”

See also here:  http://www.c4chaos.com/2013/03/rupert-sheldrake-and-graham-hancock-ted-ideas-not-worth-spreading-a-fresh-take/

And here: http://celestial-reflections.blogspot.co.uk/2013/03/the-ted-censorship-saga-continues.html

For background on this TED censorship scandal, visit Graham Hancock’s website

And author Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/Author.GrahamHancock?fref=ts

STOP PRESS:

TED OPEN UP FURTHER PAGES ON TED.COM FOR FURTHER DISCUSSION OF THE CONTROVERSIAL PRESENTATIONS BY GRAHAM HANCOCK AND RUPERT SHELDRAKE:

http://blog.ted.com/2013/03/19/the-debate-about-graham-hancocks-talk/

http://blog.ted.com/2013/03/19/the-debate-about-rupert-sheldrakes-talk/

SEE HANCOCK’S RESPONSE ON FACEBOOK: http://www.facebook.com/Author.GrahamHancock/posts/10151560463442354

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  • http://twitter.com/TedHeistman Ted Heistman

    I wonder if he would have fought back so hard if he was still smoking weed everyday?

    • Juan

      Good question. Prolly not, I’d guess.

      • Matt Staggs

        He’s written about whether he should resume smoking. Interesting point to argue.

        • Juan

          It is, and something I am dealing with myself. Not resuming, but maybe quitting or cutting down a bit. Though I only smoke at night before bed; still, it is an every night thing with me. Honestly though, aside from needing it to get a good night’s sleep, I don’t really see much of a downside. Not sure about Graham. Though it did not seem to have any negative impact on his abilities as a writer. But when Madre Ayahuasca speaks, it is best to pay attention.

          • TennesseeCyberian

            Getting high used to be an amazing expansion of the mind. Now it’s boring, befuddling, and it seems childish.

            Am I getting old?

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=742104313 Adam Goodwin

            How old are you? Maybe you should switch strains….or have you tried most? I’m a 34 yr old father of three. I haven’t quite got to the point where toking is childish, but i could imagine it happening one day. Then again, it sure as hell takes the edge off.

          • TennesseeCyberian

            Maybe I tried one strain too many. The relaxation is pleasurable enough (when it doesn’t induce hyperactive mental activity,) and I always liked the way reefer flipped my perspective.

            I once heard Huston Smith speak, and when he got on the topic of his psychedelic experimentation, he likened it to a telephone conversation with the Bizarre Beyond:

            “Talk as long as you need to, but once you’ve heard the message, hang up the receiver.”

            I paraphrase, but that was it in a nutshell. And 10 years later I believed him.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=742104313 Adam Goodwin

            It’s funny you bring that up, because I was going to use a similar quote from Alan Watts.

          • http://twitter.com/TedHeistman Ted Heistman

            I’m there already. Of course same thing with alcohol. Just a once in a while thing in relative moderation.

          • TennesseeCyberian

            Yeah, man. Writers often see this romantic aura around cigarettes and alcohol, and admittedly, it does feel cool to step back from a piece and have a swig and a smoke. How useful that may be is up for debate.

            Reefer, psychedelics, heroin, each has its own niche in the history of great authors. But I suspect that many of these writers succeeded despite their drug use, not because of it.

            I would never deny the capability of drugs (and alcohol) to open doors in the mind, but after awhile the draft gets a bit chilly.

          • http://twitter.com/TedHeistman Ted Heistman

            I dunno about tobacco though, I think there is something to it. Cigars inspire me. All those rainforest shamans can’t be wrong, eh?

          • TennesseeCyberian

            Dude, if you can do it without getting Freud-mouth, I envy you. It takes a gifted individual to smoke judiciously. Like folks who tan well, or those who engage in sodomy without ever making a mess.

            Same goes with smokers who can stoke the flames of acetylcholine in their brains without burning up their lungs. Pure wizardry, man.

          • http://twitter.com/TedHeistman Ted Heistman

            I actually don’t seem to be able to get addicted to them. I might smoke them every weekend when the mood strikes me, and then go several months without. I like the mindset they put me in. I think its some kind of alpha brain wave state.

          • http://twitter.com/TedHeistman Ted Heistman
          • TennesseeCyberian

            Lucky.

          • Matt Staggs

            I love good cigars, but after several recurring dreams about jaw cancer I put them down and never picked them up. Still, though, the smell of a cigar is powerfully inviting.

          • TennesseeCyberian

            Freud-mouth, dawg. Can’t you just feel your tongue parting the bloody flaps of remaining gums like a coppery labia of creeping death, scratching down your taste buds on the jagged, bony sockets?

            “But they’re Cubans,” you tell me. And really, who am I to argue with that?

          • VaudeVillain

            When I grow up, I want to be St. George.

            http://www.youtube.com/embed/rY1eXnbB1Mg

    • echar

      It affects people in different ways. He may have attacked it more aggressively.

    • Monkey See Monkey Do

      ‘They lie about marijuana. Tell you pot-smoking makes you unmotivated. Lie! When you’re high, you can do everything you normally do, just as well. You just realize that it’s not worth the fucking effort. There is a difference.’ – Bill Hicks

  • Gabriel D. Roberts

    After following this from start to finish, I can say I’m really happy that people are willing to put up a fight when something messed up like this has occurred. TED has shown their true colors. The key here is to remember that we as individuals must remain vigilant in knowing that everyone has an agenda, one that is not always in favor of allowing you to make up your own mind. Bravo, Mr. Hancock!

    • http://twitter.com/TedHeistman Ted Heistman

      Yeah, it did strike me as patronizing on there part in not trusting audiences to be able to be discerning on their own. Shows a lack of respect for the intelligence of the audience.

      • http://againstjebelallawz.wordpress.com/ Enopoletus Harding

        TED decides which ideas it wants to spread. Not all ideas are worth spreading.

        • http://twitter.com/TedHeistman Ted Heistman

          If you have been following this all along you would know they decided they were worthy to spread and then decided they weren’t after pressure from PZ meyers and other skeptical bloggers.

          • http://againstjebelallawz.wordpress.com/ Enopoletus Harding

            Exactly.

          • echar

            I checked your comment history, as well as google for your user name. I want you to know that I experience you as very rude, and disrespectful. Not that I expected an atheist to be polite and respectful. There are exceptions though. Thank you for giving me an example of how not to treat people, it has reminded me not to be a dick.

          • http://againstjebelallawz.wordpress.com/ Enopoletus Harding

            Examples, please. Tone-trolling is not an argument.

          • echar

            Bless your heart.

          • http://againstjebelallawz.wordpress.com/ Enopoletus Harding

            Again, not an argument.

          • echar

            Bless your microprocessor?

          • Calypso_1

            Where i come from it is a very polite way to show contempt. But i do believe you are correct, there is no argument to be found in said sentiment, only agreement that the specimen in regard is deserved of the slightest and most dismissive of pity.

          • http://againstjebelallawz.wordpress.com/ Enopoletus Harding

            Also, do you know that there is only one “e” in “Myers”?

          • http://twitter.com/TedHeistman Ted Heistman

            “Haha You think that’s a Schwinn!”

  • Juan

    Apparently, the latest is that Graham’s Rupert’s talks have been shunted to their own special “ghetto” of the TED space. Graham is none too happy about it either. Will try and find the link later.

    • Juan

      Sorry, no link. But you can see the latest on Graham’s Facebook page.

  • bobbiethejean

    Yeah so in other words, a bunch of nutters browbeat TED into allowing woo-woo peddlers into their talks. Lovely.

    • Gabriel D. Roberts

      Which would have been fine had they addressed directly the disproven ideas. Instead they offered broad generalizations in their accusations and when confronted specifically about them had no retort. Even if TED was in the right, they did it in the wrong way. I don’t believe they were, though, but at least I had the chance to decide for myself, to TED’s chagrin.

    • Matt Staggs

      I think you’re better than the language you’re using, even though you’re bringing a legitimate perspective to discussion.”Nutters” and “woo-woo peddlers” just doesn’t seem like you. Reasoned and articulate criticism is what I’ve come to expect from you. Have I been spoiled?

      • Browning

        Oh shut up Mao Zedong of disinfo! Graham Hancock and Rupert Sheldrake are very well known schisters. TED did the right thing in removing their filth from the site.

        • Matt Staggs

          Hey Browning, take it down a notch. Be cool, okay?

          • Browning

            This website is sickening. DISINFO INDEED! AlOT of people on here believing in all types of nonsense from psychedelics being the key to human prosperity, Anti Science and pseudoscience babble, etc. These have all been debunked and lambasted by so many credible and incredible academics most of them which have never taken ANY sort of drugs. People LOVE to point out academics who have taken drugs which SUPPOSEDLY (lol) fueled their creativity (lets also forget that those academics who took drugs had decades of intellectual training… but NO it was THE DRUGS! LMAO!) but COMPLETELY FORGET the myriad and scores of academics who have never even sipped alcohol who have done equally and sometimes even more remarkable work than those who have inebriated themselves with drugs such as LSD and DMT. Drugs are not the key they are the problem and they destroy the brain’s normal functioning and otherwise make people completley batshit. Also there is no god(s).

          • echar

            If it is sickening to you, then why did you come back?

          • Matt Staggs

            See, that’s more like it. State an opinion.

          • Calypso_1

            And what of the academics from the 40’s onwards that though they may never have touched an illicit substance or even alcohol their drives were fueled by prescription amphetamines. You could barely even run a mathematics dept without the requisite Rx’s.

      • http://www.ContraControl.com/ Zenc

        The rest of us are allowed to troll from time to time.

        Why isn’t she?

        Unless there’s a new rule that women aren’t allowed to troll?

        They have been getting a bit uppity ever since we’ve stopped treating them like chattels.

        Hmmm… that might be a good idea… a “No Trolling” rule for uppity women…

        • Matt Staggs

          This has zero to do with her gender or what you apparently perceive as “uppity” behavior. If you search through my comment history you’ll see several instances of me addressing (presumably) male commenters regarding their behavior. Personally, I like Bobbie, I enjoy reading her work, and consider her one of the more thoughtful presences in our comment section. For a lot of people here, she (as well as several other regulars) serves as loyal opposition to some dominant memes at Disinfo. I didn’t think that she was trolling, actually, and my comment wasn’t meant as any kind of warning or redirection. On the topic of trolling, frankly, I’d rather no one stir trouble up for the sake of trouble. If you’re upset about any particular moderation decision I’ve made, you’re welcome to email me to discuss the matter privately.

          • http://www.ContraControl.com/ Zenc

            Please relax, friend.

            I’m sorry you didn’t realize that I was being facetious.

            On this occasion you should not put much store in the notion that “Many a truth was said in jest”.

            I have your email address (which you have thoughtfully provided on other occasions) and in fact I’ve emailed you in the past when I felt there was a matter which warranted your attention. On each occasion, you have responded in a timely and judicious manner. I have no reason to believe that any current concerns (if I had any) would not be given the same level of care.

            Likewise, you have my email address from our previous correspondence. If you would like to email me for any reason, please feel free to do so.

          • Matt Staggs

            Zenc,
            I’m so sorry if my tone came across as harsh, and it certainly wasn’t mean to be so. I regret that there’s no way to communicate tone in text, and after rereading my response here it came across a little more terse than I would have liked, and I offer a genuine apology. I worry quite a bit about building a good community for those who want to engage in discussion, and I consider most of our regular commenters friends. As a mod, it’s hard to walk the fine line between being one of the gang and a referee, and unpleasant decisions (banning people or warning them) can sometimes upset this equilibrium – at least in my own mind. I was too defensive in my response to you, and I apologize for it.
            Matt

          • TennesseeCyberian

            You guys are so cuddly.

          • Matt Staggs

            There’s room for one more, TC! C’mon into the huddle.

          • Calypso_1

            Zenc even knows how to blow up your boobs. All the more to cuddle with!

          • http://www.ContraControl.com/ Zenc

            That’s true.

            In fact, I just got a new case of 0.9% Saline 1000ml bags.

            But the Dragon is a flighty beast… now I’m chasing its tail to someplace a bit darker…

          • Anti-Crowley

            Things are pretty polite around here. It must be Matt Staggs.

          • Calypso_1

            …trying to keep them alive a little longer?
            naughty boy

          • http://www.ContraControl.com/ Zenc

            If you’d ever spent the evening watching my buddy’s wife struggle in vain to keep her newly acquired G cups stuffed into a B cup leather halter, you’d call me a saint.

      • bobbiethejean

        Ok. I will keep that in mind and try to let this reflect in my responses. ;)

        The overarching problem I have with people like Shelldrake is that they really, really love to talk. And they are good at it. They are convincing, potent, charismatic, and occasionally entertaining. Sometimes, frequently even, they posit relevant contentions about the nature of humanity and the limitations of science that ring painfully true.

        Yet they have nothing to show for their convictions. Thousands of years of wanting so terribly for these claims to be true have produced what? What do we KNOW for sure about the positions these people are taking and the claims they are making? If their claims were true in any way, our world would look a lot different and our lives would reflect it in some way that is readily apparent to most everyone. There would be “no psychics allowed past this point” signs in banks and casinos. Psychic healing would be used in hospitals to great effect and telekinesis would be used in battle. Our conveniences, our entertainment, our work would be as much involved with and dependent upon “supernatural elements” as they are with science. But this is not the case.

        We don’t see telekinesis being used anywhere. We don’t see millionaire psychics (except for the crackpots like John Edwards who have been caught multiple times, rigging their audiences and editing all the fails, fishing, and cold reading out of their broadcasts). I’ve noticed that every claim they make has an at least as plausible naturalistic explanation and usually, a far more plausible naturalistic explanation. But what I
        object to most is the devious, cunning, and ultimately dishonest way these people marry legitimate criticisms against science and contentions about the nature of our universe with quackery and utter nonsense while preying on the weak and weakminded, usually for money.

        If Rupert Shelldrake has a legitimate case, let him show it. Let him do more than flap his lips. Let him demonstrate his contentions before our very eyes. Let him make it clear in such a way that no one, not even a hard-boiled skeptic like myself could protest. Let him do more than make slideshows and presentations. Anyone can make slideshows and presentations about anything- that doesn’t make his claims true. What makes a claim true is that it’s true. I know gravity is true because I feel it. I can see its effects. We have extremely complex mathematical equations that explain it and place it in a working model of our universe. Even though our understanding of it is incomplete, the force is still there. I wish that Shelldrake would stand up and show us rather than standing up and talking at us because quite frankly, I’m tired of hearing all this jibber-jabber about morphic fields and brain-mind duality. Show me and I’ll believe. That’s all I’m asking.

        • http://hormeticminds.blogspot.com/ Chaorder Gradient

          have you seen this stuff?
          http://www.newscientist.com/blogs/nstv/2011/07/time-lapse-tuesday-a-frogs-electric-face.html

          Its pretty damn amazing and its more akin to what the stuff Sheldrake talks of. I like to very much separate Sheldrake and Hancock as they do come from pretty distinctly different directions, and their only real stake together here are their disagreements with TED. I find them both very interesting for very different reasons. In short, I would love it if you could see eye to eye with Sheldrake (and I feel that maybe you even can), but I would not even know how to start talking of Hancock’s work with you

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=742104313 Adam Goodwin

            That’s a fucking amazing video!! This is the kind of stuff science is about!! Finding empirical evidence to match up with what someone has fucking _imagined_!! That’s like a scientific orgasm!!

            Sheldrake is way beyond this reductionist, materialist paradigm. Everything is based on dynamic, pulsating, pre-existing, overlapping fields, congealing moment after moment into an infinite variety of particulate configurations. And our empirical view of reality gets the innocuous term, morphogenesis. He’ll be recognized fully for this eventually. It’ll take some time, but very few people are fully recognized for their contributions while they’re still alive (it’s like some fucking ruthless metaphysical law). Thanks for sharing.

        • echar

          I read this just to let you know. I respect that this is your perspective, even though it is not mine. Thank you for sharing.

          • bobbiethejean

            I’m aiming to change myself or at least my behavior towards people who believe differently than I. Being belligerent is utterly useless and it just makes people think I’m an asshole (well I can be, sometimes. :P). Furthermore, it tends to invite replies of a like quality which inevitably leads to flamewardom. Ultimately, I want to challenge people in a beneficial way that might get them to think about what I’m saying. Condescension is not a good way to go about that. I’m trying. Sometimes I fail but I’m trying.

            Thank you, by the way.

          • Matt Staggs

            I respect the hell out of people like Neil deGrasse Tyson. He challenges questionable ideas, promotes a love and respect for science and education, AND isn’t a dickbag about it all. He reminds me of Carl Sagan.

          • bobbiethejean

            Neil deGrasse Tyson and Carl Sagan are two of my favorite people, ever. I wish I had their ability to be so calm and collected. I’ve never seen either of them snap. They’re always just so…… coooooooool. Not just cool but coooooooool. I don’t know how they do it. :P

          • Calypso_1

            In Sagan’s case it was cannabis.

          • drokhole

            And when he really lets the coolness get into his vertebrae, he writes stuff like this:

            “I am convinced that there are genuine and valid levels of perception available with cannabis (and probably with other drugs) which are, through the defects of our society and our educational system, unavailable to us without such drugs.”

          • Calypso_1

            There you go TED. One of the paragons of american science.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=742104313 Adam Goodwin

            Ouch. That’s a comparison I wouldn’t readily make. I watched him on the Joe Rogan Experience, and I thought he was talking down a bit. “Oh, you’re one of those MMA people.” was one comment I heard him make. There’s intelligence, and then there’s delivery. To see them both go together is like poetry. Intelligence requires humility like an orchid requires a root seeped in dirt.

          • Calypso_1

            Many orchids are semi-terrestrial or full epiphytes.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=742104313 Adam Goodwin

            Poor analogy on my part, then. :S

          • Calypso_1

            Not necessarily : )
            There are many strange intelligences that seem to be semi-terrestrial or seekers of the heights.

          • echar

            The analogy can be perceived as fitting, but as you noted about Mr. Tyson, your delivery was off. I feel that humility may require flexibility, like a lotuses tendency to root in differing places.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=742104313 Adam Goodwin

            No, no. That’s Dr. Tyson.

          • echar

            lol. that’s right :)

            humble pie sure beats shit sandwiches

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=742104313 Adam Goodwin

            Thus spake the Skygina.

          • echar

            Indeed

          • Matt Staggs

            I think that Skygina needs to join Sasquatch in the official Disinfo.com pantheon of unlikely god-figures.

          • Matt Staggs

            Fair enough. My impression remains positive, but I guess we all have our moments.

          • echar

            Many forget the not being dickbags part.

          • echar

            I am working on the same. You are welcome :)

        • ToadieJay

          We see what happens when someone bucks the corporate oligarchy- they’re removed. If they do this with a talk why would you believe that they’re tossing out money for experimental work that might reach conclusions they don’t like? They control the purse strings, they decide what is science and what isn’t by shutting down anyone who might ever possibly challenge the dominant paradigm. It’s very easy. Now they have armies of socially retarded, paraphiliac neckbeards acting as their attack dogs online. You and your kind would shrivel up and blow away if you faced a whisper of a fraction of the heat people like Sheldrake take every day.

          • bobbiethejean

            Unlike Dupert Shellquack, my side actually has something to show for its beliefs and contentions. You have nothing. All you have is words. If you want rational, logical skeptics to believe your positions, don’t tell us, SHOW us.

          • ToadieJay

            More silly and weak name-calling. Show me macroevolution. Show me the transubstantiation of a single species into another. Show me the Big Bang. Show me dark matter. Show me a black hole. Show me the missing link. Show me how life emerges from nonlife. You have no training in science because you obviously have no idea how much of it only exists in theoretical models. Words, to use your phrase.

          • Andrew

            “Macroevolution” is to “microevolution” as “miles” are to “inches.” They are merely different degrees of the same thing. You know that miles and inches are measurements invented by humans, yet distances actually exist, right? Well, every time we discover an individual organism that we believe is significantly different enough from other organisms to not be able to reproduce with any other, we give it a name. That’s what “species” are. Every time we discover a “missing link,” we name it and it becomes its own “species,” and people who have so little security/faith they need to believe the Bible is literal discount it and ask where the “missing link” between it and something else is. Well, evolution is usually as gradual as heredity. Using the distance metaphor again, if you travel far enough and you won’t be able to see the place you started any more. In a strange way, Bibliolaters take scientists’ “species” more seriously (reification) than the scientists who invented the definitions do.

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Species_problem
            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ring_species

          • ToadieJay

            Why are you bringing up the Bible? It’s totally irrelevant to this conversation. Are you one of those solipsistic extremists who automatically assumes anyone who questions the totality of Evolutionary dogma does so out of religious impulse? And gradual adaptations and transubstantiation are not the same thing so your opening metaphor is weak and useless.

          • Andrew

            I mentioned the Bible and Bibliolaters as an example. Why not? It’s a very good example. Besides, you used the word transubstantiation, which is Catholic. So calm down a little. I’m open to questions regarding the mechanisms of evolution, just not its existence.

            I stand by my opening metaphor. Gradual adaptations logically and necessarily lead to speciation just as inches lead to miles. The only similarity between speciation and transubstantiation is that they’re both words made up by humans–speciation to describe something in the real world and transubstantiation to try and explain a religious conceptual difference where there is no evidence.

            If you really want me to take your transubstantiation metaphor seriously, show me a piece of bread turning instantaneously into a piece of human flesh. Otherwise, yours is the weak and useless metaphor.

          • ToadieJay

            I used the word “transubstantiation” because Darwinists are evolving into a punitive, vindictive, reductionist, and obscurantist mind control cult like none other seen in the Western world since the days of the Inquisition.

          • Calypso_1

            Bullshit
            Do you know how often the average scientist involved in molecular evolution, comparative or hologenomics thinks about Darwin?

            Never. Or only when having to give a sound bite to those captured in inanely polar thought constructs. Those that need paradigms led by bearded patriarchs. They are too busy making actual discoveries about the world.

            For the record I think Sheldrake’s concepts are fascinating. I would love for the theoretical basis of biological quantum entanglements to eventually show macroscale interactions. But that is a long way off. We barely have the computing power to calculate these procecess with the simplest of biomolecules. It would take the ability to compute these across whole genetic sequences.

            Drop the ‘Darwinist’ song & dance. He’s a sidebar for introductory texts, a titular false prophet for religionists & a gold mine for the pop-sci schiesters who laugh themselves to sleep at night on a bed of ruffled feathers.

          • bobbiethejean

            There is nothing theoretical about evolution. We’ve witnessed both micro AND macro-evolution. Furthermore, macro-evolution is just a lot of micro-evolution. Saying you can have micro-evolution but not macro-evolution is like saying I can clap my hands for five seconds but I can’t do it for five minutes. The only difference between the two is time.

            On top of that, the fossil record is rife with examples of “missing links.” In fact, the fossil record is so dense with specimens that scientists have had to reorganize the whole thing to make room for new species. Even still, if you completely discount the fossil record, evolution would stand on the genetic evidence alone. I’d love to see what you’d make of endogenous retroviral DNA. That shit doesn’t happen by coincidence. Neither does the fact that the more similar species are, the more DNA they tend to share.

            As to dark matter/blackholes/bigbang etc, many people are justly skeptical and/or unconvinced. But I will tell you what…. I’ll trust the word of science which actually has something to show for itself over the words of someone like Dupert Shellquack who literally has nothing to show for all his soapboxing. The day he can actually show his contentions to be true, that’s when I’ll believe.

          • ToadieJay

            “We”- so you are a scientist then? I’ll tell you, your argument would be a lot stronger if you named a single example. And your insistence on using unfunny name-calling just makes you look like just another socially-retarded ragefreak. You might want to work on that.

          • bobbiethejean

            look like just another socially-retarded ragefreak. You might want to work on that. You, sir, are very lacking in self-awareness and irony-detection.

          • ToadieJay

            In other words, “I know you are but what am I?” Brilliant comeback. Bobbie, why don’t you go and deal with your real problems? Calling Rupert Sheldrake idiotic names on the Internet is only going make you feel worse.

          • Matt Staggs

            Guys, c’mon.

          • echar

            But the internet will destroy itself if everyone starts making perfect sense and act nice towards one another.

          • jnana

            the fossil record is also rife w/ strange anomalies such as giants and finds outside mainstream science paradigm. yet that data is just ignored b/c it doesn’t confirm the preferred worldview of archaeologists

          • bobbiethejean

            Show me one of these “anomalies” and show me the evidence that they are being ignored. Go ahead, let’s see it.

          • jnana

            we had an article here written by an “alternative” archaeologist. the guy that wrote the book about “forbidden archaeology” which might be the title, I’m not sure. I’ve yet to read the book, but I’ve read similar things. I don’t really agree w/ the ancient alien theorists, although I don’t just totally dismiss them, either. But some other anomalies in archaeology, I think, are valid. Such as finding evidence of humans long before the mainstream theory.

          • jnana

            from a website called “science frontiers” its just a catalog of archaeological anomalies. maybe some are proven as hoaxes, but surely not all. of course, any skeptic deny anything. I can skeptically deny this entire damned reality, and I do, but that’s beside the point. one anomaly of interest is the Schoningen Spears, very advanced spears found to be a few hundred thousand years old, in Europe.

            heres the catalog of anomalies

            http://www.science-frontiers.com/cat-arch.htm

          • bobbiethejean

            None of this disproves evolution. Not even a little bit. Sure, they are strange occurrences but evolution has answers for that and so does geology/anthropology.

          • jnana

            No, they don’t have answers for all the anomalies. There is no explanation for the Schoningen Spears, which are over 100,000 years old. Man, according to modern science, shouldn’t have had the capabilities to make such advanced tools. Science may know a lot and has taught us a lot, but there is A LOT of mystery and there may have to be a lot of backtracking and abandoning of hypotheses taken for granted.
            Scientia Inflat

          • bobbiethejean

            I flat out think you’re wrong but even if you’re not, that still doesn’t disprove evolution. It just means evolution isn’t perfect and can’t answer every single question there is. Despite some purported “anomalies,” evolution is the best explanation we have for the richness and diversity of life in Earth, unless you want to pull out your magic “god did it” cards in which case I will just stop talking with you because that’s ridiculous.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=742104313 Adam Goodwin

            Sides? Why do you think there are sides to this? I thought we all have the common goal of expanding knowledge. Can’t you reflect a little on what you’ve said there? The only time when sides appear is when someone has a fight. Is science about fighting? I thought it was just about figuring stuff out.

        • Matt Staggs

          Ah, see? THIS is the Bobbie I know. THIS.

        • http://2012diaries.blogspot.com/ tristan eldritch

          “I wish that Shelldrake would stand up and show us rather than
          standing up and talking at us because quite frankly, I’m tired of
          hearing all this jibber-jabber about morphic fields and brain-mind
          duality. Show me and I’ll believe. That’s all I’m asking.”

          Would you insist the same thing, for example, to Brian Greene, in relation to his TED talk regarding the possible existence of a multiverse? Meaning, are we really hard-nosed empiricists, or are we just hard-nosed empiricists in relation to ideas that we don’t like?

          • bobbiethejean

            When it comes to multiverses, I would expect one or both of two things: (1) Show me (so yes, same thing I expect from Shelldrake) and/or (2) a mathematical proof that stands up to the scrutiny of peer review across the entire scientific world. Even with that (2), I would still be skeptical but I would be a lot more inclined to believe (2) than morphic fields and telekinesis and black magic and souls or whatever because a mathematical proof that stands up to the scrutiny of peer review is a bit more believable than something that has absolutely no evidence at all aside from hearsay and anecdotes.

            So yes, my skepticism does indeed extent well into the scientific realm. I am skeptical of a number of scientific claims, mainly because as of yet, the scientists haven’t shown it (string theory, multiverse, white holes, big bang, etc.) Though, don’t mistake me, I’m not saying I disbelieve the scientists in these cases. I’m merely stating that I have questions I feel have not been adequately answered and I have hopes that they will be eventually.

          • http://2012diaries.blogspot.com/ tristan eldritch

            Yes, but your answer is only emphasizing my point, rather than refuting it. You are suggesting that Sheldrake shouldn’t be allowed express his views in the TED forum because he cannot provide a full and immediate empirical demonstration of them, and yet, with regard to another set of ideas which have absolutely have no more empirical basis at present than those of Sheldrake, you not only express no complaint that they should be discussed in the TED forum, but are quite happy to extend them the courtesy of waiting in the blithe and friendly hope that your concerns might one day be satisfied. This viewpoint is patently inconsistent; your reason for objecting to Sheldrake CANNOT be the empirical one you offer, or else you would have to turn around to Greene and say “I’m sorry, you cannot discuss this idea in a scientific forum because there is no empirical evidence for it, and it is not yet even clear whether the idea is testable or not yet. Get back to us when you have conclusively tested it.” I assume you have not done this. The point is that knowledge does not advance in a smooth and linear path; speculation is required, and quite often there can be a considerable lag between a idea being mooted, and it becoming empirically verifiable or even testable. But what irks me about many would-be skeptics is that they exhibit a keen awareness of this with regard to ideas which are acceptable to their general world-view or peer-group; but when attacking ideas they don’t much care for, they suddenly adopt a macho That which can be asserted without evidence can be rejected without evidence/piss or get off the pot attitude which they clearly do not apply across the board. This is not rigorous or consistent thinking.

          • bobbiethejean

            TED http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TED_%28conference%29 is a privately owned corporation. They are well within their rights to decide what ideas are worth spreading and what ideas are not. They clearly decided Sheldrake’s ideas were not worth spreading and they only gave in after intense harassment. It’s not like Sheldrake couldn’t mind a myriad of more appropriate forums through which to express his ideas.

            I do not actually have a problem with Sheldrake expressing his opinions or even outright fabricating. I don’t care. What I do have a problem with is how he and his followers shoehorned their way into TED.

          • http://2012diaries.blogspot.com/ tristan eldritch

            Well, leaving aside the fact that you’ve completely dodged my question, supposing Matt invited you to do a blog post here. And you did it for free, even though that involved travel and hard work. And the post was uploaded, and generated some revenue for the site. Then a couple of woo-bloggers complained about the post. And Matt says Shit, I don’t wanna be taking heat from these woo-bloggers. And took down your post. And explained the reason for taking it down by quoting you out of context and misrepresenting what you actually said in the post. And then some people who like your writing, and enjoy the fact that you strongly represent a minority view at disinfo, got on to Matt in the comments, saying WTF did you invite her to post something on the site for, and then take it down, misquoting her in the process? And then Matt relents (just a little) and puts your post in a special leper quarantine area of the site where nobody can see it. Would you consider that “shoehorning” your way into disinfo? Man, you’re crazier than Hancock!

          • bobbiethejean

            I didn’t dodge your question, I simply have no interest in answering it. People like you are convinced and nothing I say, no matter how many facts I put forward, will change your mind. So it’s pointless. I’d rather not waste my time.

          • http://2012diaries.blogspot.com/ tristan eldritch

            Right. What precisely did I express a conviction in which is contrary to fact, and contrary to which facts? I’m willing to bet you won’t answer that question either – because you can’t!

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=742104313 Adam Goodwin

          Sheldrake has already shown us. He’s been conducting experiments for well over a decade now that put the empirical pieces together for the scientific view he outlined in “A New Science of Life” (a book which I highly recommend). His perspective builds on the places of current scientific thought that fail to explain certain phenomena–morphogenesis is one example. That’s the launching point for any new world view–the deficiencies of the previous world view. Take some time to familiarize yourself with his theory. You’ll have a richer perspective if you do.

          • bobbiethejean

            Here’s the problem I have- his claims don’t show up in the world anywhere. I know gravity is real because I can feel it and see its effects. I know evolution is true because it is so profoundly evidenced theoretically, mathematically, and empirically that to disbelieve it is silly. I know cell theory is true because we employ it every day in medicine and you can see it in action under a microscope. I know electromagnetism is real as it has an effect on my life every day in ways that are undeniable. I know that fire needs oxygen to burn. I have personally replicated the effects of Rayleigh scattering. I have seen what happens when lightning strikes a tree. I also know that other people have seen and verified these things. They are real. They exist in the world. We have ways of explaining these phenomena that fit into our model of how the universe works perfectly like puzzle pieces.

            When it comes to claims like those Rupert Shelldrake makes, they are unverified and there are more likely naturalistic explanations that can just as easily answer for whatever phenomena he is soapboxing about on any given day. I need more. I’m not being obtuse and I am not being closeminded. I promise you on my life that I will spin on a dime so fast I’ll drill a hole in the ground the day Shelldrake can show how his claims fit into our understanding of how things work.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=742104313 Adam Goodwin

            You know ‘evolution is true’? You mean you think that speciation occurs over time, right? In other words, living things change forms, right? Sheldrake’s theory doesn’t disagree with that assumption, nor any of the other basic assumptions you outlined–such as gravity, electromagnetism, oxidation, Rayleigh scattering etc.

            What Sheldrake’s theory contributes is a novel conceptualization for the _context_ for change in which many of the physical phenomena we observe in the ‘external world’ undergo. He’s not making a case to disprove what you might directly observe now in the present; but, elaborating a tool for thinking about what underpins those phenomena. On what could possibly affect change on the physical manifestations of the universe.

            I would argue that Sheldrake’s theory is more in line with the ‘new’ evolutionary mindset, because it posits that the so-called universal constants are, in fact, not constants at all–those values (or forms) evolve as much as everything else does. And, we can’t expect them to remain the same.

            But what harm comes from positing this? Why should anyone be so put out by attention being paid to an imaginative person who decides to think about things in a different way? Isn’t that what the real issue is here? What threat could the idea of ‘morphic resonance’ really pose? Is it out of concern for people who might lose money to ‘astrologers’ or ‘psychics’? Is the kick against alternative ontological visions, like Sheldrake’s, really about an empathic concern for the epistemological soundness of the common person’s mind? Or could it be about the issue of controlling information? Could it be about the issue of dividing the management of information about our universe into cantonized and manageable sectors of ‘experts’ who have been annointed as the voice of humanity in the search for ever greater depths of knowledge?

            If the reductionist accounts of mainstream science were as sound as they make themselves out to be, then why would any attacks on alternative accounts be necessary? Is this really a war of ‘scientists’ versus ‘pseudoscientists’, or the ‘faithful’ versus the ‘heretics’?

          • http://2012diaries.blogspot.com/ tristan eldritch

            “When it comes to claims like those Rupert Shelldrake makes, they are
            unverified and there are more likely naturalistic explanations that can
            just as easily answer for whatever phenomena he is soapboxing about on
            any given day. I need more. I’m not being obtuse and I am not
            being closeminded. I promise you on my life that I will spin on a dime
            so fast I’ll drill a hole in the ground the day Shelldrake can show how
            his claims fit into our understanding of how things work.”

            I don’t understand your argument here. If Sheldrake’s claims are unverified (and hence untrue) then there cannot really be a naturalistic explanation for them; they cannot be both unverified and naturalistically explicable. If, however, they require a naturalistic explanation, then there must be some validity to them; and to say that they must have a “naturalistic” explanation is virtually meaningless, since what constitutes a naturalistic explanation changes radically over time as knowledge advances (quantum theory and curving space-time were not a naturalistic explanation for anything in the 19th century). IF Sheldrake’s claims are valid, then they do not have to “fit into our understanding of how things work”; that is a basic misunderstanding of scientific methodology; our understanding has to fit our observations, and not vice versa. Which claims specifically are you referring to?

          • jnana

            Universe works perfectly?

            what universe do you live in?

          • bobbiethejean

            *Sigh* If your reading comprehension skills are really that low, you shouldn’t be participating in these kinds of conversations. I did NOT say the universe works perfectly. I said the phenomena “fit perfectly within our understanding.” And furthermore, sure, maybe I should have thrown in the words “Damn near” before “perfectly” but my point still stands.

        • jnana

          What if it’s true that the source of miraculous powers, such as telepathy CHOOSE to keep them hidden to the unworthy(to a certain degree), so they may not be abused by power-monger and perhaps other reasons. And what if those who embark on a sincere spiritual journey who are blessed w/ these abilities or seeing these abilities realize there’s no need to show-off. Also, the pride that would result for many people should they have miraculous abilities might negate the good they would do.

          As Heraclitus said, “The hidden is master of the manifest”

          • bobbiethejean

            What if it’s true that the source of miraculous powers Sure, the source could stay hidden. But do you really think that if telekinesis were real humanity wouldn’t have positively, without doubt, confirmed it by now? You really think a bunch of humans with telekinesis wouldn’t eventually slip up and reveal themselves? Or maybe some of them wouldn’t be absolutely dazzled by the possibility of fame and come forward to show the world their unique talents?

            Besides, everything you’ve said can just as easily be applied to unicorns. OOoh! They do exist! We just can’t see them. :O There are no examples of telekinesis happening in such a way that it can’t be denied, couldn’t have been a hoax, and couldn’t have had a naturalistic explanation that DOESN’T defy the laws of physics.

    • http://2012diaries.blogspot.com/ tristan eldritch

      bobbiethejean, this issue had very little to do whether or not you agree with or like Hancock or Sheldrake (I don’t really know Sheldrake; Hancock can be entertaining, but I don’t really agree with many of the conclusions he comes to). This was a debacle for TED from start to finish. First of all, everybody knows precisely where those two guys stand in relation to the scientific mainstream, and they shouldn’t have been asked to speak in the first place, or had their talks uploaded, unless TED was committed to giving them a hearing. Secondly, TED talks are replete with all kinds of material which is utterly questionable from a hard science perspective; picking on those particular talks (which were under a rubric of “Challenging Existing Paradigms”) was clearly ideologically motivated, rather than like TED is some bastion of hard-science and suddenly the barbarians had crept in the back door. Probably most damningly, the reasons TED gave for censoring the talks were either extremely creative paraphrases, or outright misrepresentations, of what was actually said in the talks; and when called out on this by Hancock, TED refused to reply to his demand for clarification for ages, effectively because they COULDN’T. Apparently, one of the significant figures in demanding the talks be taken down was PZ Myers, a putative scientist who seems to spend more time stabbing communion wafers and coming out with uber-scientific statements like “If you’re white, you’re racist” than actually doing, I dunno, science. An utter debacle; TED didn’t back down because of browbeating, but because their position was untenable.

    • http://againstjebelallawz.wordpress.com/ Enopoletus Harding

      Huzzah! A sane person!

      • Matt Staggs

        Be careful: It might be catching.

    • ToadieJay

      Is there an epithet lamer and weaker and more dorkish than “woo woo?”

      • Borgar

        It’s part of a vocabulary of lingo used by dogmatic “sceptics” who’s knowledge of science and philosophy is usually either lacking or nonexistent, and cheap slander and name calling have replaced any real thought.

    • drokhole

      Chorus!

      “But I see your true colors, shining through…”

    • Monkey See Monkey Do

      HAHA!. I Love it. That’s the bobbiejean I know and love.

  • Codgitator

    I expect the reach of both talks has grown significantly because of TED’s attempt at censoring them. When in the position of authority, opposing something by force only empowers the opposition as a legitimate threat.

  • Trevor Smith

    My friend posted the Eddie Huang video-which exposes TEDs fucked up inner workings-on the comments section of the blog and TED removed their ability to post comments. Unsurprising.

  • Chaos_Dynamics

    Life is a beautiful mystery of exploration and discovery in which all may share.

  • http://againstjebelallawz.wordpress.com/ Enopoletus Harding

    What is “censorship”? Why is it a bad thing? TED’s credibility was helped by its removal of Sheldrake&Hancock’s talks.

    • Matt Staggs

      That’s a good question. “Censorship” is an odd word to throw around when it comes to properties like TED. It’s not like they have any particular legal obligation to post anything and everything presented to them. It’s not a matter of free speech, like it would be if the government came in and deleted every instance of Hancock’s talk from the web. As a matter of fact, I recently learned that there are many, many TED talks that never make it to “air”. However, and I think that this is what a lot of people here are arguing, TED isn’t exactly a bastion of hard science. They’ve published talks from people in the past who had unusual or controversial ideas, and some commenters believe that it’s a matter of hypocrisy. I like the TED Talks. I like Hancock and Sheldrake, too, but I think that there’s been an air of sanctity that has built around TED that shouldn’t be there. They’ve got their own agenda, and aren’t at all above sacrificing principle when invited to sup at Mammon’s table. Remember when “Prometheus” came out? In all honesty, the movie was pretty much based on the theories of guys like Hancock and Von Daniken, and TED was more than happy to lend their identity to viral marketing promoting the film. It’s complicated, really, but I think it’s high time that we – meaning TED’s fans and critics, alike – had a dialogue about the organization’s goals and ethics.

      • kowalityjesus

        I think pulling strings against someone who could be perceived as assaulting the culture of “abstinence” that has fostered the “problem solving” West is an explicit and well-deserved privilege of the boring old white guys who founded the whole TED affair. They should have an important veto power over their own shindig.

        Conversely, when something like TED grows into as big of a cultural phenomenon as it has become, clout in the matter of content increasingly becomes a public affair. We should be thankful that they conscientiously, if begrudgingly, respond to widespread complaints, rather than pull down the curtain and yank the hippie off the stage imo.

      • ToadieJay

        Don’t kid yourself- TED is the fully-controlled subsidiary of the same transnational oligarchs that control the government. Weasel-wording won’t cut it- they are creating a functional monopoly and are now picking out heretics to silence. Why don’t they cut out the unscientific ranting of dizzy, pipe-dreaming technoutopians like Cory Doctorow and peak oil cranks like Kunstler, both of whose salad can’t possibly be more tossed by the TED cult?

        • Charlie Primero

          Good points, but they do provide some interesting talks. It’s our responsibility always keep in mind their larger agenda when we consume their tasty content.

  • drokhole

    Sheldrake just posted an interesting comment in his talk’s “debate”:

    “Rupert Sheldrake

    1 hour ago: I appreciate the fact that TED published my response to the accusations levelled against me by their Scientific Board, and also crossed out the Board’s statement on the “Open for discussion” blog. http://blog.ted.com/2013/03/14/open-for-discussion-graham-hancock-and-rupert-sheldrake/

    There are no longer any specific points to answer. I am all in favour of debate, but it is not possible to make much progress through short responses to nebulous questions like “Is this an idea worth spreading, or misinformation?”

    I would be happy to take part in a public debate with a scientist who disagrees with the issues I raise in my talk. This could take place online, or on Skype. My only condition is that it be conducted fairly, with equal time for both sides to present their arguments, and with an impartial moderator, agreed by both parties.

    Therefore I ask Chris Anderson to invite a scientist from TED’s Scientific Board or TED’s Brain Trust to have a real debate with me about my talk, or if none will agree to take part, to do so himself.”

    • drokhole

      Looks like Hancock has responded on his page in kind:

      “Graham Hancock

      3 hours ago: I previously commented that I would not post further on this Blog page because it is so clearly designed to distract public attention from the disastrous way TED have handled their attempt to censor my “War on Consciousness” talk and Rupert Sheldrake’s “Science Delusion” talk. That in my view is the important point, for it bears on the future of TED itself as a viable platform for “ideas worth spreading”. I am heartened that so many of the 400-plus concerned people who have now posted here (and the 1000-plus who posted on the original Blog page) have refused to fall for TED’s sleight of hand and continued to press the organization to rethink its policy.

      Since TED have retracted and struck out all their justifications for the original deletion of my talk from the TEDx Youtube channel (http://blog.ted.com/2013/03/14/open-for-discussion-graham-hancock-and-rupert-sheldrake/ ) and since they have published my rebuttal, and done the same re Rupert Sheldrake’s talk, I agree with Rupert on a new post he has made on this page (http://www.ted.com/conversations/17189/the_debate_about_rupert_sheldr.html ). There are no more specific points surrounding TED’s misguided decision that he and I need to answer. Nor is it possible to make much progress through short responses to nebulous questions like “Is this an idea worth spreading, or misinformation?”

      But I now make this one further post, simply to add my voice to Rupert’s and to put on record that I, too, would be happy to take part in a public debate with a scientist who disagrees with the issues I raise in my talk. My only condition is that it be conducted fairly, with equal time for both sides to present their arguments, and with an impartial moderator, agreed by both parties.

      Therefore I join Rupert in asking Chris Anderson to invite a scientist from TED’s Scientific Board or TED’s Brain Trust to have a real debate with me about my talk, or if none will agree to take part, to do so himself.”

  • Lewis O’Donnell

    Before clicking on the article, petition websites were on my mind. I was just signing a few over at avaaz, etc and I think this gives support to my thoughts! I’m so glad to be able to give my name to these petitions or causes, it may not be much, and certainly their is options to support using your bank details, but it is something and when a whole lot of names come together, it seems that they can have a very powerful effect over these enormous structures.

  • ToadieJay

    I recommend everyone read this piece and see where “Science” is really going. The worldviews of top scientists are literally and without exaggeration indistinguishable from how many psychotics have described their own. These people are providing the theoretical foundation for mass genocide, exactly as their forebears did in the early 20th Century. http://bit.ly/142PVpT

    • drokhole

      The reaction to Nagel by the vanguard has been stunning, but unsurprising. That really is an article worth reading. As is his book “Mind and the Cosmos: Why the Materialist Neo-Darwinian Conception of Nature Is Almost Certainly False”. I noticed your link leads to the third page of the article, and just to make it easy for anyone interested, here’s the link that starts at page one (since it sets up the meeting of the grand poobahs):

      The Heretic
      http://bit.ly/Z5zMIh

      With a little more commentary on the article here:

      http://maverickphilosopher.typepad.com/maverick_philosopher/2013/03/thomas-nagel-heretic-.html

      • ToadieJay

        The reaction against Nagel is unsurprising precisely because of the mortal threat that movement perceives. All the billions upon billions of dollars from the Oligarchs and all the media tonguebaths can’t paper over their spiritual decay or the basic revulsion most people will feel once they look past the “Gawrsh, Ain’t Science Nifty?” stupidity and realize what these people are really saying.

  • therealjeaniebeanie

    Thanks for this wonderful writeup and the links. I had been blissfully unaware of the controversy until today when I listened to the latest SKEPTIKO podcast on the subject. Meanwhile I’ve been enjoying reading Sheldrake’s thought-prrovoking new book, Science Set Free.

  • http://twitter.com/ex3031 Michael Coulter

    It seems like the “debate” was just a place for people to moan an thrash about. Nothing changed. The videos are still pulled from YouTube. The policies are
    unchanged.

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For those of you who took TED to task for taking down the Rupert Sheldrake and Graham Hancock TEDx talks, you've partially succeeded: TED has at least addressed the censorship...

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