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    Thread: An Empirical View of Science Dogma

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      An Empirical View of Science Dogma

      Rupert Sheldrake made a TED talk I'd like to share here based off a book, The Science of Delusion. He's a researcher of consciousness from Cambridge and has revealed some profound possibilities. However, in this particular talk, he tackles scientific presumptions such as fixed universal laws and materialism. I invite you to defend your beliefs about Science as he tears them apart using science.



      I believe the core of the problem here is whenever people use pseudoscience to argue preconceptions unrelated to scientific evidence, critics falsify their claims such that the universe is conscious and in doing so fall deeper entrenched in the opposite claim. The claims raised in the video as scientific dogma are not validated, they are simply fallen back upon after anything else is properly falsified. The video does not attempt to argue much pseudoscience, it simply falsifies some of these base agreements held in early science which have not yet been discarded or questioned much at all by the majority of the scientific community. I believe they aren't questioned due to an unrecognized fear of uncertainty.

      "Well if not this, then what?" is the hidden question people are afraid of asking. After all faith in the afterlife and benevolent master consciousness fall apart, materialism provides relative sanctuary because at least people can be confident of it. Then Occam's Razor is fallaciously thrown in at some point even though none of the dogma is any simpler nor helps the universe make an inch more sense. And that fact that we live in a profoundly confusing universe terrifies people into vilifying all that questions their dogma, much like any religious zealot refusing to question their faith for fear of being forced to ask what truly is, if not that. Just my guess, though, based on personal experience.
      Last edited by Original Poster; 01-28-2014 at 08:19 AM.

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      Amazing video. But yeah there is a science religion.
      There is people who have faith is some "scientific" dogmas, which are not scientific.
      They don't like to watch those videos that contradict their faith even if it is true.

      Nature, without nature's source, would not last a moment.
      Your life, like your dreams expresses one thing, and one thing only, your state of consciousness.

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      While posting this video here may seem like posting a scientific evaluation of the Bible on a christian website (as in, it won't be received well) this is still a Science Forum and still the proper place for this video. It's not pseudoscience false-validation and thus has no place in R/S or IS. It is falsification of Science Dogma; an application of the scientific method on aspects of Science which are not scrutinized, or when they are, get a Galilean reception.
      Last edited by Original Poster; 01-29-2014 at 10:46 PM.

      Everything works out in the end, sometimes even badly.


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      Xei
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      He got a PhD at Cambridge studying plant hormones. He doesn't research consciousness there, he left in 1973 to continue working as a botanist and to explore religion.

      The book is called "The Science Delusion", and is a work of metaphysics, not "The Science of Delusion", which sounds like a scientific exposition of psychological biases.

      Just a couple of minor errata.

      Rupert Sheldrake holds some unorthodox scientific opinions which he espouses in that video, in particular the deal about "morphic resonance". That in itself is fine. Science is all about freedom of thought and expression, moderated by empirical evidence. Contrary to his assertions though, empirical evidence for his ideas is not forthcoming. At this point, scientists are meant to accept that their hypotheses may simply be incorrect, or at least that they currently lack the means to convince others. My impression is that Sheldrake was unable to take this path, and has instead decided that the problem must lie not with his hypotheses or evidence but with the entire scientific culture. This is reminiscent of a psychological manoeuvre common to crackpots; for instance, the perpetual motion folks, who, after many years of having their machines and theories dismissed by scientific institutions, decide that their must be some kind of intellectual conspiracy against them, rather than accept that their ideas just don't work. Hence Sheldrake's polemic, which is disingenuous, misleading and inaccurate.

      Despite his attempt to present science as dogmatic, it is not. Scientists can be found with all kinds of disparate views, including on those "dogmas" which he explicitly lists. And science has a long history of accepting extremely counter-intuitive ideas which were contrary to the intellectual culture of the time. Special relativity and quantum mechanics are just as weird as Sheldrake's theories. The only reason that they were adopted, and his not, is that they had good evidence.

      I'll just run through his "dogmas" now and explain how they're not dogmas at all.

      1. "Nature is mechanical"
      He doesn't really explain what this means, but in any case, modern physics does not view the universe as anything remotely analogous to a "machine". Just look at bizarre things like quantum wavefunctions and their collapse. Utterly different from mechanistic, "billiard ball pictures". So, this one isn't a dogma because it's not even held.

      2. "Matter is unconscious"
      Again, he doesn't really explain what he means. Either he means that consciousness is some kind of layer above physical reality which makes inanimate things aware. In this instance, science doesn't hold a view on it. How could it even affect science? A star which was aware would presumably look exactly like a star which was unaware. So this is just metaphysics for individual scientists to make their minds up about and which doesn't have anything to do with science. Alternatively he could mean that consciousness is some kind of observable property, perhaps like "will". In this case, a proper definition could bring it into the realm of scientific hypotheses, but the hypothesis is ruled out because there is zero empirical evidence for stars making decisions, and a lot of evidence that objects arise from the uncoordinated behaviours of elementary particles.

      As to consciousness in biological entities, far from being a "dogma", and far from scientists "trying to show it doesn't exist", it is a hotly discussed and debated concept in psychology and neuroscience.

      3. "Laws are fixed"
      This is a meaningful scientific hypothesis, but calling it a dogma is a lie. Plenty of physicists have questioned this principle, and whether the laws of the universe may vary in space or time. His remark about constants was a cheap laugh and the exposition was completely disingenuous. Scientists didn't call them constants because they just randomly decided they were constant, they called them constants because they are not variables in the equations. Whether they actually change is simply an empirical matter. They don't seem to, but there is no "dogma" insisting that they can't. Some have investigated models of universes in which they do.

      4. "Energy and mass is conserved"
      Calling this a "dogma" was beyond the pale. Scientists did not realise energy was conserved for hundreds of years. So it wasn't a dogma. When they did discover it, they only accepted it because all of the empirical evidence suggested it. This is the exact opposite of a dogma. Ridiculous. Then of course Einstein came along, and it was realised that in special circumstances, energy, as it was then defined, is not actually conserved; it can be converted to matter. This modification became accepted, again, because all the empirical evidence suggested it. Are you entirely clear on what the word "dogma" means?? If an event is ever observed in which mass-energy is not conserved, the laws will again be modified accordingly, but currently every single event has conformed to it.

      6. "The universe has no purpose"
      He makes two separate claims here. The first is that the universe and evolution has no purpose. He doesn't define what he means, but like stars being conscious, it is in the domain of metaphysics and not science. So not a dogma. The second is that genetics is what is responsible for an organism's form. This is a scientific hypothesis. Once again, it is accepted because of empirical evidence. Nobody has ever observed factors other than an organism's genes and surroundings which affect it. So nobody asserts that there are any. So not a dogma.

      7. "Memories are stored inside your brain"
      Only believed because of positive empirical evidence and no empirical evidence to the contrary. His implication that it's just an assumption is just false. Guess what? Not a dogma.

      8. "Your mind is inside your head"
      There is no scientific statement about the spacial coordinates of one's "mind". Nonsense.

      9. "Telepathy is impossible"
      Empirical evidence, c.f. energy conservation (not a dogma), memories (not a dogma).

      10. "Mechanistic medicine is the only kind which works"
      Left as an exercise for the reader.

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      Sounds like he is talking out of his ass. In fact, I seen this video before and I checked some of the stuff he said and he is basically just flat out wrong. There is no evidence at all to suggest the constants are changing. Gravity is different any where you go because we are on earth and the amount of mass under you, influencing your experiments are different depending on where you happen to be standing. Light didn't change, we just developed more precise technology for measuring it. All the brain stuff he talks about is just nonsense as well, and he says there is evidence for this stuff but really there isn't any, he just made that up.
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      Thank you Xei - well done.
      Your exercise is easy enough - I could write a whole essay on that point.

      10. "Mechanistic medicine is the only kind which works"

      To disprove that this is a scientific dogma is ridiculously easy and can be done from a variety of perspectives.

      - First of all - psychological treatment - just talking - is scientifically proven to be effective for dealing with a variety of not only psychological but also psychiatric issues - lately there are studies coming up with evidence for the effectiveness of CBT for patients with so called endogenous psychosis as well.

      - Then there are numerous studies being done on a variety of "mental methods" - having profound impact on the body.
      For example the quite famous studies about long-term meditators - and even newly beginning ones, who do it regularly - showing an increase of grey matter in MRI - esp. countering nerve-cell loss in the course of normal ageing. This is so widespread - there is even a wiki-article on it where you can find the many, many source-studies also: Brain activity and meditation - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

      On forum-topic - there are lots of scientific studies being done on LD lately, too - for raising performance in sports for example.

      - Then there is a whole medical discipline called psychosomatics - the premises of which is, that mental, behavioural and social circumstances do not only influence the psychological well-being - but can directly influence physical ailments - or in the case of somatoform disorders even be the sole case for certain illnesses, which present themselves as something purely physical.
      Which basically means, that it is widely accepted, that real actual physical changes of the body can be traced back to said circumstances and which have accordingly to be treated with psychotherapeutic means.
      Yes - there is a whole speciality of physicians, who talk to their patients in order to fix for example raised blood-pressure - something measurable.

      - The placebo effect is absolutely ingrained in conducting pharmacological (not only) studies.
      It has to be shown to not be the sole cause for a physical improvement, in order to scientifically establish, that an effect is brought about by the actual physical treatment, and not by the patient's believe in being treated.

      This claim of a dogma is absolutely ridiculous - and those some several arguments are just what pops into my mind spontaneously!!


      Besides being plain wrong in almost everything, he utters - Mr. Sheldrake is an actual fraud in my eyes - not only a misguided man.

      Let me bring an example:
      He repeatedly makes use of a very persistent theory* of so called "morphogenetic fields" to support his claim of a realm of collective consciousness, through which information can be transmitted telepathically.

      Just some days ago, somebody in Beyond Dreaming brought this up again.
      That's why I go into it a bit more here.

      He keeps referring to Lyall Watson and his "The Hundredth Monkey Phenomenon", "Quantum Monkeys" or the "The Miracle on Koshima".
      Didn't watch the video - tried to watch one lately and couldn't bring myself to waste the time.
      But I'm pretty sure, he still does - he has definitively been fervently defending it in the early years of the 21st century, despite the source being thoroughly debunked in 1985 (for extensive info: The Hundredth Monkey Phenomenon).

      Mr. Watson refers to 5 scientific sources to validate his theory.
      And to discourage from actually looking into these - he has himself admitted to the following:

      One has to gather the rest of the story from personal anecdotes and bits of folklore among primate researchers, because most of them are still not quite sure what happened. And those who do suspect the truth are reluctant to publish it for fear of ridicule. So I am forced to improvise the details, but as near as I can tell, this is what seems to have happened.
      In the autumn of that year an unspecified number of monkeys on Koshima were washing sweet potatoes in the sea. . . . Let us say, for argument's sake, that the number was ninety-nine and that at eleven o'clock on a Tuesday morning, one further convert was added to the fold in the usual way. But the addition of the hundredth monkey apparently carried the number across some sort of threshold, pushing it through a kind of critical mass, because by that evening almost everyone was doing it. Not only that, but the habit seems to have jumped natural barriers and to have appeared spontaneously, like glycerine crystals in sealed laboratory jars, in colonies on other islands and on the mainland in a troop at Takasakiyama.
      Now - that sounds sort of good, doesn't it - he had to improvise, because supposedly most primate researchers are still not sure, what happened.
      Super-practical argument for people desperately wanting to believe.
      What is interesting, though - upon scrutinizing said sources by Sceptical Inquirer - not only do they not purport what Watson claims at all - they are very detailed indeed. No such thing as the supposed missing details, which had to be improvised. It is all there and tells a completely different story.

      So - and this is the fraudulent source of one of Mr. Sheldrakes main building blocks for his "new science".
      Wow.
      Just wow.


      *In the everyday sense/meaning of "theory" here - obviously.

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      Not like Rupert Sheldrake is the only one going on with this kind of approach. Here's another (funny) example:



      And an interesting commentary on this silly "Parapsychology is Scientific Taboo" complaint.
      Quote Originally Posted by nito89 View Post
      Quote Originally Posted by zoth00 View Post
      You have to face lucid dreams as cooking:
      Stick it in the microwave and hope for the best?
      MMR (Mental Map Recall)- A whole new way of Recalling and Journaling your dreams
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      I don't know, when I hear Xei say something like "joy is not sorrow and red is not blue" the dismissive dogmatist comes out and I'm forced to wonder if you're just in denial of your own stubborn allegiance to the dogma.

      8. "Your mind is inside your head"
      There is no scientific statement about the spacial coordinates of one's "mind". Nonsense.
      Dogma shines brightly through this statement, in particular. The assumption, even without a scientific statement, is that the mind exists within the brain. It's pure denial and dogmatic apologism to claim the scientific community doesn't cling to this baseless presumption.
      Last edited by Original Poster; 02-04-2014 at 12:36 AM.

      Everything works out in the end, sometimes even badly.


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      Indeed Original Poster - it is commonly accepted scientific theory that the mind does originate in the brain.
      That has got nothing to do with dogma though - it should be a no-brainer actually - shallow pun, I know.

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      No-brainer = Dogma. The fact that you don't even consider it worth questioning is the core of Sheldon's accusations of dogma.

      Everything works out in the end, sometimes even badly.


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      Quote Originally Posted by StephL View Post
      Indeed Original Poster - it is commonly accepted scientific theory that the mind does originate in the brain.
      That has got nothing to do with dogma though - it should be a no-brainer actually - shallow pun, I know.
      And we still see publications in extremely famous science magazines regarding other mind-theories. I don't see the dogma either, it's not anything new that some theories have better acceptance than others, that's all.
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      Quote Originally Posted by nito89 View Post
      Quote Originally Posted by zoth00 View Post
      You have to face lucid dreams as cooking:
      Stick it in the microwave and hope for the best?
      MMR (Mental Map Recall)- A whole new way of Recalling and Journaling your dreams
      Trying out MILD? This is how you become skilled at it.

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      The problem is not that other theories are censored but that they're dismissed in bulk by the majority of the scientific community and do not receive proper analysis. They're dismissed out of reflex because they're counter-intuitive.

      Everything works out in the end, sometimes even badly.


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      There's a more specific article pertaining to that video, Zoth - being linked through from your link here: A Lesson in Paranormal Cheating with Dean Radin | Spirituality is No Excuse

      It might be interesting for somebody to read it in the context of that video. Which also was surfacing here lately as supposed evidence for the "supernatural".

      The lecture is titled Science and the Taboo of Psi.

      Despite what any reasonable person would expect of a lecture with a title like that, Radin in fact does not attempt to argue that there is a taboo against psi in science.

      Instead he simply asserts there is a taboo, and then interprets everything as if that assertion were true. He also dismisses all criticism of psi research as being merely the result of the taboo.

      Just to make it clear, Radin also does not present a shred of evidence for psi in this lecture either, (though he talks about the subject a lot).

      More importantly, Radin’s documentation sucks. His refusal to properly reference his sources (name, title, journal, date) causes problems for his argument which only become clear when you check the sources yourself. When you do this, it becomes clear that Radin is being less than accurate and less than honest with the information he provides his audience. As will be shown, this is not a matter of interpretation of evidence, (let alone alone a taboo). It’s a simple matter of shoddy scholarship being used to mask the most idiotic abuse of data that I’ve seen since last time I read anything from this goose.

      I will uncover enough of this to make it clear what Radin is up to, before quitting in disgust a mere seven minutes into the lecture. Am I being unfair? Read first, then argue your case in the comments if you wish.

      Dean Radin begins the lecture with a first-person account of a woman who reports awaking mysteriously one night with a feeling of terror. Later she learns that her son was shot dead at the exact moment she awoke, and believes she was experiencing his fear and pain at the moment of his death.

      This incident, Radin says, was

      published in the Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience.

      Okay, that sounds more substantial than an anecdote in the Reader’s Digest or something, but Radin offers nothing more in the way of verification of the basic facts of the account. (He mentions later as an aside that “it’s a true story”, but that’s it.)

      Radin also doesn’t tell us the title of the paper or the publication date, although the authors’ names do briefly flash on the screen behind him: Moulton & Kosslyn. The case was originally published, he continues, in a book from 1981 by one Louisa Rhine. Again, no title. Why the shoddy referencing? This is supposed to be a serious lecture of an academic standard, but he’s not doing the basics.

      And surely any serious psi researcher would want to get as many of the facts confirmed as possible, but not Radin. He moves straight into considering the ways in which different people are likely to respond.

      He “suspects” that a high percentage of academics would label it “superstitious nonsense”. But he also suspects that if you ask them privately, a percentage of those will say that there might be something in it after all.

      And that is the sum total of his argument to establish the existence of a “taboo in science against psi”, the central theme of his lecture.

      Satisfied that he has made his case, Radin moves on to explaining why this taboo is bad.

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      Falsifying one fallacious argument does not validate the opposite claim.

      Everything works out in the end, sometimes even badly.


    15. #15
      Xei
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      Quote Originally Posted by Original Poster View Post
      I don't know, when I hear Xei say something like "joy is not sorrow and red is not blue" the dismissive dogmatist comes out and I'm forced to wonder if you're just in denial of your own stubborn allegiance to the dogma.
      Exactly how thin is your skin?

      That comment is from a completely different thread. And I'm sorry, but disagreeing with you does not automatically make somebody dogmatic. Christ, just listen to yourself. Have you any idea how dogmatic and frankly petty such a statement is? I made a polite, substantial, and well-reasoned exposition of my comment in that thread, and you are yet to muster any kind of retort to it.

      Go away and learn what the word "dogmatic" means before you continue posting here, because it doesn't mean "disagreeing with the infinite wisdom of OP".

      Dogma shines brightly through this statement, in particular. The assumption, even without a scientific statement, is that the mind exists within the brain. It's pure denial and dogmatic apologism to claim the scientific community doesn't cling to this baseless presumption.
      Wow, of my entire post and of the following list of 10 repudiations, you were able to engage with... one line. Things are looking up for Sheldrake!

      "The mind exists within the brain" is not clearly defined. That's why it's not a dogma. Nobody "clings to this baseless presumption" because nobody knows what you're even talking about. You might as well add "the mind floats like a kite" to your list of "dogmas" because it's just as clear. One thing commonly meant by "the mind" is a set of subjective experiences... but subjective experiences are not points in space! You can't locate them anywhere, any more than you could locate "where" the social network of a group of people is.

      A clearer statement might be something like... "cognition is enacted by the actions of physical structures such as neurons in the brain, and no other elements are required to explain it". This is basically the same deal as "dogma 7", which is not a dogma because, once again, there's plenty of evidence for it and no evidence for the converse.

      I'm puzzled as to how you think scientific history has even progressed... do you think people just guessed this shit one day and it stuck? The Ancient Greeks had all kinds of theories about what the relation of mind and body was. Many thought it was entwined with the heart. The whole reason we now think it's the brain is because we've amassed a lot of evidence since then. The richest initial source was the medical evidence of those who had suffered structural damage to the brain, of which a huge number of cases are now compiled. In modern times we also have electric stimulation of the brain causing actions and subjective experiences, we have advanced scanning techniques which correlate various subjective experiences with electric activity of specific regions of the brain, and we have an anatomical and physiological understanding of the brain, including how the chemical actions of drugs distort our perceptions. Again, I'm dubious you even know the definition of the word "dogma", because this certainly isn't what a dogma looks like.

      Quote Originally Posted by Original Poster View Post
      The problem is not that other theories are censored but that they're dismissed in bulk by the majority of the scientific community and do not receive proper analysis. They're dismissed out of reflex because they're counter-intuitive.
      I've already countered this paltry argument.

      Do you know what the word is for a belief which somebody keeps espousing, despite their being presented with counterarguments and not having any response?

      Spoiler for !:
      Last edited by Xei; 02-04-2014 at 03:09 AM.

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      Responding to everything would just muddle it up, it's unnecessary, I can make my point with one specific statement of yours.

      Could you point out some of this evidence that the mind exists within the brain? So far I haven't seen any.

      Everything works out in the end, sometimes even badly.


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      Xei
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      Quote Originally Posted by Original Poster View Post
      Responding to everything would just muddle it up, it's unnecessary, I can make my point with one specific statement of yours.
      I made several different points, some of which addressed claims which you have simply repeated.

      Could you point out some of this evidence that the mind exists within the brain? So far I haven't seen any.
      I just wrote several paragraphs addressing the vagueness of that question and listed the evidence for a clearer version. I can only assume you've taken to reading my posts with your eyes closed.
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      You've only shown evidence that the brain is a necessary tool through which higher intelligence functions. Then you make a leap to encapsulate the entire mind within that platform despite not having evidence for that and a shit ton of evidence to the contrary, like, for example, sight.

      Everything works out in the end, sometimes even badly.


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      Xei
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      I have no idea what is even meant by a "necessary tool through which something functions" or by "encapsulating the mind within a platform", let alone how "sight" is contrary to these hypotheses, if they even are hypotheses.
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      Just because I use a hammer doesn't mean I am a hammer. Just because, (for analogy's sake) you need a hammer to make a nail function doesn't mean the hammer is all there is. There's no projector screen within the brain to explain how the imagination works or where our vision exists.

      Everything works out in the end, sometimes even badly.


    21. #21
      Xei
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      Quote Originally Posted by Original Poster View Post
      Just because I use a hammer doesn't mean I am a hammer. Just because, (for analogy's sake) you need a hammer to make a nail function doesn't mean the hammer is all there is.
      Again this is just metaphysics and so is a completely separate domain to science. Words like "I" are very vague and in any case impossible to tie down to facts about observations.

      Science is about patterns in our perceived world. It can't make dogmatic statements about anything "beyond" that because it doesn't care about them, has no effect upon them, and is not affected by them.

      For all of these vague statements you're coming up with, name some kind of specific observation which inveighs on the issue. If you can't, then... whatever you're talking about, it has nothing to do with science, and so cannot be a scientific "dogma".

      What Sheldrake is concerned with is in the domain of science, and thus his vaguer dogmas about whether "stars are aware" and stuff are not relevant because they're not in the domain of science. He's making specific claims about how reality works; specific patterns in our observed worlds which we should be able to see if they're there. "Morphic resonance", "telepathy", "free energy"; these all make real predictions about phenomena.

      They are not accepted as true because the empirical evidence is not there. That is not how a dogma works. A dogma rejects something without any concern for the empirical evidence. Empirical evidence is the ultimate arbiter of science. Your contrary claim, that science never accepts the "counter intuitive", is demonstrably false, with counter examples such as the bizarre theories of quantum mechanics, which despite scepticism, quickly came to the fore because ultimately its empirical predictions were correct. Your claim that science has no tolerance of unorthodox ideas is demonstrably false, with counter examples like the quantum theory of mind posted by Zoth, which made it way into major journals. It's still not believed en masse because the evidence against is generally deemed stronger than the evidence for, but ultimately if the empirical evidence continues to stack up, the conclusion will change, as it has many times before.

      Science is simply the idea that we should judge hypotheses about the observed world based on observations of the observed world. It's really quite incredible to me that such an idea could ever be called "dogmatic". Essentially the entire method is just the statement, "don't be dogmatic". One can only wonder what alternative method you would suggest. Accepting all hypotheses as equally plausible, perhaps? Accepting Sheldrake's hypotheses because they sound fun and he has an authoritative-sounding British accent? Please enlighten us.
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    22. #22
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      Quote Originally Posted by Xei View Post
      Again this is just metaphysics and so is a completely separate domain to science. Words like "I" are very vague and in any case impossible to tie down to facts about observations.

      Science is about patterns in our perceived world. It can't make dogmatic statements about anything "beyond" that because it doesn't care about them, has no effect upon them, and is not affected by them.
      Non-empirical belief

      For all of these vague statements you're coming up with, name some kind of specific observation which inveighs on the issue. If you can't, then... whatever you're talking about, it has nothing to do with science, and so cannot be a scientific "dogma".
      My claim remains the same, you use falsification of claims in order to validate their opposing claims and this is fallacious. Anything you're unwilling to question proves my point and any attempt to turn the tables and force me to attempt to make a claim so that you can falsify it also proves my point.

      What Sheldrake is concerned with is in the domain of science, and thus his vaguer dogmas about whether "stars are aware" and stuff are not relevant because they're not in the domain of science. He's making specific claims about how reality works; specific patterns in our observed worlds which we should be able to see if they're there. "Morphic resonance", "telepathy", "free energy"; these all make real predictions about phenomena.

      They are not accepted as true because the empirical evidence is not there. That is not how a dogma works. A dogma rejects something without any concern for the empirical evidence. Empirical evidence is the ultimate arbiter of science. Your contrary claim, that science never accepts the "counter intuitive", is demonstrably false, with counter examples such as the bizarre theories of quantum mechanics, which despite scepticism, quickly came to the fore because ultimately its empirical predictions were correct. Your claim that science has no tolerance of unorthodox ideas is demonstrably false, with counter examples like the quantum theory of mind posted by Zoth, which made it way into major journals. It's still not believed en masse because the evidence against is generally deemed stronger than the evidence for, but ultimately if the empirical evidence continues to stack up, the conclusion will change, as it has many times before.

      Science is simply the idea that we should judge hypotheses about the observed world based on observations of the observed world. It's really quite incredible to me that such an idea could ever be called "dogmatic". Essentially the entire method is just the statement, "don't be dogmatic". One can only wonder what alternative method you would suggest. Accepting all hypotheses as equally plausible, perhaps? Accepting Sheldrake's hypotheses because they sound fun and he has an authoritative-sounding British accent? Please enlighten us.
      My only suggestion is to stop acting like just because you haven't seen enough empirical evidence in support of something doesn't mean the opposite is true. Regardless of what you choose to argue now that it's on the chopping block, the inherent assumption is that mind exists within the brain. Or, if you really intend to go there, that science doesn't deal with the metaphysical, which is also bullshit. You can't just dismiss something or assume it has no effect. Your attitude in its regard has already basically proven my point, which is that many of your assumptions are baseless, not based on any empirical evidence. I never said ALL as you would like to argue.

      If the ability to imagine things and construct abstract vision is purely in the realm of metaphysics and not scientific, as you claim, then that would be an assertion in duality which is also completely unproven. Not only that, but it doesn't reflect the views of the scientific community at large.
      Last edited by Original Poster; 02-04-2014 at 04:35 AM.

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    23. #23
      Xei
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      Quote Originally Posted by Original Poster View Post
      Non-empirical belief
      I don't know what this was supposed to respond to or what it's supposed to mean.

      My claim remains the same, you use falsification of claims in order to validate their opposing claims and this is fallacious.
      I have no idea what you're talking about. Give an example.

      Anything you're unwilling to question proves my point
      I have never refused to question anything, either read my posts more carefully or stop straw manning.

      and any attempt to turn the tables and force me to attempt to make a claim so that you can falsify it also proves my point.
      I have no idea what you're talking about.

      My only suggestion is to stop acting like just because you haven't seen enough empirical evidence in support of something doesn't mean the opposite is true.
      Nobody is acting like that.

      Regardless of what you choose to argue now that it's on the chopping block, the inherent assumption is that mind exists within the brain.
      I've already discussed this. You're just repeating yourself and still haven't engaged with anything that was said on the matter. Move the discussion forwards or drop it.

      Or, if you really intend to go there, that science doesn't deal with the metaphysical, which is also bullshit. You can't just dismiss something or assume it has no effect.
      I like to think of myself as a clear communicator but apparently not, as you've understood nothing of what I've just tried to communicate. Science concerns observations of the observed world. That's its definition. By metaphysics, I refer to anything which does not concern observations. That these two cannot coincide is simply a matter of definitions. If something has an observed effect then obviously it's not metaphysics.

      Your attitude in its regard has already basically proven my point, which is that many of your assumptions are baseless, not based on any empirical evidence.
      Which assumptions?

      I never said ALL as you would like to argue.
      All what?

      If the ability to imagine things and construct abstract vision is purely in the realm of metaphysics and not scientific, as you claim, then that would be an assertion in duality which is also completely unproven. Not only that, but it doesn't reflect the views of the scientific community at large.
      For one thing you're using vague words. To the extent that you are making any scientific claims about imagination, I never even mentioned the subject.
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    24. #24
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      I observe vision when I imagine something, so how is it not part of the observed world?

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    25. #25
      Xei
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      I never said anything about vision. I wrote a post explaining what science talks about and what it doesn't. I didn't make any specific remarks about vision. It's a vague word, but to the extent that propositions about vision are propositions about things we experience, sure, it's part of science. Personally I can't say that I "see" things when I imagine them - at least not in the same way as seeing things in the world - but it's certainly true that we can have visual experiences, in dreams for example, which are only in the "imagination". Such things are in the domain of science. "We only see things in dreams which we saw the previous day" is an example of a scientific hypothesis about vision, as it makes claims about patterns in observations which can be found to be true or false. "Vision exists between objects and the mind" is an example of an ill-defined statement which doesn't have any clear scientific meaning as it doesn't seem to make any positive claims about patterns in our experience.
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