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Discuss the note to the TED community on the withdrawal of the TEDxWestHollywood license.

For discussion: http://blog.ted.com/2013/04/01/a-note-to-the-ted-community-on-the-withdrawal-of-the-tedxwesthollywood-license


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    • Apr 6 2013: Hi Debbie, I highly recommend the Graham Hankock's Official website, It is one of the most scientific and relevant to be found anywhere on the web, It ranks among st my favorites. I have been visiting it for over 5 years now and i'm amazed at the quality of cutting edge articles and relevant material. Then there is its message boards that allow for any mature perspective on a range of topics that are relevant in today's society. let me just say that i am in no way associated with it, other then a frequent visitor. Again thank you to to all the TED fellows who have so generously contributed, my criticism has not directed at you. I am just disappointed that we cant have a wider range of ideas.

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        Apr 6 2013: If Adrian considers Hancock's website to be "one of the most scientific and relevant to be found anywhere on the web," then it is my opinion that he has been seriously deluded.

        For an alternative perspective on the pseudoscience about the ancient past in particular that has been promoted since the 1990s by Hancock in his books, films, and lectures--as well as on his website--please see this website:

        In the Hall of Ma'at: Weighing the Evidence for Alternative History

        In the "Papers" section of that website, one can find over a dozen papers that explicitly and in detail critique Hancock's pseudoscience. There are also informed critiques of the pseudoscience of extraterrestrial influences on ancient peoples by authors such as Erich von Daniken.

        In the Hall of Ma'at - Papers

        Note that the Hall of Ma'at website is completely non-commercial and features no advertisements.
        • Apr 6 2013: John If you look at the site you will see the home page, "news desk", that section I referred to is an ansanble of newly published material across the spectrum of science, biology, astronomy, history, archaeology, religion............ the list goes one. I have yet to find a better source of interesting, open minded mature perspective on current events.
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        Apr 6 2013: Yes, Adrian, and yet many people in the debate about Hancock insisted that he does not represent what he is doing as science. I wish you had been more clear in your original post, making it clear that it was the science news feed to which you were referring and not the website as a whole.

        One of the strategies of the Hancock website has been to present a credible veneer of science while promoting anti-scientific and pseudoscientific ideas, books, videos, and other products. It is a way of cloaking the actual intent of the website and making it appear scientific and reputable when it is not. Applying the title of Sheldrake's book, it is an example of an *actual* science deception.
        • Apr 6 2013: John you are beginning to sound paranoid. You fail to engage or confront them openly, while making accusations that just as easily be applied to yourself. That is cowardice.
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        Apr 6 2013: Adrian, you say that I fail to engage or confront "them" openly. Which "them" do you have in mind? I think anyone who read the Hancock debate would have a hard time agreeing with you that I failed to engage or confront anyone openly in that discussion.

        Who do you mean by "them"? People who insisted that Hancock did not represent what he was doing as science? If you don't recall those engagements or confrontations, I recommend that you read through that debate again. You have missed something and I am not going to go and do your homework for you.

        As for cowardice, I think that term is better applied to individuals who hide behind pseudonyms. My identity has been quite open from the very beginning of my participation. That's not cowardice.
        • Apr 6 2013: Your criticism was in reply to my referral of the Hancock site, but equally applies to Sheldrake. You repeatedly defended TED's actions despite their inability to engage in open debate with either party. That's what I find disagreeable.
        • Apr 6 2013: John, you didn't confront anything. You talked about all manner of irrelevant stuff and when you made the odd foray into talking about the actual talk everything you said was wrong.
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        Apr 6 2013: I disagree and I think you're wrong. However, the burden of proof is on you to make your case.

        Fallacy - Burden of Proof
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        Apr 6 2013: No, you haven't and no, it's not.
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        Apr 6 2013: Prove what?
    • Apr 6 2013: I agree with TED on one point. If the science board were public they could be subjected to pressures by interest groups and possible consequences to them personally could bias their results. That's a fair point. However, at some point, the reasoning itself has to be transparent.

      TED also claims that it isn't the science board that makes the decisions -- that they function in an advisory capacity and TED makes the decisions. Why, then, is TED so incapable of articulating their own reasons for these decisions. I think if you make a decision that results in so many people wasting time and money -- whether it's to speak for free or to spend a year setting up an event -- TED should at least be able to explain its own reasoning for pulling the plug.
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      Apr 6 2013: Adrian writes, "Your criticism was in reply to my referral of the Hancock site, but equally applies to Sheldrake. You repeatedly defended TED's actions despite their inability to engage in open debate with either party. That's what I find disagreeable."

      Your premise is incorrect. TEDx was not unable to engage in open debate. They chose not to.

      You're certainly entitled to your opinion, Adrian. Everyone's got one. However, please don't misrepresent the facts. You may find my own opinions disagreeable, but please don't insinuate cowardice when it's not there.
      • Apr 6 2013: TED was unable inasmuch as every word they said had to be crossed out. If they had great arguments waiting in the wings then it's unclear why they held them back (are still holding them back) rather than just deploy them. The problem being that anyone can claim to have devastating arguments at their disposal which they may unleash one day or other.
        • Apr 6 2013: Unable or unwilling -- which is worse? I'm at a loss, either way. That TED thinks they don't have to validate such drastic actions is an insult to anyone who put time, energy, let alone money into building their "brand" over the years.

          All they do is co-opt other peoples' ideas without paying them anyway. And now we know that the emperor has no clothes -- certainly no ability to assess those ideas without Jerry Coyne telling them what to think.

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