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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: Oh dear God, I've figured it out. First let me say that I think the use of the word pseudoscience is pure laziness in any context. It allows one to marginalize any body of research based on subject matter or personality, rather than assessing the results of that research.

    So, it's no wonder TED has latched onto this idea of pseudoscience. That way they never have to demonstrate one whit of scientific knowledge themselves, which they've proven they absolutely cannot do. They tried to list reasons for eliminating both Hancock's and Sheldrake's talks and the reasons were so risible they had to cross them out. They have never bothered to replace them despite numerous questions as to those specifics.

    Now they've set the stage such that they never have to even try again. Anonymous science board says it's pseudoscience (thought terminating cliche). Conversation over.
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      Apr 6 2013: "It allows one to marginalize any body of research based on subject matter or personality, rather than assessing the results of that research."

      I disagree. It is neither the subject matter nor personality that is the justification for marginalization of the research, but the quality of the research itself and the premises upon which it is based. It would be irresponsible to dismiss something as pseudoscience without having given it any consideration at all on the basis of the results of the research--provided that research was scientific.

      A great deal of stuff can be identified as pseudoscience through the application of simple tests, among them Occam's Razor or Popper's notion of falsifiability. Both have problems, but in general they provide a good rule of thumb as to whether something is actually scientific or not.

      Scientific creationism can be identified as pseudoscience because it proceeds from the faith-based assumption that the Bible is inerrant, an assumption that must be taken as a given when it is hardly objective. Intelligent design theory can be identified as pseudoscience because it is impossible to test, regardless of whether the "intelligence" is an extraterrestrial or the Flying Spaghetti Monster.
      • Apr 6 2013: "It is neither the subject matter nor personality that is the justification for marginalization of the research, but the quality of the research itself and the premises upon which it is based."

        And yet, TED has dispensed of the entire matter of Sheldrake and Hancock's talks without every justifying their reasoning.
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          Apr 6 2013: No. They have just not justified their reasoning to everyone.
        • Apr 6 2013: Why not?
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          Apr 6 2013: You'll have to ask them. Good luck with that.
        • Apr 6 2013: John, you're wrong, on a number of counts. You judge pseudoscience by topic not by method. Thus you pretend to judge quality when you haven't even looked at the quality and have instead simply reacted to the topic. The fact is that you;re engaged in some petty disputes in your home town and your attacking people all over the world with that in mind.
        • Apr 6 2013: John Hoopes -" No. They have just not justified their reasoning to everyone"

          Yes John we finally agree on a fundamental issue. They believe they don't have to justify their actions. You said it and I agree whole heartedly. The only difference is you will accept that type of authority but some us don't.
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          Apr 7 2013: "They believe they don't have to justify their actions. You said it and I agree whole heartedly."

          Well, no. I didn't say they don't have to justify their actions. What I said was (as you just quoted correctly):

          "They have just not justified their reasoning to everyone."

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