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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: here's the thing. Russell Targ was good enough for the MIT Club of Northern California to be on a panel with theoretical physicists (Targ is a laser physicist by profession. so no surprise there.) but the science-loving people at TED lumped Targ with "pseudoscience." (exactly the same treatment that Rupert Sheldrake and Graham Hancock received.)

    Russell Targ @ MIT Club of Northern California
    ~ http://youtu.be/NfBqFB_hdoA

    this is not about real science. this is about TED's uncompromising allegiance to the scientific materialist worldview.
    • Apr 6 2013: It's not scientific materialism - it's anti-scientific (end of science) reductionist philosophy.
      • Apr 6 2013: i should've said pseudo-skeptical worldview posing as "real science".
        • Apr 6 2013: It's actually a very common way of talking which Sheldrake even slips into although he did give an interview where he clarified it. I think it's important because we have to be clear that science is not the enemy - the enemy is a strange philosophical view that some have conflated with science - probably without even knowing it.
    • Apr 7 2013: it's a conspiracy!! lol you guys. And pseudo-skeptic is an awesome phrase. 9-11 Truthers are pseudo-skeptics. Birthers, Holocaust deniers, and anyone who accuses TED of conspiracies are pseudo-skeptics, the guys at Skeptiko are big time pseudo-skeptics, they are the worst, ugh. So call me and others something we are not, and see how far that gets you outside of your little circle .
      • Apr 7 2013: Leroy,

        all rhetoric. no substance. no relevance. not even an intelligible rebuttal to the information offered. typical pseudo-skeptical strategy.
      • Apr 7 2013: Leroy
        I believe it was Marcello Truzzi, one of the founders of CSI(COP) who coined the term "pseudoskeptic". He coined it to refer to the members of that organisation about which he said:

        "Originally I was invited to be a co-chairman of CSICOP by Paul Kurtz. I helped to write the bylaws and edited their journal. I found myself attacked by the Committee members and board, who considered me to be too soft on the paranormalists. My position was not to treat protoscientists as adversaries, but to look to the best of them and ask them for their best scientific evidence. I found that the Committee was much more interested in attacking the most publicly visible claimants such as the "National Enquirer". The major interest of the Committee was not inquiry but to serve as an advocacy body, a public relations group for scientific orthodoxy. The Committee has made many mistakes. My main objection to the Committee, and the reason I chose to leave it, was that it was taking the public position that it represented the scientific community, serving as gatekeepers on maverick claims, whereas I felt they were simply unqualified to act as judge and jury when they were simply lawyers."

        Thus, it seems, we are using the word quite precisely in the way it was originally intended. Here's an article by the coiner explaining the term.

        • Apr 7 2013: Steve,

          exactly. it amazes and amuses me that people who identify as " skeptics" don't know the history of the Skeptical movement. note that Truzzi was also the one who coined the famous Sagan quote "extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence." Truzzi was a real *skeptic*. most "skeptics" i see online nowadays are pale reflections of Truzzi. they have hijacked the true philosophical meaning of the word *skepticism* while deluding themselves that they are the paragons of "critical thinking".
      • Apr 7 2013: Here's a passage from the article linked to above:

        Over the years, I have decried the misuse of the term "skeptic" when used to refer to all critics of anomaly claims. Alas, the label has been thus misapplied by both proponents and critics of the paranormal. Sometimes users of the term have distinguished between so-called "soft" versus "hard" skeptics, and I in part revived the term "zetetic" because of the term's misuse. But I now think the problems created go beyond mere terminology and matters need to be set right. Since "skepticism" properly refers to doubt rather than denial--nonbelief rather than belief--critics who take the negative rather than an agnostic position but still call themselves "skeptics" are actually pseudo-skeptics and have, I believed, gained a false advantage by usurping that label.

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