Steve Stark

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Steve Stark
Posted about 2 years ago
Did Rupert Sheldrake make a factual error?
You ignored it when you pointed to V S Ramachandran as if that one person - or a few like him - considering an issue did not mean that the issue was settled within the worldview Sheldrake was critiquing. You now deny you denied asking for a percentage, and yet here you say "I didn't say it required a definite percentage". You are mixing up the points about ambiguities in language and ambiguities in science. The ambiguities in language you are complaining about have no relevance here and are not ambiguities in the science of Sheldrake's claims in any event. It's unclear there really were any ambiguities in the way suggest in any event. I suspect you just said it because it sounded good to you. I've not concluded your complaints are wrong because they are poorly argued - I simply said they are grossly confused, wrong and poorly argued. Given that, it is hard to take them seriously. Re the preposterous claim that Sheldrake's overarching fallacy is the burden of proof. You appear to be just throwing out jargon in some scattergun (Gish gallop) attempt to confuse people sufficiently that they might believe there is actually a point in there somewhere.The fallacy you are making here is Occam's fallacy of affirming the begging of the consequent's question whilst simultaneously denying the wishfully thought antecedent via personal incredulity - or something.
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Steve Stark
Posted about 2 years ago
Did Rupert Sheldrake make a factual error?
You included it in the quote but then ignored the fact it existed by suggesting one person thinking otherwise refuted his claim. You say you didn't ask for a definite percentage but you did, you said "What percentage is "almost all?"" Re the stuff about "think" - now you're mixing up the discussion of what kind of scientific account we can give of thinking and what the word means in normal discourse where we are talking about, eg, what people think, irrespective of what scientific account of thinking we end up giving. The main point here though is that your questions about my post amounted to nothing. A request for a %age you now deny making. Complaints about ambiguities in language which are completely irrelevant to the issue at hand. And then a request for a definition of "think" in a context in which you understand full well what it means. Thus it's hard to take your complaints about the talk or your complaints about my response seriously.
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Steve Stark
Posted about 2 years ago
Did Rupert Sheldrake make a factual error?
Nah, you're wrong. Firstly, what he means is that the experiments conducted so far have yielded results that would be taken to have demonstrated the reality of phenomenon were it in any other area of science. We know this because that's Jessica Utts' phrase that he was referencing (when he said "I agree") and that's what she was talking about. Re qualia - nothing to do with anything here I'm afraid - no qualititative phenomena involved at all in fact. Re belief in telepathy - nobody, certainly not Sheldrake in this talk, was suggesting telepathy should be believed in. His point was that it is considered impossible because of some of the dogmas of the materialist/reductionist world-view - thus many don't need to look at the evidence because they already know it can't be true.
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Steve Stark
Posted about 2 years ago
Did Rupert Sheldrake make a factual error?
There's no requirement for a definite percentage - such phrases are well know. Educated people will mean something like people who have gone through a school and university education in, eg, the US or Europe and if you don't know what "think" means in this context then I can't help you. You are making the mistake of trying to find fault by pretending not to understand English very well. What Sheldrake meant is obvious enough.
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Steve Stark
Posted about 2 years ago
Did Rupert Sheldrake make a factual error?
Well, as has been pointed out, if one was to be really pedantic, one could argue that the mere existence of two governments doing as Sheldrake says would be enough to make the plural appropriate. By contrast, to insist he means "all" governments would seem to be veering into interpretative territory unbecoming a pedant, however old and grumpy (and male) the pedant might be.
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Steve Stark
Posted about 2 years ago
Did Rupert Sheldrake make a factual error?
@Edward So we have some interpretations under which what RS said was true and some interpretations under which what he said was false. That means we do not have a clear factual error - as opposed to a mere ambiguity - and, moreover, since RS has already clarified what he said, and explained why he said it the way he did, that would seem to be the end of that. No? A further question being: do you suppose there is a single TED(x) talk that could not be criticised in exactly the same manner?
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Steve Stark
Posted about 2 years ago
Did Rupert Sheldrake make a factual error?
Of course Sheldrake made a factual error. He thought (ludicrously enough) that an organisation that touts itself as believing "in open enquiry and the challenging of orthodox views" was telling the truth. And since nothing, in fact, could be further from the truth, this was quite a factual error.