Joe Martin

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Joe Martin
Posted over 1 year ago
Rupert Sheldrake's TEDx talk: Detailing the issues
Rupert Sheldrake is a "controversial figure". What does that mean? Is he controversial because he's a pseudo-scientist heck-bent on damaging the integrity of scientific discourse and needs to be quashed? Or is he controversial because he boldly speaks the truth about a scientific establishment whose thinking has gone a bit stale? What is TEDxTalks to do? It has inadvertently touched paths with one of the more deep-seated, often-times unpleasant, yet important and exciting controversies extant in science today. Should it opt out by declaring Sheldrake guilty-as-charged, thereby appeasing those who want his head...... ......or should it invite Rupert Sheldrake and his “opponents” to a series of TEDx sponsored debates? I cannot think of a “hotter” ticket, both in terms of its relevance to science and its crowd-pleasing potential.
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Joe Martin
Posted over 1 year ago
Rupert Sheldrake's TEDx talk: Detailing the issues
Bengt, I don't see Sheldrake's importance as being in his entertainment value. His importance is in his intelligence and his willingness to challenge scientific thinking in unique and innovative ways that precious few even attempt. Yes, Sheldrake lets it rip. He doesn't mince words. Could he present himself in a fashion that would not raise the hackles of many of his fellow scientists as he seems to do now? I don't know. I don't know how one can candy coat his basic message, that something is fundamentally wrong with the way modern science is played out day to day, and expect the pill to go down any easier. But a science that loses its ability to entertain deep self-critique, that stops enjoying ripping itself to shreds intellectually, has already lost something important. I guess what I'm saying is, the proper scientific response to Sheldrake is to dialog, not reject. He's not anti-science. He cares deeply about science. He cares enough to challenge his fellow scientists at a fundamental level. How else can science ever hope to know itself at any fundamental level unless it opens itself to deep critique?
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Joe Martin
Posted over 1 year ago
Rupert Sheldrake's TEDx talk: Detailing the issues
My personal thanks for what role you've played as TEDx Organizer in having the courage to invite Dr. Sheldrake to appear on TEDx Talks. Likewise, your decision to allow listeners to comment on your desire to remove his talk is much appreciated. Concerning lack of evidence for his claims, though, it's difficult, I'm sure, to make a full case for ANY claim in eighteen minutes. However, virtually everything covered in the talk is also extensively covered in his book, "The Science Delusion", called "Science Set Free" in the US. He is a well-published scientist and academic. His views seem particularly well researched. He is graciously open to critique and, frankly, I've yet to see him leave any critique left unanswered. He has always responded to criticism articulately, effectively and scientifically. I guess I've become a consumate fan of the man over the years and believe what separates him from other scientists is his refusal to let fear of controversy impede his expression and enjoyment of the pursuit of truth that is science.