Aaron McLeod

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Aaron McLeod
Posted over 1 year ago
The debate about Rupert Sheldrake's talk
Sheldrake is not advocating that we abandon the scientific method or deny ourselves the advantages that scientific inquiry brings, he is simply asking for a moment of introspection to evaluate our assumptions. Just becasue we hear what he has to say and take a moment to consider his perspective and his research does not mean that we believe everything he presents. We do not need protection from new perspectives on science. Let us not forget that the theme of this presentation was "Challenging Existing Paradigms and Redefining Values", not "Everything We Already Know and Are Completely Comfortable With Reiterated." TED.... lighten up. The precious edifice of science as a replacement for God is still intact.
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Aaron McLeod
Posted over 1 year ago
The debate about Rupert Sheldrake's talk
Julian, your argument is very persuasive, but please try to understand that not all of us are convinced that your worldview is leading us down the wisest path. All of the fantastic advances in science and technology have represented amazing accomplishments, but they have also been coupled with tremendous sacrifices to our earth. Many of us feel that we have used our scientific prowess irresponsibly, leading to enormous environmental consequences, such as the Gulf oil spill, the Canadian tar sands, The Fukishima meltdown, and the Great Pacific Garbage Patch just to name a few without even mentioning global warming. I see these events as a failure of science to differentiate between the best interests of economic will and the public good. We are looking for answers to questions of sustainability that science has been unable to provide. We are looking for fresh perspectives on our humanity. I feel that materialist science has led to a crisis in the human condition rooted in sustainably unsound perspectives on the nature of reality. Sheldrake is not demanding that we abandon the scientific method or deny ourselves the advantages that scientific inquiry provides, he is simply asking for a moment of introspection to evaluate our assumptions.
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Aaron McLeod
Posted over 1 year ago
The debate about Rupert Sheldrake's talk
The most important thing to remember here is that your "feelings" about this issue do not really matter. Beliefs and feelings have no coherent definition and play no part in the scientific understanding of the brain. The neuroscience of the future will have no need for outmoded concepts like "beliefs" and "feelings". Minds will be explained completely in terms of the objectively measurable activity of the nervous system. Mental events are caused by physical events in the brain although mental events themselves do not cause anything. Mental activity is merely informational processing. The mind does not exist, only the body is real. When your body is gone, your mind will follow suit. This is the natural and inevitable order of things, and it should never be questioned.
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Aaron McLeod
Posted over 1 year ago
The debate about Rupert Sheldrake's talk
"The fundamental weakness is a failure to admit even the possibility that genuine physical facts may exist which lie outside the scope of current scientific descriptions. Indeed a new kind of understanding of nature is now emerging, with concepts like implicate order and subject-dependent reality and now, perhaps formative causation. These developments have not yet penetrated to the leading journals. One can only hope that the editors will soon cease to obstruct this avenue of progress." - Brian Josephson, quantum physicist and Nobel laureate. One of many scientists speaking on behalf of Rupert Sheldrake in response to Sir John Maddox scathing editorial "A book for burning" in Nature magazine, 1981. Do you want more? I have more.
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Aaron McLeod
Posted over 1 year ago
The debate about Rupert Sheldrake's talk
"My personal understanding of the TED platform is one in which ideas that have have gathered some resonance and reasonable acceptability among the speaker's professional peers can be shared with a wider audience." Sheldrake has met this criteria. He has his opponents, to be sure, but he has met this criteria.
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Aaron McLeod
Posted over 1 year ago
The debate about Rupert Sheldrake's talk
I disagree. If lectures that challenge materialism are pre-screened by materialists, will they be presented? Who are they to decide the "purity" of an argument for you? Wouldn't you at least appreciate the opportunity to reject or further research the material for yourself, as opposed to never knowing it in the first place? This would be the most regrettable lesson that TED could take away from this, namely "If we had caught it earlier, none of this would have happened."
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Aaron McLeod
Posted over 1 year ago
The debate about Rupert Sheldrake's talk
Inherent within TEDs actions is the attitude that their viewers are passive observers of information who cannot rationalize which claims against established scientific dogmas are legitimate and which ones are not. The attempt to pull this lecture reveals an elitist assumption that their secret review board is wiser and nobler than their viewers, thus it is their responsibility to filter material that we are incapable of filtering for ourselves. It is clear from the reactions by the TED community that we would prefer the opportunity to evaluate information for ourselves as opposed to being denied exposure to it at all, as if it does not exist. The fear that a couple of lectures that challenge scientific assumptions, among the thousands presented that do not, will somehow undermine TEDs integrity is preposterous.