Dena DeCastro

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Dena DeCastro
Posted about 1 year ago
The debate about Rupert Sheldrake's talk
I agree with you that pseudoscience is problematic in its dishonesty. However, you make a completely false connection between Sheldrake's talk and pseudoscience. He was not purveying pseudo-scientific views. Rather, he was questioning and deconstructing the prevailing dogmas of science. Sheldrake is merely pointing out the rise of a dominant worldview that has essentially become its own religion. Questions are just too uncomfortable for some people to sit with. Questions and uncertainty make one feel vulnerable. The materialist worldview offers the illusion of certainty, which must be a great comfort to those who don't want to question. Give me topsy turvy any day.
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Dena DeCastro
Posted about 1 year ago
The debate about Rupert Sheldrake's talk
You state that "Making it clear that Sheldrake's talk is not something TED can endorse as being either scientifically or philosophically coherent is simply the responsible thing to do." I wasn't aware that TED was supposed to be endorsing the views of every speaker. I thought TED was a neutral platform for the sharing of ideas in the hopes of generating more inquiry and discussion. Apparently, I was wrong. Furthermore, I heartily disagree with your sidelong attack on Sheldrake's talk as being philosophically and scientifically incoherent. There are thousands of people who have viewed the talk and found it perfectly coherent on both counts. It's a mystery to me what you found so hard to understand.
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Dena DeCastro
Posted about 1 year ago
The debate about Rupert Sheldrake's talk
Censorship has its uses. For example, words of hate, racial slurs, or words intended to threaten or cause harm should be censored. Children should be protected from age-inappropriate sexual content, so we censor what goes out over the airwaves (to some degree). However, there really is no place for censorship within the context of intellectual debate amongst participating adults. I don't need to be "protected" from Sheldrake's and Hancock's ideas. As an educated adult, a former college instructor, I can surely assess for myself whether or not I find their ideas worth considering. I do happen to agree with much of what Sheldrake asserted, but my agreement or non-agreement is really beside the point. What disturbs me most about TED's actions regarding these talks is that it would appear the scientific community has cowed the organizers into doing something unconscionable -- censoring a talk based upon the ideological content alone. TED, give us the respect we deserve and let us decide for ourselves what to believe. Ideas should stand or fall on their own merit. Your reputation is gravely at stake on this one.