The Sheldrake Wikipedia Biography Discussion

#4
I found my Wikipedia experience equally troubling - I had essentially the same experience with a BLP for Jim Tucker, and lots of grief at the Ian Stevenson bio page. It's amazing that some pages are simply no go zones for intellectual honesty (e.g. Intelligent Design) where the content is effectively locked down by a cadre of people with a particular ideological axe to grind to such an extent that very experienced independent editors simply refuse to get involved on such pages because of all the headaches involved.
 
#5
It is interesting to me that these self proclaimed guardians of truth, the super skeptics, are not only dishonestly editing the bio's of distinguished scientists and rubbishing their lifes work, but that they are doing it with impunity, and so freely.
It is as if wikipedia were being edited by the James Randi foundation or the Richard Wiseman elves.
I have only recently been made aware of this after looking up a few people, and finding some very concerning and slanderous things posted. Gary Schwartz comes to mind.
I have to admit to really having my eyes opened by this wikipedia situation. I wanted to believe somewhere deep down that the skeptics were honest, but perhaps just unreasonably dogmatic and insanely fastidious individuals (bordering on psychotic). However, it seems like I will have to remove the "honest" part of my hopes regarding their motivation. How tragic.
Something has gotta finally give!
 
#6
It is interesting to me that these self proclaimed guardians of truth, the super skeptics, are not only dishonestly editing the bio's of distinguished scientists and rubbishing their lifes work, but that they are doing it with impunity, and so freely.
This is starting to sound like a line of discussion which is better suited for the other board, IMO.

However, it seems like I will have to remove the "honest" part of my hopes regarding their motivation. How tragic.
Something has gotta finally give!
If you mean skeptics as in organized skeptics, then that is probably correct. If you mean honest skeptics as in agnostic types, then they definitely exist. Michael Prescott is an example of someone who was skeptical of survival claims but has concluded that survival probably happens, and Michael Raduga (author of an OBE book) notes in his e-book that he initially was a believer but eventually changed his mind that his experiences were only in his head.

So there are definitely people who read data and switch sides, sometimes switch often, but they don't announce it to the world when they do.
 
#7
I think we should recognise as well that there's room for nuance. Even if one hasn't changed one's position on the macro issue of moving from believing in psi to not believing or vice-versa there can be considerable changes in one's views on the micro-level.
 
#8
I think we should recognise as well that there's room for nuance. Even if one hasn't changed one's position on the macro issue of moving from believing in psi to not believing or vice-versa there can be considerable changes in one's views on the micro-level.
How would you describe your own change? Last time I checked, you weren't convinced and needed more data.
 
#9
How would you describe your own change? Last time I checked, you weren't convinced and needed more data.
I think the point Arouet is trying to get at is someone can go from "No, this is impossible and you are a moron.", to "No, but I can see there's a lot more effort on this than I thought and it could be possible.", to "I would like to believe in this but what about this other data..." Each sides are that of disagreement, worn down from "closed minded" ranging to "puzzled."
 
#10
I think the point Arouet is trying to get at is someone can go from "No, this is impossible and you are a moron.", to "No, but I can see there's a lot more effort on this than I thought and it could be possible.", to "I would like to believe in this but what about this other data..." Each sides are that of disagreement, worn down from "closed minded" ranging to "puzzled."
Thanks JC, though not my exact positions, that's along the lines of what I meant.
 
#14
http://www.newrepublic.com/article/115533/rupert-sheldrake-fools-bbc-deepak-chopra

To be honest, as of late October/early November, I thought the page was on its way to recovery; the header was neutral, and the discussion of his books and appearances, if not perfect, was becoming more fair. It's tracking the other way now.
I haven't looked the page in awhile. While I wouldn't call it up the standards of an ordinary encyclopedia it is indeed way better than it was.
I know that people have been continually battling the skeptics on that page, but the last time I checked they hadn't gotten anywhere.

Apparently a huge amount of pressure has paid off. Only a few thousand more pages to go . . .
 
#15
I'll give Coyne this - if the people editing Sheldrake's article aren't part of that GS group, Sheldrake should probably stop bringing them up.
 
#18
I wonder what some of these people did to earn enough favors that they get to spout jeering cynicism with impunity on public newscasts. Even people reporting on incompetent politicians are expected to speak as though they were adults.
To be sure, the New Republic got an awful lot of crap for that in their comment section.
 
#19
I took a closer look now that I have the time. The article still has some of the usual crap in it.

These ideas are widely rejected by the scientific community,[10][11][12][13][14] with scientists who have investigated morphic resonance offering reasons ranging from a lack of evidence to inconsistency with established scientific theories and categorising Sheldrake's work as psuedoscience or magical thinking.[a]
Sheldrake also argues that science has become a series of dogmas rather than an open-minded approach to investigating phenomena.[25] He advocates questioning facts such as conservation of energy and the impossibility of perpetual motion devices,[25] bedrock foundational principles that undergird modern science.[26]

Critics express concern that Sheldrake's books, appearances and advocacy attract popular attention in a way that undermines the public's understanding of science.[7][16][21][22]
but they seem to have backed off a bit overall.
 
#20
What they really need is an expansion of the New Science of Life and Dogs That Know section. The latter in particular would benefit from explaining all the problems with Wiseman's experiments.
 
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