In 2013, TED Talks infamously put a ban on a talk made by a revolutionary scientist who bravely questions the scientific establishment
Revolutionary scientist Rupert Sheldrake has been challenging the scientific establishment’s firmly held dogmas for decades now, and in 2013, TED Talks sought to silence and ban listeners from hearing what he had to say. Staunch members of the scientific establishment and steadfast skeptics have often attempted to shut down the radical ideas that Sheldrake presents.
Sheldrake began his scientific career as a biologist, and his reputation at Cambridge University in England was outstanding. He had written around 80 scientific papers, half of which he had published before beginning to question the scientific establishment he was working within. In 1963 he won the University Botany Prize, and over the years he has published ten books. Additionally, he has made many scientific breakthroughs, including the discovery of the polar auxin transport mechanism.
Silencing of Sheldrake began from the moment he first published revolutionary ideas that crossed the boundaries of questioning. Boundaries that these groups deemed as unacceptable to cross. Many consider him to be a revolutionary fringe scientist, that is, a scientist that sits in the gray area between science and pseudoscience. Ironically, it is the fringe scientists that scare the scientific community more than the pseudoscientists. Generally, this is because they present ideas that are at many times harder for them to argue against.
What did Sheldrake say that caused TED to ban his talk?
The scientific community was in an uproar when TED initially shared Sheldrake’s talk entitled “10 Scientific Dogmas Holding Back Science.” According to TED’s anonymous scientific advisers, Sheldrake’s talk was simply too provocative and bordered on pseudoscience. Indeed, as Martin Robbins explained in an article in the New Statesmen, TED talks are not about challenging ideas, but passively listening to them. TED clearly found Sheldrake’s ideas too challenging, who prefer to preach to the choir.
Sheldrake responded to TED’s claims by stating that the “ideas” platform is pandering to the exact same dogmas that he was dismantling in his talk. Sheldrake also mentions the irony that his talk came underneath an umbrella theme of “Challenging Existing Paradigms.” Clearly, the concept of challenging paradigms is not a challenge that TED talks are capable of doing.
YOUTUBE Video(Tom Huston):
Why does Sheldrake frighten the scientific establishment?
Sheldrake’s revolutionary ideas frighten even the likes of Richard Dawkins, famed atheist and skeptical antagonist. Dawkins tried to “expose” Sheldrake in an interview, but when he was unable to, he never released the footage. Additionally, other scientists refuse to acknowledge cold hard evidence that Sheldrake presents to them. Sheldrake was able to prove that the speed of light and gravity fluctuate. However, the ignorant mechanical-universe-obsessed scientific community refuse to question or explore his findings.
Indeed, the atheist movement, which rides on the back of the scientific establishment, was born from a political desire to dismantle the religious establishment. However, when they did so, they threw the baby out with the bath water. Ultimately, by rejecting alternative ideas in their entirety, rather than merely questioning the establishment that rode on the back of those ideas, atheism and science themselves became an establishment. Sheldrake takes the dogmas of this establishment and seeks to dismantle them. However, this threatens the fragile foundations of the scientific establishment.
What does Sheldrake hypothesize?
Sheldrake, a practicing Christian, began questioning the scientific establishment while he was still an atheist. Therefore the dogmas that he is challenging are not based on him having any preconceived beliefs which he wants to try to prove as correct. The core ten scientific dogmas are as follows:
1. Nature is mechanical
Ironically, the idea that nature is mechanical was born of Christian thinking during the 17th century. The mechanical universe posited that nature contains no soul, and has no unique purpose of its own. This idea sought to give God greater respect so that people would see Him as more powerful and omnipotent.
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