On my birthday two weeks ago, I was lucky enough to attend a talk by the scientist Rupert Sheldrake. I say lucky, because it was a sold out event and we managed to bag some tickets from the waiting list.
Rupert was a fellow of Clare College, Cambridge, and worked extensively with plants before moving into the fields of developmental cell biology alongside telepathy, parapsychology and other unexplained fields of research. His 2012 book, The Science Delusion, specifically targeted currently held dogmas within the scientific community that have no scientific evidence to support them. Which is funny when you think about it. In essence his message is that materialist science is being misinterpreted as a methodology or a tool of enquiry and has instead become a belief system, with all the limitations that go with belief systems.
As such, it has become closed off to the exploration and investigation of many important facets of our reality. This is where he began his talk, with the statement that science is in crisis, as printed in the scientific journal, Nature. The reason being that 80-90% of all scientific experiments can not be sufficiently replicated. The lead stance for a long time has been that science is true and objective.
This objectivity is guaranteed by replicability and peer reviews of results. Science has not been accounting for human fallibility, nor has anyone been doing any replication as replication doesn’t get printed in science journals. He puts this down to the pressure on scientists to make discoveries and get their work published, which often means small chunks of data will be used if they match the hypothesis, whilst big chunks of data will be disregarded. In this sense, much of the information we have from science cannot be seen as accurate and needs further questioning. No-one is saying that scientific enquiry hasn't given us many things but holding any scientific evidence aloft as an absolute is, unscientific.
Necks on The Line
In the same way that journalist, Graham Hancock, has put his neck on the line with his views and research on ancient civilisations, so too has Rupert Sheldrake, risked his standing in the scientific community, to speak out about such issues within science. After an initial backlash that is still ongoing, the risk is starting to pay off for both men. Although the skeptical and egotistical communities within their fields are still banging the same drum, holding on to old ideas, the evidence for their causes is beginning to mount to a point where they cannot be ignored or ridiculed any longer.
In particular, Rupert’s work on telepathy looks at the phenomena of knowing when someone near and dear to you is about to phone you. You almost think of them and they phone you. The results have shown that people will guess correctly, significantly above chance.
You can even test it for yourself on his website.
The Q+A brought up many a debate as some members of the audience with a materialist agenda attempted to put Rupert on the spot. It boiled down to the fact that some things are still unprovable or untestable within the scientific method for either camp and should be the subject of ongoing investigation. Instead, within the current paradigm they are simply dismissed as pseudo scientific or woo woo and poppycock.
In essence this is the difference between an argument and a discussion. An argument is about who’s right, a discussion is about what’s right.
By taking this dismissive stance on many phenomena or hypotheses such as, the history of civilisation, in Graham Hancock’s case, science has become a belief system and perhaps has been since the materialist take over in the early 1900s.
Non physical phenomena is not ridiculed by high level, government organisations, and there is indeed evidence that it is worked with in a number of areas, by those at the cutting edge of security in the world. Or insecurity depending on how you view it.
I thought this was going to be a bit of a dry night that tested my concentration span. Instead it was absolutely fascinating and left me wanting more. Thank you to Another Way Now for organising one of only two talks that Rupert is doing this year. And thank you to my lovely wife, Fiona, for such a great birthday treat.