Emma Restall Orr, It Took a Druid to Demolish Scientific Materialism |346|

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Emma Restall Orr, It Took a Druid to Demolish Scientific Materialism |346|
by Alex Tsakiris | Apr 18 | Consciousness Science, Spirituality

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Emma Restall Orr believes animism is more logical and coherent than scientific materialism — she may be right.

photo by: Skeptiko
On this episode of Skeptiko…

Emma Restall Orr: …that’s the sadness about so much of science, because it’s taken us from where Christianity, and in our British culture Christianity was so thick, and it laid in the authorities, and it told everybody exactly what to think, what to feel, how to behave, and then science has taken over done exactly the same thing, and that was a problem in Christianity, and it’s a problem in science.

Stay with us for Skeptiko…

Welcome to Skeptiko, where we explore controversial science and spirituality, with leading researchers, thinkers and their critics.

I’m your host Alex Tsakiris, and I suppose I rail on and on about the absurdity of mainstream science’s position re consciousness, that is that it’s an illusion, a product of the brain… biological robot… meaningless universe — all that stuff you’ve heard a million times. But the real absurdity is that we still debate it. It’s still respectable for mainstream science, intellectual types, academia types to kick those ideas around and mull them over and really dig into them, when it’s just ridiculous.

So, it’s quite refreshing when someone who’s totally on the outside, and has the dubious distinction of being a prominent member of the Neo-Druid, Neo-Pagan community, let alone the fact that she’s a woman, it’s just fascinating when someone like that can step forward and just kind of kick the shit out of materialism, very succinctly, very concisely and does so in a way that brings us back to that question that I always ask — how can this be?

So, Emma Restall Orr is our guest today, she’s the author of many very interesting books, extremely articulate, an excellent writer. Of course, we didn’t agree on some things, but agreed on many more and it was certainly fun and delightful to have her on Skeptiko and to her join me in this conversation.

ecided to just grab a screenshot of the top 1000 people who have [the highest] Twitter follower numbers, people like Justin Bieber… he had the most Twitter followers, Oprah Winfrey was in there, Dalai Lama was in there. Then we looked for their charts…
 
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Alex's question at the end of the podcast:

Has science ultimately failed us in the balance between good and bad? We can look at our lasers and i-phones and GPS's, but on the other side we can look at the things that we might not like about society, culture or the way things are going, however we slice that. So: has science failed us?
 
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I find this podcast very hard to sum up.

I think Emma's comment about how science has acquired the same intolerance that Christianity exhibited.

I also liked her comments about the modern cult of victim-hood.

I also fell in love with Emma's amazing voice!

As regards the question at the end, I have probably written enough about this already. I think that science only covers a patchy subset of reality, but because it feel it must be describing the whole of reality, it fudges, and splutters embarrassingly as it pretends to explain those things it doesn't have a hope of explaining. It has also been severely corrupted by complacency, money and politics.

David
 
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Emma spoke of anarchy. I looked it up and here are a few definitions:

A state of society without government or law.

A state of disorder due to absence or non-recognition of authority or other controlling systems.

Absence of government and absolute freedom of the individual, regarded as a political ideal.

I kind of think she meant something like "absence of government and absolute freedom of the individual, regarded as a spiritual ideal". A society in which there is no need of government or law because everyone is sane enough to behave well in their own right.

We're quite a long way away from that ideal at the moment, not least in science, where rigidity seems to be the watchword. I mean, look at the forthcoming "march for science", which is really a march for conformity mixed in with a lot of left-wing politics. People are being deemed anything but autonomous entities capable of right action.

Is it a case of darkness before the dawn, or darkness presaging more darkness to come? I reflect that the march wouldn't be happening unless "science" didn't feel itself under threat, which it didn't even a few years ago. Maybe, just maybe, it's a sign that people are beginning to think for themselves...
 
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We're quite a long way away from that ideal at the moment, not least in science, where rigidity seems to be the watchword. I mean, look at the forthcoming "march for science", which is really a march for conformity mixed in with a lot of left-wing politics. People are being deemed anything but autonomous entities capable of right action.
I saw a comment about this march over at the Discovery Institute. They said (I paraphrase) this march would finally expose the tawdry politicised state of much of science. The organisers are struggling to try to balance the march with respect to LBGT, and racial issues, they have also made appeals to try to keep it peaceful - need one say more?

David
 
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Alex's question at the end of the podcast:

Has science ultimately failed us in the balance between good and bad? We can look at our lasers and i-phones and GPS's, but on the other side we can look at the things that we might not like about society, culture or the way things are going, however we slice that. So: has science failed us?
Science is a process which in itself is neither good or bad.

However, many scientists, fallible like all of us, have failed in a fundamental aspect of their work: following the evidence wherever it leads for the purpose of learning more about humanity and the universe.

What could be more important to humankind than the knowledge that consciousness survives death? What could more important to science than the huge gaps in scientific knowledge demonstrated by the evidence that consciousness is not produced by the brain, and the unmistakable evidence of design in cosmology and biology


http://ncu9nc.blogspot.com/p/the-science-scam-is-one-of-biggest.html

The Science Scam


(8/2013) The science scam is one of the greatest hoaxes ever perpetrated in the history of humankind and it has done incalculable harm to individuals and to our civilization. This hoax has been carried out by scientists who deny the true nature of human consciousness revealed by the existence of ESP and the afterlife and it has been going on since at least the 1860's.

How many billions of people suffer unnecessary grief for lost loved ones who are not really dead but are continuing their existence in another dimension? How many billions of people live in fear of death unnecessarily because they are ignorant of the empirical evidence showing there is an afterlife? How many people suffer unnecessarily from ethnic and religious conflicts that would cease if everyone knew the true nature of the soul and its evolution? How much cruelty continues to be inflicted on victims that would never be inflicted if people understood that when you hurt another person you also hurt yourself? How much selfishness continues to exist that would cease if people understood that you prepare the conditions you will experience in the afterlife by the actions you take in the physical life?

All this suffering continues to occur because some scientists refuse to give up their self-appointed role as the sole source of knowledge about the universe and their artificial and unscientific attachment to philosophical naturalism as the only way to obtain knowledge about the cosmos. This leads them to reject the many independent forms of evidence for ESP and the afterlife which show that human consciousness is not produced by matter, not produced by the brain, but can and does continue to exist after the death of the physical body.

In the sections below, you will find links to my blog, web site, and outside sources that explain:
The evidence for ESP and the afterlife.
The history of the science scam.
Notable scientists including several Nobel prize winners who resisted the science scam.
The causes of the scam.
Why the science scam is so harmful to individuals and civilization.
What citizens should do about it.

http://ncu9nc.blogspot.com/2013/04/a-history-of-scientific-discoveries.html

Most people would say that Science has been a huge success. We all know the of the successes in medical science, agriculture, transportation, communications, computers, etc. etc. But what about Science's failures? Consider the list (below) of important scientific discoveries, including discoveries that led to Nobel prizes, that were initially rejected and ridiculed by mainstream science. Scientists have a huge problem accepting the truth when it contradicts their preexisting beliefs. Science should be judged based on its failures as well as its successes.

There is extensive evidence to support belief in ESP and the afterlife. But mainstream science refuses to acknowledge the truth of these phenomena calling the evidence "pseudoscience". People don't often think about Science's colossal failure to study psi and the afterlife. What could be more important to humanity than our immortality? What could be more important to science than this huge gap in its understanding of the universe? What would the world be like if everyone knew that in the afterlife, they would experience a life review where they felt how their actions affected other people from the other person's point of view? In this regard, Science has failed humanity and itself. Science has given us medicines and conveniences, as well as weapons and pollution, but it has not given us the whole truth.

Most people believe in ESP and the afterlife. This shows that ordinary people can know things that Science denies. Given the difficulty scientists have recognizing important areas for research, the public and politicians should not be afraid to direct research funds into studies of ESP and the afterlife despite mainstream science's rejection of these subjects.
http://ncu9nc.blogspot.com/2013/09/the-harm-caused-by-pseudoskepticism.html

The Harm Caused by Pseudoskepticism

This post provides explanations and links to supporting information that show how pseudoskepticism does great harm to individuals and to society.
...​

Because consciousness is non physical but science can only measure and describe things in physical terms so scientists don't have the tools or mental inclination to conceive of anything that is non-physical.

Scientists are so habituated to thinking in reductionist terms they can't cope with something like consciousness that is irreducible and can't be explained in terms of anything simpler.

Non-physical + irreducible = scientific fumble

Alex has asked in the past if science can study consciousness. Maybe science as we know it today can't. Maybe consciousness can only be understood through experience?
I have often wondered why so many scientists are so ardently "binary" in terms of the spiritual.
There are many reasons (see below for details):
  • Some scientists experience cognitive bias because materialism gives them prestige.
  • Humans can't think analytically and intuitively at the same time and due to neuroplasticity scientists become fixed in analytical thinking and they become unable to conceive of anything that cannot be proved through reductionism.
  • Certain scientists used Darwinism to make methodological naturalism a part of mainstream science - making religion heretical to science.
  • Some atheists have promulgated the fallacy that religion is at war with science. (History shows this is not correct, it is atheism that is at war with religion.)


https://sites.google.com/site/chs4o8pt/suppressed_parapsychology

Dean Radin, in his book "The Conscious Universe" in the chapter "Seeing Psi" proposes that some scientists may have too much self interest in preserving the materialist status quo to be objective about psychic phenomena. He writes that if this is true, belief in psychic phenomena should depend how committed a person is to the materialist world view. He then presents evidence to support this contention showing that 68% of the general public believe in the possibility of psychic phenomena, 55% of college professors also believe, 30% of American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) division heads believe, but only 6% of the members of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) believe in psychic phenomena.

Radin points out that a skeptic might suggest that this dependency is due to greater knowledge about perceptual and memory biases that are said to lead to mistaken belief in psychic phenomena. But it is also true that the skeptics' own perceptual and memory biases might be the cause of their skepticism. It seems unlikely that there would be a great difference in knowledge about perceptual and memory biases between AAAS division heads and NAS members. However, there would be a difference in attachment to the scientific world view since being a NAS member is more prestigious than being an AAAS division head. Therefore the contention that the cause of disbelief is due to perceptual and memory biases in skeptics seems to be justified.

It should be understood that Radin is not saying NAS members are deliberately dishonest about the existence of psychic phenomena. He is saying they are so caught up in the scientific world view, (for example, because they get a lot of personal status from it, or because they spend their careers defining that world view) that they are unconsciously unable to accept that the scientific world view might be so seriously flawed, that it could have such big gaps in it, that psychic phenomena could be real.

https://sites.google.com/site/chs4o8pt/skeptical_fallacies#skeptical_fallacies_skeptics_rational

Research has shown that people who think analytically rather than intuitively tend to be atheists. People who analyze problems using logic, because of their education, career, or innate characteristics, may become habituated to reductionist analysis. Reductionism is the belief that something complex can be understood by the interaction of simpler components. This way of thinking works well in many branches of science. Psychology can be explained in terms of biology, which can be explained in terms of chemistry, which can be explained in terms of physics. However, some scientists, engineers, philosophers, and other intellectuals, may become so habituated to reductionist thinking that they are unable to conceive that some phenomena cannot be explained in terms of simpler phenomena. For example, the subjective experience of consciousness, what pain feels like, or what red looks like, cannot be understood through reductionism. Psychic phenomena that cannot be explained by current scientific theories, such as telepathy, clairvoyance, psychokinesis, and precognition cannot be understood through reductionism. This is why some people who are habituated to reductionist thinking simply cannot conceive that psychic phenomena could be real or consciousness might be nonphysical and survive bodily death. Reductionists suggest consciousness is an epiphenomenon even though that is a poor explanation of consciousness because it is the best they can conceive of within their reductionist prison.

...

Some people hold a grudge against religion because they have been harmed psychologically by overly dogmatic upbringing, or because some religion condemns their lifestyle choices. They may choose to vilify anything that relates to the supernatural, including psychic phenomena. Often this type of skeptic is a victim of Christianity who has been brainwashed by church logic who has substituted the extreme dogmatism of Christianity with the extreme dogmatism of the religion of materialism.

http://ncu9nc.blogspot.com/p/62014-contents-evidence-for-afterlife.html#articles_by_subject_science

Why Scientists are often Narrow-minded

George Orwell: "... the scientists themselves would benefit by a little education." Darwin agrees.
http://ncu9nc.blogspot.com/2013/08/george-orwell-scientists-themselves.html

Why are so Many Scientists Pseudo-skeptics?
http://ncu9nc.blogspot.com/2013/01/someone-in-internet-discussion-forum.html

Perceptual Bias in Parapsychology
http://ncu9nc.blogspot.com/2014/04/perceptual-bias-in-parapsychology.html

...

The Brain Can't Empathize And Analyze At Same Time
http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/252241.php

Why Don't Psychopaths Believe in Dualism?
http://ncu9np.blogspot.com/2015/05/pl9-tsc-2012-anthony-jack-why-dont.html

A scientific case for conceptual dualism: The problem of consciousness and the opposing domains hypothesis.
http://tonyjack.org/files/2013 Jack A scientific case for conceptual dualism (1).pdf


http://ncu9nc.blogspot.com/2012/09/t-h-huxley-accidental-founder-of-modern.html

Why are so many scientist skeptics? Because naturalism is an implicit part of the culture of science and science students are indoctrinated in that philosophy during their education. Naturalism is the belief that science should only study natural processes and consider natural explanations for phenomena. This is a mistake. Science should be the search for the truth where ever it leads. This flaw in the culture of science is due to a large extent to T. H. Huxley and the X club. The X Club was Founded by T. H. Huxley and played an important role in making naturalism a fundamental tenet of modern science.
The nine men who would compose the X Club already knew each other well. By the 1860s, friendships had turned the group into a social network, and the men often dined and went on holidays together. After Charles Darwin's On the Origin of Species was published in 1859, the men began working together to aid the cause for naturalism and natural history.

...

More importantly, the men of the club all shared an interest in natural history, naturalism, and a more general pursuit of intellectual thought free from religious influence, commonly referred to as academic liberalism.

- Wikipedia​
...

Because of T. H Huxley and the X club, naturalism has become so ingrained in modern scientific culture and education, students don't even realize they are being indoctrinated. Because of this, Huxley can be considered a major cause of modern of science's intolerance to psychic phenomena and the source of modern pseudo-skepticism.

It is unfortunate that Darwin was used this way in the adoption of philosophical naturalism and materialism by the scientific establishment. Materialism is a gross misrepresentation of Darwin's thinking. Darwin believed that natual laws were designed - which is a form of intelligent design. Darwin also doubted human reason could be reliable if it arose through natural selection. If you cannot trust reason, then it is not rational to believe in anything including materialism.

...
Because naturalism is such an integral part of the scientific worldview, working as a scientist tends to brainwash a person into believing in physicalism. This is because scientists spend all their time trying to find physicalist solutions to problems. They get stuck thinking that way and can't conceive there might be something that current science can't explain or that there could be significant gaps in scientific knowledge. Like the proverbial man with a hammer to whom everything looks like a nail, to a scientist every question must have a physicalist answer.​
http://darwins-god.blogspot.com/2016/04/warfare-thesis-failure-leaves-evolution.html

Ever since Voltaire mythologized the Galileo Affair, Hume’s Philo demolished Cleanthes, and Gibbon blamed pretty much everything on the Christians, evolutionary thinking has had an unbeatable template: The Warfare Thesis. Anyone who opposes or even questions evolution is automatically branded as having religious motives. Religion is at war with science. That claim has failed the test of historiography over and over, but so what? Who cares about history? Certainly not journalists, policy makers, federal judges, textbook authors, and anyone else who matters. But now there is an entirely different, empirical, falsification of the Warfare Thesis, and evolutionists are in full-panic.
http://ncu9nc.blogspot.com/2015/03/video-lecture-by-john-lennox-explains.html

Lennox also makes the case that science and theology are not in conflict. Science and theology provide different kinds of explanations. You can explain a car by describing an internal combustion engine, and you can explain a car as a product of the company founded by Henry Ford. Both explanations are true, but they are different kinds of explanations. Many Nobel Prize winning scientists believe in God. Lennox says, "We owe modern science to Christianity directly. All the early pioneers Galileo, Kepler, Newton, Clerk Maxwell were all Christians." He says Christian faith is based on evidence and the faith modern scientists have that nature is orderly and subject to natural laws originated from religious beliefs about God. Science is man's attempt to understand the universe created by God. God is not a god of the gaps who's role is diminished with every scientific discovery. That misconception arises when you believe there is only one kind of explanation. God is the creator of the natural laws scientists are trying to discover.

The conflict is between atheism and theism. Lennox sides with the theists and concludes that it is atheism that is incompatible with science.
Nobel Prize winners Erwin Schrödinger, Albert Einstein, Werner Heisenberg, Guglielmo Marconi, Brian Josephson, William Phillips, Richard Smalley, Arno Penzias, Charles Townes, Arthur Compton, Antony Hewish, Christian Anfinsen, Walter Kohn, Arthur Schawlow and scientists, Charles Darwin, Sir Fred Hoyle, John von Neumann, Wernher von Braun, and Louis Pasteur, believed the scientific evidence demonstrates the existence of God or that the universe was designed:
http://ncu9nc.blogspot.com/p/articles-and-links-arranged-by-subject.html#articles_by_subject_science

George Orwell: "... the scientists themselves would benefit by a little education." Darwin agrees
http://ncu9nc.blogspot.com/2013/08/george-orwell-scientists-themselves.html
neuroplasticity is why many scientists are pseudoskeptics. Their lifelong habituation to reductionist thinking has caused their brain to become wired in a way that makes it impossible for them to conceive of phenomena such as ESP and the afterlife which, since consciousness is non-physical, cannot be explained in terms of simpler phenomena known to science.
Why are so Many Scientists Pseudo-skeptics?
http://ncu9nc.blogspot.com/2013/01/someone-in-internet-discussion-forum.html
Habitual reductionist thinking prevents scientists from accepting anything that they can't explain in terms of simpler phenomena, such as non-physical consciousness, qualia, and psychic phenomena.
Indoctrination into philosophical naturalism during science education.
Psychological attachment to the status quo scientific world view because it is the source of their status and livelihood.
Fear of alternative means of obtaining knowledge about the universe that might supplant science as the most important source of knowledge. If you can ask a psychic or a spirit, why would you need scientists?
Persecution of heretics. If Nobel prize winning physicist Brian Josephson is ostracized because of his interest in psi, what chance does an ordinary scientist have?
Perceptual Bias in Parapsychology
http://ncu9nc.blogspot.com/2014/04/perceptual-bias-in-parapsychology.html


https://sites.google.com/site/chs4o8pt/skeptical_fallacies#skeptical_fallacies_skeptics_rational
Skeptics do not Base their Beliefs on Evidence

Why are skeptics so set against belief in psychic phenomena and the afterlife? There are a number of reasons and they have very little to do with evidence.
Genuine psychic phenomena have been experienced by ordinary people throughout the history of humankind. However, these phenomena were rejected by science for "political" reasons, not empirical reasons, when the scientific revolution deposed religion as the ultimate source of knowledge. Philosophical naturalism, the belief that paranormal phenomena do not exist, has been integrated into the scientific world view and students of science are indoctrinated in that philosophy during their education.

Besides being seen as allied with religion, psychic phenomena are also a threat to science's place as the best means of obtaining information about the universe. Why would you need scientists if you could ask a psychic or a spirit? Many scientists also have a psychological attachment to the status quo scientific world view because it is the source of their status and livelihood. Recognizing the reality of psychic phenomena would force scientists to admit that science has for centuries failed to recognize huge gaps in its world view. Because of all of this, many modern scientists have a lot of cultural baggage that prevents them from accepting that some paranormal phenomena are real.

Furthermore, doctrinal discipline is maintained among scientists by ostracizing anyone who espouses different views. A prime example of this is the Nobel prize winner in physics Brian Josephson who was banned from a scientific conference due to his interest in parapsychology. Because scientists are influential in society, they control allocation of funds for research, and are respected for the technological advancements of modern civilization, they have a great influence on the rest of society. Their skepticism of paranormal phenomena lends moral authority to anyone else who advocates that view.

Research has shown that people who think analytically rather than intuitively tend to be atheists. People who analyze problems using logic, because of their education, career, or innate characteristics, may become habituated to reductionist analysis. Reductionism is the belief that something complex can be understood by the interaction of simpler components. This way of thinking works well in many branches of science. Psychology can be explained in terms of biology, which can be explained in terms of chemistry, which can be explained in terms of physics. However, some scientists, engineers, philosophers, and other intellectuals, may become so habituated to reductionist thinking that they are unable to conceive that some phenomena cannot be explained in terms of simpler phenomena. For example, the subjective experience of consciousness, what pain feels like, or what red looks like, cannot be understood through reductionism. Psychic phenomena that cannot be explained by current scientific theories, such as telepathy, clairvoyance, psychokinesis, and precognition cannot be understood through reductionism. This is why some people who are habituated to reductionist thinking simply cannot conceive that psychic phenomena could be real or consciousness might be nonphysical and survive bodily death. Reductionists suggest consciousness is an epiphenomenon even though that is a poor explanation of consciousness because it is the best they can conceive of within their reductionist prison.

Some religious leaders reject psychic phenomena (see the comment at the top of the link) because those phenomena threaten the dogmatic teachings of their religion. It undermines their authority as the source of information on the afterlife, God, and other spiritual subjects. In some cases it also subverts their role as an intermediary between the individual and supernatural entities.

Some people hold a grudge against religion because they have been harmed psychologically by overly dogmatic upbringing, or because some religion condemns their lifestyle choices. They may choose to vilify anything that relates to the supernatural, including psychic phenomena. Often this type of skeptic is a victim of Christianity who has been brainwashed by church logic who has substituted the extreme dogmatism of Christianity with the extreme dogmatism of the religion of materialism.

Sometimes materialism is just wishful thinking. It makes some people (who may be suffering from depression) feel better to believe all pain and suffering will end with the extinction of consciousness at death.

When some people experience a personal loss, or experience extreme hardship, or feel concern about the extreme hardships of others, they may be unable to understand how God could allow such suffering to occur. As a result, they may feel angry at God or be unable to believe in God. This may cause them adopt materialism and express hostility toward anything that relates to God such as belief in the afterlife or anything that contradicts materialism such as evidence for psychic phenomena.

Certain government agencies have spread disinformation about the reality of psychic phenomena to discourage other countries from developing psychic means for spying and sabotage, and to protect the secrecy of their own government's programs to develop those capabilities.

Some debunkers make a living disputing every paranormal claim and sometimes misrepresent the empirical evidence because real paranormal phenomena jeopardize their career and life's work. Their livelihood is based on media exposure to sell books, raise money, and generate more media exposure, and as a result their influence is far greater than their qualifications in the field should warrant.

Many people who, because of their education, accept the authority of scientists, suspend their critical thinking in order to embrace the debunkers' deceptive "logic" because it allows them to hold on to their world view in the face of empirical evidence, including scientific research, that demonstrate genuine psychic phenomena. People resist changing their world view because it requires admitting they were wrong or misled.

In children, the brain is very flexible. To young children, everything is new, and they are able to absorb new information easily. However, in adults the brain is less flexible, it runs on automatic most of the time. It has difficulty perceiving and conceiving of things that it has not experienced before. If an adult hears of something that is not consistent with previous experiences or existing beliefs, the brain will most likely filter it out as "impossible".

Some people may have a psychological disorder, such as a phobia, that causes them to be horrified that consciousness might end at death. Just like learning how an airplane works doesn't help people who are afraid of flying, learning about the evidence for the afterlife doesn't change their fear of death. Because they fear that consciousness ends at death and knowledge about the evidence for the afterlife doesn't help them, they feel that they don't believe in the afterlife.

It should also be pointed out that we all incarnate for different reasons. Some people are meant to be atheist materialists because there are lessons that are best that way. Skeptics are not necessarily bad people however activist pseudo-skepticism is harmful to society for many reasons and at many levels.
UPDATE:
I forgot to say most published research findings are false:
http://ncu9nc.blogspot.com/p/articl...ubject.html#articles_by_subject_bogus_science
Most published research findings are false:
http://www.economist.com/news/scien...w-institute-has-you-its-sights-metaphysicians

Bad Science Muckrakers Question the Big Science Status Quo: "... inherent biases and the flawed statistical analyses built into most 'hypothesis driven' research, resulting in publications that largely represent 'accurate measures of the prevailing bias.'"
http://www.forbes.com/sites/billfre...ckrakers-question-the-big-science-status-quo/

Linus Pauling: "Everyone should know that most cancer research is largely a fraud and that the major cancer research organizations are derelict in their duties to the people who support them." -Linus Pauling PhD (Two-time Nobel Prize winner)."
http://nationalpress.org/images/uploads/programs/CAN2009_Marshall.pdf

"The Lancet": The case against science is straightforward: much of the scientific literature, perhaps half, may simply be untrue. Afflicted by studies with small sample sizes, tiny effects, invalid exploratory analyses, and flagrant conflicts of interest, together with an obsession for pursuing fashionable trends of dubious importance, science has taken a turn towards darkness."
http://www.thelancet.com/pdfs/journals/lancet/PIIS0140-6736(15)60696-1.pdf

"Nature": "Ridding science of shoddy statistics will require scrutiny of every step, not merely the last one, say Jeffrey T. Leek and Roger D. Peng."
http://www.nature.com/news/statistics-p-values-are-just-the-tip-of-the-iceberg-1.17412

Publishers withdraw more than 120 gibberish papers: "The publishers Springer and IEEE are removing more than 120 papers from their subscription services after a French researcher discovered that the works were computer-generated nonsense."
http://www.nature.com/news/publishers-withdraw-more-than-120-gibberish-papers-1.14763

The New England Journal of Medicine: "In August 2015, the publisher Springer retracted 64 articles from 10 different subscription journals “after editorial checks spotted fake email addresses, and subsequent internal investigations uncovered fabricated peer review reports,” according to a statement on their website.1 The retractions came only months after BioMed Central, an open-access publisher also owned by Springer, retracted 43 articles for the same reason."
http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMp1512330

realclearscience.com: "A study that surveyed all the published cosmological literature between the years 1996 and 2008 showed that the statistics of the results were too good to be true. In fact, the statistical spread of the results was not consistent with what would be expected mathematically, which means cosmologists were in agreement with each other – but to a worrying degree. This meant that either results were being tuned somehow to reflect the status-quo, or that there may be some selection effect where only those papers that agreed with the status-quo were being accepted by journals."
http://www.realclearscience.com/articles/2016/01/11/why_cosmology_is_in_crisis_109504.html

University of Oxford: "Half the world's natural history specimens may have the wrong name."
http://www.ox.ac.uk/news/2015-11-17-half-worlds-natural-history-specimens-may-have-wrong-name

NYTimes.com: "Dr. Prasad and Dr. Cifu extrapolate from past reversals to conclude that about 40 percent of what we consider state-of-the-art health care is likely to turn out to be unhelpful or actually harmful."
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/11/03/s...g-medical-reversal-laments-flip-flopping.html

Retraction Watch
http://retractionwatch.com/

I Fooled Millions Into Thinking Chocolate Helps Weight Loss. Here's How.
http://io9.com/i-fooled-millions-into-thinking-chocolate-helps-weight-1707251800

"Der Spiegel protested all of this discussion with the statement, that what they hear is that 'journalists want to earn money, whereas scientists are only seeking the truth.' This brought loud guffaws from all three [professors]. 'Scientists,' answered Dr. Fischer, 'want success; they want a wife, a hotel room, an invitation, or perhaps a car!'"
http://www.uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/der-spiegel-discovers-the-truth-from-science/

The History of Important Scientific Discoveries Initially Rejected and Ridiculed.
http://ncu9nc.blogspot.com/2013/04/a-history-of-scientific-discoveries.html
 
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Alex Tsakiris: So, it’s quite refreshing when someone who’s totally on the outside, and has the dubious distinction of being a prominent member of the Neo-Druid, Neo-Pagan community, let alone the fact that she’s a woman,
I don't see anything dubious about "being a prominent member of the Neo-Druid, Neo-Pagan community...", and the implication regarding gender is ... um ... er ... not wanting to break the first law of internet discussions (never insult the moderator) .. I'll call it: ... antiquated.

Emma Restall Orr: ... but what is consciousness? Nobody knows.
Yes, but in another sense we all know what consciousness is because we are all conscious.

My attitude to animism is that it is a form of or an approximation of idealism.
http://ncu9nc.blogspot.com/2015/03/realizing-ultimate.html
You might have heard it said that "we are all one". What does that mean? The quotes below explain it. These quotes from: an ancient text, an advanced meditator, a near-death experiencer, a spirit communicating through an evidential medium, a materialist atheist , Christian scripture, Christian theologians, a Native American medicine man, a Jewish Scholar of the Kabbalah, and a Sufi philosopher, all describe something very similar:...
 
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#8
Is it a case of darkness before the dawn, or darkness presaging more darkness to come? I reflect that the march wouldn't be happening unless "science" didn't feel itself under threat, which it didn't even a few years ago.
Yes, and it is a threat of their own making. For example, they chose to exaggerate the evidence for evolution by natural selection because they picked a fight with creationists. Even though epi-genetics involves conventional scientific ideas, its existence is often buried in debate because it is embarrassing, so imagine the problems they may encounter in the near future. I rather hope they suffer a domino effect in which one piece of dodgy science collapses, and that triggers more debate in the next area and so on.

David
 
#9
I listen to podcasts quite rarely, these days - not because of any issues on the producer's side, but because I am awfully picky with how I "waste" my ears. Given that, it was a rare event (no offence intended, Alex), that I chose to listen to this one. The promise that hooked me was: a coherent explanation of the philosophy of animism, with the benefit of a proven critic (our esteemed host) who doesn't hold back on "what needs to be said".

Awesome!

I am very partial to the spirituality of indigenous "Australians", having had a "strange" experience which validates it, and, given that indigenous Australians are animists, I thought I might get a sense of "how it fits together", of how "the animist worldview coheres", including for my brothers and sisters who were here in this land before me.

Unfortunately - and again, I mean no offence by this - the interview didn't quite work out that way, as I had hoped. Alex asked all sorts of interesting questions, and got all sorts of interesting answers, in a voice which David rightfully points out is extraordinary, and I value the interview process and its results as such very much... but as for the question, "What is animism and what does it hold to be conscious?" - the question which I would have thought would be crucial... we were left wanting.

Is Jenny's toy bear conscious due to the human love that has been bestowed upon it? Does a chair, given the careful workmanship with which it has been constructed, experience emotions when a person sits upon it? - these are two very simple, perhaps even childlike, but on the other hand non-obviously answerable, questions that I would have liked to have been put to Emma. What exactly does animism say about consciousness, particularly about "objects" which materialism would barely deign to recognise, let alone as sentient? The interview simply didn't go there. This was quite disappointing to me. And I haven't even talked about plants, the more "reasonable" candidates for "animistic consciousness".

Once more, I have to emphasise that I very much value the interview as it is (or was), I just feel that the very fundamentals of the topic on which it was predicated were not even really broached, let alone explored.

Argh, Alex, I feel like I'm $#@!ing on your turf, man, and I have to emphasise again that I mean no disrespect - I'm not even sure that in your shoes, I would have satisfied my carping self, but... well, sometimes a guy has to offer a (hopefully respectful) critique. What exactly is animism? What does it hold to be conscious, and why? How does it differ from panpsychism? These are (some of) the questions I would have loved for you to have asked! Maybe, if Emma sees fit to participate, you could invite her to this thread to answer them with her gracious yet solid personality.
 
#10
As regards the question at the end, I have probably written enough about this already. I think that science only covers a patchy subset of reality, but because it feel it must be describing the whole of reality, it fudges, and splutters embarrassingly as it pretends to explain those things it doesn't have a hope of explaining. It has also been severely corrupted by complacency, money and politics.

David
great 2 sentence summation!

I know we all probably feel like we're pounding on the same stuff, but I think there's some merit in doing so. better than the phony/misguided endless bunny trails of "new materialistic discoveries" or rehashing of how "science isn't the problem..." yes, science is the problem because it only explains a tiny part of reality, but pretends to capture it all.
 
#12
I don't see anything dubious about "being a prominent member of the Neo-Druid, Neo-Pagan community...", and the implication regarding gender is ... um ... er ... not wanting to break the first law of internet discussions (never insult the moderator) .. I'll call it: ... antiquated.
I guess the irony was lost in translation.
 
#14
Argh, Alex, I feel like I'm $#@!ing on your turf, man, and I have to emphasise again that I mean no disrespect - I'm not even sure that in your shoes, I would have satisfied my carping self, but... well, sometimes a guy has to offer a (hopefully respectful) critique. What exactly is animism? What does it hold to be conscious, and why? How does it differ from panpsychism? These are (some of) the questions I would have loved for you to have asked! Maybe, if Emma sees fit to participate, you could invite her to this thread to answer them with her gracious yet solid personality.
Hi Laird... thx for this awesome post. I think we're much more in sync than you might think. I went in looking for the same, but her answers kept throwing up stumbling blocks.... e.g.
- we're all connected to land and blood -- really?
- I "no longer" think reincarnation is true -- really?

So, Emma's deep understanding of animism has led to this? I felt a little like I do talking to atheists and fundy Christians... i.e. if you can't get the big stuff right I have limited patience for the rest. Of course, this is a huge overstatement in the case of Emma as she has some really awesome and profound things to say, but I was still surprised with some of the place she took things... and how her ideas seem out of sync with frontier consciousness science.
 
#16
I forgot to say most published research findings are false:
http://ncu9nc.blogspot.com/p/articl...ubject.html#articles_by_subject_bogus_science
Most published research findings are false:
http://www.economist.com/news/scien...w-institute-has-you-its-sights-metaphysicians

Bad Science Muckrakers Question the Big Science Status Quo: "... inherent biases and the flawed statistical analyses built into most 'hypothesis driven' research, resulting in publications that largely represent 'accurate measures of the prevailing bias.'"
http://www.forbes.com/sites/billfre...ckrakers-question-the-big-science-status-quo/

Linus Pauling: "Everyone should know that most cancer research is largely a fraud and that the major cancer research organizations are derelict in their duties to the people who support them." -Linus Pauling PhD (Two-time Nobel Prize winner)."
http://nationalpress.org/images/uploads/programs/CAN2009_Marshall.pdf

"The Lancet": The case against science is straightforward: much of the scientific literature, perhaps half, may simply be untrue. Afflicted by studies with small sample sizes, tiny effects, invalid exploratory analyses, and flagrant conflicts of interest, together with an obsession for pursuing fashionable trends of dubious importance, science has taken a turn towards darkness."
http://www.thelancet.com/pdfs/journals/lancet/PIIS0140-6736(15)60696-1.pdf

"Nature": "Ridding science of shoddy statistics will require scrutiny of every step, not merely the last one, say Jeffrey T. Leek and Roger D. Peng."
http://www.nature.com/news/statistics-p-values-are-just-the-tip-of-the-iceberg-1.17412

Publishers withdraw more than 120 gibberish papers: "The publishers Springer and IEEE are removing more than 120 papers from their subscription services after a French researcher discovered that the works were computer-generated nonsense."
http://www.nature.com/news/publishers-withdraw-more-than-120-gibberish-papers-1.14763

The New England Journal of Medicine: "In August 2015, the publisher Springer retracted 64 articles from 10 different subscription journals “after editorial checks spotted fake email addresses, and subsequent internal investigations uncovered fabricated peer review reports,” according to a statement on their website.1 The retractions came only months after BioMed Central, an open-access publisher also owned by Springer, retracted 43 articles for the same reason."
http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMp1512330

realclearscience.com: "A study that surveyed all the published cosmological literature between the years 1996 and 2008 showed that the statistics of the results were too good to be true. In fact, the statistical spread of the results was not consistent with what would be expected mathematically, which means cosmologists were in agreement with each other – but to a worrying degree. This meant that either results were being tuned somehow to reflect the status-quo, or that there may be some selection effect where only those papers that agreed with the status-quo were being accepted by journals."
http://www.realclearscience.com/articles/2016/01/11/why_cosmology_is_in_crisis_109504.html

University of Oxford: "Half the world's natural history specimens may have the wrong name."
http://www.ox.ac.uk/news/2015-11-17-half-worlds-natural-history-specimens-may-have-wrong-name

NYTimes.com: "Dr. Prasad and Dr. Cifu extrapolate from past reversals to conclude that about 40 percent of what we consider state-of-the-art health care is likely to turn out to be unhelpful or actually harmful."
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/11/03/s...g-medical-reversal-laments-flip-flopping.html

Retraction Watch
http://retractionwatch.com/

I Fooled Millions Into Thinking Chocolate Helps Weight Loss. Here's How.
http://io9.com/i-fooled-millions-into-thinking-chocolate-helps-weight-1707251800

"Der Spiegel protested all of this discussion with the statement, that what they hear is that 'journalists want to earn money, whereas scientists are only seeking the truth.' This brought loud guffaws from all three [professors]. 'Scientists,' answered Dr. Fischer, 'want success; they want a wife, a hotel room, an invitation, or perhaps a car!'"
http://www.uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/der-spiegel-discovers-the-truth-from-science/

The History of Important Scientific Discoveries Initially Rejected and Ridiculed.
http://ncu9nc.blogspot.com/2013/04/a-history-of-scientific-discoveries.html
 
#17
I see your frustration with answers that seem obviously wrong, Alex. That said, here are some thoughts on your critique:

we're all connected to land and blood -- really?
For us European colonisers, of the USA in your case, and Australia in mine, this might seem like a very mistaken claim, but to the people here before us... well, the indigenous "Australians" have been here for - by some estimates - over 100,000 years. 100,000 years, man. According to them, they were here right from the start, however long ago that was! Colonised Australia is only 230 years old. There is little to no distinction for the indigenous "Australians" between land, culture and spirituality: the land holds and perpetuates the Dreaming, which encapsulates and maintains their culture, which is equally the expression of their spirituality. Really, man, the land is everything to the indigenous (natively animistic) cultures: it is their placeholder, it is what gives them their sense of identity and meaning. And when you get to know indigenous Australians, relationships are another sort of everything, too. They have words for relationships that we barely dream of! Sister-in-law's brother's cousin's second son? They've probably got a single word for that! So, again, blood, like land, is vital to indigenous cultures. Perhaps, from this perspective, Emma's claim makes some sort of sense? And sure, I understand you objecting to it as a universal claim; one that applies to all of us, but in the context of animism, and especially applied to animistic cultures, I don't think it's all that objectionable.

I thought about trying to tackle the reincarnation objection, but I have nothing nearly so compelling to say about it, so I'll leave it at that. :)
 
#18
...There is little to no distinction for the indigenous "Australians" between land, culture and spirituality
right/sure, but it's not really limited to this land or that land, or the land you're on now, or the land that yr ancestors were on when they got in the reed canoe and crossed the big ocean, or the land in space that yr descendants might occupy.

seems like there's a little bit of back door materialism creeping me. if our consciousness is the unlimited, unbounded source of all then this "my connection to my land" thing seems a little off. "be here now" suggests being with the land -- now. being with the blood we all share -- now. some of us move around... we're still "connected."

and on a very down to earth level, I happen to know folks with adopted children. are we to believe they are "less connected" because of this blood thing... seems ridiculous. I'm with Raymond Moody on this one. He tells the story of how is adopted son told him about looking down on him and his non-biological mother and deciding to join this family/soul-group. I suspect this is how all families (biological and not) are formed.
 
#19
right/sure, but it's not really limited to this land or that land, or the land you're on now, or the land that yr ancestors were on when they got in the reed canoe and crossed the big ocean, or the land in space that yr descendants might occupy.
Well, not to be a total jerk, but in some cultures, it very much is. I don't think I could express it any more clearly than I did in my last post. You and I are products of post-colonialist culture, where the entire world is (at least seemingly) open to us, and we have no particular ties to any particular place other than "ordinary" sentimental ties. To certain indigenous cultures, though, the thought of moving across the world on some sort of whim is... well, unthinkable: they have a responsibility to maintain their land and its animals, plants, spirits and Dreaming, through song, ritual and ceremony; they very much are tied to specific places, which their descendants will be too. I mean, I get what you're saying: it's not like that for us, or for most people in the world. That's fine. But for certain cultures, when you take away their land, you take away everything.
 
#20
This page puts it better than I can: https://www.creativespirits.info/aboriginalculture/land/meaning-of-land-to-aboriginal-people

Without their connection to land Aboriginal artists cannot create. “Living and working or creating in the land of their birth is vital for an artist’s connection to country,” says Edwina Circuitt, manager of the Warakurna Art Centre in Western Australia [5]. Maintaining this connection is vital to pass on important stories to younger generations.

When walking on country, Aboriginal woman Melissa Lucashenko sees another dimension beyond the obvious. “We see the world that white people see but we are also seeing a mythic landscape at the same time, and an historic landscape,” she says. “White people see Rotary parks and headlands; we see sacred sites. And we are looking at bush food.” [16]

Aboriginal law and life originates in and is governed by the land. The connection to land gives Aboriginal people their identity and a sense of belonging.

Country was, and still is to many, a place of learning. “We know everything there; the trees, animals, plants,” explains Djawa Timmy Burarrwanga, an Aboriginal Elder from Arnhem Land. “It’s like a bush library for us, and often a bush university too. It’s there that we study and understand, and have learnt about the land and the care of that land over thousands of years. We can read it like a GPS. It’s been handed down by our ancestors.” [17]
 
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