Future Interviews


Good question. I guess it would be just interesting for someone who is a panpsychist to appear on the show. I know we've had one at least, (Christof Koch). He's also pretty skeptical of survival research, which might add an interesting dimension, as he definitely sees consciousness as something fundamental. Another point is that it's nice to have a philosopher on the show every so often who isn't completely in line with the current consensus.
cool... can you direct me to the part where he says he's skeptical of survival?
Hi everyone- I'm a new member- just discovered Skeptiko via the Corbett interview. I'm so happy this "place" is "here"! Skeptico's concerns are my favorite topic of discussion, but few people I know seem to understand the issues, or take an interest. I have a suggestion for an interview- Patrick Harpur. He does the best job of explaining scientific materialism as a natural outgrowth of the structure of consciousness, which is inherently mythic. In other words, that rigid belief in things like evolution, or the primacy of DNA, the big bang etc., reflect a mythic viewpoint that perfectly dovetails and mimics a religious way of seeing the world. His book "The Philosopher's Secret Fire: A History Of The Imagination" has his best writing on this subject. I see a few other people here have suggested him as well.

As for aliens and the fact that we are obviously being socially engineered to believe in them, whether for good or ill- I strongly suggest "The Stargate Conspiracy" by Picknett and Price. A very fascinating book. I would love to hear an interview with them, or their lead researcher Phillip Coppens who tells the story of the book with an article called 'The Stargate Conundrum"

Also- anybody see last months National Geographic? The cover was "The War On Science" written in large print, which contained the usual claptrap that having doubts about GMOs or Vaccines or evolution made you an enemy of everything true and decent (science) and made you a person who was holding back the progress of humanity. It was just so wrong on so many levels that it is hard to even read it. But a good summation of the article and a decent rejoinder, called "Science As The New Religion" is on Global Research. Cheers, Ginko
Welcome, Ginko. I share your disdain for the article in the National Geographic. However, I'm not so sure that the Global Research article is an adequate rejoinder, and looking at its website, I get the impression that it may be wearing some blinders of its own.

That the average temperature of the earth has risen by around 1 deg. C since 1850 is something we can all agree on: the issue is what has caused it, whether or not it's dangerous, and whether climate feedbacks on water vapour, the predominant greenhouse gas, are positive, negative or neutral. In my personal opinion, it's not a serious issue, but has become the poster child for those concerned about the environment. It's just the latest Big Scare of the type that in the past might have come under the banner of the coming end of the world due to the folly of man. Attempted action against it is far scarier, and the heavy resources being ploughed into it could be being directed towards genuine environmental issues.

Never for a moment does National Geographic seek to challenge the view that science could have exaggerated the issue; it cherry picks its examples and seems to think that climate change "deniers" must hold similarly anti-consensual views in all areas of science. Actually, many who post here are ardent climate change supporters, but at the same time may be ardent supporters of psi, not so much against evolution but against neo-Darwininist explanations of it, against the evidence for black holes, the Big Bang and inflation, pro-vaxers, and hold popular or unpopular stances on a variety of scientific issues of the day.

National Geographic doesn't really appreciate that all sorts of world views are possible. That some might agree with them on climate change, but disagree on other issues, or disagree with them on that and agree on others. And that's where their essentially ideological underwear becomes most visible. It doesn't ask itself why it is that it holds the views it does; doesn't really question its own biases.

The fact is, it's a big world and people hold all sorts of views. You can't categorise one group as pro-, and the other as anti-science. You can't demonise a particular group across the board for disgreeing about one or two specific areas of scientific controversy. What we are seeing, really, is the entrenchment of scientism, and the appearance of great intolerance for differing views. It's becoming less and less possible to be a genuine sceptic for fear of upsetting the applecart and losing one's job. That more than anything is what is disturbing: the essence of science is healthy scepticism. History abounds with examples where heretical views, in the end, became scientifically accepted. It also abounds with examples where it didn't, but without the healthy argument, progress would long ago have become impossible: we'd still be being led by the old religionists as opposed to the new ones.

Currently, in many areas science tries to go beyond its reach; tries to dogmatise that which it genuinely doesn't yet know, and to close down debate. That's what makes it scientism: what makes pundits like Neil deGrasse Tyson and Richard Dawkins the archbishops and proselytisers of a particular world view, and what gives a large number of people the borrowed authority to rely on it. It'll all come to a crunch at some point and we'll see a paradigm shift or two, and at that point, some new world view will come into being as we stumble on into the future on some new bases of understanding, which we'll also, erroneously, elevate to the status of certainty.

Such it ever was, and for the foreseeable future, will be. But I'm an optimist: in the fullness of time, we will approach closer and closer to Truth. One can only hope that the process isn't fraught with too much pain and suffering.
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Right Michael- I agree it was not the perfect rejoinder by any means but he sure got the headline right! It's stunning how easy it is to control the thinking of the masses, particularly the educated ones. The educated crowd I run with no longer believes in ghosts but readily believes in a super-massive black hole in the center of the galaxy. They no longer believe in an afterlife but they readily believe in dark matter. They no longer believe in a creator but readily believe in random-mutation evolution. They don't believe in telepathy but are readily convinced that the sea levels will shortly rise and destroy all of life despite the fact that it's 10 degrees Fº outside!! They 'trust the experts'. Ha ha ha- it's so exactly like a religion that it is a religion. It's culture barely needs a conspiracy...just tell the scientists or specialists what you are looking for (dark matter, APW, aliens, terrorists, etc) and they will no doubt find it toot sweet.

Science has been stunningly successful at the chemical/atomic and physical/engineering level, and all of that does indeed seem like a miracle. This gadget and network we are communicating with is a good example, but a train or a plane or a radio is equally as amazing. But none of it is as complex or strange or miraculous as a single mosquito, that A. has consciousness B. reproduces C. finds and processes food D. avoids predators E. contains a complex self regulating bio-chemistry F. cannot be made by humans G. each one is unique- no two are exactly the same, etc. etc.

The human mind in the modern world needs something to believe, and since the old myths have been replaced by the new myths, we better believe the new myths or we fall into a state of terror or depression or are labeled crazy and risk being locked up. The trick is- and the elite are well aware of this- is that he who writes the myths rocks the cradle and rules the world.

This is a complicated richly historical topic and I hope the following doesn't sound glib. As for truth, truth changes from day to day as DH Lawrence said. Truth is nature and nature will always be here. We could be blown to smithereens by our insane kontrol and power-mad elite, while they poison our beautiful nest. The earth will barely notice. We could set off every nuclear bomb and empty every drum of cyanide and glyphosate and petroleum, every toxic pile of crap we ever invented. It's us and a lot of other animals that will come close to or become extinct, not the earth. I certainly think we can avoid this fate. But if it comes to pass, earth will be back to normal in 500 or 5,000 or 500,000 years the difference to her is negligible. We are in fact, mosquitoes with stories. And we are divine.


It would be a public service to have podcast about the "Enlightenment Scam"

The enlightenment scam consists of at least three myths perpetuated by authors and teachers of meditation.

The myths are:
  1. Enlightenment is accompanied by a BIG CHANGE
  2. Enlightenment is the end of suffering.
  3. Enlightenment makes you a nice person.
These myths are perpetuated because they create a mystique about enlightenment that sells books and retreats and gains followers. The truth is much more mundane. Many people are enlightened and don't know it because they didn't experience a BIG CHANGE and they continue to experience suffering. It is only when enlightenment is perfected - after much continued practice of meditation and mindfulness that an enlightened person will achieve nirvana - the complete end of suffering.

And the many scandals of abusive teachers is sufficient to show that awakening does not make you a nice person.

I would suggest Shinzen Young, author of The Science of Enlightenment, as a guest for the podcast.

Some background to his views that relate to the subject include:

A quote where Shinzen says most of his students become enlightened gradually and some do so without knowing it:

A quote where Shinzen discusses an advanced teacher involved in an abuse scandal: