I don't deny that there is dogma within science. That's not what my post was about. Frankly speaking, I have no qualms with someone pointing this out. But if you are going to point out such a thing, it's best if you don't commit the very same sins you accuse others of. Despite what you might think about scientists, they DO appreciate a well structured argument. Some of them even delight in being proven wrong, because like another poster stated, it would open up new research venues.
You think scientists like the idea that we aren't conscious at all? That the universe or evolution has no purpose? You would think these scientists must have a streak of masochism. Sheldrake is wrong about this. The reason scientists go out to prove these things, is because deep down they hope they might find evidence that this worst case scenario is out of the question and thus DISPROVEN.
Because it's human nature to only assume a truth that is compatible with what they are comfortable with. We've seen where roads like that one lead: witch hunts, groupthink, mob behaviour, persecution, etc. The very reason the scientific method exists is to eliminate this tendency of ours to only assume truths we are comfortable with. Not human authority must be the guide, but the evidence itself must point the way. Assume the worst and if it doesn't happen to be true, the science (or the evidence) will speak for itself.
One might be tempted to take Shelldrake's side on this one. Afterall, his truth is very close to what most of DP deem comfortable. And he IS articulate, well spoken and funny, which would up the chances of his legitimacy. All of the 10 points he named happen to be points that hit close to home: afterall, alot of people here would like to think that we have souls. So his points about consciousness would be music to our ears, regardless of the veracity of his arguments.
Needless to say, when science was first developing, there were alot of people that came with the most outrageous hypotheses. The first scientists were actually delighted, because even they wanted to know the answers to these particular questions. But the thing with outrageous hypotheses is that they never hold up that very well under careful scrutiny. They soon noticed that when questioned, the people were actually starting to get hostile, ignoring the evidence in front of them. THEIR own truth was actually more important than the evidence in front of them. Alot of them were wannabe scientists, with an overinflated notion of their own opinion and they had the cultured mannerism that goes with it. Ever since then, scientists in general have had a phobia concerning people with outrageous claims with no evidence to back it up. To the point where they even censor these people.
Now I do agree that censoring is an over the top reaction. Encouraging people to look at the evidence at hand would have been the better approach. Sure, there will be alot of people that interpret the evidence in a way convenient to them, but you can't avoid that anyways.
To summarize, my main point is not to be so eager to accept someone who happens to agree with you and fits with your worldview. Look at the quality of his arguments and the evidence at hand. Because Sheldrake did mention that there's overwhelming evidence. Really? Scientists have heard that story before. And whenever such "evidence" is put under close scrutiny, it always starts to crumble. It's easy to think that the reason these dogmas exist is because scientist are arrogant snobs (and some of them are indeed snobs). But the truth rarely is an easy story.
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