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Jerry Coyne debunks Rupert Sheldrake's The Science Delusion

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  • Jerry Coyne debunks Rupert Sheldrake's The Science Delusion

    Rupert Sheldrake’s new book: dogs know when their owners are coming home, ergo Jesus Why Evolution Is True


  • #2
    He debunks a book he admits not to have read? Jesus, here I was thinking that people couldn't get stupider.

    Comment


    • #3
      I'll save you guys 10 minutes of your life.

      I'll just summarize it for you

      1) The author has not read sheldrake's research (prior dog) nor his current book. The author states that dawkins has done the study, found sheldrake wrong, ergo dawkin's research is law.

      2) This is not a review of Sheldrake's book. Rather, the author attacks the people who reviewed the book (Mary Midgley)
      The Science Delusion by Rupert Sheldrake - review | Books | The Guardian

      and

      mark vernon's review
      It's time for science to move on from materialism | Mark Vernon | Comment is free | guardian.co.uk.

      3) the author argues A) science has lead to materialism, B) science has provided no evidence of anything paranormal, C) thus materialism exists and paranormal/faith/god is wrong and should be ridicule.

      4) this speaks for itself. Strange that being able to sense another is considered materialistic. You would assume that your neurons can't see behind your head.

      But I’m dumbfounded. Why do these behaviors defy materialism? Dogs can learn lots of things: the sound of cars and can openers, what the sight of a leash means, and many other things. Why shouldn’t they be able to sense the passage of time, and anticipate their owners’ return? And of course we’re evolved to be wary, and so can often sense that someone is looking at us when we can’t see them, especially if there are people around. Sometimes, of course, that feeling might be wrong, but it’s better to have it misfire than not to have it at all, because when an enemy or a predator is around, it’s better to err on the side of caution. I’m a mechanist, and I don’t deem these two behaviors impossible (Midgley says that Richard Dawkins and Lewis Wolpert are two of the miscreants who unfairly attack Sheldrake’s work.)
      5) I think this is what sheldrake was talking about in his book

      ! But the idea of physical laws as “memory and habit”, though dumb, don’t even give credibility to views like telepathy. Further, science doesn’t dismiss these phenomena a priori: we doubt them on two grounds: 1) there is no evidence for them, and 2) we know of no physical mechanism to communicate telepathically.
      and

      This shows two things. First, despite the assertion of accommodationists, science can investigate the supernatural, and those claims have come up empty. Second, Vernon himself shows that the way to test those theories is using the naturalism-based methods of science. Claims about real phenomena in the world, whether they be about telepathy or the existence of a god who interacts with the universe, are not recalcitrant to the methods of science.
      6) and finally there area bunch of anti-god, atheist, etc comments scattered through the post.

      enjoy

      Comment


      • #4
        that the only way we progress in understanding the universe is through assuming that matter and energy are all there is
        Isn't this the outmoded materialist model that we've hammered out is just that, outmoded? I believe that materialism has been expanded to encompass more than matter and energy, from what I recall. Is he really gonna start out the base of his argument on an outmoded materialistic model?

        I don’t know of Sheldrake or his books
        So he's doing a book review of a book he's never read, and an author he's never known about? Oh jeez.

        Call philosophical materialism an “ideology,” if you will, but it’s by no means a “faith,” for that “ideology” has made enormous progress in understanding our universe.
        In certain respects, yes. METHODOLOGICAL materialism has worked for us fairly well, in most sciences up until the 1950s. Go beyond that, and in most cases, methodological materialism fails.

        There is plenty of evidence for the efficacy of materialism as a “way of knowing,” and no such evidence for faith.
        I'd like to see the evidence for philosophical materialism being " a way of knowing". He makes this unfounded statement, and doesnt delve deeper. One must ask why?

        that every advance in modern physics has also come from materialism
        Again, no, not the way he has defined it.

        Midgley
        You hear her name a lot correlated with "Jesus", but keep in mind, midgley is NOT a christian. Its a gross character misrepresentation.

        I don't even understand the merits of this blog? He's not presenting anything new; just an endless spewing of misrepresentation, and misinformation. I mean, look at the comments in the replies. They're going ON and ON about how Sheldrakes Dog's experiment is wrong because of "x", whereas we in this forum know that "x" has been already ruled out. Go see for yourself. Just a bunch of backpatting, and mindless proponent bashing. Trash article, trash blog.

        Comment


        • #5
          Iyace-Is it worth visiting the blog and pointing out that 'x has been ruled out' and/or that the author hasn't even read the work he's reviewing? Probably will get attacked but mind find a couple of people who would at least have a reasonable debate with you.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Robbie View Post
            Iyace-Is it worth visiting the blog and pointing out that 'x has been ruled out' and/or that the author hasn't even read the work he's reviewing? Probably will get attacked but mind find a couple of people who would at least have a reasonable debate with you.
            What if enough people did that? It'd be like a comment flash mob.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by XXII View Post
              He debunks a book he admits not to have read? Jesus, here I was thinking that people couldn't get stupider.
              It's a very common phenomenon.

              Cheers,
              Julie

              Comment


              • #8
                What if enough people did that? It'd be like a comment flash mob.
                Haha true! I've commented on it, and this guy started saying I was decieving people and called Sheldrake a 'Psuedoscientist' and Richard Wiseman a 'real scientist'. Not gonna point out Wiseman used to be a magician, it's just too easy! Then he said Sheldrake lied about Wisemans results. So I linked him to Wiseman admitting him and Sheldrake got the same results, wonder what his reply will be...

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Robbie View Post
                  Haha true! I've commented on it, and this guy started saying I was decieving people and called Sheldrake a 'Psuedoscientist' and Richard Wiseman a 'real scientist'. Not gonna point out Wiseman used to be a magician, it's just too easy! Then he said Sheldrake lied about Wisemans results. So I linked him to Wiseman admitting him and Sheldrake got the same results, wonder what his reply will be...
                  Could we get a full transcript of the exchange? I love to see psychology experiments like this...

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Could we get a full transcript of the exchange? I love to see psychology experiments like this...
                    Are you mocking me, the other commenter, or both? Either way I'm cool with it...
                    And click Sniffy's link and scroll to the bottom of the comments for your transcript!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I'm mocking the commenter... And duh, of course, I can just follow the link... I'm on another planet today, sorry...

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I’m not going to join in this ‘Real Scientist’ stuff you’ve got going on, attacking people doesn’t achieve anything.
                        Mega burn. Nice one Robbie.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Robbie View Post
                          Haha true! I've commented on it, and this guy started saying I was decieving people and called Sheldrake a 'Psuedoscientist' and Richard Wiseman a 'real scientist'. Not gonna point out Wiseman used to be a magician, it's just too easy! Then he said Sheldrake lied about Wisemans results. So I linked him to Wiseman admitting him and Sheldrake got the same results, wonder what his reply will be...
                          Well done, our Robbie - you're a star!

                          Cheers,
                          Julie

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I'm mocking the commenter... And duh, of course, I can just follow the link... I'm on another planet today, sorry...
                            Oh okay, I'm still cool with it. And no worries, my other planet day was yesterday, that's what 12/13 hours of drinking does to you!

                            Mega burn. Nice one Robbie.
                            Well done, our Robbie - you're a star!

                            Cheers,
                            Julie
                            Haha I read those last two comments as sarcastic-I hate being British sometimes! Feel free to join in anytime btw .

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Robbie View Post
                              Oh okay, I'm still cool with it. And no worries, my other planet day was yesterday, that's what 12/13 hours of drinking does to you!




                              Haha I read those last two comments as sarcastic-I hate being British sometimes! Feel free to join in anytime btw .
                              They were compliments, Robbie!

                              You're tilting at windmills, old chap!

                              Cheers,
                              Julie

                              Comment

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