TED Deletes Talks by Rupert Sheldrake and Graham Hancock

Last month I posted videos of two recent thought-provoking TEDx talks by Graham Hancock and Rupert Sheldrake. However, if you visit either of those stories today, you'll find that the videos are no longer accessible. The reason? Complaints were made to the TED organisation - for example, by atheist blogger Jerry Coyne, and of course, P.Z. Myers - about the lectures being unscientific and full of 'woo'. Under pressure from these bloggers and their readers (and others), TED set up a conversation page to get input from TED viewers about these talks.

Subsequently, TED made a final decision to pull the videos from their YouTube channel. This provoked a storm of anger towards TED on social networks about censorship, and perhaps because of this the videos have now turned up in their own special blog post on the TED site where they can be viewed (though they can no longer be externally embedded on other websites). Responding to the criticism, TED staff claimed "We’re not censoring the talks. Instead we’re placing them here, where they can be framed to highlight both their provocative ideas and the factual problems with their arguments."

Now firstly, I want to say that I think censorship is a slightly extreme description of what has happened. TED are a brand, and though I haven't seen a TED contract I'd imagine they are not compelled to post video of every talk that is hosted under their banner. If they don't like a talk, they have the right to remove it. What others think of them doing so is another matter – it's certainly not far from 'censorship', at least of certain ideas, in my book (as one commenter quipped on the TED website, "You’re correct, it isn’t censorship. It’s just cowardly and patronising"). But I think they *have* created a real issue now, by reposting the videos within a blog post that frames them with introductions saying they contain "serious factual errors", and I'd like to quickly go over some of these points to clarify why I think this is a problem. I'm going to concentrate on Graham Hancock's talk, because I don't have the free time at the moment to go over both talks point by point.

I have watched Graham Hancock's talk a number of times, breaking down the points, and I simply cannot find the "serious factual errors" in it that TED claims as the reason for taking it down (I've embedded a re-uploaded copy of his talk above - not sure whether TED will have this taken down at some stage though). The TED blog that frames Graham Hancock's talk puts forward these complaints about his talk as reasons for the video being pulled:

"He misrepresents what scientists actually think. He suggests, for example, that no scientists are working on the problem of consciousness."

"Hancock makes statements about psychotropic drugs that seem both nonscientific and reckless."

"He states as fact that psychotropic drug use is essential for an "emergence into consciousness"

"[He states] that one can use psychotropic plants to connect directly with an ancient mother culture."

"He seems to offer a one-note explanation for how culture arises (drugs), it's no surprise his work has often been characterised as pseudo-archaeology."

These are amazing statements from the TED staff, because I can find absolutely no evidence in Graham's talk for any of these accusations. Go ahead and watch the talk over, looking for these supposed statements or claims in it. So misleading are they, that I can only assume they haven't even watched the talk and are simply repeating accusations from some of the emails sent to them by the obnoxious, whining bloggers involved. Let me be clear by saying it again: the accusations against Graham Hancock which have been given for the pulling of his talk are completely without basis. The TED staff should be questioned on these claims (and as a consequence, the pulling of the video altogether) and be held to account by posting supportive evidence for them, or simply remove them (and perhaps reinstate the videos).

Graham is actually very careful to frame any speculation - moreso than many other TED talks I've watched, ironically. For instance, when discussing the 'encounters' had under the influence of ayahuasca, he is clear in saying that he is "making no claim one way or another as to the reality status of these entities we encounter, simply that phenomenologically, in the ayahuasca experience they are encountered by people all over the world." When introducing the possibility that human culture was born from experimentation with psychedelics, he explicitly says that it is exactly that – a possibility...in fact he even calls it a "radical" possibility – and what's more is clear in saying that these are suggestions by other researchers: "Over the last 30 years, researchers led by Prof. David Lewis-Williams…and many others, have suggested an intriguing and radical possibility. Which is that this emergence into consciousness was triggered by our ancestors' encounters with visionary plants, and the beginnings of shamanism." In discussing the idea that shamanic plants might be useful in bringing about change in the world, he remains objective by saying that "rightly or wrongly, [shamans] believe that ayahuasca is the remedy for that sickness". The only possible factual problem I could identify was the claim that the ancient Egyptians used the blue water lily and the acacia species to achieve altered states – which many have speculated upon, though I'm not sure there is incontrovertible proof for. Hardly, "serious factual errors" for which a talk should be removed from their site for though.

Graham's own discussion of his 'healing' by 'Mother Ayahuasca' may well be the part that sent atheist bloggers into their spittle-on-the-lip frenzied whinefest. But he had clearly already introduced the topic by saying he made no claim for the reality of such beings, only that this 'meeting' had significant phenomenological effects on his life – and this type of experience is something we should all recognise, as we have inner dialogues all the time. Was it Graham's subconscious talking to him? Was it truly a nature goddess? We don't know (well, I'm sure Jerry Coyne and P.Z. Myers will tell you that they know), and Graham doesn't claim to know either in his talk either.

Maybe TED is wary of speakers promoting drug use, as one of the complaints refers to "reckless" talk about psychedelics. But Graham plainly warns that "it's no joke to drink ayahuasca… Nobody is doing this for recreation… and I'd like to add that I don't think any of the psychedelics should be used for recreation". He then goes on to talk about how these difficult ayahuasca sessions helped him kick his habit of smoking cannabis, which he describes as having been "a monkey on his back".

Or perhaps it was just Graham's critiques of science? Again, though, Graham didn't call out all of science - he directly referred to 'materialist science', and his mention is only in the context of what it can tell us about the possibility that consciousness is separate to the body: "This is the paradigm of all spiritual traditions… Really, if we want to know about this mystery the last people we should ask are materialist reductionist scientists." But he had just prefaced that statement by giving space to the materialist view: "It could be that the brain generates consciousness, the way a generator makes electricity - if you hold to that paradigm, then of course you can't believe in life after death".

Taking in all the possible evidence 'against' Graham Hancock's talk that may have caused TED to pull it from their site, I can only say that if TED wants to remove it for the reasons they have, they have put themselves on a serious slippery slope to having to remove a number of their most popular talks. Discussing negative aspects of materialist science and talking to imaginary entities are problems? Better get rid of Elizabeth Gilbert's discussion of artists and the concept of the muse. The idea of earth spirits and shamanic navigation of altered states of consciousness as being another model of reality far too 'woo' for TED? Better remove Wade Davis's TED talks. Holism and being at one with the Universe too kooky for you? Get a bit of delete key action happening on Jill Bolte Taylor's mega-popular TED talk. "Reckless" talk about positive aspects to psychedelics? Buh-bye Tim Brown. (Please don't actually do this TED, they are awesome talks and I am just playing devil's advocate)

It's rather ironic that Graham Hancock concludes his talk by invoking the right to free speech in order to call for the right to sovereignty over our own consciousness, only to have TED pull the video. The pulling of these videos is symptomatic of a larger problem in scientific orthodoxy and the skeptical movement: the idea that the general public need smarter people - ie. skeptics and scientists - to judge what content is fit for consumption, and reject anything that might just blow out the flickering candle of rationality. Instead of promoting thinking, TED are trying to think for others.

This incident is an absolute embarrassment for TED. Not because of the content of the talks delivered, but instead their weak reaction in the face of pressure from whining individuals who I don't want speaking, let alone thinking, on my behalf. Disappointed is an understatement.

Addendum: Graham Hancock has also asked TED to provide evidence for the accusations made in their blog post (update: TED's Chris Anderson has 'responded'). He has also pointed out other recent criticism of TED, such as Eddie Huang's experience as a TED presenter, as related to Joe Rogan (embedded below, NSFW language):

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Greg's picture
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There's a fair bit of bias on display in the attitudes to each side from TED:

"Right now this comment section is over-run by the hordes of supporters sent our way by Graham Hancock. It would be nice for you to calm down and actually read some of the criticisms of his work so that you can get a more balanced view point"

"we're grateful to those who've written about this talk in other forums, including but not limited to Jerry Coyne, PZ Myers, Kylie Sturgess and some thoughtful Redditors."

Kind regards,
Greg
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You monkeys only think you're running things
@DailyGrail

Greg's picture
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TED's Chris Anderson has responded to Graham Hancock's questions about the 'facts' that TED presented. And when I say 'responded', I mean, 'didn't respond at all and actually tried to backhandedly attack him':

Chris Anderson commented on Mar 14 2013

Graham, greetings, and thanks for engaging here personally. We’ll try to get you some more detailed comments early next week. I’m currently tied up at National Geographic in DC helping launch the TEDxDeExtinction event (which, by the way, is an indication that we have no problem with radical scientific ideas per se.)

I understand why you’re upset at the talk being pulled off Youtube, but we’re quite serious in saying we’re not censoring you. The talk will live here as long it takes for this conversation to work itself out, and perhaps indefinitely. I must say, you’re a compelling speaker and I personally enjoyed the talk quite a bit. I can understand why you and your books have attracted a huge following.

It would help your cause to let this whole discussion calm down a little. You seem to have whipped your supporters up into a bit of a frenzy. There’s no conspiracy out to get you. We just have certain guidelines for our TEDx events that weren’t fully implemented in this instance, and it’s OK to have a public discussion about that.

So here’s a suggestion. While I reach out and see if any of our advisors is able to go into more depth in answering your specific questions, perhaps you could help me understand why your work is widely characterized as pseudo-archeology, as in the current version of this wikipedia page.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pseudoarcha...
Is that a distorted description of your views? Is mainstream archaeology simply misguided? Or is there some other explanation?

Do you agree that we should have *some* form of guidelines for our TEDx organizers as to what constitutes credible science, or do you think our approach should be let anyone put anything they want out there and just let the public decide?

I’m signing off now till Monday, but truly I would value your and your supporters’ help in turning this into a more constructive discussion.

Let me get this straight: TED posted bullshit reasons for removing the video. Graham Hancock politely requested that they support their accusations. Chris Anderson then gets back and says "I'm going offline for a few days, and I'll try and get back to you on those questions", and then goes on to steer the conversation away from the central question (the validity of the video) by effectively saying out of the blue "but in the meantime can you please explain why you have a bad reputation". Then goes on to ask that people "turn this into a more constructive discussion". WTF?!

Kind regards,
Greg
-------------------------------------------
You monkeys only think you're running things
@DailyGrail

Rick MG's picture
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Why am I not surprised Coyne and Myers are two of the people behind this. What a despicable act by Anderson, and an even more pitiful reply. It's a sly, spiteful move making the videos private, for TED members only -- people will need to become members to view the videos now, win-win for TED. If they had any integrity, they'd leave the videos public -- but it's clear they don't want people thinking for themselves.

They're shooting themselves in the foot, in the long run. Hancock and Sheldrake are getting *more* support as a consequence of this. I've been a big fan of TED for a few years now, but this has left a bad taste in my mouth. Anderson's piss weak response deserves all the scorn coming to it.

~ * ~

@levitatingcat

red pill junkie's picture
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That's his answer? "We pulled U off cuz Wikipedia sez U suck!"?

And then I listened to the Joe Rogan clip, and my appreciation for TED has completely tanked.

It's not the depth of the rabbit hole that bugs me...
It's all the rabbit SH*T you stumble over on your way down!!!

Red Pill Junkie
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jupiter.enteract's picture
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See video

Nungy's picture
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Cardinal Fang fetch - the COMFY CHAIR!!

Dogma by atheists is just as bad as religious dogma quite hypocritical.

Paul Kimball's picture
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My take, from my Facebook page for The Other Side of Truth (https://www.facebook.com/othersideoftruth):

"I've always enjoyed the TED and TedX series of talks, but I won't be watching them anymore, and I encourage everyone who cherishes freedom of opinion and inquiry to boycott them as well after they have effectively censored recent talks by Rupert Sheldrake and Graham Hancock. You don't have to agree with Sheldrake and Hancock (and I usually don't, although I think some of their points are well worth consideration) to see this as a shameful cave-in to the new "Scientific" Inquisition (I place "Scientific" in parentheses because there is nothing "scientific" about them - in science, if you disagree with someone you reply and show how and why they're wrong; you don't just shout them down and then censor). Shameful. Greg Taylor at The Daily Grail covers it here: http://www.dailygrail.com/Fresh-Science/2013/3/TED-Deletes-Talks-Rupert-Sheldrake-and-Graham-Hancock"

Paul

"Don't Believe. Don't Disbelieve. Think."

Greg H.'s picture
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Such a juvenile reaction by Chris Anderson - to disquise an insult in a request. Clearly he at minimum has no interest in an honest inquiry or debate on the merits of Grahams ideas or the legitimacy of arguments in support of Graham. HIs contempt for Graham himself is obvious in his disrepectful replies...Graham whipping up his supporters, etc... Grahams has no need to whip up anyone nor could he. I and most others have our own minds and find Anderson's attacks insulting and repugnant and are quite able to whip up ourselves and quite honestly would find it unbecoming for Graham to attempt to whip us up.

This is so typical, really representative of the general decline not only in intellectual integrity, but also general discourse. The norm now is to insult and attack opposing or uncomfortable ideas rather than address and debate them - correction the ideas are rarely attacked, actually the norm is to attack the person themself promoting the ideas as in character attacks or attacks on their IQ. Character assasination - kill the person, kill their ideas...so to speak. By labeling Graham pseudo, by default Graham's ideas become pseudo. So transparent and so pathetic an attempt to discredit.

I really don't follow the Ted thing asisde from seeing an occassional video nor know anything about this Chris Anderson character, but what a pathetic loser in my opinion - at least character-wise.

Greg H.

emlong's picture
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The thought police are terrified of the human awareness movement clearly. They mobilize intense opposition to anything expansive the second it appears in venues of wider popular consumption. Ingo Swann certainly nailed this when he described the concerted opposition to remote viewing for instance. The panic with which the "new" sciences are being greeted is in proportion to their power to transform the status quo. The power structure wants a mass humanity of dumbed down dullness that does anything it is told, and anything that threatens that is pounced upon immediately.

Rick MG's picture
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The TED mission statement:

TED wrote:

Our mission: Spreading ideas.

We believe passionately in the power of ideas to change attitudes, lives and ultimately, the world. So we're building here a clearinghouse that offers free knowledge and inspiration from the world's most inspired thinkers, and also a community of curious souls to engage with ideas and each other.

Oh, the irony.

Sharing the "power of ideas" with a "community of curious souls" (wait, "souls"? That's so unscientific!)... but only if the ideas match their dogma. TED may have started out to provide a platform for sharing big ideas at a fair price, but dogma's raised its ugly head and exposed TED's real underbelly. Mostly thanks to skeptic lobbyists.

First Wikipedia, now TED, and they'll do it to the next media that offers a "clearinghouse [of] free knowledge and inspiration from the world's most inspired thinkers." Hopefully this is the line in the sand where people begin to stand up to the lobbyists such as Coyne, Myers, et al. Not just the heretics of science, but all scientists and academics and thinkers who value the true meaning of skepticism. Curious souls from all points of view have a lot to lose.

Skoftic lobbyists like Coyne and Myers don't want people thinking for themselves -- they want us thinking what they do.

Imagination is more important than knowledge.
~ Albert Einstein.

~ * ~

@levitatingcat

jupiter.enteract's picture
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There's a thoughtful comment about Sheldrake's work on the TED conversations page by a scientist named Ben Kadel, that is worth sharing here:

" I am a trained research scientist and have to say that I think he is spot on in the basic assessment. He makes a clear distinction between the scientific method (which he promotes) and a belief system that I call scientism and he calls the science delusion (which limits the effectiveness of the scientific method). He is calling out a very dangerous tendency in current discussions.

While we may rightly question some of his hypotheses, that in no way makes his argument "unscientific." In fact, it is the very essence of science. The nature of science is to propose new theories and explanations that do a better job of explaining the gap between existing theories and data. These educated guesses then serve as the basis for experiments that can test previously accepted assumptions and/or provide a more refined context in which the theory applies. Relativity doesn't invalidate Newtonian physics, it merely contains it to the realm of relatively large scales. Punctuated equilibrium doesn't disprove evolution, it just refines our understanding on its mechanisms.

To tell you the truth, the thing that I find most shocking is not the presentation - which would make sense in most "scientific method 101" courses - but the reaction by some that it is pseudo-science. I would say the reaction itself proves his point more convincingly than his actual presentation.

As to the "factual error" around government funding, it is such a minor and inconsequential point that it's hardly worth mentioning. At worst, he could be criticized for poorly chosen phrasing, but not for the essential correctness of the idea.

In short, I have seen far less scientific presentations with greater factual inaccuracy than this live long and popular lives on TED . The desire by some to censor this talk is the best argument I can think of for keeping it and actually promoting it more broadly"

red pill junkie's picture
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Thanks for posting that comment here :)

It's not the depth of the rabbit hole that bugs me...
It's all the rabbit SH*T you stumble over on your way down!!!

Red Pill Junkie
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@red_pill_junkie

SecretSun's picture
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TED is a joke- intellectual window-dressing for the corporate elite. They've been down this road before when they deleted a talk on economic inequality because it upset their oligarch paymasters.

For all the triumphalism we're hearing from the so-called guardians of rationalism the truth is that their worldview is in serious trouble and they know it. Tons and tons of top-level science work is leaving America for Asia and never coming back. And what's left is dominated by corporate/military money and is riven with fraud and corruption. Most scientists are cubicle-dwelling wage slaves. Unpaid internships are replacing middle-class jobs in the media, academia and in science. The Atheist movement has become a giant circular firing squad, thanks almost exclusively to the efforts of PZ Myers. As to the Atheist utopias, Russia is becoming a hardcore theocracy, Christianity is on the rise in China and Islam is slowly yet inexorably taking over Europe.

TED exists for one reason and one reason only- to distract progressives and rationalists from all of this. I don't know why Hancock and Sheldrake agreed to do talks there. I certainly would have advised against it.

emlong's picture
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Gentrified intellectualism which is what National Public Radio has also become.

Rick MG's picture
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TED is just a small part of a wider problem that's been well documented by TDG over the years, unfortunately. The videos would still be up at TED, without anyone batting an eyelid, if it wasn't for the concerted efforts of a particular lobby group led by the likes of PZ Myers and Jerry Coyne. It's this lobby group of small-minded, bullying, vindictive, petty boors inflicted with a reality-tunnel Napoleon Complex that's the real problem. Greg has been singing this tune for years, but until more people from science, academia, and the media stand up for fair debate and basic courtesy, the pseudo-skeptics and skoftics will continue to get away with more crap like TED and Wikipedia.

I'd love to see PZ Myers and his flying monkeys fling poo and demand Wade Davis's Why Ancient Wisdom Matters in the Modern World lecture be removed from TED, then see them get their arses handed back to them on a plate. True to form for all bullies though, they're too cowardly to take on someone who's bigger than them.

~ * ~

@levitatingcat

frankmat's picture
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SecretSun wrote:

TED exists for one reason and one reason only- to distract progressives and rationalists from all of this. I don't know why Hancock and Sheldrake agreed to do talks there. I certainly would have advised against it.

I'm ecstatic that Sheldrake and Hancock did end up doing talks there. All it has done is made it blindingly obvious what TED is really about... and what the Atheist/Materialist community is about. It has given Sheldrake in particular the platform to reach a group he may not have reached before... who are now checking to see what all the fuss is about.

It may be that kernel of truth being found by a scientist that may not have paid PSI any thought in the past... that gives us the next Rupert Sheldrake or Dean Radin. The more of those we have the better.

jupiter.enteract's picture
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FYI--curiously enough, there is an analogous tempest taking place in the academic community right now, centering around the "heretical" notions of respected philosopher Thomas Nagel, who was haughty enough to challenge the strictly materialist notions of the Neo-Darwinians. This short piece sums it up: http://www.newrepublic.com/article/11248...

jupiter.enteract's picture
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Definitely worth a read (courtesy of my friend Jeremy Johnson):

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/...

allynh's picture
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It's always strange to brush up against the public face of a cult, and accidentally gain a peek beneath the mask. - That "Whoa" moment.

This time we saw one known cult(the toxic atheists), rip in to an unknown cult(TED), exposing the private face beneath the bright happy lie. The squirming bugs under the rock revealed. - See what I mean about the "Whoa" moment.

To our horror it turns out that we are being CULTivaTED. - The Joe Rogan Experience video with Eddie Huang.

The dichotomy between the public and private face is what powers the public lies to defend the cult when it is exposed. - The current Propaganda swarm.

The dichotomy between the public and private face is what drives the toxic internal forces of the cult. - The beatings and interments will continue while the Dear Leaders dance around the globe, fawning at the feet of The Great and Powerful.

The dichotomy between the public and private face shows how deep the rabbit hole goes. - This is great Story.

red pill junkie's picture
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Nice ;)

It's not the depth of the rabbit hole that bugs me...
It's all the rabbit SH*T you stumble over on your way down!!!

Red Pill Junkie
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@red_pill_junkie

allynh's picture
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I couldn't help myself. CULTivaTED was just sitting there, waiting, taunting me, "You know you want to..."

I googled "TED cult" and found the beginnings of an interesting trend, and harvesTED(I know, I know, I'll stop) the various essays and videos. I'll have to check over the next few years to see if anything comes of this insight.

The video by Diane Benscoter is the most ironic. She is under the sad delusion that the scan of a "cultists" brain would look vastly different from people in the audience.

Diane Benscoter on how cults rewire the brain
http://www.ted.com/talks/ex_moonie_diane...

I am constantly surprised by myself each time I come in contact with a cult. There is that rush of discovering something new, that "Aha!" moment, thinking that I have found something interesting/fun/satisfying, then after a time there is that glimpse beneath the mask, and the quick shudder/shake flinging off the cloying grasp.

I am pleased that my immune system is so robust, but after more than 50 years it is disturbing how often this has happened in my life. I need to go deeper to understand what is going on. I suspect that cults are a life form just as intrinsic to humans as bureaucracy is. That it is one of those meta-patterns that comes into existence when humans interact; creating a living, breathing, entity that uses us as individual cells. I need to read Julian Jaynes again.

Greg's picture
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allynh wrote:

I couldn't help myself. CULTivaTED was just sitting there, waiting, taunting me, "You know you want to..."

TED's Chris Anderson totally missed the boat when he chose @TEDchris as his Twitter handle. @chrisTED would have worked so much better...
;P

Kind regards,
Greg
-------------------------------------------
You monkeys only think you're running things
@DailyGrail

emlong's picture
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And Nagel is not challenging the essential structure of natural selection - he is adding something to it, so it isn't really a heresy so much as it is an evolution that is ironically feared in a knee jerk reaction by evolutionists.

emlong's picture
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I deleted this last lengthy post. It was accidentally placed here when it was actually in response to another thread.

allynh's picture
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Note: should have been in the reply above HA!

emlong's picture
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http://www.ted.com/talks/jill_bolte_tayl...

I am now recollecting many TED talks (see above) that should by rights also be purged from the library if they are to be consistent in their censorship, but then TED is political as we all see so clearly now, and politics is a capricious whore.

Greg's picture
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emlong wrote:

I am now recollecting many TED talks (see above) that should by rights also be purged from the library if they are to be consistent in their censorship, but then TED is political as we all see so clearly now, and politics is a capricious whore.

I mentioned and linked to Jill Bolte-Taylor's popular video (one of the most popular TED talks ever) in my post. Others include Elizabeth Gilbert (discussing problems with materialist science, and if we should start believing in daemons and muses again) and Wade Davis, supporter of shamanic cultures and promoter of the idea that we are living in one certain reality among many.

Kind regards,
Greg
-------------------------------------------
You monkeys only think you're running things
@DailyGrail

emlong's picture
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Perhaps we should masquerade as miffed materialists and pester TED to purge Jill Taylor too - just to rub their faces in it.

Idoubtit's picture
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Can someone point me to the contentious PZ stuff. I'm looking at his blog and find one old post from June and a newer post NOT by PZ but another writer on Pharyngula regarding Allan Savory. Did PZ post a comment somewhere? I do not agree with PZ's style of argument and find the rhetoric lame so have not read his blog regularly for years now.

As Greg knows, I detest the use of the words "scoftic" or derogatory terms for all skeptics. Those are straw men that DO NOT apply to all of us who are affiliated with the skeptic community. Actually, PZ is no longer invited to actual "skeptic" conferences because he does primarily Atheism and social justice stuff and does not always represent well the goals of the skeptical organizations.

I see people blaming the cabal of skeptics but I really only see a few individuals that have a strong opinion. I'm not sure there is a RIGHT answer on this. It's more complicated that that. I understand the hard feelings and I don't think it was handled well by any party.

TED has to decide what it is they want to be but, right now, they can't seem to do much right.

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Seeing as how Chris Anderson personally thanked Myers it may have been a matter of calling him on the Batphone and unleashing his usual litany of threats, insults and childish shrieking at TED, Anderson, and all and sundry.

You can't possibly excuse all skeptics for their part in this because every single one of the hive does whatever anyone they perceive as an authority figure says. Can you name a single episode in which single skepdrone summoned the courage to disagree with one of their fearless leaders on anything but some ludicrous "social justice" (read: divide and rule identity politics) issue?

So why don't you people run off to your little cubicles and stop worrying about woo anyway. I am positive all of you can rivet the masses with lectures on the thrill-a-minute world of corporate science. Tell everyone about the exciting opportunities in unpaid internships and subsistence teaching assistant posts that await them in the wonderful world of Skepticism.

red pill junkie's picture
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IMHO Hayley behaved admirably in the latest Randi 'SD' incident, and seems to have suffered greatly for it by way of numerous personal aggravations on her blog.

It's not the depth of the rabbit hole that bugs me...
It's all the rabbit SH*T you stumble over on your way down!!!

Red Pill Junkie
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@red_pill_junkie

SecretSun's picture
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Typical Randi- denies, then bluffs, then backpedals, and then throws up an impenetrable wall of weasel words when he realizes Storr has the recording to back it all up.

How familiar it all is.

red pill junkie's picture
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No argument there from me. I just wanted to point out that I'm willing to concede there are critical voices inside what we Woo Woos call the skeptic community ;)

It's not the depth of the rabbit hole that bugs me...
It's all the rabbit SH*T you stumble over on your way down!!!

Red Pill Junkie
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@red_pill_junkie

SecretSun's picture
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Yeah, but it's only when someone commits a thought crime against PC or collectivist orthodoxy. And it's almost always one of the maniacal Andrea Dworkin clones who are taking total control of the Skeptic/Atheist axis as we speak.

Idoubtit's picture
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SecretSun wrote:

You can't possibly excuse all skeptics for their part in this because every single one of the hive does whatever anyone they perceive as an authority figure says. Can you name a single episode in which single skepdrone summoned the courage to disagree with one of their fearless leaders on anything but some ludicrous "social justice" (read: divide and rule identity politics) issue?

So why don't you people run off to your little cubicles and stop worrying about woo anyway. I am positive all of you can rivet the masses with lectures on the thrill-a-minute world of corporate science. Tell everyone about the exciting opportunities in unpaid internships and subsistence teaching assistant posts that await them in the wonderful world of Skepticism.

Yes, I can name a thousand times. But since you are not part of that community, why bother because you won't look.

[This comment has been moderated]

SecretSun's picture
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And you can name a thousand names but can't seem to recall one.

Why are you here, Sharon? Your little friends all hate this site.

I know a lot more about that "community" than you would prefer. A lot more.

[this comment has been moderated]

red pill junkie's picture
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Let's try to keep this civil, folks. Cthulhu knows it isn't easy to have a discussion on 'the other side', & I give credit to Sharon for trying.

It's not the depth of the rabbit hole that bugs me...
It's all the rabbit SH*T you stumble over on your way down!!!

Red Pill Junkie
_______________
@red_pill_junkie

SecretSun's picture
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Trying to do what exactly? I really wish you guys would realize that you are dealing with a totalizing philosophy. Skeptics are *eliminationist*- that is the basic nature of their movement. They are not interested in coexistence, they are interested in destroying everything that doesn't comply with corporate (in its truest sense) thinking.

If they could herd people they don't like into camps, they would. In a heartbeat. As none other than the Almighty and Infallible Randi (peace be upon his name) said himself.

Of course this is the movement that worried about palm readers and biofeedback when the Religious Right was dismantling the social compact, so maybe it's worth spending a little time on their history.

SecretSun's picture
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Maybe look at the multitude of connections between the Skeptic movement and the pedophile underground....

SecretSun's picture
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There was no personal attack. There were statements of fact, expressed in a way that would be considered nearly complimentary on a Skeptic site.

Greg's picture
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SecretSun wrote:

There was no personal attack. There were statements of fact, expressed in a way that would be considered nearly complimentary on a Skeptic site.

This ain't a skeptic site...

Kind regards,
Greg
-------------------------------------------
You monkeys only think you're running things
@DailyGrail

red pill junkie's picture
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I'd rather have a mango :P

It's not the depth of the rabbit hole that bugs me...
It's all the rabbit SH*T you stumble over on your way down!!!

Red Pill Junkie
_______________
@red_pill_junkie

SecretSun's picture
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This is exactly how consent is manufactured- inconvenient ideas are attacked (by people like Sharon), heretics are silenced (by people like Chris Anderson) and ideas which threaten corporate hegemony are defunded. It's not anything like the Inquistion- it's much more vicious and totalizing.

All the crap you hear about science obscures the vast amount of fraud and deception in universities and laboratories and the fact that what is and isn't science is dictated by the men who hold the pursestrings. Peer review has no meaning when all the peers literally wet their pants when they consider the consequences of saying anything at all that the moneymen might not smile upon.

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Idoubtit wrote:

Can someone point me to the contentious PZ stuff. I'm looking at his blog and find one old post from June and a newer post NOT by PZ but another writer on Pharyngula regarding Allan Savory. Did PZ post a comment somewhere?

P.Z.'s blog post here:

http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2...

TED thanks P.Z. Myers here:

http://www.ted.com/conversations/16894/r...

Kind regards,
Greg
-------------------------------------------
You monkeys only think you're running things
@DailyGrail

SkyeShepard's picture
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Censorship reigns as king on the internet and throughout the world.

ciamarra's picture
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Greg wrote:

The TED blog that frames Graham Hancock's talk puts forward these complaints about his talk as reasons for the video being pulled:

"He misrepresents what scientists actually think. He suggests, for example, that no scientists are working on the problem of consciousness."

"Hancock makes statements about psychotropic drugs that seem both nonscientific and reckless."

"He states as fact that psychotropic drug use is essential for an "emergence into consciousness"

"[He states] that one can use psychotropic plants to connect directly with an ancient mother culture."

"He seems to offer a one-note explanation for how culture arises (drugs), it's no surprise his work has often been characterised as pseudo-archaeology."

---------------

Greg i dont see all these statements you quoted
at http://blog.ted.com/2013/03/14/open-for-...
did you give the wrong link and if so is there another video ?

plus when Ted mention talk could he of intented talk elsewhere where graham had slipped up ?

ciao clemente

emlong's picture
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We are not here maligning skepticism per se. I have upon occasion been called a skeptic and with good reason. What we are protesting is this schoolmarmish faction that has taken over skepticism with a capital "S."

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I too feel that removing the talks entirely was the totally wrong decision on TED's part. I didn't see Hancock's, but I watched Sheldrake's (having been warned to do so before it was removed) and enjoyed it.

If TED really felt that the talks were unscientific, why didn't they just remove the videos from the "Science" section and place them under a different heading? They could have put them under "Philosophy", for instance. That way the videos would still be available to a wide audience and there wouldn't be complaints that people would confuse them with science.

Instead, they've simply banished them to a far corner of their website, effectively suppressing these two talks.

Even worse is that, as Greg has shown above, TED has apparently *lied* about their reasons for taking down Hancock's talk. They're maligning Hancock (and possibly Sheldrake too) and their potentially libellous comments need criticising, if nothing else.

Let's hope people continue to make their views heard on this fiasco.

ciamarra's picture
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Tap wrote:

Even worse is that, as Greg has shown above, TED has apparently *lied* about their reasons for taking down Hancock's talk.

where exactly are you claiming greg has shown ted has apparently
lied ? supply the quote and exact comment

thanks

ciao clemente

Tap's picture
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ciamarra wrote:

where exactly are you claiming greg has shown ted has apparently
lied ? supply the quote and exact comment

Hi Clemente,

Greg shows that TED seemingly lied in the very blog post that we are responding to. I didn't think it was necessary to supply a quote at first as I assumed everyone had read the post.

Here is a quote which might clear things up (from the above blog post.)

Greg outlines the reasons TED gave for removing Hancock's talk, then comments:

"These are amazing statements from the TED staff, because I can find ABSOLUTELY NO EVIDENCE in Graham's talk for ANY of these accusations. Go ahead and watch the talk over, looking for these supposed statements or claims in it. So misleading are they, that I can only assume they haven't even watched the talk and are simply repeating accusations from some of the emails sent to them by the obnoxious, whining bloggers involved. Let me be clear by saying it again: THE ACCUSATIONS AGAINST GRAHAM HANCOCK WHICH HAVE BEEN GIVEN FOR THE PULLING OF HIS TALK ARE COMPLETELY WITHOUT BASIS. The TED staff should be questioned on these claims (and as a consequence, the pulling of the video altogether) and be held to account by posting supportive evidence for them, or simply remove them (and perhaps reinstate the videos)."