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Open for discussion: Graham Hancock and Rupert Sheldrake from TEDxWhitechapel

Posted by: Tedstaff

UPDATE: Please see our new blog post Graham Hancock and Rupert Sheldrake, a fresh take, which replaces the x-ed out text below.

To discuss the talks, view them here:

The debate about Rupert Sheldrake’s talk
The debate about Graham Hancock’s talk

After due diligence, including a survey of published scientific research and recommendations from our Science Board and our community, we have decided that Graham Hancock’s and Rupert Sheldrake’s talks from TEDxWhitechapel should be removed from distribution on the TEDx YouTube channel.

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. See both talks after the jump.

All talks on the TEDxTalks channel represent the opinion of the speaker, not of TED or TEDx, but we feel a responsibility not to provide a platform for talks which appear to have crossed the line into pseudoscience.

UPDATE: Please find Rupert Sheldrake’s response below the video window.

According to our science board, Rupert Sheldrake bases his argument on several major factual errors, which undermine the arguments of talk. For example, he suggests that scientists reject the notion that animals have consciousness, despite the fact that it’s generally accepted that animals have some form of consciousness, and there’s much research and literature exploring the idea.

He also argues that scientists have ignored variations in the measurements of natural constants, using as his primary example the dogmatic assumption that a constant must be constant and uses the speed of light as example. But, in truth, there has been a great deal of inquiry into the nature of scientific constants, including published, peer-reviewed research investigating whether certain constants – including the speed of light – might actually vary over time or distance. Scientists are constantly questioning these assumptions. For example, just this year Scientific American published a feature on the state of research into exactly this question. (“Are physical constants really constant?: Do the inner workings of nature change over time?”) Physicist Sean Carroll wrote a careful rebuttal of this point.

In addition, Sheldrake claims to have “evidence” of morphic resonance in crystal formation and rat behavior. The research has never appeared in a peer-reviewed journal, despite attempts by other scientists eager to replicate the work.

Response to the TED Scientific Board’s Statement

Rupert Sheldrake
March 18, 2013

I would like to respond to TED’s claims that my TEDx talk “crossed the line into pseudoscience”, contains ”serious factual errors” and makes “many misleading statements.”

This discussion is taking place because the militant atheist bloggers Jerry Coyne and P.Z. Myers denounced me, and attacked TED for giving my talk a platform. I was invited to give my talk as part of a TEDx event in Whitechapel, London, called “Challenging Existing Paradigms.” That’s where the problem lies: my talk explicitly challenges the materialist belief system. It summarized some of the main themes of my recent book Science Set Free (in the UK called The Science Delusion). Unfortunately, the TED administrators have publically aligned themselves with the old paradigm of materialism, which has dominated science since the late nineteenth century.

TED say they removed my talk from their website on the advice of their Scientific Board, who also condemned Graham Hancock’s talk. Hancock and I are now facing anonymous accusations made by a body on whose authority TED relies, on whose advice they act, and behind whom they shelter, but whose names they have not revealed.

TED’s anonymous Scientific Board made three specific accusations:

Accusation 1:
“he suggests that scientists reject the notion that animals have consciousness, despite the fact that it’s generally accepted that animals have some form of consciousness, and there’s much research and literature exploring the idea.”

I characterized the materialist dogma as follows: “Matter is unconscious: the whole universe is made up of unconscious matter. There’s no consciousness in stars in galaxies, in planets, in animals, in plants and there ought not to be any in us either, if this theory’s true. So a lot of the philosophy of mind over the last 100 years has been trying to prove that we are not really conscious at all.” Certainly some biologists, including myself, accept that animals are conscious. In August, 2012, a group of scientists came out with an endorsement of animal consciousness in “The Cambridge Declaration on Consciousness”. As Discovery News reported, “While it might not sound like much for scientists to declare that many nonhuman animals possess conscious states, it’s the open acknowledgement that’s the big news here.” (http://news.discovery.com/human/genetics/animals-consciousness-mammals-birds-octopus-120824.htm)

But materialist philosophers and scientists are still in the majority, and they argue that consciousness does nothing – it is either an illusion or an ”epiphenomenon” of brain activity. It might as well not exist in animals – or even in humans. That is why in the philosophy of mind, the very existence of consciousness is often called “the hard problem”.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hard_problem_of_consciousness

Accusation 2:
“He also argues that scientists have ignored variations in the measurements of natural constants, using as his primary example the dogmatic assumption that a constant must be constant and uses the speed of light as example.… Physicist Sean Carroll wrote a careful rebuttal of this point.”

TED’s Scientific Board refers to a Scientific American article that makes my point very clearly: “Physicists routinely assume that quantities such as the speed of light are constant.”

In my talk I said that the published values of the speed of light dropped by about 20 km/sec between 1928 and 1945. Carroll’s “careful rebuttal” consisted of a table copied from Wikipedia showing the speed of light at different dates, with a gap between 1926 and 1950, omitting the very period I referred to. His other reference (http://micro.magnet.fsu.edu/primer/lightandcolor/speedoflight.html) does indeed give two values for the speed of light in this period, in 1928 and 1932-35, and sure enough, they were 20 and 24km/sec lower than the previous value, and 14 and 18 km/sec lower than the value from 1947 onwards.

1926: 299,798
1928: 299,778
1932-5: 299,774
1947: 299,792

In my talk I suggest how a re-examination of existing data could resolve whether large continuing variations in the Universal Gravitational Constant, G, are merely errors, as usually assumed, or whether they show correlations between different labs that might have important scientific implications hitherto ignored. Jerry Coyne and TED’s Scientific Board regard this as an exercise in pseudoscience. I think their attitude reveals a remarkable lack of curiosity.

Accusation 3:
“Sheldrake claims to have “evidence” of morphic resonance in crystal formation and rat behavior. The research has never appeared in a peer-reviewed journal, despite attempts by other scientists eager to replicate the work.”

I said, “There is in fact good evidence that new compounds get easier to crystallize all around the world.” For example, turanose, a kind of sugar, was considered to be a liquid for decades, until it first crystallized in the 1920s. Thereafter it formed crystals everyehere. (Woodard and McCrone Journal of Applied Crystallography (1975). 8, 342). The American chemist C. P. Saylor, remarked it was as though “the seeds of crystallization, as dust, were carried upon the winds from end to end of the earth” (quoted by Woodard and McCrone).

The research on rat behavior I referred to was carried out at Harvard and the Universities of Melbourne and Edinburgh and was published in peer-reviewed journals, including the British Journal of Psychology and the Journal of Experimental Biology. For a fuller account and detailed references see Chapter 11 of my book Morphic Resonance (in the US) / A New Science of Life (in the UK). The relevant passage is online here: http://sciencesetfree.tumblr.com/

The TED Scientific Board refers to ”attempts by other scientists eager to replicate the work” on morphic resonance. I would be happy to work with these eager scientists if the Scientific Board can reveal who they are.

This is a good opportunity to correct an oversimplification in my talk. In relation to the dogma that mechanistic medicine is the only kind that really works, I said, “that’s why governments only fund mechanistic medicine and ignore complementary and alternative therapies.” This is true of most governments, but the US is a notable exception. The US National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine receives about $130 million a year, about 0.4% of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) total annual budget of $31 billion.

Obviously I could not spell out all the details of my arguments in an 18-minute talk, but TED’s claims that it contains “serious factual errors,” “many misleading statements” and that it crosses the line into “pseudoscience” are defamatory and false.

UPDATE: Please find Graham Hancock’s response below the video window.

HANCOCK
Graham Hancock’s talk, again, shares a compelling and unorthodox worldview, but one that strays well beyond the realm of reasonable science. While attempting to critique the scientific worldview, he misrepresents what scientists actually think. He suggests, for example, that no scientists are working on the problem of consciousness.

In addition, 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,” and 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 characterized as pseudo-archeology.

TED respects and supports the exploration of unorthodox ideas, but the many misleading statements in both Sheldrake’s and Hancock’s talks, whether made deliberately or in error, have led our scientific advisors to conclude that our name and platform should not be associated with these talks.

Response to the TED Scientific Board’s Statement

Graham Hancock
March 18, 2013

(1) TED says of my “War on Consciousness” presentation: “…he misrepresents what scientists actually think. He suggests, for example, that no scientists are working on the problem of consciousness.”

The only passage I can find in my presentation that has any relevance at all to this allegation is between 9 mins 50 seconds and 11 mins 12 seconds. But nowhere in that passage or anywhere else in my presentation do I make the suggestion you attribute to me in your allegation, namely that “no scientists are working on the problem of consciousness.” Rather I address the mystery of life after death and state that “if we want to know about this mystery the last people we should ask are materialist, reductionist scientists. They have nothing to say on the matter at all.” That statement cannot possibly be construed as my suggesting that “no scientists are working on the problem of consciousness,” or of “misrepresenting” what materialist, reductionist scientists actually think. I am simply stating the fact, surely not controversial, that materialist, reductionist scientists have nothing to say on the matter of life after death because their paradigm does not allow them to believe in the possibility of life after death; they believe rather that nothing follows death. Here is the full transcript of what I say in my presentation between 9 mins 50 seconds and 11 mins 12 seconds: “What is death? Our materialist science reduces everything to matter. Materialist science in the West says that we are just meat, we’re just our bodies, so when the brain is dead that’s the end of consciousness. There is no life after death. There is no soul. We just rot and are gone. But actually any honest scientist should admit that consciousness is the greatest mystery of science and that we don’t know exactly how it works. The brain’s involved in it in some way, but we’re not sure how. 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. When the generator’s broken consciousness is gone. But it’s equally possible that the relationship – and nothing in neuroscience rules it out – that the relationship is more like the relationship of the TV signal to the TV set and in that case when the TV set is broken of course the TV signal continues and this is the paradigm of all spiritual traditions – that we are immortal souls, temporarily incarnated in these physical forms to learn and to grow and to develop. And really if we want to know about this mystery the last people we should ask are materialist, reductionist scientists. They have nothing to say on the matter at all. Let’s go rather to the ancient Egyptians who put their best minds to work for three thousand years on the problem of death and on the problem of how we should live our lives to prepare for what we will confront after death…”

(2) TED says of my “War on Consciousness” presentation: “… Hancock makes statements about psychotropic drugs that seem both non-scientific and reckless.”

I profoundly disagree. In my presentation I speak honestly and openly about my own damaging and destructive 24-year cannabis habit and about how experiences under the influence of Ayahuasca were the key to breaking this habit. I also say ( 3 min 46 seconds to 3 min 50 seconds) that “I don’t think any of the psychedelics should be used for recreation.”

(3) TED says of my presentation: “He states as fact that psychotropic drug use is essential for an “emergence into consciousness,” and that one can use psychotropic plants to connect directly with an ancient mother culture.”

Nowhere in my talk do I state as a fact that psychotropic drug use is “essential” for an “emergence into consciousness.” Nowhere in my talk do I state that “one can use psychotropic plants to connect directly with an ancient mother culture.”

(4) TED says of my “War on Consciousness” presentation: “He offers a one-note explanation for how culture arises (drugs), which just doesn’t hold up.”

I refute this. What I say (between 1 min 06 seconds and 1 min 54 seconds) is that some scientists in the last thirty years have raised an intriguing possibility — emphasis on POSSIBILITY — which is that the exploration of altered states of consciousness, in which psychedelic plants have been implicated, was fundamental to the emergence into fully symbolic consciousness witnessed by the great cave art.

(5) TED says of my “War on Consciousness” presentation: “… it’s no surprise his work has often been characterized as pseudo-archeology.”

Of what possible relevance is this remark? Many different people have characterised my work in many different ways but at issue here is not what people have said about my work over the years but the actual content of this specific TEDx presentation.

Comments (2154)

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  • Jay Derenthal commented on Apr 14 2013

    This debacle is glaring proof that atheism, wrapped in the cloak of neuroscientific materialism, has become a religion. And that, of course, hurts science.

    • Jim Ryan commented on Apr 14 2013

      I agree!

  • Pingback: An Open Letter to TED | Conspiracy Theories

  • CChaos CChaos commented on Apr 14 2013

    glad to see that this talk was not censored by TED. i don’t know. maybe Jerry Coyne and PZ Myers were asleep at the wheel! LOL.

    “There are complexities and wonderment in life we simply cannot explain. When we look to science and religion, we can’t always find the answers. Have you ever experienced deja-vu, coincidences, or dreams that may have seemed real? Have you ever wondered what exactly qualifies as human consciousness? Reality vs. Abstract? So have we. Jeffrey will join us this November in a discussion to explore these and more paradoxical ways of thinking.”

    ~ http://youtu.be/rX7WDqZuyvQ

  • CChaos CChaos commented on Apr 13 2013

    so New Atheists are ok. religions are ok. but, HELL NO to those who dare challenge the Church of Scientism! go figure. have to let Jerry Coyne and PZ Myers know about this.

    “Next week, in a somewhat unusual pairing of the Catholic church and California trend-setting, the two will come together for a Vatican-sponsored day-long series of talks in Rome. Among the speakers are an Italian cardinal, a Serbian basketball star, a Muslim graffiti artist from Birmingham and the Cuban-born American singer Gloria Estefan.”

    ~ http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2013/apr/12/ted-vatican-gloria-estefan-speaker

    • Jim Ryan commented on Apr 13 2013

      Do you need Coyne and Myers to speak for you? Can you not figure out how to speak to the subject without support from others that make a living, attacking others?

      • CChaos CChaos commented on Apr 13 2013

        Jim,

        do you not know the meaning sarcasm?

        • Jim Ryan commented on Apr 13 2013

          My apologies C C.

        • CChaos CChaos commented on Apr 13 2013

          Jim,

          no big deal. I can be hard to read sometimes :)

        • Jim Ryan commented on Apr 13 2013

          Thanks for being understanding C C and have a wonderful day.

    • Enopoletus Harding commented on Apr 13 2013

      What is “scientism”?

  • Will Star commented on Apr 12 2013

    I think having these videos removed from distribution on the TEDx YouTube channel, was overdoing it. I mean, I get that they weren’t exactly mainstream, but neither are many of your other videos, and they bring up some valid points. I don’t agree with everything they say, but I can’t disagree with some of their points either. Most of what they spoke about was just philosophy, in regards to science. And to just claim that this is pseudoscience is an insult to the field of Philosophy.

  • Jim Ryan commented on Apr 12 2013

    It seems I start out on the main thread and then Ted transfers me to an obscure thread. I’ve always given stuff away, but I’ve always had much in reserve. It’s no wonder people don’t give more.

    • Jim Ryan commented on Apr 12 2013

      Ah, now I understand. I’ve caught the tail end of the previous page twice.

  • Jim Ryan commented on Apr 11 2013

    I want to be recognized and to win the Ted prize of 2014. I have offered reasoning in 2 places as to why. I’d like to add more here, if any are interested.
    Watching PBS tonite I saw the following.

    PBS news hour, premature babies and oxygen therapy that leads to blindness on the high side and death on the low side, according to hemoglobin saturation, between 85 and 95%. I can add to what those doctors and research scientists are missing.

    Are you or any here interested in hearing what and why?

    • Christoffer Haugen commented on Apr 11 2013

      All of your ideas are great for you to take a deeper dive into in higher education. In higher education you will have the academic network to both understand if the ideas are original.

      Since most of your questions may be approached from many different angles, no clear answer to them may exist as such, but a research from one angle may provide an important perspective and it is worthy to take the road through it if one have the interest for it, and find it possible to be of high value.

      • Jim Ryan commented on Apr 11 2013

        I’m 60, my industry has taken from me for a lifetime and given me a disease in return. Anyway, enough of that. I try to concentrate on what I can do. I’ve written some things on the Ted prize for 2014 and why I might be nominated. I’ve also written to a shadow of this thread, that only a few can see.

        I offer this here

        PBS news hour tonite, premature babies and oxygen therapy that leads to blindness on the high side and death on the low side, according to hemoglobin saturation, between 85 and 95%. I can add to what those doctors and research scientists are missing.

        Are you or any here interested in hearing what and why?

        My disease teaches me.

      • Jim Ryan commented on Apr 11 2013

        Immunology
        by Jim Ryan

        In the following I would suggest that science study children that rarely wear shoes or don’t wear shoes at all. I would divide the study into different nations or groups of nations with basically, the same diseases.

        I would divide the shoeless– because of intense poverty, from the people and children that choose to go shoeless and those that rarely or almost never go without shoes.

        I might look at the data as the mostly shoeless by desire as mentally and possibly physically, stronger and therefore, more resistant to disease, unless science finds differently.

        It may be that kids and people exposed to the pathogens in the dirt, grass and mud puddles on a constant basis, build stronger immune systems, at least for those that choose to go barefoot.

        It may be that the kids that go shoeless most everyday, of which I was one, gain better immunity from the changing environment daily, in small incriments, via the extra tough skin on the soles of the toughened feet, which may act as a filter, while introducing possibly harmful bacteria to the body, from that more indirect route, giving the body time to produce more antibodies.

        • Terry Allen commented on Apr 11 2013

          Are you the Jim Ryan of project camelot infamy?

        • Jim Ryan commented on Apr 11 2013

          Then by what I’ve written and what you’ve written, it seems more important for you to attack me negatively, than for you to learn what the PBS news hour and their doctors and research scientists don’t know.

          It’s not nearly what we say, but more so, what is not said or wanted. Oh well, that’s why so many will never progress in their thinking.

          I’ve given so much and never gotten any credit for it.

      • Jim Ryan commented on Apr 11 2013

        My hypothesis on dyslexia was that the cells that start out under the brain and rise to the top of the brain, control our internal balance. In those who’s cells don’t rise or rise very little, they will not be able to crawl, walk or be productive members of society, unless science can artificially transfer those cells from where they are, to where they must be and there’s no proof it will work, unless experiments can be done.

        In cases where the cells rise, but not quite enough, while that form is not severe, it causes internal imbalances, that so many experience. These things happen because of left and right handed people creating babies.

        Right hemisphere and left hemisphere dominate are seen in right handed ness and left handedness. Even without cellular problems, if a right handed person demands that a very small left handed child emulate a righty, that can create a form of dyslexia.

      • Jim Ryan commented on Apr 11 2013

        Christopher, how many scientists offer even one new thought in their lifetimes?

        The science of running by Jim Ryan.

        Yes, I used to run 10 miles a day for about 2 years. For whatever reason, I started counting a cadence in my head, that matched the cadence of my footfalls and my breathing, which synced body and mind, helping me to get into a trance like state, allowing me to run mile after mile without stress and the last mile I could run almost flat out.

        I know they teach different things today, but give my method a try, I think you’ll like it. By the way, keep your eyes focused just in front of you, on the ground.

        The cadence in running I used to use was, “one two three one”, ” one two three two”, “one two three three”, and keep going.

        It’s a 4 count breathing in and then a 4 count breathing out.

        Happy running.

        • Jim Ryan commented on Apr 11 2013

          No Terry, I know nothing of such.

        • Christoffer Haugen commented on Apr 11 2013

          Many scientists do research which conclude in a way which has not happen before. This has to do with the rise of new concepts making new combinations of concepts available. An example of a fairly new concept may be autism which Bleuler invented around 1920 to describe a symptom seen in schizophrenia. Mixing this concept with all other possible concepts take time, and it is many perspectives on this yet to be found. This concept isn’t genuine, and it exist many concepts to research, making new ideas a fairly easy and common thing.

        • Jim Ryan commented on Apr 11 2013

          Those that were taught or that more likely learned to think for themselves, bring new thinking on a consistent basis. I know of one other person that can do such. However, he has devoted his mind to making money. I have devoted mine to mankind.

        • Christoffer Haugen commented on Apr 11 2013

          New thinking is not on the paper. To do a research study and write a paper involve such a great extent of work that it can not capture all original ideas of a person. What you can see in published science is normally only a fraction of the ideas of a person.

        • Jim Ryan commented on Apr 11 2013

          Do you know anything of lenski’s bacterial experiments? If so, can you answer something for me?

        • Christoffer Haugen commented on Apr 11 2013

          I am not a biologist.

        • Jim Ryan commented on Apr 12 2013

          When I am challenged, I love it. I look forward to such. It is life to me. If I don’t know and anyone challenges me, I simply read up on the subject and give my thoughts. Challenges are cool, I live for them. They are too few. On a tiny few matters, like chemistry, I admit I am unarmed. :-).

        • Jim Ryan commented on Apr 11 2013

          By the way, if I want kids to learn, I let them see all my thinking, the good and the bad or should I say the learning process. Nothing is bad, just misunderstood for the time being, even as I correct myself here.

          Why don’t scientists offer all their thinking from the first to the last, if they truly want children to learn?

          Look to each field to see how all are taught to gain or retain an advantage, to understand why the world suffers from this depression.

        • Christoffer Haugen commented on Apr 11 2013

          A scientist’s main work is research, not teaching kids.

        • Jim Ryan commented on Apr 11 2013

          A person is never so strong, smart and good, as when they stoop to help a child. Should scientists be so selfish? Don’t they know that when they help others, that new thoughts come as easy as sliding downhill on a snow day? It seems not. Try it, it works, I promise.

        • Jim Ryan commented on Apr 13 2013

          Christopher, lenski spent over twenty years on his bacterial experiment, but not once in all those years did he think to reverse his experiment, to see if he cultured 10 million antibiotic resistant bacteria, to see if a non resistant bacteria would develop, which would help even more to prove, that bacteria have a collective memory or maybe collective traits.

      • Jim Ryan commented on Apr 11 2013

        I learn by making mistakes. I made one with the premature babies. I made so many mistakes, but that’s because I choose to learn. You can’t learn if your not in there making mistakes. I write about spin and gravit, because no one in science had addressed spin to my satisfaction. For months I worked on it, fighting with others that just seemed to hate me, because I offered new thinking on a consistent basis and not one of them ever offered even one new thoughts in the months and years that they spoke about science on that website.

        After about 2 years of developing my hypothesis on gravity, I learned it was flawed, because the space junk in high orbit taught me why. Even though my first hypothesis on gravity was flawed, I learned much from it and I even kept hypothesis, because parts of it I still see as right, as in, there can be no gravity without spin.

      • Jim Ryan commented on Apr 11 2013

        My original gravity hypothesis! It is flawed!
        Earths rotation rate around the barycenter between the earth and sun is about 67,000 miles an hour. Earths spinrate on its axis is right at 1,000 mph. Notice that earth has a strong atmosphere and strong gravity as well. However, earth has water all across its surface, where most other planets don’t, so that likely plays a big part in having a strong atmosphere.

        Then look at earths moon, it’s rotational rate around the earth and its barycenter is, very slow, 1.03 km/s just as the moons spin rate on its own axis is about 13 miles per hour. Notice that the moon has very little atmosphere and very little gravity. Both axial spin and rotation around earth are slow and the atmosphere and gravity are very weak.

        Let’s then look at the rotation rate of Venus, around the barycenter and the sun at 78,341 miles per hour, that’s faster than earths rotation rate around the suns barycenter, of course, Venus is closer to the sun and being closer to the sun, Gravity becomes greater according to Newtons second law of motion, so how is it that Venus is 90% of the size, mass and density and it’s gravity is 90% of the earths. That cannot be, Venus is 1/3 closer to the sun. If Newtons 2nd law is correct, venus should have a much greater gravity.

        Then it’s axis spin rate is very slow, at just 6.5 km/hour, but I add in, that Venus has an atmosphere where the winds roar across the planet at 220 miles per hour, approximately. This will prove important, because in my hypothesis, axial spin rate creates atmosphere. However, with Venus as a model and a tiny axial spin rate, there should be no atmosphere. Volcanoes to the rescue, it seems those and more chemicals are creating the venus atmosphere.

        On to Uranus!!!
        It is 14.537 times larger than earth and yet, it has but 91%of earths gravity. Notice!!!, Uranus rotates around the sun or barycenter, at just, 2.59 km/s.

        You can fit 750 earths inside Saturn and yet, Saturn has about the same gravity as earth.

        Saturns rotational rate is just, 9.63 km/s.

        Next is Mercury, it spins on its own axis at only 6 mph and according to my hypothesis, mercury should not have much of an atmosphere and it doesnt. However, it’s rotational rate around the suns barycenter is 106,000 miles per hour, meaning, that according to my hypothesis, Mercury’s gravity should be higher and by the way, it is 2/3rds closer to the sun than the earth, so it’s gravity should be very high, even for its size, but wait a minute, mercury is 40% of earths size. Gravity on Mercury is only 38% of earths. According to Newtons second law of motion, gravity should be much higher on mercury.

        Mars, now here’s something interesting. Mars and earth traverse their orbits around the sun and their respective barycenters at about the same velocity. Both also spin on their axis at about 1,000 miles per hour., and yet, mars is half the size of earth. Mars gravity is 38% of earths gravity, which is less than half of earths, but once one factors in that mars is further away from the sun, it’s easy to see the other 12% loss in gravity, considering Newtons second law of motion. The mars spin and orbital rate match up with its gravity and atmosphere, according to my hypothesis.

        Axis spin in part is necessary in creating weather and rotational spin is necessary in part, in creating gravity. The speed of spin and rotation are just as important as the spin and rotation. There are clear cut exceptions in the rule of axis spin creating weather and 2 are Venus and Neptune. Surface water on earth is another reason for heavier weather.

        • Jim Ryan commented on Apr 11 2013

          My new gravity theory follows!

          Look to the space junk that NASA wants to possibly incinerate in space. It must be tin a high orbit not to fall back to earth. That suggests that gravity is keeping it there, unlike space junk that is in lower orbits, where one object can hit another object and knock it out of orbit. However, everything in lower orbit will eventually fall back to earth., according to science. There are two forces in gravity, one is attraction and one is repulsion. I will explain. The planets must sit in the suns high orbits, considering their mass, keeping them from falling into the sun, just as the space junk does not fall back to earth from its high orbit around the earth.

          The same applies to all planets orbiting suns , with respect to their mass and size, as the rocky worlds settled into their orbits, while the much larger planets settled further out, because they don’t need as much gravity to hold their places. The suns repulsion gets stronger the closer a planet gets to it. That’s why the smaller rocky planets with less mass in many cases, get closer to the sun. Pluto’s size and mass leave Pluto where it belongs. Some planets sit deeper in their gravity wells.

      • Jim Ryan commented on Apr 11 2013

        Something I would look into with respect to premature babies, would be how fast or slow each babies metabolism is, by the babies respiration, bodily output and the amount of water vapor put off by the lungs. It will tell if the baby is hydrated enough or possibly too much. A body can be too hydrated from what I know.

        • Jim Ryan commented on Apr 11 2013

          I’m not sure, but I would ask science if a premature baby is given fluids intravenously, could preamies with a slower metabolism, drown in the fluids?

        • Jim Ryan commented on Apr 12 2013

          I’ve been thinking about the preamies and what was said on PBS. They said premature babies were dying because of too little oxygen or they were going blind because of too much. I thought that if a child quit breathing, that a monitor–alarm would go off and that they would be able to get the child breathing again, but upon further reflection, I can see that the preamies lungs were to weak to come back from that.

          In my disease I quit breathing sometimes at night and I’m awakened after dreaming that I am running. I believe after I quit breathing for sometime, my mind and body realize and I must start breathing very rapidly, to make up for the loss, whereas preamies could not recover from such. If possible, I would have a breathing machine that would breathe for the babies as soon as they quit breathing. Perhaps the parents could stay with their children and as soon as they quit breathing, they could put the machine to work. I don’t believe its so much the oxygen content, but the fact that some preamies will just stop breathing and if no one is there right then, with a breathing machine, those preamies can’t recover.

      • Jim Ryan commented on Apr 11 2013

        I think I’ve been given a gift that I wish to develop as far as I can, responsibly, but I need help. Please vote for me to win the 2014 Ted award. I implore all of you. I try to show how I think and why, so that others may contribute even more, with respect to science. While I constantly challenge science, I thrive on it and wish to help others to do the same.

        Sincerely,

        Jim Ryan

        • Jim Ryan commented on Apr 11 2013

          I may be wrong on many things and in many ways, but hopefully, I give you pause to consider.

        • Jim Ryan commented on Apr 11 2013

          From all the teachers I had, they seemed to hate when or if a student dared challenge them and while we can all understand such, it is crushing to children, not to have a voice and especially not to challenge. That’s why I submit that teachers should be moderators instead. Children will listen to a moderator and respect such, while many will hate teachers for acting as parents and always insinuating they always know best, when the children see, hear and feel, that that is a lie.

          A moderator guides, while teachers and parents demand. Be a moderator, help your children and students to think for themselves. They will love you for it. I must admit that I was never so good when my daughter needed me the most. At 60 I’m starting to understand.

        • Jim Ryan commented on Apr 11 2013

          Much of today’s youth and yesterday’s youth rebell, because no one would listen to them. They need to speak to what you are saying to them. They also need to challenge such or they will see you as bullies, not teachers. Yes, to your faces they will sing your praises, but in their heart of hearts, they will see, hear and feel, the truth, setting up a dichotomy that will follow them all their days.

        • Jim Ryan commented on Apr 11 2013

          Look in the mirror teachers, this child wants you to understand what he sees. How many children did you teach to challenge science or whatever you taught and how many timid children did you help to give voice too? How many did you help to see, hear and feel all that goes on around them? How many did you encourage to challenge all the different kinds of oppression or do you even have a clue as to all the oppression?

          Many teachers and the media praise the teachers. Think about it!

        • Christoffer Haugen commented on Apr 11 2013

          You may look at Paulo Freire’s book “Pedagogy of the oppressed” for more on this kind of thoughts.

        • Jim Ryan commented on Apr 12 2013

          I don’t need Pablo, I lived such. Do you need others to tell you what you see, hear and feel? Come on, or perhaps you truly never knew. Some do, some don’t.

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  • John Cunliffe commented on Apr 11 2013

    I wonder if TED’s close connection with the church of Scientology had anything to do with this decision.

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  • Daniel Richards commented on Apr 10 2013

    I’m very disturbed by TED’s method of discourse. This is blatant censorship of a controversial topic by Jerry Coyne and TED’s Scientific Board who regard inquiries into the changing measured values of the universal constants “as an exercise in pseudoscience.” This is the very foundation of science that TED is undermining; observe a phenomena and make inquiries using a standard and repeatable method and report results for comparison.

    TED is scared of something here and they are trying to suppress dialogue and discourse by dismissing him without rationalization rather than taking him head on and demonstrating why he is in error. TED talks motto is “ideas worth sharing.” Is TED, by their actions, saying censorship is an idea worth sharing when is it inconvenient or controversial?

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  • commented on Apr 9 2013

    This has probably already been posted but I didn’t see it, so here is the announcement about a webinar to be given with Graham Hancock this coming Sunday that will specifically discuss this Tedx issue.

    The War on Consciousness: What It Means for You

    Host: Graham Hancock
    Date: April 14, 8:00 p.m. London, 3:00 p.m. NY, 12:00 p.m. LA

    Explore the importance of consciousness expansion to the future of humanity.

    Recently Graham Hancock discovered that his TEDx Whitechapel presentation, “The War on Consciousness,” was censored by the TED leadership — removed from the TED YouTube page and criticized for reasons which TED later admitted to be unfounded. An outraged grassroots campaign led to TED reposting the video, though on an obscure blog page rather than on their popular YouTube site.

    http://evolverlearninglab.com/products/the-war-on-consciousness-what-it-means-for-you

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  • Ken Jordan commented on Apr 9 2013

    An Open Letter to Chris Anderson

    Dear Chris,

    I’m one of the many who in recent years discovered new and noteworthy ideas thanks to TED. You’ve grown TED into an important platform for the introduction of innovative thought to a popular audience; it’s a wonderful vision and your achievement of it is widely appreciated. TED’s prominence has made it, perhaps inadvertently, into an forum that validates worthy intellectual progress. If a good idea gets momentum, it will most likely end up, one way or another, presented by TED or one of the TEDx offshoots.

    That’s why the censure of the TEDx talks by Graham Hancock and Rupert Sheldrake is so dismaying. As you must know, to many of us the reasons behind their removal from the TED YouTube site are just not clear. On behalf of the Evolver community, I’d like to extend an invitation to you to help us understand the reasoning that led to TED’s actions, because we suspect that behind your decision is an uninformed prejudice against groundbreaking research in a critical area of study, the possibility that consciousness extends beyond the brain.

    The cause of our concern: while the original criticism against Hancock and Sheldrake was later retracted — literally crossed out on the blog page — after the speakers rebutted it, the initial decision to remove the videos still held. Statements from TED staff implied that the presentations were “pseudoscience,” but no specific allegations was made. Rupert Sheldrake offered to debate a member of the anonymous science board, or any other representative, about actual criticisms, but got no response. To an outsider, TED’s actions are baffling.

    In your personal statements you say that TED is not censoring the videos, since they are available on a back page of your site, and technically that may be true. But by relegating them to obscure blogs that are not indexed as part of the regular pool of TEDx talks, the unequivocal message is that these talks are not fit to be seen among the thousands of other presentations that TED offers through YouTube. Somehow they were mistakes that slipped through and need to be quarantined from the “good” TED talks, to keep them from contamination. Given TED’s influence, this treatment is unfairly damaging to the reputations of the speakers singled out.

    The subsequent cancellation of TEDxWestHollywood’s license, apparently due to the involvement of three of its speakers, who were named in a letter from TED staff, seems to be a continuation of the same baffling behavior. Again, the only reason given was a vague reference to “pseudoscience.” But why these speakers? What had they done to justify reprimand — especially since TEDxWestHollywood had been in development for a year and was only two weeks from taking place?

    The five people identified as problematic by TED work in different fields. Rupert Sheldrake is a biologist. Graham Hancock is a journalist who has written about archeological ruins. Larry Dossey is a doctor. Russell Targ is a physicist. Marylin Schlitz is a social anthropologist and consciousness researcher. The one subject they all have in common is a shared interest in the non-locality of consciousness, the possibility that consciousness extends beyond the brain. Each speaker has devoted many years to the rigorous study of consciousness through the lens of their respective disciplines, and they have come up with provocative results.

    Through its actions, TED appears to be drawing a line around this area of investigation and marking it as forbidden territory. Is this true? In the absence of any detailed reasoning in TED’s public statements, it’s hard to avoid this conclusion. It would seem that, despite your statement that “TED is 100% committed to open enquiry, including challenges to orthodox thinking,” that enquiry appears to not include any exploration of consciousness as a non-local phenomenon, no matter how it may be approached.

    This in turn leads to more questions, such as: Can we expect that other TED talks referring to the possibility of nonlocal consciousness will also be removed from YouTube? Should future TEDx organizers steer clear of any speaker who is associated with these investigations?

    That would be a shame, since rigorous research in this field is producing intriguing results, and evidence for the non-locality of consciousness keeps growing.

    What is the official position of TED? We invite you or a TED representative to an online forum where you can speak candidly about what TED means by “pseudoscience,” and in what context a discussion about consciousness as a potentially nonlocal phenomenon might take place. This would be an opportunity for TED to clarify the criteria it uses to decide what does or does not belong at a TED sponsored event, and to address criticism that the decision to distance TED from particular speakers was based not on lack of knowledge, but on informed opinion.

    yours,

    Ken Jordan
    Publisher & Editorial Director, Evolver/Reality Sandwich

    • Ken Jordan commented on Apr 9 2013

      It was pointed out to me after I posted above that Graham Hancock also offered to debate a TED representative about any specific allegations that TED might have regarding his talk, and, like Sheldrake, received no response.

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  • Rus Bowden commented on Apr 8 2013

    The more they refuse to debate, to respond, and to listen to reason, but maintain their alliance with the extremists, TED, wittingly or not, is becoming an important branch of the materialistic atheists, as they are justifiably being called. In fact, it’s scientism, nearly by definition, a definition that TED is wearing like a bishop’s robe, and especially by the application of their reactions to Sheldrake, Hancock, and now West Hollywood, of what is allowed to be discussed, and what is not.

    What we have been injected with in their talks is the “wonderful physical world” absent any spirit. It is the drug dogmatic scientistic atheists must take, possibly because they have had some psychological need or imperative to suck their very own spirituality out of the world. These talks are a drug to keep them occupied in their world without spirit. Each talk injects with the high available in this box, the package they want to deal to a high world. The more strokes they get, the more high groupies, the more their box is reinforced. The fact that there are brilliant people, people of honest contribution, whose life works and passions, fit into their parameters, makes the people of TED think they are brilliant by association, and reinforces their dogma. It’s not that TED is a cult, but that they are a PR tool of scientism.

    • Jim Ryan commented on Apr 9 2013

      Of course they are, because of people just like you that want a say, when you bring nothing of your own. Democrats and republicans are exactly the same, they use the ignorant, hateful talking points, but they bring nothing of their own, at least nothing worthwhile.

      What do you have to offer science?

      • Rus Bowden commented on Apr 9 2013

        What do I have to offer science?

        It’s people like you who think everything is an offering to science that misses the point.

        • Jim Ryan commented on Apr 9 2013

          If you bring nothing worthwhile or new, why do you expect something worthwhile or new? Ya get what you pay for.

    • Jim Ryan commented on Apr 9 2013

      What do really intelligent people accomplish? They make you think, unless, your mind is made up. What did Sheldrake and Hancock say that made you think new thoughts? Come on, any one of you. I’ll bet not one of you had a new thought all your own, not from Sheldrake, Hancock or from anywhere.

      Show me I’m wrong, prove to the world even one of you has ever had a thought all your own. Ted Molly coddles most all of you. Ted protects you from seeing just how ignorant most all are. None of you ever want to hear the truth, because then you would run away and hide.

      You don’t want new thinking, you want what makes you feel good. When intelligent people see new thinking, they have new thoughts to add. People that are critical thinkers, that bring new thinking, do so on a consistent basis.

      Ted protects you from your own ignorance.

      • Noah Vickstein commented on Apr 9 2013

        Are you seriously trolling this whole thread? Have fun with that.

      • Marcus T Anthony commented on Apr 9 2013

        One of the things that I really appreciate about having spent a lot of time in mindful states of consciousness, is that it allows me to be more honest, and see how much of the judgment I have of others is pure projection. When I read your post here I saw myself. “Other people are stupid and can’t think like me. I know best. I already know all this stuff.” But I don’t judge myself anymore for my arrogance, because I have come to see that there is only one ego, and it is us.

        I can now see that there is a potential healing amidst this schism that has developed between scientific materialism and those with a more spiritual or holistic bent. The healing will come when enough people realise that they are just fighting their own shadow.

        Respectfully,

        Marcus T Anthony

        Sent from my iPhone

        • Jim Ryan commented on Apr 9 2013

          The desire by so many to remain ignorant is beyond me. I see how web sites allow so much ignorance, while they stop people with different thinking, because the few that can think for themselves, angers the vast majority. If allowed to persist, the vast majority will quit talking near as much, harming the site.

          However, this site is under attack from a lot of people that simply attack them, because they either don’t know that what they do is censorship or they don’t care. They are the ones that force these web sites to censor. The people have always used censorship since they were being taught by their parents, then in school, the workplace and by our so called leaders.

          The people that use childish innuendo in the face of truth choose to remain ignorant. The rest that do not address what they cannot defend likely realize, but they say nothing, because they don’t want to be called on their ignorance in this thread. By such, they teach the next generations to respond or not, by what they do.

          In essence, they do great harm to the following generations, because of their pride and prejudice. They refuse to acknowledge their ignorance and mistakes and when people refuse to do such, they refuse to learn. Admitting to ones ignorance and mistakes is one of the minds greatest tools in learning. It is at the very heart of justice and equality, if there is to be such. It is at the center of learning. Our minds cannot progress if the truth and justice are not used at every moment. Yes, each of us lies at times, but the more we can admit to our ignorance and correct it, especially for the following generations to see, the more man kinds thinking as a whole, will evolve.

          People can learn to think for themselves even at older ages, if they choose. That line is straight and narrow. I wish no one I’ll will, but neither can I allow ignorance to dominate children’s thinking and actions, when confronted by such.

          The more our minds are pushed, the better our minds work. There are no games or pills that enhance the ability to think for oneself. Some games can enhance memory, but that’s all.

          Where I live, they have talked about making downtown a vibrant place for many decades, seeing other states that draw more business, they think, because they have vibrant downtowns. What they do not see, is that they have been so visibly corrupt for so long, that they think nothing of it. They see Washington and all others doing it in so many ways. The problem here is so openly blatant , heavily influenced by small town thinking.

          They throw millions at downtown most every year. It’s in the news constantly and still, small town thinking and corruption keeps this place a small town, despite its land mass. They hold kangaroo court regularly and since the FBI agents kids go to school with the judges kids, the FBI refuses to fix the corruption, so very blatant, as all politics is local.

          One mind is a terrible thing to waste.

        • Jim Ryan commented on Apr 9 2013

          Did you know that Ted is actually caught in the middle? Ted is leaving this thread and the videos up. They are doing that to show the real power behind the scenes, that can destroy Ted if they or any entity gets out of line farther than they should.

          Ted is acting as a go between, between the real power and the general public. Ted is trying to show power how the general public is changing in their thinking, just as is happening with marihuana.

          You could always try to help Ted.

          Much that I write seems too controversial for Ted to post, so Ted censors me pretty badly. That doesn’t mean I don’t understand.

      • Marcus T Anthony commented on Apr 9 2013

        One of the things that I really appreciate having spent a lot of time in mindful states of consciousness, is that it allows a person to be more honest, and see how much of the judgment I have of others is pure projection. When I read your post here I saw myself. Other people are stupid and can’t think like me. I know best. I already know all this stuff. But I don’t judge myself anymore for my arrogance, because I have come to see that there is only one ego, and it is us. I can now see that there is a potential healing amidst this schism that has developed between scientific materialism and those with a more spiritual or holistic bent. The healing will come when enough people realise that they are just fighting their own shadow.

        Marcus T Anthony

        • Jim Ryan commented on Apr 9 2013

          Different thinking is driven by environment. IE: kids that accept when they are different and use that as a survival skill and asset, will likely recognize the harmful innuendo and ignorance, causing them to consider so much more, even as children. It can easily magnify with time. The more aware one becomes, the more sorrow they must face, for the vast majority don’t even see, or are taught not to care. It becomes a catch 22.

          You anger the vast majority, hoping to bring awareness , but most times they don’t care.

        • Marcus T Anthony commented on Apr 9 2013

          Is it possible that the way you think is causing your suffering, not other people’s lack of thinking? You didn’t understand my previous post. I have been where you are, and the mind will always justify its illusions by telling itself how clever it is, that it knows more than others, that it is above them. That is what cuts you off from others and creates your suffering, not their poor thinking. There are some things you can only understand when you stop thinking. But I have said enough already.

          Marcus

        • Jim Ryan commented on Apr 9 2013

          Ted and everyone that complains about Ted is using censorship, with respect to this subject. Ted does it by having control. Y’all do it as a group and singularly. There are so many ways to censorship by any and all. Two wrongs don’t make anything right, does it?

          Censoring is used everywhere. Every time you criticize anyone, you are in effect, censoring them. When 5 people use childish name calling against one person, in effect, they are trying to make him shut up. When all of you say what you do to Ted, you are trying to force Ted to do something they don’t want to do. That is a form of censorship.

          Y’all praise Sheldrake and Hancock and yet, what new science did either bring, that no one else before brought?

          If you are as smart as you claim, what new thinking have you brought to science?

      • Rus Bowden commented on Apr 9 2013

        Jim– What are you talking about, “run away and hide”? I’m not running away from anything.

        • Jim Ryan commented on Apr 9 2013

          Out of all that I wrote, that’s the best ya got? I wrote that with all in this thread in mind? All of you are using a form of censorship, even as you blame Ted. So far only you and Marcus are responding to such. If I was charged with such and I believed my actions were correct, I’d be speaking my piece. In essence, all the others here that refuse to answer to their censorship are hiding from what they’ve said and done, because they know they are doing what they claim Ted is doing.

          What is happening here also puts a chill on the board as a whole, but if y’all don’t stop censoring Ted, you can damage Ted, which by your words, you are trying to do.

          Ted is not only censored by y’all, they are censored by all their partners, possibly. Would you cut off your nose to spite your face? So many claim Ted has brought so many good speakers.

          I can understand and agree with y’all about censorship, but not in this personal manner. If y’all must do something, have one person point out your objections, with respect, leaving out all the personal nonsense, understanding that Ted is being censored from so many directions. Law enforcement would be upset with what Hancock advocated, dontcha think?

          The super majority of the general public has been taught science in very ignorant ways and anyone going against that will come under fire. Should not Sheldrake and Hancock expect such? Should intelligent people not expect such?

          The general public at large is the cause of censorship. However, many industries and entities use that in their favor, pitting one half against the other half, as they walk in and take whatever they want, over time.

          Please wake up!

        • Rus Bowden commented on Apr 9 2013

          @Jim,

          You talk as if I have some sort of responsibility to science or to whatever you think is important. I don’t.

          The idea that I am supporting censorship is a flagrant misread of my motivations in what I wrote yesterday. I am qualifying TED’s come-from. This is what is news, the fact that TED is not open-minded, but is ideologically biased. To talk about TED as a platform for the agenda of scientism is not to censor.

    • Reece Sullivan commented on Apr 9 2013

      Well said, Russ.

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