View Full Version : The Science Delusion

02-02-2015, 01:52 AM
This is a very good talk.


After you've watched the above talk, then watch this short little story from Terence McKenna:



02-02-2015, 05:28 PM
I have summarised some of the points in the Sheldrake lecture from Dev's post above...note summary was not my forté at school ;)

Materialists believe that other people have belief systems, but they know the truth.

Ten Dogmas ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dogma) of Materialists.

1. Nature is mechanical.
2. Matter is unconscious.
3. The laws of nature are fixed.
4. The total amount of matter and energy is always the same.
5. Nature is purposeless.
6. Biological inheritance is material.
7. Memories are stored materially inside the brain.
8. The mind is nothing but the activity of the brain.
9. Psychic phenomena like telepathy are illusory.
10. Mechanistic medicine is the only kind that works.

These dogmas constitute the official world view; this is the standard orthodoxy of Politics, Business, Government and Education.

The world is separated into two extreme dualisms, Religion and Science.

Religion: Morality, Soul, Angels and God.
Science: Universe, Nature and The Body.

This separation was accepted and therefore one could be scientific and religious at the same time.

Those that disagreed with this dualistic approach singularised the two into one.

Idealist philosophy said matter doesn't exist, the only thing that exists is spirit or mind; spirit and consciousness are the only reality and matter is only dumbed-down mind.

Materialist Philosophy said spirit doesn't exist and matter is the only reality.

It was said that science represented the future and progress, religion held people back, religion was superstition with people dominated by priests. For this reason materialism became the preferred philosophy, mainly due to anti-religious diatribe, giving a new authority to science with scientists becoming the new priests; atheism grew from the desire to remove religious control.

With the growth of atheism the human mind was seen as nothing more than the activity of the brain. This caused a problem because in the materialist world matter is the only reality and matter is unconscious, yet human beings are conscious. This was explained by the behaviourists; consciousness is measurable behaviour, the movement of muscles and the secretion of glands. Consciousness is nothing but an illusory concept designed to confuse people, it is subjective therefore it doesn't exist and objective reality is the only thing that is scientific and suggested that psychology should proceed with no reference to consciousness.

A body was set up called, "The Consciousness Studies Research Group", this was considered heretical and radical that psychologists should discuss consciousness as philosophers of mind were and still are mainly materialists, their job is to prove that consciousness is nothing but the brain and that consciousness is nothing but illusion.

In a debate between two materialist Psychologists Daniel Dennet ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daniel_Dennett) and Nicholas Humphry ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nicholas_Humphrey), Dennet proposed that the mind is just the brains nervous activity and that consciousness is just an illusion, Humphrey disagreed and said that it is not just an illusion but an appearance of an illusion. They went on for the rest of the debate arguing if it was an illusion or just the appearance of an illusion. None of this really answers the question because illusion itself is a mode of consciousness. Sheldrake then goes on to say that this presupposes rather than explains consciousness, stating he is amazed that grown men can spend their time trying to disprove that they are conscious or that they have free choice. They are trying to persuade you of materialism on the basis of science, reason and evidence when the only way you can be a materialist from a materialist perspective is because your brain makes you do it and you don't really have any choice in the matter. Philosopher Galen Strawson ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Galen_Strawson) said that the only way consciousness could be explained is by assuming that matter, even at the electron or atomic level has some kind of mental activity.

The lecture goes on to talk of Panpsychism ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panpsychism).

Sheldrake puts forward the view of two Philosophers: Mathematician and Philosopher Gottfried Leibnitz ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gottfried_Wilhelm_Leibniz) that every self organising unit or monad ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monad_(philosophy)) has both a body and a mind and each monad reflects the universe from its own point of view. He explains that this is just like the people in the room each seeing the room from their particular point of view; that no material body can occupy the same space at the same time and that monads, including non biological monads reflect the universe from their own point of view.
and Philosopher Baruch Spinoza (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baruch_Spinoza) who took the view that in nature the material world is the body of God and God is the mind of nature and that nature and God are the body and mind of a fundamental intrinsic unity.

Sheldrake goes further with the explanation of matter in the quantum world and how matter is not just stuff...that matter is wavelike and how waves take time to propagate and space to propagate into, thus they have no single point, have a past and a future, matter is a process that takes time, it is not instantaneous ...hence the uncertainty principle as waves are spread out in time and space, they have a probability and it is when we actually have a fix on them then it has a present and the probability wave collapses and the matter now has a present or presence <- my words not Sheldrakes.

The lecture continues with extrapolation of consciousness to the planets, stars, galaxy and universe; a theory that can neither be proved nor disproved. Sheldrake poses that if some of these dogmas were asked as questions; is nature mechanical, is matter unconscious, are our minds confined to the inside of our brains, then the evidence doesn't support these dogmas, but rather opens up a new set of questions, new sets of possibilities and new kinds of science become possible.

I totally agree with Sheldrake's position that dogmatic assumption inhibits enquiry, hence the inclusion in my signature. The only stupid question is the question that is not asked IMO.

As to the content of Sheldrake's lecture I can't really say, for to keep an open mind I have to hold both the materialist and the religious view with the same weight until experience tells me otherwise.

My experience up to now tells me there is much more to it than what was said and they could both be right at the same time, some truth in both schools.

I haven't looked at the Mckenna video yet and will reply to that once I have.


02-02-2015, 06:24 PM
I have to hold both the materialist and the religious view with the same weight until experience tells me otherwise.

I think it is better if you say spiritual rather than religious... as the latter is 100 % fiction.

The only thing that I find confusing is the fact that it is the Materialist view that the world is within the mind... the illusion. Sound to me Materialism should be that the world is the world. Or did I misunderstood Sheldrake?


02-02-2015, 06:38 PM
I think that the biggest problem that we make wile we do something is trying to compere things that shouldn't be compared, like for instance mechanical with organic, material with spiritual. Of course that somehow they are related but still they're incomparable.
You cannot understand how our brain works if you call it mechanical. We all know that it is organic and there is no way that it works mechanically, You cannot use an expression that was discovered after a human being build something on hes own and didn't know how to call its function and decided to call it mechanical. The thing is that what made us humans and the way we function its not mechanical, we still don't know it yet, what would suffice more to be called or how to be understood.
It is a realm of its own, the whole theory needs to be expanded with more words and different ways of understanding.

02-03-2015, 04:28 PM
Ilos, though I understand what you are saying I have to disagree that some things "shouldn't" be compared. There is a possibility that everything is only one thing and therefore have the same nature...there is also the possibility that this is not so...that is why one has to keep an open mind and realise what we don't know compared to what we do.

Below is a picture of silica-based micro-shells of several diatom species seen under an electron microscope. The shells themselves may not be classified as mechanical but the process from which they were built may be.


It may be difficult to compare as we normally see machines as large, usually metal objects as below.


Now compare this to the picture below of some MicroElectroMechanical Systems (MEMS).


MicroElectroMechanical Systems, MEMS, are systems based on a range of techologies whereby tiny mechanical elements, both sensors and actuators, can be implemented as well as mechanical couterparts of electrical circuit elements, such as micromechanical switches, resonators, mixers and filters with high performance. It turns out that these elements have excellent system properties.The elements are often interfaced to microelectronical driving or sensing components (ICs) by appropriate packaging or on the same silicon wafer. The semiconductor silicon is not only good for making electronics but its material properties are extremely good.

Most MEMS components are implemented by using processes resembling the ones used for production of micro chips (VLSI circuits). In the earlier days of the MEMS development diffusions and etchings into bulk wafers were primarily used (”bulk micromachining”). Later on, ”surface micromaching” has been developed, a technique which has given the field a real boost. That type of process can be compared to baking a cream cake by stacking various layers. The ”cream” in the cake resembles what is called ”sacrificial layers” which separate other ”structural layers” when building up the unit. The sacrificial layers are spacers which later on are removed, causing the structural layers to be released. Thereby mechanical elements such as beams, diaphragms or disks are free to move as intended. The advantage of using techniques from IC processing is not only to be able to implement the microstructures, but also to allow thousands or millions of equal elements to be fabricated at the same time to a low cost (batch processing).

Source: Department of Informatics, University of Oslo. (http://heim.ifi.uio.no/~oddvar/rfmems.htm)

Taking this further...when the general population talk of photosynthesis we see a picture as the one below...


and state the fact that Photosynthesis is a process used by plants and other organisms to convert light energy, normally from the Sun, into chemical energy that can be later released to fuel the organisms' activities...or something similar...but in fact this is a very complicated process and a diagram of this process can be seen by clicking the link below...

PHOTOSYNTHESIS DIAGRAM (http://twinkle_toes_engineering.home.comcast.net/~twinkle_toes_engineering/photosynthesis_fulton_diagram.png)

now it appears much more a mechanical process, but to see the real complexity of Photosynthesis click on the link below. I don't expect someone to read this, but scroll through to get an idea of what a full explanation of the process entails...

Twinkle Toes Engineering - Photosynthesis (http://twinkle_toes_engineering.home.comcast.net/~twinkle_toes_engineering/photosynthesis.htm)

Below is a picture by Korean artist Minjeong An ( http://htttv.idnworld.com/creators/?id=MinjeongAn) depicting the human body as a mechanical diagram. Click on the picture to get a larger version.

http://thealchemyforum.com/Images/machine/human (http://myartda.com/current/c_01.html)

Look at the picture of the cell below, each one functions like a little factory, with inputs and outputs, waste products and communications...


and the brain is made up of these too.

We don't know enough to say how we should or should not compare things, we are here for such a short time and our five senses are so limited we can only surmise what may be.

I do agree with you that it cannot be explained within the limitation of words.


02-03-2015, 06:13 PM
First I want to say that I enjoyed reading your post, I think its cool the way you explicate the whole point of the meaning itself. By looking at the pictures, I do agree that we can surely compere some organic functions with some mechanical but that is only because we humans are inspired from nature. Like If we never had birds maybe we would never think of inventing an airplane. The expression we use to explain the function is "flying", so the birds "fly" a word which was discovered long before, than airplanes were discovered, so the airplanes "fly" also.
You can explain in details the characteristics of a flying airplane and compere it with flying bird, just for the fact that firstly it was the bird that was studied than the knowledge was implemented to the machine.
What I meant was, you cant compere the flying bird with the flying machine.
When we think of the brain mechanically, that's when we are putting limitations to our way of thinking, we are not considering possibilities, we are claiming that we know how our brain works and how it interacts, which is wrong. We know only what we have been capable to comprehend, only what our greatest scientists know about our human nature and claim to be so smart and say that our brain works in mechanical form. The word itself is the boundary and says it enough to know that we haven't discovered anything, we are much more complexed beings and there are many mysterious things that we cant even imagine. Just like Sheldrake said we don't know yet why some people know that they are being watched without seeing. who decides to move your hand from one place to another, is it a mechanic over mechanic? I think that the word itself puts you in a position that blocks you from understanding that.

10-28-2015, 05:35 AM
Crossover time, yay!

Tom Campbell, physicist, and author of My Big TOE, responds to Dr Rupert Sheldrake's 10 dogmas of science from Dr Sheldrake's book The Science Delusion (Science Set Free in the US), and discusses the one concept that shakes up materialist worldview scientists the most - Consciousness.