Thursday, 20 August • 7.30-9.30 PM (BST)
In this eye-opening webinar chaired by Honorary Member Dr Rupert Sheldrake, Craig will examine the widespread phenomenon of dogmatic scepticism in relation to psi research, where the phenomena are often dismissed as impossible in principle in spite of extensive evidence to the contrary. However, as Larry LeShan wrily observed, there are no impossible facts. Nevertheless, such scepticism – also targeting Network scientists such as Rupert and Nobel Laureate Prof Brian Josephson – remains widespread among the scientific and academic communities and raises important sociological, psychological and philosophical issues, acting as a brake on the necessary paradigm shift to open up a new science of consciousness. Craig will discuss and illustrate these concerns with significant examples.
Craig writes: Scepticism towards research into psychic abilities is as old as the research itself. Despite growing evidence over the decades, sceptics remain as hostile towards this research as ever. This open hostility is worth examining because it replaces any and all true scientific discussions of the phenomena. Despite a wealth of data ranging from personal experiences to rigorous scientific studies, sceptics continually claim that there is no evidence at all. In addition to this, discussions with parapsychology sceptics almost always reveal a lack of knowledge, a lack of interest in researching the data and complete faith in, and complete reliance on exclusively sceptical sources.
These are strong indicators that sceptics are not responding to the research with objectivity and the spirit of inquiry but are driven rather by an emotional response that clouds their judgment and causes them to defend their position of non-acceptance at all costs. This zealotry has spilled over into Wikipedia, where parapsychology is listed incorrectly as a pseudoscience and it has so far been impossible for anyone to engage with existing Wikipedia editors and get this corrected. When parapsychology sceptics engage with the paranormal, their response has more in common with the psychology of fundamentalist religious thinking than with scientific inquiry.
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Craig Weiler is a parapsychology journalist, speaker and host of the blog “The Weiler Psi” on the science of parapsychology, skepticism and psychics. He can be found on the social media site Quora, where he answers questions and shares parapsychology news. A graduate of U.C. Berkeley, Craig runs a small successful construction business. Prior to his interest in parapsychology, Craig was involved in exploring psychic ability on a personal level and teaching classes. He is the author of the highly-acclaimed book Psi Wars, which has just appeared in its second edition.
Rupert Sheldrake, PhD, is a biologist and author of more than 90 scientific papers and nine books including Science and Spiritual Practices and Ways To Go Beyond, And Why They Work. He was a Fellow of Clare College, Cambridge, and is currently a Fellow of the Institute of Noetic Sciences in California, and of Schumacher College in Devon. His website is www.sheldrake.org
‘Craig Weiler – Psi Wars’ is an evening webinar on Thursday, August 20th, 7:30 PM-9:30 PM (BST).
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