Dr. Rupert Sheldrake Skeptiko Interview Reveals Difficulties Collaborating with Skeptics

Telepathy experiments by Dr. Rupert Sheldrake and Dr. Chris French demonstrate why skeptics and scientists often disagree.

Del Mar, CA, November 07, 2009 --(PR.com)-- Join host Alex Tsakiris when he interviews Dr. Rupert Sheldrake for 30-minute discussion of parapsychology, anomalistic psychology, and why skeptics and scientists seem to always be at odds over the results of their experiments.
During the interview Dr. Sheldrake explains why anomalistic psychology is an inadequate explanation of telepathy and other psi phenomena:

"Anomalistic Psychology is a kind of defensive position where whenever evidence comes up, anomalistic psychology is wielded on as the way of trying to dismiss it as errors of judgment, flawed perception, etc., etc. But of course, the question remains throughout, what if these things are real? What if they’re really happening? And you know, that’s something that’s not on the agenda for someone who’s a convinced skeptic." -- Dr. Rupert Sheldrake

Sheldrake also responds to suggestions that bias may be creeping into his work and that he hasn’t used the best and tightest controls:

"In any field of science, including psychology — I’m talking now mainstream, totally normal science - people try out all sorts of things and they publish things that give clear-cut results. I think people in parapsychology do the same. They probably publish at a higher proportion of experiments that don’t work than in other areas. I’ve done surveys of people working in conventional fields of science like biochemistry and molecular biology, genetics, psychology, and asked them, “What proportion of your data do you publish?” Most of them have answered you know, between five and ten percent. There’s a huge file-drawer effect in regular science. Because parapsychologists are more aware of this, I think they publish a higher proportion. So I think the idea of trying things out, seeing what works, is not a specific criticism of research on psychic phenomena. It applies to every single branch of science. As far as the, heads-I-win,-tails-you-lose problem Chris French alluded to, I think skeptics do it more. If they get a result that shows no effect then they say it hasn’t worked. If there’s a positive result, then they say the experiments must be flawed in some way." -- Dr. Rupert Sheldrake

A free (audio and transcript) of the interview is available at: http://www.skeptiko.com/rupert-sheldrake-responds-chris-french/

Dr. Rupert Sheldrake is the current Perrott-Warrick Scholar and Director of the Perrott-Warrick Project. He is also a Fellow of the Institute of Noetic Sciences, near San Francisco, and a Visiting Professor and Academic Director of the Holistic Thinking Program at the Graduate Institute in Connecticut.

About Skeptiko
Skeptiko.com is the first scientifically oriented Podcast exploring new research in controversial areas of science such as telepathy, psi, parapsychology, near-death-experience, psychic detectives, medium communication, reincarnation, and after-life encounters. Each episode features open, honest debate on new scientific discoveries. The show includes interviews with top research scientists and their critics.

About OpenSourceScience
OpenSourceScience is the first scientifically oriented website to bring the power of open source methods to the skeptical examination of controversial areas of science such as telepathy, psi, parapsychology, near-death experiences, reincarnation, and after-life encounters.

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