RationalWiki has a point by point critique of the Expelled “Leader’s Guide”. I wasn’t aware of the RationalWiki or their article until after I had written mine, so any similarities are due to great minds thinking alike. :)
Dr. Rupert Sheldrake, purveyor of pseudoscientific silliness (or “woo” as James Randi likes to call it) like telepathy in animals, was stabbed in the leg at a medical conference in Santa Fe NM yesterday, apparently by some guy from Japan. The injury was not life threatening, and his attacker was arrested.
Talk about negative vibes!
Sheldrake’s big idea is something called “morphic resonance“. The idea is that all living things are connected together by a telepathic internet of sorts. And yet the news report (linked above) refers to him as “a world renowned behavioral scientist”, yeah right.
Update: Here is a more detailed story from the local paper (The New Mexican): “Police arrest suspect after attack at lecture“. Here’s a highlight:
Hirano [the attacker -TB] had been attending the 10th International Conference on Science and Consciousness. Other attendees said he had been acting oddly. They said he confronted Sheldrake earlier this week, telling him he heard voices and saw demons. Another featured speaker at the conference told the man he was “full of negative energy” and counseled him to “calm down,” said Evan Mecham, an attendee from Broomfield, Colo.
See, I told you negative energy (vibes) was involved…
Here are some skeptical links on Sheldrake and his claims:
Rupert’s Resonance by Michael Shermer
The Psychic Staring Effect by David F. Marks and John Colwell (CSICOP)
Sheldrake’s Back by James Randi
As you might imagine I enjoy watching science programing on TV, Nova, Nature etc. on PBS, and the commercial channels like the Discovery Channel and the History Channel. But you really have to take this stuff with a rather sizable grain of salt, especially the commercial channels which seem to have absolutely no quality control at all. The following are a few of examples that managed to aggravate me to the point of blogging on the subject.