This piece is a bit afield for me. I am embedding a “banned TED Talk” given by Rupert Sheldrake, a Cambridge, Harvard educated, scientist and bane of the scientific community. What of Rupert Sheldrake?
He is not necessarily a Christian, though he reportedly says the Our Father every day. Dr. Sheldrake “evolved” from a biochemist and cell biologist and later to a plant physiologist to researcher in the field of parapsychology, known for his “morphic resonance” concept. He is the darling of New Age adherents, not Christians. He is also labeled a “heretic” by his scientific fellows.
So why would I include a piece on Rupert Sheldrake on Christian-orientated blog site? The answer is that Dr. Sheldrake has been ostracized by the scientific community because he dares to pursue studies that the scientific community has labeled unscientific. Sheldrake blames this treatment of him on the dogmatic views of the existing scientific community that refuse to allow for areas of study that deviate from the that accepted dogma.
Dogma is not just the province of religious belief; it is also the stuff of which scientific belief is made as well. Yes, scientific belief.
The statement, “it’s science”, is a dogmatic conversation stopper. People assert science dogmatically when conversation strays from what the scientific community currently accepts as true, and the reference to science is often used to shut the door on further discussion.
C.S. Lewis made the same point a generation ago when he spoke of the “Scientific Myth“. Lewis would agree with Sheldrake, though they may not have shared the same faith, that science is not very aware of its own biases (in reality, it’s the scientists who are not aware of their own biases). These biases are, ironically, unscientific of course.
Lewis would take it a step further and say that science, as it has come to be defined and practiced in modern times, can’t even account for itself. The rational materialist cannot account for the reason on which it depends and owes its allegiance. (See Is Theology Poetry?)
With those thoughts in mind, it is a bit entertaining to hear Rupert Sheldrake take on the community of which he is a part, or at least once was, and which now shuns him. He counts down 10 dogmas to which the scientific community clings.
After listening to the “banned TED Talk” by Rupert Sheldrake, take some time to listen to him discuss the banning of his TED Talk and the scientific dogmas that reveal a belief system among scientists.