Question – What Are Some Of Sheldrake’s Claims?

A question posed to me via Twitter – so here’s some resources:

Now, that’s the research that I first learned about via a presentation by Dr Richard Wiseman at one of the Amazing Meetings;

How much is that doggy in the window? A brief evaluation of the Jaytee experiments:

In the early 1990s, Mathew Smith, Julie Milton, and I investigated ‘Jaytee’, a dog who could allegedly psychically predict when his owner was returning home.

We believed that the results of our study did not support the dog’s alleged ability, and published our results in the British Journal of Psychology. You can read this paper here.

For several years, the second author (a sceptic about the existence of psychic ability) has collaborated with the first author (a proponent of evidence for such abilities) on a systematic programme of joint sceptic–proponent experimental work within parapsychology (Wiseman & Schlitz, 1997, 1999). This research has involved jointly conducted experiments exploring the possible existence of a commonly reported phenomenon, the ‘sense of being stared at.’ This paper describes our latest joint study. Surveys suggest that 70 to 90% of the population has experienced an uneasy feeling of being stared at, only to turn around and discover somebody looking at them (Coover, 1913; Braud, Shafer, & Andrews, 1993a). 

Addition – thanks to Adam Rutherford: A Book for Ignoring via The Guardian:

Former Nature editor John Maddox questioned (and then rejected) the notion of burning “A New Science of Life”. This firebrand comment backfired as it was seized upon by the publishers and repeated whenever they could. Maddox then reviewed second edition. His incendiary remark now adorns the new third edition, but I can tell you that Nature will not be reviewing it.

A book exists to be read, so a far, far worse punishment for Sheldrake’s crimes against reason would be to simply ignore it. Incidentally, I recognise the irony in writing an article suggesting we should deny him the oxygen of publicity. Nevertheless, here’s my final word: don’t read this book, it will make you stupider.

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About Kylie Sturgess

Kylie Sturgess is a Philosophy teacher, media and psychology student, blogger at Patheos and podcaster at Token Skeptic. She has conducted over a hundred interviews including artists, scientists, politicians and activists, worldwide.
She’s the author of the ‘Curiouser and Curiouser‘ column at the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry website and travels internationally lecturing on feminism, skepticism, and science.


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