When people talk about "open mind beats dogmatic science" I cringe. It's a misrepresentation, a straw man designed to inflate and flatter the weirdly held opinions, offered with no proof.
It's non-logical that pseudoscience trots out
1: not everything has been discovered
2: I think elephants are unicorns in disguise
3: science disbelieves me
4: "science" once thought the earth was flat, and was proved wrong
5: therefore "science" can be wrong and elephants are possibly unicorns
Well I think you are actually misrepresenting what I was saying a little here too though. I am a lover of science, I am very interested in what we have discovered so far, but more
interested in what we don't know yet. I wish I had more of a maths background so that I had the patience to deal with complex equations, but I think I will probably just hang around where it intersects with philosophy and try and follow it as much as I can.
I was objecting to a specific trend that seems to be happening recently, especially since Richard Dawkins published the God delusion. A seemingly endless number of smart arses on the internet seem to have taken it as a carte blanche to go around shouting at people who dare to mention anything slightly weird and calling them morons, without the vaguest hint of the irony of their over zealous bigotry.
As a result, people just might not read really interesting and well thought out theories because they don't fit into that mould, which is just a shame really. And it also could hold up a valuable line of inquiry. I mean, what if he is actually right
At the end of the day, people from all sides of any argument can be just as dogmatic about any position.
Just to point out as an asside: nobody (of any repute) ever thought the earth was flat. Yet thats another "science gets it wrong" fact which is trotted out. It started in a humor book in the 19th century, and has been repeated as"fact" ever since.
Lord Kelvin never said "There is nothing new to be discovered in physics now" . It is pseudoscience myth making. Just think - where was that quote from. What is its attribution?
well that quote may be wrong, but I was using it to make a point and the point is obviously not complete bollocks. There has always been significant resistance within the scientific establishment to revolutionary ideas. They wouldn't be revolutionary otherwise.
Einstein overturned accepted thought, and proved that accepted thought is ready to be overturned with the right evidence.
Einstein used thought experiments to come up with his theories. I'm sure he thought about plenty of weird stuff in the process..
So anyone who says "science battles against open minded inquiry" can simply look at ll the times that accepted scientific thought was overturned and see that it is PROOF which is required, and that imaginitive open minded inquiry is built into science.
Blind willing Acceptance is not
Again, that isn't what I was getting at, and I think you have made some assumptions based on the fact that I am interested in topics that are often treated carelessly in a pseudo scientific way by people who "want to believe". But actually I would argue that in part that is related to the sheer fact that a lot of these more 'esoteric' topics don't often get funded and thus don't get the opportunity to be studied properly.
But two people I've mentioned, Rupert Sheldrake and Peter Fenwick are perfectly credible scientists who have done a lot of research in these areas, and cmcpress demonstrated straight away the kind of response Sheldrake gets, and I have to wonder if that's based on reading any of his stuff.. I know there has been quite a bit of resistance to his theories out there, because it's unconventional, it's a shame to not listen to what he's saying, it's really very interesting. He may or may not be right, but it is based on a lot of experience, I'm not sure there's anything wrong with his method. The mechanistic Dawkins view is very popular these days, but I definitely don't think he's been "proven right", and in fact this is the whole reason I brought this topic up - it can't even be proven right unless we really understand what consciousness is. We still don't know anything like enough about the brain to be able to conclusively say that all of our experience is purely down to chemicals and electrical signals.
I actually have a similar family background to you, I was brought up with a fair amount of weird stuff. I have a step father who lived in an Ashram in India in the 70s, and was a spiritualist as well, but in contrast my real father was a deeply skeptical social scientist. I think as a result of that I think I have seen enough to make me not dismiss it outright, but I'm much more interested in removing it from the realms of "pseudo-science" trying to approach it properly and rationally, and I do think it's possible.