Sunday, April 21, 2013

Deepak Chopra’s Reply to Chris Anderson, TED and the TED Community: ‘We’re Halfway There, But…’

Deepak Chopra’s Reply to Chris Anderson, TED and the TED Community: ‘We’re Halfway There, But…’:
Chris Anderson. Photo: Pierre Omidyar (CC)
Chris Anderson. Photo: Pierre Omidyar (CC)
At this point, you just know that Chris Anderson and the gang at TED wish that they’d never messed with Rupert Sheldrake and Graham Hancock. Following his earlier diatribe against TED for censorship of Messrs. Hancock and Sheldrake, Deepak Chopra assembles a cast of scientists to hammer away again at the TED establishment, at Huffington Post:
Dear Chris,
Thank you for clearing up some issues, particularly the confusion surrounding TEDx’s decision to take down or shift the talks by Sheldrake and Hancock. Actions speak louder than words, and the talks were removed from the website, followed by your letter warning TEDx organizers essentially not to repeat the same mistake again by inviting similar talks. To underline the point, TEDx withdrew its brand name from a West Hollywood event that was by no means filled with “goofballs” or “questionable” figures.
TED has invited religious leaders to speak, but that’s not at issue. The “fusion of science and spirituality” that you warned against in your guidelines is the issue. The animosity of militant atheists against consciousness studies and their stubborn defense of conservative mainstream science seem to be the background noise, at the very least, that colored your warnings. It’s easy to envision that someone along the line at TED, seeing a talk entitled “The Science Delusion,” recognized an attack on Dawkins and chopped the limb off the tree.
I’m grateful for the even-handedness that you say TED displays in matters of atheism, religion, and science. In 2002 I spoke directly after Dawkins, mounted a vigorous riposte to his main points, and received a standing ovation. His talk appears in full at TED’s website. Mine doesn’t, nor can it be found with a Google search. I’d be grateful to see it restored as a gesture of TED’s lack of censorship.
TED is reacting to the widespread objections to your warnings/guidelines. This takes us halfway. An open forum without an anonymous science board giving thumbs up or thumbs down would go all the way. I recognize that TED is an independent organization; I am only making a suggestion. Please see the attached responses from accredited scientists and the broader community of concerned professionals, who have their own angle on the issues at hand…
[read what they have to say at Huffington Post]
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