Sheldrake dissertation

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Way, way, way back, when Skeptiko was still...insert your own tap-dace-around-the-problem-here, there was an interview with a student who'd written a dissertation on Rupert Sheldrake (see here). There used to be a link to the paper, but it seems to have gone dead.

Is there any chance this paper is available elsewhere, or that anyone here has a copy of it?
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(2018-12-04, 06:24 AM)Will Wrote: Way, way, way back, when Skeptiko was still...insert your own tap-dace-around-the-problem-here, there was an interview with a student who'd written a dissertation on Rupert Sheldrake (see here). There used to be a link to the paper, but it seems to have gone dead.

Is there any chance this paper is available elsewhere, or that anyone here has a copy of it?

I had a look, but I couldn't find anything online or in the relevant university library catalogues.
Chris,

Using the Way Back engine, I found the page on Skeptiko from 2009 and at that time the link is live (though the link word "here" doesn't highlight like a link would - so don't be fooled.  Try this:

https://web.archive.org/web/200912050927...sheldrake/

This interview is mentioned on Sheldrake's personal site. I think it might be worth extracting the text and posting it here, or, if there are copyright issues, offering it to Rupert himself.

Edit: I have managed to extract the txt - though it needs laying  out again, and I have PMed you with it.
(This post was last modified: 2018-12-04, 09:44 AM by David001.)
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(2018-12-04, 09:28 AM)David001 Wrote: Chris,

Using the Way Back engine, I found the page on Skeptiko from 2009 and at that time the link is live (though the link word "here" doesn't highlight like a link would - so don't be fooled.  Try this:

https://web.archive.org/web/200912050927...sheldrake/

This interview is mentioned on Sheldrake's personal site. I think it might be worth extracting the text and posting it here, or, if there are copyright issues, offering it to Rupert himself.

Edit: I have managed to extract the txt - though it needs laying  out again, and I have PMed you with it.

Thanks. I did try the Wayback Machine, and I think I tried it with that URL for the dissertation as well as the broken one currently on Skeptiko, but without success for some reason (maybe something to do with the fact there's a space in the URL).

This link goes directly to the dissertation, and will avoid copyright issues (perhaps it would be good to send it to Sheldrake too, as you suggest):
https://web.archive.org/web/201107031222...-Sheldrake
(2018-12-04, 09:56 AM)Chris Wrote: Thanks. I did try the Wayback Machine, and I think I tried it with that URL for the dissertation as well as the broken one currently on Skeptiko, but without success for some reason (maybe something to do with the fact there's a space in the URL).

This link goes directly to the dissertation, and will avoid copyright issues (perhaps it would be good to send it to Sheldrake too, as you suggest):
https://web.archive.org/web/201107031222...-Sheldrake

From that link it is possible to download the PDF document - I assume that's what you've done. It might be an idea to host a copy of it - bearing in mind copyright issues.
(2018-12-04, 10:54 AM)Typoz Wrote: From that link it is possible to download the PDF document - I assume that's what you've done. It might be an idea to host a copy of it - bearing in mind copyright issues.

It looks as though Philip Stevens is an editor of Wikipedia. If he's the right one, I should be able to send him an email to ask permission to host a copy of the dissertation here, if that would be helpful.
(2018-12-04, 12:36 PM)Chris Wrote: It looks as though Philip Stevens is an editor of Wikipedia. If he's the right one, I should be able to send him an email to ask permission to host a copy of the dissertation here, if that would be helpful.

It will be interesting to see how he reacts, because Wiki is notoriously sniffy about psi-related stuff, and unorthodox ideas in general.

I would have sent the whole PDF, but I somehow saved it to the wrong folder, and thought it wouldn't save - so I sent the text. In the process, I discovered that there is a limit to the size of a message of 65535 characters. That is a bit inconvenient, but it may well be a software hard limit - if it can be changed I think it would make sense.

Edit: I have just tried to use that downloaded PDF, and it didn't work. Sheldrake's web-page refers to the Skeptiko article that contains the broken link. Therefore it would be nice if we emailed Sheldrake with the document to use on his own website.
(This post was last modified: 2018-12-05, 02:52 PM by David001.)
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(2018-12-04, 09:28 AM)David001 Wrote: Chris,

Using the Way Back engine, I found the page on Skeptiko from 2009 and at that time the link is live (though the link word "here" doesn't highlight like a link would - so don't be fooled.  Try this:

https://web.archive.org/web/200912050927...sheldrake/

This interview is mentioned on Sheldrake's personal site. I think it might be worth extracting the text and posting it here, or, if there are copyright issues, offering it to Rupert himself.

Edit: I have managed to extract the txt - though it needs laying  out again, and I have PMed you with it.


Thanks for the link. I'll have to look up more about those studies Sheldrake did with the nursery rhymes - I'd forgotten all about that.

Did Wiseman ever offer any sort of rebuttal or apology to Sheldrake re. the dog experiment? Re-reading the details on this, I'm really not sure how Wiseman managed to either convince himself there was nothing to apologize for, or wouldn't be the type of person to push a rebuttal.
(2018-12-08, 06:29 PM)Will Wrote: Thanks for the link. I'll have to look up more about those studies Sheldrake did with the nursery rhymes - I'd forgotten all about that.

Did Wiseman ever offer any sort of rebuttal or apology to Sheldrake re. the dog experiment? Re-reading the details on this, I'm really not sure how Wiseman managed to either convince himself there was nothing to apologize for, or wouldn't be the type of person to push a rebuttal.

I agree with the author's basic premise that Sheldrake seemed to receive unusually harsh treatment. However, I think the author missed the point a bit on this issue - Wiseman does not owe Sheldrake an apology. The problem was that Wiseman chose to look for psi in a way which was valid - "was there a change in the dog's behaviour, especially a change which was distinct to her parents, when Pam was on her way home?" He did not find any change in behaviour specific to Pam's return. Sheldrake, on the other hand, chose to look at it in a way which could be ordinary behaviour as well as psi - "how much time did the dog spend at the window the 10 minute periods before and after Pam began her return home?" Sheldrake found that more time was spent at the window during the 10 minutes when Pam was returning than the preceding 10 minutes. However, since the dog tended to start spending more and more time at the window the longer Pam was gone, most 10 minute periods, regardless of whether they corresponded to Pam's return, would show the pattern Sheldrake found.

So Wiseman was correct to say that he did not find evidence of psi (because he actually measured for psi and could not find it) and to agree that he replicated Sheldrake's results that the dog spent more time at the window the longer Pam was gone, because it wasn't a measure for psi.

Linda
(2018-12-08, 07:23 PM)fls Wrote:  Wiseman does not owe Sheldrake an apology. The problem was that Wiseman chose to look for psi in a way which was valid - "was there a change in the dog's behaviour, especially a change which was distinct to her parents, when Pam was on her way home?" He did not find any change in behaviour specific to Pam's return. Sheldrake, on the other hand, chose to look at it in a way which could be ordinary behaviour as well as psi - "how much time did the dog spend at the window the 10 minute periods before and after Pam began her return home?" Sheldrake found that more time was spent at the window during the 10 minutes when Pam was returning than the preceding 10 minutes. However, since the dog tended to start spending more and more time at the window the longer Pam was gone, most 10 minute periods, regardless of whether they corresponded to Pam's return, would show the pattern Sheldrake found.
There are several reasons why I'm inclined to reject what you say:

1)          Sheldrake used random numbers to determine the time when Pam would return home. This was done after Pam had left home. Thus the dog had no 'data' on which he could anticipate the return of his owner.

2)          The records of the dog's behaviour were assessed blind by people who did not know the return time.

3)          Sheldrake did one or two experiments in which Pam was instructed not to return home that day at all. These showed no sign of canine anticipation.

I think Sheldrake' experiments - though simple - are far more difficult to debunk than people seem to believe.
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