May 2, 2015

In Which Michael Shermer Finds the Time

As I noted here, Rupert Sheldrake challenged professional skeptic Michael Shermer to a debate in 2003. He accepted. And now, a mere twelve years later, that debate will take place.

Michael Shermer, publisher of Skeptic magazine, who was caught giving critiques of  Sheldrake's work without reading it, agreed to debate Sheldrake... if only he could find the time.

In March 2003, Dr Sheldrake challenged Shermer to a debate, which he accepted, and several times and venues were suggested, but all were rejected by Shermer. As of 2009, the debate has still not taken place.

Well, better late than never. The dialogue, hosted by, commenced on May Day with opening statements from both thinkers.

The schedule for the ongoing exchange follows:

  • Materialism in Science, Opening Statements, 1May2015 [live!]
  • Materialism in Science, Responses, 10May2015 [pending]
  • Materialism in Science, Replies, 20May2015 [pending]
  • Mental Action at a Distance, Opening Statements, 1June2015 [pending]
  • Mental Action at a Distance, Responses, 10June2015 [pending]
  • Mental Action at a Distance, Replies, 20June2015 [pending]
  • God and Science, Opening Statements, 1July2015 [pending]
  • God and Science, Responses, 10July2015 [pending]
  • God and Science, Replies, 20July2015 [pending]

Shermer is to be commended for his willingness to engage in a public conversation with Sheldrake. As discussed, such as been assiduously avoided by atheist skeptics for lo these many years.

One hopes it will go better than Graham Hancock's attempt at a face to face debate with Zahi Hawass, in which the latter erupted into a violent temper tantrum at the mere mention of Robert Bauval. After avoiding Hancock's talk and refusing to debate him, Hawass revealed that he had no knowledge of the discoveries of Göbekli Tepi. Such ignorance over matters of fact is the inevitable result of refusal to engage in discussion of anything that challenges your paradigm. How embarrassing.

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