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commented on July 22, 2012
I personally feel that most mainstream scientists are being treated unfairly when it comes to the battle of "those who believe in consciousness, ESP, etc." versus "those who do not believe in these phenomena." There are certainly skeptics who openly look down upon experiments involving consciousness and such, noting that these experiments do not follow the scientific method well.
However, an important point must be made here. As Deepak Chopra has stated, for example, consciousness cannot be verified using conventional scientific means. So institutions such as IONS pursue the "science of consciousness" through unconventional means. I'm not saying that IONS is wrong, in fact I believe IONS does everything right. Yet this type of science cannot be explored through the "material world" so to speak because it involves phenomena that take place out of space=time, namely in the realm of consciousness.
Here's my issue: I feel that consistently mainstream scientists have been sort-of "bashed" unfairly. Mainstream scientists should not be lumped into the group of "those who do not believe in consciousness." In fact, apart from the open skeptics, I believe many scientists do NOT look down upon (or belittle) the study of consciousness. Their entire scientific careers, though, have been based on the scientific method and that's all that they know. Therefore, they do not make an inference on something they do not know how to test.
The only ones who should take any heat, of course, are the skeptics themselves, the ones who openly criticize IONS and other groups' efforts. Yet mainstream scientists should take any of this heat. If you feel mainstream scientists are indeed taking unnecessary criticism for following a disciple they know (but not bashing the study of consciousness), please explain with examples. If not, of course, please explain as well.
I believe most of all if we can remove this "us vs. them" mentality, we will all be better off.