In this video, Dr. Rupert Sheldrake, of Clare College (a college within the University of Cambridge) outlines ten beliefs that have become dogma for the majority of scientists and well-educated people. There isn’t time in the video to get into sufficient detail, but I will definitely be reading his book, “The Science Delusion,” as many of these remind me of issues I have continually brought up with my atheist/materialist friends.
If you don’t think there is dogma in science, head over to YouTube and check out some of the responses to this video, including calls for it to be censored. For several years I have been convinced that we have as much to fear from scientific dogma as from religious dogma. “We already know that such and such is impossible. How dare you entertain these ideas.”
Dogma is dogma, and fundamentalism is not exclusively the domain of uneducated religious fanatics. Perhaps we have a great deal more to fear from fundamentalism that does not know it is fundamentalism, that wears a lab coat and comes to us in the guise of scientific knowledge. I am a great supporter of science, to the chagrin of some of my religious friends. But I grew up a religious fundamentalist. I know what fundamentalism, and the dogma that gives it life, looks like. Where science frees us from fundamentalism it does us a service. Where it leads to a new fundamentalism, it drops us in the same ditch on the other side of the road.
Here, according to Dr. Sheldrake, are the ten dogmas of science:
1. Nature is Mechanical (i.e., works like a machine)
2. The Total Amount of Matter and Energy Always the Same
3. The Laws of Nature are Fixed
4. Matter is Unconscious
5. Nature is Purposeless
6. All Biological Inheritance is Material (i.e., coming through genes only)
7. Memories are Stored as Material Traces in the Brain
8. Minds are Confined to Brains
9. Psychic Phenomena are Illusory
10. Mechanistic (Western) Medicine is the Only Kind that Really Works