What is it that leads a skeptic to begin questioning the truth of scientific orthodoxy? In this 2014 article Charles Eisenstein used the experience of Michael Shermer, publisher of Skeptic Magazine and defender of scientific orthodoxy, to explain.
Eisenstein says that it isn’t the data set, or a single evidence that leads one to change their beliefs. It is the inherently subjective way of knowing the truth behind the experience that leads one to question their beliefs. The experience, which was immediate, subject, and irreproducible in the laboratory, spoke Shermer’s faith in the primacy of the scientific method as a way of knowing.
Implications for AI
For Shermer to publish an article detailing his experience of the supernatural in one of the top science magazines in the world is a miracle. His humility and courage to reveal his experience, and the emotions it brought about, shows us that science is nowhere near creating a complete description of reality. That even the most stubborn skeptic can intuit that there are other ways of knowing, and science is all about keeping no judgement as long as the riddle remains unsolved.
But the results of the researches in the new sciences, shows us that some of the mysteries of the past has an explanation, and such results have been gathered with some of the most rigorous methodologies [see Setting Standards For Studying Distant Healing and Essential Requirements For A Fruitful Consciousness Research]. The reality governed by classical physics is not the complete picture. There are more and more evidences showing us that death does not end our existence, and our intelligence is not “housed” by our brain. To ignore such evidence is to ignore the very foundations of scientific inquiry.
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