Richard and Rupert Discuss Psychic Powers
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This One Time…: Science and the Paranormal – Part 1
Classroom scene. Rupert and Richard sitting at their desks. TED bear and Wiki chameleon sitting at their desks in the background.
Rupert: … And this one time, I discovered Goethe. He had a vision of a different kind of science. A holistic science which integrated direct experience and understanding. Dude, I thought that was so cool cause it didn’t involve breaking everything into pieces and denying the evidence of one’s senses…
Richard: (Pause. Straight face. Eyes moving left to right, awkwardly. Woo meter oscillating but staying in the green band) Aha….
Rupert: … And this one time, I read this book called “The Structure of Scientific Revolutions”, by Thomas Kuhn. It was so cool cause it made me realise that the mechanistic theory of life was just a collectively held model of reality; nothing but another belief system. (woo meter oscillating in the yellow yellow band now) Where is it…? Aha! Here, you can borrow it, dude… (throws Kuhn’s book to Dawkins’ face from his pile. Punch-like sound. Richard gets some bruises. He is starting to get quite pissed off. Woo meter oscillating in the yellow and red bands) So many scientists & philosophers today are still desperately clinging onto the materialist-reductionist model, as if their life depended on it. Ha ha… It is so funny, isn’t it dude? (TED bear pokes its head from the background and goes back to his previous position) Some are absolutely convinced they are defending rationalism, and they don’t even begin to realise that their bigoted, prejudiced, closed-minded scepticism is not that different from the religious dogmatism they seem to fight against so passionately… – not that I have any particular scientist in mind right now, dude ehehe…! (silly laugh – Richard has blushed. Looks bright red like a tomato)
Richard: (clearing his throat, blushing, pissed off. Woo meter oscillating in the red range)
Rupert: … And this one time, after exploring the holistic tradition in biology, I had this incredible moment of insight, and I came up with the idea of mooooorphic resonaaaance!!! (trumpet sound, trumpets giving Richard a fright) A basis for memory in nature… (Richard’s head shakes and pulls a desperate face, eyes blood shot) Ahhhh And I finally realised that a new kind of science was necessary! That was so cool… There you go… you can borrow this one too, dude (throws his book on Morphic Resonance to Dawkins’ face. Punch –like sound).
Richard: oh noooo (Gets an injured eye and more bruises. Woo meter oscillating further up within the red range)
Rupert:… And this one time, in 1982, in Santa Rosa, California, I met this awesome guy called Terence McKenna, who introduced me to the fascinating, mind-boggling, eye-opening world of psychedelics. (Background displaying kaleidoscopic patterns for a bit) Ayahuasca, psilocybin, mescaline… You name it. Terence would have a plantation for it, dude. His gardens were called Botanical Dimensions! Ha, ha, ha ha… (Emphasising “Botanical Dimensions” in a mysterious Terence-McKenna-like voice – silly laughter) No, seriously, dude… (Richard is frustrated, big drop of sweat appears on his forehead and drops off) If you want to understand consciousness and the true nature of reality, DMT is THE ultimate red pill! Here… you need to read this….Cause it is so cool… (throws Richard a book from his desk pile, Rick Strassman’s “DMT, the Spirit Molecule”)
Richard: (speaking to himself, angry, swollen red nose) This guy’s a real douche… (meter staying in the red)
Rupert: … And this one time, I wrote this book called “Dogs that know when their owners are coming home”. You’d never guess what it is about, dude. (pause) Ok, ok, I’ll tell you. It is about my research on dogs that know when their owners are coming home. (Trumpet sound, gives Richard another fright, getting angrier and angrier) Telepathically, that is. Here! You can borrow my book to find out more…(throws his book to Richard’s face, punch-like sound, Richard getting more bruises) Have you got a doggy, dude? Cause I could come over to your house and we could test its telepathic abilities…!
Richard: mmmmhhhhhhhhhhhh (Breathing heavily in despair. Then having a massive fit, dribbling saliva and shaking uncontrollably, eyes closed. Meter indicator starts to go round in circles quite fast, out of control)
Rupert: … And this one time, I worked with this really cute psychic parrot. He had such a close bond with his owner that it almost felt like they were one single consciousness. Ahhh Dude, that parrot could telepathically feel and perceive the same stuff as his owner was feeling and perceiving! (Richard’s ears start to produce smoke, exasperated face) He could read his owner’s mind! For instance, the lady would look at some pictures of naked people in one room, you know, as you do, and the parrot, from a different room would say “Look at my pretty naked body. Look at my pretty naked body” (Silly laughter. Richard’s very angry and frustrated, another large drop of sweat falls from his forehead) That was so cool! Do you think that we could…
Richard: (interrupting, exploding with anger)… Dude, listen to yourself!! Telepathic dogs that know when their owners are coming home???!!! Psychic parrots that are turned on by telepathically looking at photos of naked people???!!! (thought bubble reflects his own take on this subject. Funny dog dressed as a fortune teller, parrot looking at a Playboy mag through a crystal ball) Are you nuts???!!!! I’ve had enough of your codswalloping logorrhea!!! Stop pissing me off or I’ll force you to eat my putrid farts!! (funny loud fart noise, fire coming out of his bottom, burning one of the stars on the background wall and making it fall off, meter readings at the top)
Rupert: Dude, you look a bit stressed out. You really need to calm down… Would you like a nice cup of valerian tea? (offers Richard a cup of tea)
Richard: Why I eyes ya? Why I eyes ya? Why I eyes ya? (Richard head turns into the Oh Long Johnson cat, and makes the sound “Why I eyes ya…” several times, while he shakes in a fit, in exasperation. Meter indicator goes round in circles, out of control. A mini-dog comes out of Sheldrake’s book, which had fallen earlier on Richard’s legs, comes to life starts barking at the Oh Long Johnson Cat. The cat makes an angry sound at the dog, while showing off some silly superhero ninja-like move, while wearing a silly superhero mask, then picks both the book and the dog and throws them away, nearly hitting Rupert’s face, but missing)
Rupert: Whoooow, what was thaaat dude?
Richard: …That was an internet meme alright!!!! A meme is an idea, behaviour, image, video, text or style that spreads from person to person within a culture; it replicates by imitation or any other non-genetic means!!! (Different Oh Long Johnson Cat memes appear in his thought bubble, including a few from South Park’s episode “Faith Hilling”. In the last one Richard himself is dragging his bare bottom on the floor with a silly exasperated face) I coined the bloody word, dude!!!! There!! I have got some homework for your deluded brain! (Richard throws 3 books to Rupert’s face: James Randi’s book “James Randi: Psychic Investigator”, Richard Wiseman’s book “Paranormality: Why We Believe the Impossible”, and Michael Shermer’s “Why People Believe Weird Things”. Rupert gets different bruises, including two different types of flattened nose. Meter indicator oscillating in the red) (Wiki chameleon pokes its head from the background, rises his eyebrows, then moves back to his previous position)
Rupert: Well, that’s funny dude because I also happen to have some homework for your bigoted brain! (throws four books to Richard’s face. Robert McLuhan’s “Randi’s Prize: What Skeptics Say About the Paranormal, Why They are Wrong & Why it Matters”, Chris Carter’s “Psychic Phenomena: the Fall of the House of Skeptics”, Dean Radin’s “The Conscious Universe: The Scientific Truth About Psychic Phenomena” and Russell Targ’s “The Reality of ESP: a Physicist’s Proof of Psychic Abilities”. Richard gets bruised, including funny flattened noses and a few missing teeth).
Richard: (exasperation, anger & frustration takes over – rage man face meme replaces Richard’s face. Growling sound, shaking body, in a kind of fit. FFFFFFFUUUUUUUUUUUUU- appears in the background. Woo meter indicator goes round in circles, out of control. James character dressed as a wizard briefly appears from the left and eats a bite from Rupert’s apple)
Rupert: So, you are pissed off about something huh? Dude, you know what I do when I am angry? I just play some Bach music on my piano. It’s so relaxing…. My shrooms seem to love it too! (thought bubble: shrooms growing from Rupert’s piano) I reckon classical music helps them grow happier and healthier. (Richard’s exasperated. His nose starts bleeding, his ears release more smoke. He is contemplating suicide. Rope hanging from ceiling appears). You know, statistics show there is a significant increase in plants wellbeing when one sends them positive intentions… (thought bubble shows short clip with couple growing seeds, one sending positive intentions, the other negative intentions. Episode from “The Good Life”, titled “I Talk to Trees”) Don’t you think that’s really cool!?…. So what is that gadget you have over there, dude? (Woo meter close up, in the red)
Richard: (calm-before-the-storm kind of tone) Hold on…, uhm, you have no idea why I am angry do you?!!! (exploding now, in anger, getting red in the face, spitting on Rupert… Rupert finds an umbrella and opens it up, it says “Shit, it’s raining”) You belief in psychic powers, dude! You give people false hopes and a belief in something that isn’t real! Look at my pseudoscience meter! Does it look happy to you huh? (woo meter bleeping loudly , bulb on top of meter flashing red, while indicator goes round in circles, out of control) This device is directly wired to my brain! (Richard’s hat opens up, door opening sound, brain exposed so that we can see the meter cable connecting to Richard’s brain) Here’s all the evidence I need! My meter doesn’t lie! (hat closes, door closing sound, brain is covered again) Dude, it’s official! You are a pseudoscientist and a douche!
(Just as Richard finishes his sentence, Nkisi the psychic parrot comes flying from the left. Flapping wings sound. Nikisi drops a poo on Richard’s shoulder, squishy sound. The mini-dog from the “Dogs That Know When Their Owners are Coming Home” book enters the scene from the right, dog steps sound, he stops at Richard’s desk, lifts his leg up and has a wee on Richard’s feet. Wee sound. Rupert covers his mouth with his hand but he can’t help smiling. Richard’s is in a state of shock, constantly blinking, looking left to right and right to left, not believing what has just happened…. Dog leaves, walking towards the left, dog steps sound. End of Part 1, looney cartoons style closing the scene, highlighting Richard’s shocked face)
TO BE CONTINUED….
Coming soon in Parts 2 and 3…
Dolors: Hello my friends! Well, now you know how I have been spending my time during the past few months! I bet youou didn’t know I had a goofy side, did you? Well, it is part of me, and I just had to get it all out there; I couldn’t help it….! Well, if you liked this video; if you really enjoyed it, please press that LIKE button down there. It makes you feel good! Share this video with the world! It is not meant to be sitting there gathering dust. It is meant to be shared and enjoyed and let’s get this discussion going! I think it’s important… And don’t forget to subscribe and write your thoughts in the comments section down there. AND… it would be awesome if you could help support my channel by giving a little donation; doesn’t have to be much but… just a little reward for my work would be infinitely appreciated. And now I will leave you with a little taste of what is coming in parts 2 and 3… (drum roll)
There will a little bit more of this…:
“Richard: … in fact, I am nominating you for being the stupidest pseudoscientist douche in the whoooole Universe! Ha!”
And we’ll definitely find out about this….
“Rupert: … but hold on a second dude, uhm, why is that cable connected to YOUR brain?
Richard: uhm… because, well…. Uhm…. Because it…..”
And we will have some silly bits like this….
“Rupert: … let me take a look dude!
Richard: don’t touch me! Don’t touch me! Get your morphic hands off me! Heeeelp!
Rupert: Oh come on dude, I only want to take a teeny weeny peek!”
And some more controversial bits like this….
“Richard: ha…. Well uhm…. Can we call it perinormal? Please?
Rupert: perinormal??? Hahahahhahahahaha now that’s funny dude!”
And of course…. I’ll just have to throw in some bits like this:
“Richard: oohh…. Ooops… I am feeling a bit queasy… Oh noooo I know this feeling….ohhhh (puking sound, Richard vomits)”
And here is a sneak peek at the other characters that I will bring to the scene, some of which you have already been introduced to but who have not yet shown much action… ! There’s going to be Dean, Graham, James, TED and Wiki… Shall I throw in Deepak too….? What do you think?
And… if time and money allows, I am already thinking of writing and animating part 4, which will be…. (drum roll) Spliffer’s party! The party where everybody in both camps mingles together!
Alright my friends… well, it is time for me to get back to work! Until next time, hasta la vista, amigos! Aaaand this one time…. 😉
Rupert, Richard, TED the bear, Oh Long Johnson Cat, Rage Guy Fffffffffuuuuuuuuuu-, James the Wizard, Wiki the chameleon, N’kisi the psychic parrot, random mini-dog born in a book who knows when its owner is coming home.
Acknowledgements & Credits:
Script, voice overs, design, animation, production and editing by Cracking the Nutshell (Dolors, a.k.a. the Spanish woman babbling on the right of the screen right now).
I dedicate this video to you Steve. Without you, all this work would not have been possible. You inspired me to take a risk, to showcase my crazy goofy side. You inspired me to come up with the American Pie and South Park ideas… You showed me how to use After Effects, from scratch. You encouraged me to keep on creating, improvising – one blink at a time. I am infinitely grateful for having met you; it’s been an awesome ride! (when I am rich, I get to keep all my millions though, alright?)
Images, Clips & Sounds
Rupert’s face: I picked 2 single frames (open and closed eyes), which were extensively edited and modified to create a range of different facial expressions. Source: “Rupert Sheldrake, Morphic fields and Healing” – youtube.com/watch?v=UGtLrU0yVd4
Richard’s face: I picked 2 single frames (open and closed eyes), which were extensively edited and modified to create a range of different facial expressions. Source: “Richard Dawkins on the Beauty of Music” – youtube.com/watch?v=3_F4G5sg9c8
South Park style hats: available for purchase at Etsy.com
N’kisi the psychic parrot: sheldrake.org/nkisi/
Oh Long Johnson Cat: youtube.com/watch?v=usSrJGX1Wxs
Oh Long Johnson Cat memes: knowyourmeme.com/memes/oh-long-johnson/photos/trending
Oh Long Johnson Cat t-shirt: available for purchase at cafepress.com/ohlongjohnson
Oh Long Johnson South Park memes: from episode “Faith Hilling” at southpark.cc.com/full-episodes
Rage Guy Fffffffuuuuuuuuuuu- Meme: image used with the explicit permission of its author, Henning Sanden. See Henning’s portfolio at henningsanden.com. Rage guy image can be found at zbrushcentral.com/printthread.php?t=120350&pp=40
Couple growing seeds: episode from The Good Life, “I Talk to the Trees”, Series 3 Episode 4 youtube.com/watch?v=Ri0QVkjN9Hw
Wiki chameleon: design based on Wikipedia logo – Wikipedia.org
TED bear: see TED, the organisation – ted.com
Sound effects: purchased from Pond5.com
What are Your Thoughts…?
• What character do you identify with the most, Rupert or Richard?
• What is your attitude towards the so-called paranormal?
• Have you read the available literature on Psi research, including peer-reviewed publications?
• What do you think of the popular use of terms such as woo or pseudo-science?
• How do new paradigms within science take place?
• Is the presence of large amounts of scientific evidence enough to replace an outdated paradigm? Or, as a culture, do we also need to let go of our biases and dogmatic attitudes towards currently unexplained phenomena so that real progress can be made?
For more information on some of the issues raised, please see links below:
More information – food for thought:
N’kisi, the psychic parrot:
Short video clip: youtube.com/watch?v=2UX4d2nb7yU
Rupert Sheldrake’s site – info on The N’kisi Project: sheldrake.org/nkisi/
Rupert Sheldrake on Terence Mckenna:
London real interview exerpt: youtube.com/watch?v=J9OrsjudJ6U
Sheldrake, McKenna and Abraham Trialogues: sheldrake.org/audios/the-sheldrake-mckenna-abraham-trialogues
Use of psychedelics to treat stress, PTSD, anxiety, depression, addiction and other health conditions: reset.me
Rupert Sheldrake vs Richard Dawkins on Psi Scepticism:
Short video clip taken from one of Rupert Sheldrake's talks: youtube.com/watch?v=ZXZIv2zXWWc
London Real interview excerpt – Sheldrake on Dawkins: youtube.com/watch?v=lH48g8DQDyA
Sheldrake’s website info on the Richard Dawkins' saga: sheldrake.org/reactions/richard-dawkins-comes-to-call
Rupert Sheldrake on James Randi: sheldrake.org/reactions/james-randi-a-conjurer-attempts-to-debunk-research-on-animals
Sheldrake’s banned TED talk: youtube.com/watch?v=JKHUaNAxsTg
Sheldrake’s interview with Alex Tsakiris from Skeptiko.com: youtube.com/watch?v=kAuxXvNVhgA
Gabriel D. Roberts article on disinfo.com: http://disinfo.com/2014/08/secret-science-boards-ted-question-consciousness/
Rupert Sheldrake’s view on the controversies and debates with so-called skeptics (includes articles on Wikipedia, TED, the telepathy debate, James Randi, Richard Wiseman, etc): sheldrake.org/reactions/controversies
Book on the Wikipedia Saga:
James Randi's "Evidence" against ESP turns out to be fabricated?: http://disinfo.com/2014/08/james-randis-evidence-esp-turns-fabricated/
Skeptics or Dogmatists?: skepticalinvestigations.org/New/Mediaskeptics/
On the use of terms such as pseudo-science and woo… What real scepticism should be about: skepticalinvestigations.org
Why skeptics are wrong… About psychics and mediums: skeptiko.com/238-why-skeptics-are-wrong-about-psychics-mediums/
The evidence for Psi – Selected Peer-Reviewed Publications: deanradin.com/evidence/evidence.htm
Is materialism Baloney?: Bernardo Kastrup interview on Septiko skeptiko.com/248-bernardo-kastrup-materialism-is-baloney/
Richard Dawkins talk on the Paranormal: Paranormal or Perinormal? youtube.com/watch?v=wkFLyUrWG-s
Richard Dawkins questions James Randi on the Perinormal: youtube.com/watch?v=rKRpiBruWPc
What is Wrong with the Paranormal? – by Richard Dawkins: bikerman.co.uk/images/books/Dawkins/articles/What%E2%80%99s%20Wrong%20with%20the%20Paranormal.pdf
Richard Dawkins Foundation: richarddawkins.net
The Skeptic Magazine: skeptic.org.uk
James Randi Educational Foundation: randi.org
“Nothing is more curious than the self-satisfied dogmatism with which mankind at each period of its history cherishes the delusion of the finality of its existing modes of knowledge” Alfred North Whitehead
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