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Hmmm...even if it was De Vere, don't you think that he got help? I am no expert, but I always thought that it was common knowledge that there was more than one writer of the Shakespeare material.

I find this Shakespearian controversy fascinating for its similarities to the controversy surrounding the paranormal.

Mark Alexander:
"I read Ogburn, I'm interested in its argument, I approach my professor with a copy I bought for him because I wanted someone I respected to examine the argument and to discuss its merits with me. He dismissed it without examination, a response contrary to all that was implied in his teaching. I left the book with him anyway, somewhat baffled. I approached my best friend. He would not look at the argument either. I was astonished. Two brilliant, thinking minds who would not even examine the argument, who simply dismissed it out of hand. Later, I discovered my professor had given the book to another graduate student, a protégé. When I finally asked her about what she thought of the argument, she would only say that the Stratfordian professors cited were obvious idiots, but Ogburn's rhetorical stance was faulty in places, and besides he disses Sidney and she loved Sidney, her Master's Thesis was on Sidney, so Ogburn's argument had to be untenable."

Larry Boy

I agree with the comparison. I also think the resistance Gary Taubes has received over Good Calories, Bad Calories is instructive. His book more than anything else is about the bad science the lead to the now standard view of dietary fat and cholesterol. He essentially dismantles their view. Yet there is excuse after excuse offered in its place.

The eight part interview here:

http://www.scientificblogging.com/seth_roberts/interview_with_gary_taubes_part_1

Is worth reading by anyone interested in how science is done - and how it should be. as he says in part 8:

"You know…this is what pathological science is: a field in which you can find a reason to explain away all negative evidence. In pathological science, it’s no longer possible to refute the hypothesis. Remember, science is about trying to test your hypothesis and refute it, but in a field like this, if you test it and come up with a counter-example, the counter-example is just explained away with whatever comes to mind. Negative evidence never means anything."

Same thing is going on in cosmology. I wrote a 2500 word exploration of that just this week at the Daily Grail.

Most everyone claims they are 'open-minded', but very few actually are.

Problem is, Michael H, people generally have an open mind... towards things within their beliefs. Once you get outside of that? "Openmindedness" goes right out the window.

"open minded" I personally never met a person that I thought was open minded including myself. One of my big disappointments in life was finding that Buddhist monks were not that open minded. I thought for sure when I started my own personal search for truth I would find Buddhism the religion I would take to and follow.

We are a "product" of our beliefs. I had to smile at the person that went to a professor for their input and found the professor not interested in anything outside their existing paradigm.

Professors might be one of the last places to look for an open-minded person. With the hundreds of seminars I taught at organizations with all levels of education it appeared to me the most open to new ideas were the people with a two-year associates degree.

This was only my perception and not due to any scientific research. In fact the most difficult seminar I ever taught was with a group of research scientists with PhD’s. I went to the mountaintop many times over that group of people and almost gave up being a consultant with that experience.

Nothing can shut down the mind faster than thinking we know. If you want to see how open minded a person is bring up politics or religion and their response is an excellent indicator of their ability of having an open mind. Can I add reincarnation to that list? Sorry my idea of humor.

What I discovered in my seminars was that those people that introduced themselves as having an open mind never did and those rare few (5 out of 4000) that introduced themselves as not having an open mind were more open to what I was teaching. Never met an ultra skeptic or a religious fundamentalist that did not think they had an open mind.

I guess my take on this is that it's a fascinating argument, and that we'll never know, and that it doesn't change how I feel about his work -- whoever he was. I can see why a Shakespeare scholar would have a much more emotional reaction or rejection than I do, and it is interesting that the line, "what's in a name" comes from his work. Maybe he foresaw this very discussion, or if it was De Vere, perhaps that line was his way of comforting himself over not getting credit for his work.

I just posted the following at Thunderbolts in response to an Ayn Rand supporter, which I felt was appropriate to this discussion as well:

Adherence to any belief system, no matter how rational it may seem, can only prevent someone from uncovering truth. It goes on in every field, including philosophy, to an alarming degree.

True objectivity involves looking beyond all beliefs. Ayn Rand never saw that, and as a result became transfixed by her own.

As Barbara wrote, we'll probably never know with certainty the answer to the Shakespeare question. What is fascinating though, is the resistance put forth by the defenders of the orthodox view. The same resistance shows up all over the place. Ask Dean Radin if you don't believe me.

Of course, the experts in any field would all just tell me that I shouldn't discuss any of these things, since I don't have the 'expertise' that they do.

Twain was right. Don't let schooling interfere with your education.

Yeah, I hear what you guys are saying. I got into a long argument on this blog with Marcos a while back, and looking back on it, it seemed that he was probably right, at the time. Marcos, if you're reading, sorry about not admitting that you were right earlier. To be fair, I came up with some other possibilities that seemed more likely afterward, and both Marcos and I were probably assuming things that we may not have safely been able to assume, but given the assumptions that we were making, he made a better argument than me. I have to work on being open-minded more.

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