Biologist Rupert Sheldrake stabbed at lecture


34 Responses to “Biologist Rupert Sheldrake stabbed at lecture”

  1. Takuan says:

    don’t nit-pick.Too many others have spoiled that for us. Look for a tangent and re-launch.

  2. Spherical Time says:

    Oh. I was just outside the room when this happened, and was one of the first people on the scene afterward. I was offered the knife that stabbed Dr. Sheldrake by one of the conference attendees, but was smart enough not to touch it.

    I didn’t realize that it had made BoingBoing. I must have missed that. I was sort of busy that afternoon.

  3. Jonathan Badger says:

    I’m not defending stabbing anyone, but calling Sheldrake a biologist (or any kind of scientist) is a bit of a stretch. His work on mystic “morphic fields” and other pseudoscience doesn’t “spark controversy” any more than Uri Geller’s spoon bending does. Yes, Sheldrake has a doctorate in biochemistry, but degrees do not a scientist make; publishing repeatable research in peer reviewed journals does.

    • Anonymous says:

      He’s a real scientisits. Scientisits explore then unknown and thats exactly what hes doing he studying and gathering evidence and facts about the subjust of telepathy and he explains it in complete scienitifical terms. He has a different idea. And I believe it

  4. Anonymous says:

    so he’s a biologist, but he believes in prayer and healing touch? hmm

  5. tyrell_turing says:

    Jonathan (#8) is dead on the money.

  6. Enochrewt says:

    There was so much tissue damage because Sheldrake pulled the thing out himself. If you are ever stabbed or pierced by something DO NOT PULL IT OUT. That’s what doctors are for.

    And doesn’t anyone teach their younglings how to shank a guy anymore? Who stabs for their thigh first?

  7. Skep says:

    Ditto on #8.

    Compelling as the harrowing account is, Sheldrake is not a scientist. He’s more of an alternate scientist–which, of course is an oxymoron.

  8. Wickedashtray says:


    My feelings exactly. The world desperately needs more scientists (particularly in his chosen field) so this is a tragic waste of an education.

  9. noen says:

    Funny how non traditional pratictioners always turn to real medicine in an emergency. Shouldn’t he have allowed his morphic fields to spontateously re-generate his leg? Oh, yeah, he would have died otherwise, I forgot.

  10. Anonymous says:

    I celebrate Dr. Sheldrake is ok now.
    Once more,reading some of the comments here I realize that these so called “materialist scientists” sound much like religious fundamentalists,in the sense that they “believe” that certain things like ESP are impossible,therefore not true.I do not think anything is imposible in principle,and also think that especially scientists should abstain from using that word,as I consider it unscientific and dogmatic.
    There is a dense literature concerning ESP,involving some very bright scientists,and it is really ignorant for educated people to just dismiss or ignore this data.
    Thanks for the interesting comments


  11. Anonymous says:

    Hi guys. Now this is old news, but my post concerns a problem of communication I keep observing on internet discussions. And that is ANONYMITY. I dislike anonymity in general. But when it is sported by people who at best have smug remarks to offer, and at worst are simply offensive, I am seriously provoked. It’s simply PATHETIC slandering a publicly outspoken person while protected by the the veil of anonymity. There is absolutely nothing whatsoever admirable about it. That’s all I have to say. Whether or not Sheldrake is a ‘real’ scientist or a ‘real’ nutcase is beyond the scope of my criticism.

    Keep it real.

    Brage Lailasson Grastvedt Bjørndahl, Oslo, Norway.

  12. gd23 says:

    #21 some Indigenous Australian tribes

    I was reminded of Orwell’s account of being shot in the neck

  13. anthropop says:

    The nazi youth publicly assaulted and killed leaders of the logical positivism movement in Germany before World War II. Luckily, many moved before the real shit came down. Fortunately for the U.S., many of the positivists relocated to Universities in the Midwest and can be thanked for the few liberal streaks in the cornbelt.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Dear Rupert,

    I am sorry to hear of this vicious attack on your personage. I have read your materials, which has caused me to think. Thank you for that. However, may I make a simple suggestion to whit I would have thought a biologist might of have a working knowledge thereof: If you have a blade of several inches stuck into your body the least successful thing to do, in terms of overall survival, is to yank the intruding slab of metal out without nearby immediate medical personal and services. Usually speaking such intrusions into the biological bosy, while inflicting damage, will also serve as a damn against certain things biologists usually call blood vessels. Yanking such things out with little thought usually result in volumes of blood spurting out. Perhaps you missed this in your biology training. Best & fast recovery! And Rupert, don’t yank anything else out, ok?

  15. Takuan says:

    Dear Spherical:

    If there are enough witnesses to preclude any later accusations against yourself, ALWAYS get control of the weapon.

    One of the most basic doctrines of first response is SECURE THE AREA.

    Besides, if you have the chance to quietly pocket it, you can always sell it on eBay.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Rupert Sheldrake is one of my favorite thinkers in the world. His ideas have always given me feelings of joy and hope and I appreciate his dry wit. It is now July 2010 and I just found out that he had been stabbed in 2008. How grateful I am to learn that he is all right. HIs account of his recovery is so gracious and mindful that it gives me pleasure to read it. He had a better time being stabbed than many people have on their honeymoon.

    If I am ever able to meet him or even see him in person I will consider myself fortunate in deed.

    Anita Lovitt

  17. airship says:

    I think you’re missing the main point here. His immediate reaction to trauma was to pull his pants down. Admirable. I believe that will now be my default reaction to anything that happens to me that is surprising, painful, or disturbing.

  18. Alexis says:

    It seems a little strange to mention that his ideas often spark controversy when it has, apparently, no relationship to why he was stabbed. Mentioning it suggests that it should be relevant, but as Sheldrake himself said, the guy was clearly disturbed in unrelated ways.

  19. Mark Espiner says:

    Tourniquets are not the best way of dealing with a stab wound like this. I’ve become a bit evangelical about spreading the word of how to treat someone who’s been stabbed and hopefully save their life.
    My dad wrote about a first aid technique for knife victims for the UK Guardian after a spate of stabbings here in Britain. It could be vital reading for you. Read it here:,,1781770,00.html

  20. Takuan says:

    hey, public figures are public. If your average, easy-going nutjob is looking for a source of the voices in his head to stab to shut them up, why not the guy on the stage? I mean,why do ya suppose I’M here? (you seem to be talking really loud….c’mere a second would ya?….)

  21. Takuan says:

    good article. Very good.

    “If a large artery is severed by a stabbing in the groin or upper thigh, the torrent of blood released under pressure will be obvious externally. It is simple to staunch the haemorrhage by applying very firm pressure just above the injury: the victim must first be pulled out flat; then, kneeling on the same side as the injury, the first-aider uses a clenched fist to apply very firm pressure just above the wound and on a line between it and the belly button.

    A second fist, applied to the abdomen just below the belly button, pushing the belly wall hard against the spine, can also be used if the bleeding seems unabated. This action compresses the main artery to the lower body and both legs. A tourniquet or bandage cannot achieve sufficient direct pressure to control bleeding from the large artery in the groin.

    Should the stab wound be higher in the abdomen, and a vital organ or large artery lacerated, there may be little external bleeding but the life-threatening haemorrhage will continue as the abdo-minal cavity fills with blood. The only thing a first-aider can do is apply the fist pressure as high as possible, just below the breast bone, and trust some control can be achieved until expert help arrives.

    If more people realise they have the power to save lives, then these tragedies could be dramatically reduced.

    The golden rule is to stop the flow with your immediate effort, and hang on, no matter how tired you feel or how much discomfort you seem to be causing. Your reassurances to the victim that he or she will not die will be based on a very real likelihood that this will be true.”

  22. jody says:

    While the article reveals that Sheldrake seems to be a well-adjusted human being, many of his ideas are still mostly bunkum.

  23. Elorin says:

    Dear Takuan
    You have a fan. I just thought I’d let you know.

    Adoringly admiring from afar…~E

  24. Takuan says:

    very, very afar I hope. (you look like a nice kid, here’s twenny bucks, get a meal and a bus ticket and forget ya ever saw this joint or ya ever met me.)

  25. Anonymous says:

    Sheldrake is being met with the same skepticism that dogmatics wield on those who challenge the dogma. The Catholic Church refused to look through the telescope when Galileo invited them to. Now mainstream science is doing the same. Interesting that his detractors don’t challenge his data, they simply attack HIM. A cardinal sign that it’s a religion they are trying to defend.

  26. Jake0748 says:

    We read about this like five days ago. I’m sorry he was stabbed and I’m glad he’s getting better. But why post the story again?

  27. cinemajay says:

    Pete, meet repeat:

    /sorry, my html-fu is weak

  28. danegeld says:

    I’m glad Sheldrake is OK and it sounds like he’s going to make a full recovery, it must be terrible for anyone to get stabbed at random like that.

    I’m not altogether surprised there was a schizophrenic in the audience at fringe “science” conference, though. I saw an interview with James Randy, who said part of the reason he’s stopping his $10 million challenge for demonstrating E.S.P / psychic phenomena was because many of the applicants were just straight-forward mentally ill, and there’s no sport in “outing” them.

    There’s a fine line between people who can’t or choose not to intuit the difference between fantasy and reality in the context of a particular field and those who are generally two quarks short of a baryon.

  29. Takuan says:

    perhaps the human thing to do is to follow up to see how he is doing

  30. Anonymous says:

    Guys this is new because it is the victim’s own account in his own words. Xeni acknowledged the earlier post this is an update.

  31. Jake0748 says:

    Yeah, but why not say something like “follow up” in the title of the article? Just nitpicking, but it’s old news.

  32. Stefan Jones says:

    The personal recollection angle is new, so this isn’t a total repeat.

  33. tecnoneil says:


    To be fair, not only has he a double first and a PhD from Cambridge, he was also a Fellow of Clare College, Cambridge and a Research Fellow of the Royal Society. Those are pretty impressive mainstream credentials.

    Is his later work pseudoscience? Most probably, but he’s a cut above Uri Geller.

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