Friday, April 19, 2013

Rupert Sheldrake: Science Set Free

     Rupert Sheldrake, a British biologist, continues to challenge and upset the scientific status quo -- and hopefully stimulate some necessary change.

     Dr. Sheldrake has recently published a book, Science Set Free, which spells out his current views of what he calls "the scientific creed."  I won't list or summarize the "ten dogmas":  Dr. Sheldrake does it himself, right here, in an on-line version of the introduction to his book.    

     He also recently spoke at a conference on "The Electric Universe" in Albuquerque, New Mexico.  In his presentation, Dr. Sheldrake challenged what he calls "ten dogmas" of modern science.  (You can watch him here.) 

     Apparently, he really grates on the nerves of the gatekeepers of Establishment science.  And no wonder, really, since he has directly challenged them.  When he gave a "TED Talk" a few months ago, they pulled it off of their YouTube channel. (There was a large outcry, and it is available again, for now.  Listen to it yourself, if you have the time, and see if you think it should have been censored.)

     What Thomas Kuhn famously called "paradigm shifts"  occur from time to time in the field of science.  Perhaps Dr. Sheldrake is part of such a paradigm shift.  All things considered, I might rather call it a paradigm expansion.

     I am reminded of an undergraduate history course I took, a long generation ago, from a professor of geophysics.  The course was called, "The History of Science," and one of the books for reading was Anthony Standen's Science is a Sacred Cow. The title says it.

     Perhaps I should note that our alma mater, a small technical university, was largely funded by, and therefore beholden to the perceived needs of, the Vietnam War military-industrial complex. (Same as the current military-industrial complex.)  In those days, we all operated under implicit scientific and philosophical strictures, some of which I perceived, and more of which I had been conditioned to be oblivious to.   Perhaps it is the memory of those days, and that interesting history course, and that (now very old) professor, that makes me perk up and take a special interest in a scientist like Dr. Sheldrake who is willing to shake up the status quo.

*       *       *

     If you find Rupert Sheldrake's ideas and his manner of presentation interesting, here are a few other links -- but it helps if you have already followed the earlier ones:

     *  Part 2 of his speech in Abuquerque.

     *  A televised "trialog" with two young interviewers -- one sympathetic, and one a skeptic.  (Both friendly.)

     *  His ideas about the morphogenetic universe.  A related one about morphic fields and consciousness.

     *  A presentation about the extended mind,  and one about the evolution of telepathy,

Your comments are very welcome -- especially if you have accessed one or more of these links!

No comments:

Post a Comment