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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well said.
This book deserves its given five stars, so well put together, showing the history of human thought in many of the sciences, and the dogmas that blight our understanding and evolution.

There are too few scientists out there that are willing to discuss taboo subjects as sixth sense, self healing , and the interconnectedness of all things.

Many thanks...
Published 6 months ago by Colin wood

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63 of 76 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Polarised views are inevitable with such a book.
A thought provoking book, from an interesting scientist. Sheldrake is a free thinker, with a first class mind. For what I suspect are ideological reasons, both his research and his ideas appear to get up the nose of dyed-in-the-wool materialists, but I find his willingness to research everyday human experience extremely refreshing. Some of his experiments, like his papers...
Published on 11 Feb 2012 by M B


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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well said., 10 Mar 2014
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This book deserves its given five stars, so well put together, showing the history of human thought in many of the sciences, and the dogmas that blight our understanding and evolution.

There are too few scientists out there that are willing to discuss taboo subjects as sixth sense, self healing , and the interconnectedness of all things.

Many thanks Rupert Sheldrake.
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32 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Book of the year, 5 Mar 2012
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As the author of [...] I get dozens of books from writers hoping to either bridge the gap between the two fields, or use one to ridicule and negate the other.

Finally, at long last, after fifteen years, here is the first credible, thoughtful, perceptive and imaginative book by a scientific mind which explains why science is floundering on all fronts, and why its chief proponents seem so strangely detached from reality. It turns out they are! Science has decayed from an intriguing humanitarian investigation, coloured and directed with feeling and intuition - the chief levers by which original discoveries were made - to a dry, unreadable chore in which the self is actually abandoned. As a result, science is losing its credibility at precisely the same rate at which it is chopping up and dispensing with its humanity.

As Sheldrake points out, the scientific habit of presenting experimental activity as if it performed itself, without a thinking being at the helm, is a deceptive front intended to feign impartiality. But because the performer disappears, it causes the audience, too, to wander off disinterested.

This steady reductionism has caused science itself to be left behind by the advancing human mind, like a sandcastle eroded by the tide. The book shows how imaginative and adventurous science COULD be. And it turns out science turns out as an adventure where the human mind itself mingles with reality. This is a book anyone in the sciences should read, today, before that coffee, before they do anything else.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Opening the mind, 15 Mar 2014
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This is one of the most important books of this century. Rupert Sheldrake, with the benefit of serious conventional scientific qualifications, takes the scientific establishment head on by challenging the straitjacket that they have imposed on themselves (and us). He is the modern day Galileo, taking things that clearly occur but are ignored by modern science because they cannot be explained within current scientific thinking. Most famously, "The Dogs Who Know Their owners Are coming Home", the subject of a separate earlier study, charts the ability of animals to know that something is happening far beyond hearing or sight. This and many other examples of unexplained phenomena, are studied in this book and theories propounded as to what may be enabling these things to happen. the theories challenge the whole basis of traditional modern scientific thinking.
This is a must read.
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63 of 76 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Polarised views are inevitable with such a book., 11 Feb 2012
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A thought provoking book, from an interesting scientist. Sheldrake is a free thinker, with a first class mind. For what I suspect are ideological reasons, both his research and his ideas appear to get up the nose of dyed-in-the-wool materialists, but I find his willingness to research everyday human experience extremely refreshing. Some of his experiments, like his papers on the dogs 'Jaytee', and 'Kane' seem solid to me, and rather interesting.

Parts of `The Science Delusion' seem plausible to me, other parts rather less so. A disappointing example of the latter is Sheldrake's reference of an article by Lewin (1980) 'Is Your Brain Really Necessary', which he uses to support his statement about a young guy with an IQ of 126 and a first class mathematics degree, with a brain only 5% of normal size (pp194) "His mental activity and his memory were still able to function more or less normally". I came across quite a few other tenuous claims in this book, which is a pity.

However, on the upside, there is also plenty of good solid stuff in here. If you are reasonably open minded, and don't know much about Sheldrake's work, I think you'll enjoy it. It's also comprehensively referenced, so you can check out Sheldrakes's claims for yourself, and make up your own mind.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book, 12 Feb 2014
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This review is from: The Science Delusion (Paperback)
I love how this guy thinks. I have hated the way science has been getting so over confident with itself, pushing ideas as fact when there is clearing no evidence for some of it. I hope this book pushes scientists to start looking outside of their indoctrinated views of the world.
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5.0 out of 5 stars a book for the future, 9 Sep 2014
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This review is from: The Science Delusion (Paperback)
The philosopher, Ouspensky, says somewhere that human beings can't change with the flow. He argues that we are stuck like machines. What happens is that we grow old and we die. Then new people are born and they fit to change better, and so it is they, rather than you and I, who accept the new ideas like the hand accepts the glove.

The new becomes second nature. Here is an example. We are all born in a world of cars, but for thousands of years, the horse populated our towns and cities. Who today can even start to fathom a world without the automobile? But the automobile is only 100 years old. Humans born in the late Victorian era, in other words, who died a few decades into the 20th Century, still lived in the world of horses. The world of Julius Caesar and Napolean are more real to the old Victorians than our world of traffic jams.

This is what Neils Bohr meant when he said progress was the old generation dying and the new generation accepting the new science. This is progress.

One day, the ideas in this book will be the norm to the scientists being born tomorrow.
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163 of 202 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Powerful challenge to the materialist worldview, 5 Jan 2012
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For those of us who are suspicious of the claims of materialism it's astonishing, and also heartening, to hear a scientist agree that it's a hidebound ideology, dismiss the belief in determinism as a 'delusion' and call on the 'high priests' of science to abandon their 'fantasy of omniscience'.

This all sounds rather rhetorical, and the title seems to have been chosen as a counterblast to Richard Dawkins. Actually this is as polemical as his language gets; the book certainly has little about religion. For the most part it's a dispassionate expose of materialism's failures, and a plea for scientists to open up to new thinking. Despite his reputation as a heretic, gained from his controversial theory of morphic resonance and his psychic research, Sheldrake has impeccable credentials as a biochemist - Cambridge, Harvard, ground-breaking research and a stint in India helping to develop high-yield crops - that demand respect.

Sheldrake identifies ten core beliefs that scientists take for granted: that people and animals are complex mechanisms rather than goal-driven organisms; that matter is unconscious and human consciousness an illusion; that the laws of nature are fixed; that nature is purposeless; that all biological inheritance is carried via material structures like genes, and so on. Each is the basis of a chapter, in which he draws attention to unresolved tensions, problems and dilemmas. Most scientists think these will eventually be ironed out. However Sheldrake argues they are symptoms of a deeper malaise, and that the failure of the materialist model to make good on its predictions will eventually lead to its demise.

A key idea for Sheldrake is the existence of information fields that act as a kind of universal memory. Once a form or activity has come into being it provides the blueprint for other similar effects, which may then multiply with ease. The classic example is the formation of crystals, for which Sheldrake has elsewhere provided evidence, but in principle he thinks it can apply to anything, from the development of organisms to the acquisition of new skills.

This has implications for cosmology, he believes. Far from being set in stone since the Big Bang, nature's laws should be considered as evolving habits that grow stronger through repetition; the universe is an ongoing creative process, of which human creativity is part. In biology the machine metaphors beloved of materialist thinkers are misleading, he insists. No machine starts from small beginnings, grows, forms new structures within itself and then reproduces itself. Yet plants and animals do this all the time and to many people - especially those like pet owners and gardeners who deal with them on a daily basis - it's 'blindingly obvious' that they are living organisms. For scientists to see them as machines propelled only by ordinary physics and chemistry is an act of faith.

Despite the excitement over gene science in the past two decades, and the $100 billion biotechnology boom that it fuelled, only a very limited genetic basis has been discovered for human disease, he points out. The genes associated with development have turned out to be almost identical in mice, humans, flies and reptiles, offering no insights as to why these forms differ so dramatically.

On the subject of consciousness Sheldrake points out that even materialists can't decide what causes it, which is why there are so many rival theories. He quotes Galen Strawson, himself a materialist, who is scathing about the way fellow philosophers are willing to deny the reality of their own experience - testament to the power of the materialist faith. He approves Strawson's interest in panspychism, the doctrine that all matter is invested with mental as well as physical aspects.

There is just one chapter on psychic research: this covers telepathy and precognition, with especial focus on animal telepathy. (The sense of being stared at is covered in a chapter on consciousness.) There is also a chapter on mechanistic medicine, in which he acknowledges its record of success, but questions whether it is the only kind that works.

This is a superb and timely book. My own academic research has convinced me that psychic phenomena genuinely occur, and that the rejection of it is driven largely by ideology and personal antipathy. That being the case, it's hard to conceive that the materialist model is the whole story. Most scientists will brush off Sheldrake's arguments as a persistence of discredited vitalism, but it may encourage some to be open about the more sympathetic views that Sheldrake claims they often express to him in private.

There's also a need for a book like this that's authoritative, wide ranging and accessible, and that challenges the materialist paradigm for the benefit of a wider audience. That applies especially to young people whose ideas have not yet been shaped by it, and their curiosity tamed and dulled as a result. It would be good to think that their generation may have a greater opportunity to question the prevailing dogmas and perhaps eventually forge a new science, one that describes more closely what humans observe and feel about their world.

(Robert McLuhan is author of Randi's Prize: What sceptics say about the paranormal, why they are wrong and why it matters)
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83 of 103 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An enjoyable thought experiment, 19 Feb 2012
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M. D. Holley (Kent, UK) - See all my reviews
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Sheldrake throws a number of completely off the wall ideas at you. It is good to have comfortable assumptions challenged, and many of his ideas are attractive, making the book enjoyable and easy to read. He has a very affable style, is rarely haughty or arrogant, and does not seek to elevate his ideas by using pretentious or pseudo complex language. I enjoyed his company. Many of his criticisms of science contain some truth, and it does no harm to be reminded of the need to remain sceptical of scientific orthodoxy.

Are his conclusions sound though? The scientific orthodoxy he describes is largely a figment of his imagination. I doubt there are many scientists who would sign up to his ten creeds. One of the book's main weaknesses is that Sheldrake continually puts words in scientists' mouths, seemingly with the intent of making them look foolish. Having created an imaginary monster, he spends the rest of the book in quixotic fashion demolishing it.

In his own ideas, Sheldrake is a Christian mystic. He seems strongly attracted to the supernatural , and to religion. The religious theme is so prevalent throughout that you could view this as much a book of religion as a book of science. After his theory of `morphic resonance' is set out, I read many pages wondering what observations this theory was meant to explain. Not until two thirds of the way through did this become clear: many of his ideas support religious concepts such as the immortal soul, life after death, fate, and the power of prayer (see page 210 and page 340). While he claims to be `freeing the spirit of enquiry', Sheldrake too is captive to his own agenda, just like the scientists he criticises. He is very selective with his facts and ignores masses of evidence where it does not fit in with his own beliefs. When confronted with an unknown, he is too ready to accept a supernatural answer rather than to continue the hard work of enquiry and research.

The chapter on telepathy and animal intuition was the one which contained most evidence to back its ideas, and I was surprised to find this the most interesting part of the book (I qualify this by saying that I would now like to read a second observer's analysis of the same evidence).

In the end though he arrives at some breathtakingly barmy conclusions, of which my favourite was that money should be diverted from conventional medical research into investigating the power of prayer!

For all its faults, it is worth remembering that there is no monopoly on good ideas, and this book is nothing if not thought provoking.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very interesting book indeed, 1 July 2014
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This review is from: The Science Delusion (Paperback)
The whole discussions around science and a presentation by Rupert Sheldrake caught my attention and lead it to this book. Can only recommend it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible, 28 Jun 2014
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This review is from: The Science Delusion (Paperback)
One of the best books I have ever read. You can tell that Rupert's thinking is out of the box. I have read this book three times already, I am reading it for the fourth time as every time I read something I missed the last time around. I cannot recommend it enough, it will make you think that's for sure.
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The Science Delusion
The Science Delusion by Rupert Sheldrake (Paperback - 6 Dec 2012)
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