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65 of 78 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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This review is from: The Science Delusion: Freeing the Spirit of Enquiry (Hardcover)
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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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 4 Nov 2012 12:44:17 GMT
What I found impressive about the writing is that the text is meticulously polite and diplomatic. He is disarmingly honest about the problems with the "science", a "science" that is really a World View rather than anything built honestly on authentic scientific experiments or principles. Politics comes into research along with dis-confirmation bias. The same knowledge filter that Michael Cremo identifies in his book Forbidden Archaelogy. Even if you disagree with much here this is an important book for anyone concerned with the well being of society.

Posted on 20 Feb 2013 12:44:39 GMT
I don't understand - has the Lorber study been debunked? I thought the argument is whether the person in question had 5% normal brain mass or 15%! Hardly makes much difference. The odd thing I found is that when I brought the matter up to friends, in almost every case someone knew someone like that - had a friend who has a CAT scan and discovered that a significant chunk (usually 1/3) of their brain was missing! One of them is in fact a well-known anthropologist.

In reply to an earlier post on 31 Jan 2014 19:07:19 GMT
M B says:
As Lewin points out, this was Lorbers party piece, and meant to be deliberately provocative... but he never wrote it up and published it.
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