- Hardcover: 360 pages
- Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton Ltd (1 Sept. 1973)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0340173688
- ISBN-13: 978-0340173688
- Product Dimensions: 21.8 x 14.5 x 3.8 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 774,981 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Supernature Hardcover – 1 Sep 1973
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About the Author
Lyall Watson was born in South Africa and educated there and in Britain, taking his Ph. D. at London University in 1963. He had a vast and varied career; he was involved in anthropology in Jordan, Nigeria, Indonesia and Brazil; archaeological excavations in Israel, Turkey and Peru; palaeontology in South and East Africa; marine biology in the Indian Ocean; botany in the deserts of Sonora; medical research in the Philippines; and represented the Seychelles on the International Whaling Commission. He spent years pursuing the paranormal and published many important works in the area. He died in June 2008. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
Watson does tend to take a very clinical attitude towards what he encounters and does not gush with emotion or make up stupid "facts" about ghosts and ghoulies.
If you're used to paranormal experiments, then it will be of limited value, but overall is a must read book and quite an important one for your collection.
It's still as good a read in 2012 as it probably was in 1973.
Lyall has left us with a great legacy in his books.
The trouble is that Watson's PhD and credentials as a practising scientist give him an air of authority, which misleads many readers into thinking that he's making coherent arguments when in fact he's being wildly speculative. His method goes like this: he gives an account of an experiment that, he says, appears to prove the existence of some supernatural phenomenon, like ghosts or psychokinesis. He then covers his ass by saying that the results of the experiment are maybe not as conclusive as all that. Then he says that IF the conclusions were true, the implications would be staggering - and he then goes on to talk about the implications as though they were real, and as though the experiment did indeed prove what he says it proves.
He also makes sweeping generalisations that on closer analysis turn out to be either trivial, tautological or meaningless - such as his opening remarks to the effect that everything on the planet is part of 'one life'. This is true insofar as everything on the planet that's alive, is alive; but does it really mean anything more than that? It certainly doesn't get us anywhere; for example, it doesn't begin to address the hard questions of how we're to behave towards other life forms. Does it mean anything to say that a human being is as alive as a human immuno-deficiency virus? Should malignant viruses have as much right to life as people?
I also think that his fascination with the supernatural is a bit childish when so much of the ordinary things we take for granted are in fact so little understood.Read more ›
Part of the immense charm of this book lies in the ability of Watson to furnish inteersting fact from his experiences as a zoologist and Biologist.To present them in layman's terms and make the book accessible.
To fully appreciate Watson you must know his background. Born in South Africa, Watson had an early fascination for nature in the surrounding bush, learning from Zulu and !Kung bushmen. Watson attended boarding school at Rondebosch Boys' High School in Cape Town, and in 1958 earned degrees in botany and zoology before securing an apprenticeship in palaentology under Raymond Dart, leading on to anthropological studies in Germany and the Netherlands. He has additional degrees in chemistry, geology, marine biology and ecology, indicating a broad range of interests. Watson earned a doctor of philosophy degree in ethology under Desmond Morris at London Zoo.
There are some science writers like Dawkins who can talk about evolution but anything outside their narrow field of knowledge generally leaves them floundering.
It probably reflects the problem with science , fields of knowledge have become to specialised and most scientists are unable to construct a "big picture".
Having said that Watson's work is not the be all and end all he needs help in polishing his works, it would be nice to see a collaborative group of scientists working in this "broad" field.
Readers of this book should avail themselves of his other works they are varied and not all will be to everyones taste.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Finding this to be a very difficult book to read and I studied Physics, Chemistry and Maths at college!! Talks of Quantum Physics but all very vague and uninteresting for my taste.Published 8 months ago by Siné Chamberlain
I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and I appreciate a scientist that tries to explain things that cant be tested in the laboratory. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Jane H
Supernature II by Lyall Watson, Sceptre (p.b.; Hodder and Stoughton), 1986, 352 ff.
Lyall Watson, who died in 2008, was a life scientist born in South Africa. Read more
I have used this book as a reference for accounts of "Ancient History". Llyall Watson's explanations are backed up with a bibliography of his sources. Read morePublished on 10 Oct. 2014 by Dougie (York)
Excellent read, have been a great fan of Lyle for years, see his other books.Published on 24 Sept. 2014 by John