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Polarised views are inevitable with such a book.
on 11 February 2012
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.