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Customer Review

60 of 64 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Mind-blowing stuff, 1 April 2003
This review is from: The Field: The Quest for the Secret Force of the Universe (Hardcover)
This is an excellent book.
I recently lent it to a PhD science graduate on holiday who read the thing cover to cover. Be warned that it is likely to force you to reassess your entire view of the reality! It is one of the most mind-blowing books you'll ever read.
BUT:
On the down side, although Lynne McTaggart is clearly highly intelligent but what she is not, is a scientist. And it shows. She is a journalist. And although her copy has been proofed by scientists, in accordance with her journalist training what she instictively and repeatedly does is to "simplify and exaggerate".
Thus although I loved Lynne's book and highly recommend it, my complaint with it is that it comprehensively fails to be objective. It is extremely one-sided. She fails to give adequate weight (or totally fails to mention) all the failed experiments where many of the more exotic experiments have not been replicated elsewhere. (e.g. On many occassions, Homeopathy has in fact been both proved AND dis-proved).
The second thing she fails to do is give the non-scientist reader a feel for the degree of certainty the experimental evidence in each instance has attained. Although good science necessarily does start with a single obervation - an anecdote if you will - where possible it then needs to go through double-blind, placebo-controlled, peer-reviewed (etc) studies... and the whole thing needs to be successfully replicated elsewhere.
Although it is great to see that she has pages and pages of scientific references, the untrained reader is given no sense of just how relatively significant each piece of evidence really is. And it turns out that some of the material discussed in her book - fascinating though it is - has in fact failed to be replicated elsewhere.
My final criticism is that her final conclusions are a bit of an anti-climax. It's as if she either runs out of nerve or intellect or both. The principles established in one bit of research are not applied to another. It's as if at the end of each chapter she shouts "zero-point field! zero-point field!" and then ducks.
NONETHELESS, this book serves an excellent wake-up call for the scientific world. If you didnt know that the mind of the experimentor can actually effect the experimental results that he/she gets, then wake up and smell the coffee!
Is this a revolution?
I can hear the very foundations of science and human knowledge as we know it creaking under the strain of this book.
This is a highly accessible book that ties together much cutting edge science and serves as an excellent introduction to the subject.
Dont think twice: buy it.
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