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The Science Delusion: Freeing the Spirit of…

The Science Delusion: Freeing the Spirit of Enquiry (2012)

by Rupert Sheldrake

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Essential, for me, anyway: a scientist who outs reductive materialism in the sciences as an ideology, rather than a testable hypothesis, and suggests ways to test it. I was raised an atheist, and continue to feel that organized religion is basically superstition used as a form of social control. But as issues of ecology and the survival of natural systems began to seem more crucial to me, I began to wonder, is it really possible for people to fight with all their strength to "save" something that they don't believe is alive in the same way they believe themselves to be alive? That they don't really believe is as essential to their survival as their own body? If matter at the smallest level is dead, and the cosmos at the grandest scale is dead, and only humans are conscious, and that consciousness is reducible to a set of chemical and electrical impulses that could be replicated by a machine, so its vividness is basically an illusion, well, what meaning does "alive" have in a world like that? Not much. But many of us accept those hypotheses even though they contradict our own experience of ourselves and our world.

So I needed a scientist to say, there may be a way out of this trap, and you don't need to abandon science and retreat into some kind of untestable, irrational fantasy world in order to find it. And I'm extremely grateful. It's given me more hope than anything I can remember reading.

( )
2 vote CSRodgers | May 3, 2014 |
When I first read the ten paradigms Sheldrake examined I realized that I held most of those very reductionist views that Sheldrake criticized without realizing it. At least now I know better what is at stake and I see how to move on and get out of the mental box I didn't even know I was in. ( )
  YesNoMaybe | Feb 22, 2014 |
This book offers a clear exposition of ten of the leading arguments for moving beyond the paradigm of reductionist materialism upon which most scientific experimentation and theory is currently grounded. While Sheldrake does not spend all that much of the book setting forth his hypothesis of morphological fields, he does say enough regarding the relationship of his theory to the philosophy of A. N. Whitehead and the findings of contemporary quantum physics for a lay reader such as myself to grasp - without having read much of his other works - what he is proposing as an alternative explanation of reality. (For a taste of what he is talking about in regard to morphological field theory, one can get sufficient insight by listening to some of his talks and debates on You Tube. But be forewarned there is still little tolerance for Sheldrake's theories among orthodox Darwinian biologists despite the fairly extensive experimental evidence that he has provided. . ( )
1 vote Jotto | Sep 7, 2013 |
I picked up this book in it's British edition, "The Science Delusion". Not so much the idea of Rupert Sheldrake, it's author, rather his publishers, as a marketing tactic, positioning against Richard Dawkins' "The God Delusion". Sheldrake isn't interested in being in your face confrontational, and make no mistake, he is a believer in the scientific method, as a practicing scientist himself. His issue is dogmatic scientism and the tendency of the institutions that work in the name of science to become every bit as dogmatic and close minded as the religious institutions the Dawkins of the world rail against. He also warns against the idea that science, as it stands now, has "it all figured out" and now it's just filling in the details, pointing out this is not the first time by a long shot this has happened in the history of discovery. Many of those who practice science want to see the universe as a puzzle they are putting the pieces in and want to believe they are about to solve it, rather than just seeing it as a huge mystery that produces a new paradigm shift just when folks think they are figuring it all out. Sheldrake believes we are at another of those moments in history. I tend to agree. ( )
1 vote stonester1 | Oct 8, 2012 |
A thrilling call to arms, warning his fellow scientists not to become narrow minded in their pursuit of knowledge. ( )
  jason.goodwin | Mar 22, 2012 |
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For all those who have helped and encouraged me, especially my wife Jill and our sons Merlln and Cosmo.
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Many people who have not studied science are baffled by scientists' insistence that animal and plants are machines, and that humans are robots too, controlled by computer-like brains and genetically programmed software.
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"In Science Set Free, Dr. Rupert Sheldrake, one of the world's most innovative scientists, shows the ways in which science is being constricted by assumptions that have hardened into dogmas that are not only limiting, but also dangerous for the future of humanity" -- Front jacket flap.… (more)

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