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Sunday, 12 October 2014

Rupert Sheldrake is Amazing

He has a conventional scientific background, acquired at Cambridge; but he has managed to remain uncontaminated by scientific dogma.

For example, he is not in thrall to the dogma that acquired characteristics cannot be inherited. This dogma is part of Western conventional evolutionary theory. Under Stalin, Lysenkoism thrived and Russian Science was not bound by the dogma. Apparently, some Russian work produced results which may have to be re-evaluated. Amazing to think that we could ever have anything for which to thank Stalin.

I like mavericks. Peter Duesberg is a maverick on the HIV/AIDS theory. There are many maverick scientists who oppose the conventional wisdom about carbon dioxide and climate change.

Sheldrake has created a theory of ‘morphic resonance’, which I am not yet in a position to summarise. He believes that this may account for many phenomena which seem otherwise inexplicable. He points out that the promise of genomics has not been fulfilled. He thinks that genes explain less than conventional scientists claim. Genes code for proteins, not body plans.

To whet your appetite, Sheldrake is concerned with phenomena which, to the best of my knowledge, cannot be explained by conventional science. For example new compounds are created by scientists all the time. Sometimes scientists need to ‘persuade’ new compounds to crystallise; and this can be difficult. But if one group in one laboratory succeeds, other groups in laboratories around the world find it easier to do so.

Sheldrake suggests that morphic resonance is the explanation, that self-organising systems resonate with each other across time and space, that there is a shared memory. He further suggests that what we call Laws of Nature might be more properly called habits.

This is mind-blowing stuff. I suspect that it has implications with respect to evolution. I certainly hope so. The neo-Darwinian story about Random Mutation and Natural Selection strains credulity well beyond breaking.

Below is a wide ranging interview. I hope you will agree that he is at least somewhat credible and that the questions he asks are worth asking. I freely admit that, as anti-materialist, I find his speculations congenial. I do believe that consciousness is real and that consciousness and matter are entangled. I do not believe that mind is just what the brain does.

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