Rupert Sheldrake's new book, The Science Delusion, is published on January 5. Should be a big event. I've just received an invite to the book launch in London on the 17th, chaired by Dr Peter Fenwick. But I'll review it before that - soon, I hope.
Here's the blurb
The science delusion is the belief that science already understands everything, in principle. The fundamental questions are answered, leaving only the details to be filled in. The impressive achievements of science seemed to support this confident attitude. But recent research has revealed unexpected problems at the heart of physics, cosmology, biology, medicine and psychology.
In his new book, Dr Rupert Sheldrake, one of the world's most innovative scientists, shows how the sciences are being constricted by assumptions that have hardened into dogmas. Should science be a belief-system, or a realm of enquiry?
Sheldrake shows that the 'scientific worldview' is moribund. Increasingly expensive research is reaping diminishing returns. In the sceptical spirit of true scientific enquiry, Sheldrake turns the ten fundamental dogmas of science into questions, opening up startling new possibilities. The 'laws of nature' may be habits that change and evolve. Minds may extend far beyond brains. The total amount of matter and energy may be increasing. Children may inherit characteristics acquired by their parents. Memories may not be stored as traces in our brains. Mental causation may work from the future towards the past, while energetic causation works from the past towards the future. The Science Delusion will radically change your view of what is possible.
This is the subtext to a lot of thinking and writing in the consciousness/spirituality sphere. It looks as though Sheldrake is going to tackle the problem head on.
The deliberate echo of The God Delusion suggests that it will be quite polemical. That wouldn't surprise me. Sheldrake is thoroughly fed up with the treatment he gets from sceptics, and I get the feeling he's running out patience. It would be natural to want to fight back.
That worries me ever so slightly. I can't imagine Sheldrake as a polemicist. I've always admired his ability to calmly face down his critics without resorting to their sort of dogmatic excitability - a key requirement in this field.
But then he's a veteran scientist and an enormously experienced writer and investigator. So if anyone can pull it off, he can.