Seven Experiments That Could Change the World: A Do-It-Yourself Guide to Revolutionary Science
Examines the realities of unexplainable natural phenomenon and provides explanations that push the boundaries of science.
Because institutional science has become so conservative, so limited by the conventional paradigms, some of the most fundamental problems are either ignored, treated as taboo, or put at the bottom of the scientific agenda. They are anomalies; they don't fit in. For example, the direction-finding abilities of migratory and homing animals, such as monarch butterflies and homing pigeons, are very mysterious. They have not yet been explained in terms of orthodox science, and perhaps they cannot be. But direction-finding by animals is a low-status field of research, compared with, say, molecular biology, and very few scientists work on it. Nevertheless, relatively simple investigations of homing behaviour could transform our under understanding of animal nature, and at the same time lead to the discovery of forces, fields, or influences at preset unknown to physics. And such experiments need cost very little, as I show in this book. They are well within the capacity of many people who are not professional scientists. Indeed those best qualities to do this research would be pigeon fanciers, of whom there are more than five million worldwide.
In the past, most scientific research was carried out by amateurs; and amateurs, by definition, are people who do something because they love it. Charles Darwin, for example, never held any institutional post; he worked independently at his home in Kent, studying barnacles, writing, keeping pigeons, and doing experiments in the garden with his son Francis. Nut from the latter part of the nineteenth century onwards, science has been increasingly professionalized.And since the 1950s, there has been a vast expansion of institutional research. There are now only a handful of independent scientists, the best known being James Lovelock, the leading proponent of the Gaia hypothesis, which is based on the idea that the Earth is a living organism. And although amateur naturalists and freelance inventors still exist, they have been marginalized. . . I envisage a complementary relationship between non-professional and professional researchers, the former having a greater freedom to pioneer new areas of research, and the latter a more rigorous approach, enabling new discoveries to be confirmed and incorporated into the growing body of science.
NEW SCIENCE "In any generation, there are only a handful of people whose ideas contain the possibility of significantly altering the course of human history. Dr. Rupert Sheldrake is such a person. His ideas offer a real chance for humanity to regain its spiritual bearings. We have been blessed with a rare genius." --Larry Dossey, M.D., bestselling author of Healing Words How does your pet know when you are coming home? How do pigeons home? Can people really feel another pair of eyes looking at them? These questions and other unexplained natural phenomena form the basis of Sheldrake's look at the world of established science as he puts some of its most cherished assumptions to the test. He shows how fundamental scientific theories have hardened into unquestioned dogmas and are now taken for granted as scientific common sense. In the true spirit of scientific skepticism, Sheldrake examines seven of these beliefs. His approach is radical in two senses: not only does he question the content of current scientific doctrines, but he also questions the way that science is done. He suggests that scientific inquiry need no longer be the monopoly of a professional scientific priesthood but can be open to widespread participation by students and by nonprofessionals. Sheldrake presents experiments that allow anyone to participate in this journey of discovery and, in this new edition, gives an update on the exciting results obtained thus far. His experiments look at how scientific research is often biased by experimenters' expectations, such as the belief that physical constants cannot change. He also examines the taboo against taking pets seriously and explores the question of human extrasensory perception. Perhaps most important, he shows how simple yet radical research is already shaking the very foundations of science as we know it. In this compelling and intelligent book, Sheldrake offers no preconceived wisdom or easy answers--just an open invitation to explore the unknown, create new science, and perhaps even change the world. RUPERT SHELDRAKE, PH.D., is a former research fellow of the Royal Society and former director of studies in biochemistry and cell biology at Clare College, Cambridge University. He is the author of more than 60 technical papers in scientific journals and several books, including The Rebirth of Nature, The Presence of the Past, A New Science of Life, and Dogs That Know When Their Owners Are Coming Home. He lives in London.
"In any generation, there are only a handful of people whose ideas contain the possibility of significantly altering the course of human history. Dr. Rupert Sheldrake is such a person. His ideas offer a real chance for humanity to regain its spiritual bearings. We have been blessed with a rare genius."
Table of Contents:
Preface to Second Edition
Preface to First Edition
General Introduction: Why Big Questions Don't Need Big Science
Extraordinary Powers of Ordinary Animals
Introduction to Part One: Why Puzzling Powers of Animals Have Been Neglected
Chapter 1: Pets Who Know When Their Owners Are Returning
Chapter 2: How Do Pigeons Home?
Chapter 3: The Organization of Termites
Conclusions to Part One
The Extended Mind
Introduction to Part Two: Contracted and Extended Minds
Chapter 4: The Sense of Being Stared At
Chapter 5: The Reality of Phantom Limbs
Conclusions to Part Two
Introduction to Part Three: Illusions of Objectivity
Chapter 6: The Variability of the "Fundamental Constants"
Chapter 7: The Effects of Experimenters' Expectations
Conclusions to Part Three
Appendix to the Second Edition
Updates on the Seven Experiments
Rupert Sheldrake, Ph.D., is a former research fellow of the Royal Society and former director of studies in biochemistry and cell biology at Clare College, Cambridge University. He is the author of more than 60 technical papers in scientific journals and several books, including "The Rebirth of Nature," "The Presence of the Past," "A New Science of Life," and "Dogs That Know When Their Owners Are Coming Home." He lives in London.
Includes bibliographical references (p. 284-296) and index.
An exploration of questions that traditional science has failed to answer such as: Does your pet really know when you're on your way home? How do pigeons home?
Wilson Public Library Catalog 01/01/2004 pg. 254 (EAN 9780892819898, Paperback)
Wilson Public Library Catalog 12/31/2008 pg. 353 (EAN 9780892819898, Paperback)
Contributor Bio: Sheldrake, Rupert
Rupert Sheldrake is a biologist, a former research fellow of the Royal Society at Cambridge, a current fellow of the Institute of Noetic Sciences near San Francisco, and an academic director and visiting professor at the Graduate Institute in Connecticut. He received his Ph.D. in biochemistry from Cambridge University and was a fellow of Clare College, Cambridge University, where he carried out research on the development of plants and the ageing of cells. He is the author of more than eighty scientific papers and ten books, "including Dogs That Know When Their Owners Are Coming Home"; "Morphic Resonance"; "The Presence of the Past"; "Chaos, Creativity, and Cosmic Consciousness"; "The Rebirth of Nature"; and "Seven Experiences That Could Change the World."