The way our minds work has got to amaze you. Once it accepts an illusion it is often hard to change it, especially if more people accept it as well, as in the illusion of science. Thankfully it has taken a scientist to write about it so that others have a chance. Dr. Rupert Sheldrake of morphic field fame has written a new book… The Science Delusion: Freeing the Spirit of Enquiry, By Rupert Sheldrake. In the book Dr. Sheldrake addresses 10 different un-scientific things about the scientific foundation that all science is governed.
Here is part of an article from The Independent, a UK publication…
The most obvious and all-prevailing of the great dogmas is that the universe as a whole – including life — is mechanical. Bits of stuff interact – and that’s it. The smaller the bits, the more fundamental the explanation is deemed to be. According to Richard Dawkins, human beings are “lumbering robots”, driven by their “selfish” DNA (where “selfish” is a shameless and seriously misleading piece of anthropomorphism). Consciousness, says Boston philosopher Dan Dennett, is an illusion – just the noise that neurons make, although it is hard to see how something that is not itself conscious could suffer from illusions. On the back of this mechanical dogma all metaphysics, which in effect means all religion, is kicked into touch.
Yet, asks Sheldrake innocently, where is the evidence that life and all the universe are simply mechanical? What can the evidence possibly be? Common sense and common observation cry out every turn that we and many other creatures at least, are conscious, and that we have free will.
Why reject our intuitions? On what grounds? Then again, some of the greatest philosophers, including Baruch Spinoza and AN Whitehead, have argued in various ways that consciousness is not confined to our brains. We do not engender it within our own heads, but partake of what is all around. Now there are reasons from many branches of science – physics, psychology, anthropology – to take this seriously. But all inquiry that seems to offend the dogma is marginalised.
On a slightly more mundane level, it has been assumed at least since people started taking Gregor Mendel seriously that all inheritance of a lasting kind is conveyed by material means – notably by genes now known to be made of DNA. But is it really so? For the past 30 years, Sheldrake has championed the notion of “morphic resonance”. He builds at least by analogy on the concept of the physical field, as in magnetism and gravity, and argues that creatures resemble their ancestors largely because they are in tune with them, over space and time.
The idea sounds bizarre, and I cannot do it justice here, but again there are independent reasons to take it seriously. This particular notion is testable, and Sheldrake has invested his own money in testing it. But the journal Nature, when Sheldrake first introduced his idea in A New Science of Life, declared in a spirit that was all too reflective of modern attitudes that it was “a book fit for burning” (which did the book’s sales no end of good).
Then again, we’re assured that the constants of science, notably the speed of light, are indeed constant: the same everywhere and forever (at least when things had settled down after the Big Bang). Yet measurements of the speed of light – the raw data – show huge variation, within the same sets of experiments and from lab to lab and from time to time. There is even evidence of cyclic variation. Why isn’t this followed up? Because everybody knows that the speed of light is constant. If there was variation, then a huge body of modern physics would need to be taken apart and put together again.
Most people have the tendency to fall back on the illusion of science as accurate fact and that can be a big mistake as I recall a 21st century philosopher made the observation aboard the US Enterprise from another dimension when he said, ”Anything can be logical, it just depends on what you base the logic on.” The philosopher, Mr. Spock Science Officer of the star-ship US Enterprise.
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