Rupert Sheldrake relentlessly asks mainstream so-called objective science to balance itself with its nemesis; the relational feminine principle; the dragon lady. He does not say this in the book but he alludes to it in every chapter.
I’m not sure he realizes it, but when he refers to the subjective, open inquiry, the dark cave, and the humanization of scientists as opposed to demi-gods, he seems to invoke the mythical goddesses Athena, Artemis or even Demeter in her nurturing, fecund ways. He wants scientists and the public to sit around the kitchen table and bake science bread together. It’s really rather charming, personally speaking, although I can see how traditional scientists would rather put their pants back on reading this book. He does hit below the belt as he reminds us that each scientist was born of his mother whether he liked her or not. You wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for her. Scientific fact #1; she made you in her body. That is the purpose of patriarchy and science right?; to forget that fact, or to erase the predominance of the way nature works. Yes, well, we all need reminding of that lest hubris utterly annihilates the planet through militaristic science funded technology in the name of progress and the virility of men.
I can’t get enough of Rupert’s support of balance between the earth, shamanism, intuition, psychism, natural healing, and good old-fashioned fun. I bet he had a cool Mom. Yes, Mr. Sheldrake assaults all of that in this book with a lucidity full of probing questions and facts that would make Harvey Weinstein blush.
Just because you’re a man, doesn’t mean you get to ram your billions of dollars through every last science program you can get your hands on, declare yourself God, mistreat the intelligent women, hog the awards and call Science The Truth! Again, he doesn’t say that. Those are my words, but he is British so he says it all nicely.
I just finished this book. The title is misleading because he is a scientist and has worked in science his whole life. He supports and has taught science; he is just seeking to have clearer and more honest communication with scientists themselves. In fact, the book is set up in a format to enhance a three-person discussion about materialistic science. As he says in the book, scientists are just people like you and me; no more correct or objective than any normal human being. Some of the time they are correct and some of the time they are not. We should no more put scientists on a pedestal than pastors, priests, or presidents!
In the book, he poses ten questions to the materialist scientist, explains his position and then challenges the scientist to examine his own thinking;
- Is Nature mechanical?
- Is the total amount of matter and energy always the same?
- Are the laws of nature fixed?
- Is matter unconscious?
- Is Nature purposeless?
- Is all biological inheritance material?
- Are memories stored as material traces?
- Are minds confined to brains?
- Are psychic phenomena illusory?
- Is mechanistic medicine the only kind that really works?
I enjoyed the last question because I’ve worked as a holistic practitioner for twenty years and have seen the answer first hand. I’m not going to be a spoiler on this one; I encourage you to read the book and comb through his logic. In each chapter, he poses historical fact and scientific evidence to challenge the materialist dogma. He’s clearly trying to have a conversation with his peers if anyone will respond!
He ends the book talking about scientists illusions about objectivity and the future of science. I read it and posted it as an audio clip. Happy Reading.