Seven Experiments That Could Change the World: A Do-It-Yourself Guide to Revolutionary Science

Seven Experiments That Could Change the World: A Do-It-Yourself Guide to Revolutionary Science

by Rupert Sheldrake

NOOK Book2nd Edition, Second Edition with an Update on Results (eBook - 2nd Edition, Second Edition with an Update on Results)

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781620550069
Publisher: Inner Traditions/Bear & Company
Publication date: 07/01/2002
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 320
File size: 2 MB

About the Author

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.
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.

Read an Excerpt

Page xiii-xv
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.

Table of Contents

Preface to Second Edition

Preface to First Edition

General Introduction: Why Big Questions Don't Need Big Science

Part One:
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

Part Two:
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

Part Three:
Scientific Illusions

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

General Conclusions

Appendix to the Second Edition

Updates on the Seven Experiments




What People are Saying About This

Larry Dossey

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)

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