The Science Delusion: Freeing the Spirit of Enquiry

Rupert Sheldrake’s new book, The Science Delusion, will be on the bookshelves in the UK on January 5 and in May in the US. The science delusion is the belief that science already understands the nature of reality. The fundamental questions are answered, leaving only the details to be filled in. In this book, Dr Rupert Sheldrake, one of the world’s most innovative scientists, shows that science is being constricted by assumptions that have hardened into dogmas. The sciences would be better off without them: freer, more interesting, and more fun.

According to the dogmas of science, all reality is material or physical. The world is a machine, made up of dead matter. Nature is purposeless. Consciousness is nothing but the physical activity of the brain. Free will is an illusion. God exists only as an idea in human minds, imprisoned within our skulls. But should science be a belief-system, or a method of enquiry? Sheldrake shows that the materialist ideology is moribund; under its sway, increasingly expensive research is reaping diminishing returns.

In the skeptical spirit of true science, Sheldrake turns the ten fundamental dogmas of materialism into exciting questions, and shows how all of them open up startling new possibilities. The Science Delusion will radically change your view of what is possible. and give you new hope for the world.

7 comments On The Science Delusion: Freeing the Spirit of Enquiry

  • I read this book last weekend. I was intrigued by the title, and hoped it would provide an alternative approach to that of Dawkins et al.
    However, I found that the book contains a great many assertions that are are not backed by any evidence – in other words it is as dogmatic as the science it purports to criticise.
    In addition, it seems to me that many of the ‘dogmas’ that the author questions are in fact straw men i.e. serious mis-statements of scientific concepts. To pick just one, his description of the big bang model( in the context of the conservation of energy) is highly inaccurate. The big bang model is a theory of evolution, not of origins – it says nothing about the bang itself, as any cosmologist will tell you .
    This could have been a thought-provoking book, but it is weakened by many such inaccuracies, at least in the realm of physics

    • Joseph Allen Kozuh, Ph.D.

      Darwinists are very irrational. They hypothesize that

      (1) Life arose from lifeless matter

      (2) Intelligence arose from matter having zero intelligence

      (3) MEANING arose from matter having NO MEANING

    • Joseph Allen Kozuh, Ph.D.

      I think I agree with you, but do Dawkins et al, make any sense … ???

      Sir Francis Crick found the following Hypotheses
      to be … LUDICROUS:

      (1) Life arose from lifeless matter

      (2) Intelligence arose from matter having zero intelligence

      (3) MEANING arose from matter having NO MEANING

  • @cormac – tell me more about the origin v. evolution piece. Sheldrake’s book hasn’t come out in the US yet. I, too, am looking forward to reading it. I’m familiar with his theory but have only an amateur understanding of the big bang. I do know that in the past Sheldrake has argued that the big bang implies an evolutionary view of the universe and laws in it so it sounds like you are saying the same thing.

    To a physicists there may be a very precise difference between origin and evolution but I’m not sure what it is. I’ve never read about the distinction that you’ve made between origin and evolution. I’m guessing you mean there is a technical distinction. It sounds like you are saying that Sheldrake’s understanding of the big bang violates the 1st Law? If so, how?

    Also, what do you mean when you say any cosmologist will tell you about origins? I have seen some of the TV specials that Brian Greene has done and according to those shows, there are many physicists around the world trying to explain the big bang and what came before. I’m not following you.

  • Hi Matthew. The name ‘big bang’ is a terrible misnomer. The model describes a universe that expanded and cooled over billions of years that matches evidence extremely well, but says nothing about the bang itself, or whether there was a bang. This is because the relevant equations (in the framework of general relativity) blow up into a singularity as we attempt to rewind to ‘time zero’.

    This is no surprise to physicists – if the universe was once smaller than an atom, we expect quantum effects to dominate. Unfortunately, we do not have a theory of how gravity operates on the quantum scale and hence we have no description of the bang itself (there could have been multiple bangs in an eternal universe for all we know).

    The problem with Rupert’s analysis is that he supports several of his arguments by referring to the big bang model as a dogmatic decription of the origin of the universe – which is a serious misunderstanding of the model.
    In my view, he shows a misunderstanding of several other concepts in cosmology and particle physics in his arguments in the book.

  • P.S. I should say for balance, that aside from quibbles with Rupert’s cosmology, I found many fine things in this book. The middle section contains an overview and critique of core ideas in the history and philosophy of science in clear language that is fascinating. Rupert’s own scientific work is intriguing, if a little strange (so is quantum physics, though there is a lot more evidence for the latter)

  • The claim that we don’t know what happened before the alleged Big Bang is now being challenged by the likes of Roger Penrose in his latest book The Cycles of Time.
    Although if my memory serves me rightly its a woman physicist who seems to have worked out the equation that describes what happened when the singularity popped into existence.
    I look forward to reading Rupert’s new book he is right in my view to point out that to many mainstream scientists now hold to unproven scientific assumptions that have become dogmas over time. The one that annoys me most is the assumption that consciousness comes from the brain, there is no evidence for that at all. In fact those of us who are conducting our own independent research would be au fait with those cases like the one described by Dr Lorber of people born with out brains who survive and function.
    Penrose and other cosmologist are now talking about oscillating universes something known in both Buddhist and Hindu cosmology as Yugas.
    A interesting research whose put together a very interesting hypothesis is the binary mind theorist Anthony Peake. Peake puts forward the strong case that we are in a simulation that keeps replaying itself over and over again in an eternal loop, and many a famous writer, Joyce, Nietzsche, P.K Dick et al have written about Eternal Recurrence. Peake argues that mental phenomena like deja vu are good indicators that we are remembering the future because we have all been here before. He is heavily influenced by Jung, Dick, Pribram and David Bohm and the Gnostics. In fact his second book The Daemon is about the Ancient Gnostic belief that the Daemon our higher self guides our Eidolon the everyday self through the maze and passage of time. The books I have mentioned all seem to be synchronistic in that they over lap with each other in terms of themes and even motifs.

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