I've been a fan of Sheldrake's thinking for quite some time, having watched a number of his videos and having been exposed to his thinking via reference by other authors. This is the first of his writings I've read, and WOW!
A few of my big takeaways (but there are so many more):
- With regard to our understanding of the world, life, and the universe, there are still far more questions than answers.
- Scientists, in general, make many assumptions that cannot, should not, be taken for granted (e.g., the laws of nature are fixed).
- Mathematics, physics, and chemistry explain a lot about things like motion/size/weight, but darned little about subjective things like color/smell/affection.
- The universe is more like a set of interdependent processes than a collection of things.
- The regularities of nature and behavior are governed more by habit (Sheldrake calls it morphic resonance) than by genetic code.
- The materialistic view of the world fails miserably in explaining things like consciousness.
- EVERYTHING is interconnected, everything is interdependent.
My favorite quotes:
"The architecture of the building cannot be worked out from a chemical analysis of the rubble, nor can the form of the pigeon and its homing behavior be reconstructed from an analysis of its molecules." (p. 146)
"I am all in favor of science and reason if they are scientific and reasonable. But I am against granting scientists and the materialist worldview an exemption from critical thinking and skeptical investigation." (p. 328)
This one is a mind bender. Pick it up only if you want your thinking stretched. (I dare ya!)