The Presence of the Past: Morphic Resonance and the Habits of Nature

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9780892815371: The Presence of the Past: Morphic Resonance and the Habits of Nature

Rupert Sheldrake's theory of morphic resonance challenges the fundamental assumptions of modern science. An accomplished biologist, Sheldrake proposes that all natural systems, from crystals to human society, inherit a collective memory that influences their form and behavior. Rather than being ruled by fixed laws, nature is essentially habitual. The Presence of the Past lays out the evidence for Sheldrake's controversial theory, exploring its implications in the fields of biology, physics, psychology, and sociology. At the same time, Sheldrake delivers a stinging critique of conventional scientific thinking. In place of the mechanistic, neo-Darwinian worldview he offers a new understanding of life, matter, and mind.

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About the Author:

Rupert Sheldrake, Ph.D., is a former Research Fellow of the Royal Society and was a scholar of Clare College, Cambridge, and a Frank Knox Fellow at Harvard University. His other books include A New Science of Life, The Rebirth of Nature, and Seven Experiments That Could Change the World. He lives in London with his wife and two sons.

From Publishers Weekly:

Biochemist Sheldrake maintains that if a pigeon in London learns a new habit, then pigeons everywhere else will automatically show an increasing tendency to learn the same habit. He holds that invisible energy patterns or "morphogenetic fields" surround and shape all atoms, all crystals, all pigeons and all humans. In his astonishing theory, any natural systemwhether insulin molecules, dandelions or societiesinherits a collective memory from all previous members of that group. Experimental evidence for Sheldrake's hypothesis is inconclusive but tantalizing. If true, it would force a radical revision of our understanding of genetics, evolution, memory, learning. Many books on the "new physics" and the paranormal have discussed Sheldrake's ideas, but his own explanation of morphic resonance is the most lucid and exciting account to date. He uses the theory here to suggest how creation myths and rituals connect past and present.
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