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Morphic Resonance: The Nature of Formative Causation Paperback – September 9, 2009

34 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1594773174 ISBN-10: 1594773173 Edition: 4th Edition, Revised and Expanded Edition of A New Science of Life

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“Sheldrake is an excellent scientist; the proper, imaginative kind that in an earlier age discovered continents and mirrored the world in sonnets.” (New Scientist)

“Well written, provocative and entertaining . . . Improbable? Yes, but so was Galileo.” (Biologist)

“Books of this importance and elegance come along rarely. Those who read this new edition of A New Science of Life may do so with the satisfaction of seeing science history in the making.” (Larry Dossey, M.D., author of Recovering the Soul and Reinventing Medicine)

“For decades, Rupert Sheldrake has been at the leading edge of highly innovative and controversial ideas about the organization of biological systems. Morphic Resonance poses a serious challenge to traditionalists and is a most welcome book about how we see the world and how we should head off into the future.” (Marc Bekoff, author of The Emotional Lives of Animals and Wild Justice: The Moral Lives of Animals)

Morphic Resonance is destined to become one of the landmarks in the history of biology. It is rare to find so profound a book so lucidly written.” (Bruce H. Lipton, Ph.D., cell biologist and bestselling author of The Biology of Belief: Unleashing t)

Morphic Resonance presents a revolutionary information-field understanding of the nature and evolution of life. Acquaintance with it is an essential part of new-paradigm scientific literacy.” (Ervin Laszlo, author of Science and the Akashic Field)

“Rupert Sheldrake is one of the most innovative and visionary scientists of our times. Rupert will be both vilified and praised for his theory of morphic resonance. Whatever your personal opinion of his work, he will not be ignored. In my opinion, his contributions will be recognized one day on the same level as those of Newton and Darwin.” (Deepak Chopra, author of Reinventing the Body, Resurrecting the Soul)

"Though his theory has much to say about the nature of evolution and the biological sciences, it also has a lot to say about consciousness, dreams, mental imagery and what I might consider ordinary and extraordinary dream/hypnotic experiences." (Baywood Reprints, Vol. 28, No. 3, Aug 2009)

" . . . will appeal to any interested in new science, biology, and blends of new age thought." (The Midwest Book Review, Vol. 4, No. 12, Dec 2009)

" . . . Sheldrake has steadily developed into one of the world's leading parapsychologists, conducting groundbreaking research in areas where well-behaved scientists fear to tread." (EnlightenNext: The Magazine for Evolutionaries, Issue 46, Spring/Summer 2010)

"Sheldrake's theories continue to gain verification, and this book is particularly important because its implications affect the way we view the natural world, as well as ourselves, as one small part of it. Morphic Resonance is therefore strongly recommended to anyone interested in understanding current thought about what may lie behind the formation of all natural systems." (New Age Retailer, March 2010)

From the Back Cover

NEW SCIENCE / BIOLOGY

“Books of this importance and elegance come along rarely. Those who read this new edition of A New Science of Life may do so with the satisfaction of seeing science history in the making.”
--Larry Dossey, M.D., author of Recovering the Soul and Reinventing Medicine

“For decades, Rupert Sheldrake has been at the leading edge of highly innovative and controversial ideas about the organization of biological systems. Morphic Resonance poses a serious challenge to traditionalists and is a most welcome book about how we see the world and how we should head off into the future.”
--Marc Bekoff, author of The Emotional Lives of Animals and Wild Justice: The Moral Lives of Animals

Morphic Resonance is destined to become one of the landmarks in the history of biology. It is rare to find so profound a book so lucidly written.”
--Bruce H. Lipton, Ph.D., cell biologist and bestselling author of The Biology of Belief: Unleashing the Power of Consciousness, Matter and Miracles

When A New Science of Life was first published the British journal Nature called it “the best candidate for burning there has been for many years.” The book called into question the prevailing mechanistic theory of life when its author, Rupert Sheldrake, a former research fellow of the Royal Society, proposed that morphogenetic fields are responsible for the characteristic form and organization of systems in biology, chemistry, and physics--and that they have measurable physical effects. Using his theory of morphic resonance, Sheldrake was able to reinterpret the regularities of nature as being more like habits than immutable laws, offering a new understanding of life and consciousness.

In the years since its first publication, Sheldrake has continued his research to demonstrate that the past forms and behavior of organisms influence present organisms through direct immaterial connections across time and space. This can explain why new chemicals become easier to crystallize all over the world the more often their crystals have already formed, and why when laboratory rats have learned how to navigate a maze in one place, rats elsewhere appear to learn it more easily. With more than two decades of new research and data, Rupert Sheldrake makes an even stronger case for the validity of the theory of formative causation that can radically transform how we see our world and our future.

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 80 technical papers and articles appearing in peer-reviewed scientific journals and 10 books, including The Presence of the Past, The Rebirth of Nature, and Seven Experiments That Could Change the World.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Park Street Press; 4th Edition, Revised and Expanded Edition of A New Science of Life edition (September 9, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1594773173
  • ISBN-13: 978-1594773174
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #74,257 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Rupert Sheldrake is a biologist and author of more than 80 scientific papers and ten books. He was among the top 100 Global Thought Leaders for 2013, as ranked by the Duttweiler Institute, Zurich, Switzerland's leading think tank. He studied natural sciences at Cambridge University, where he was a Scholar of Clare College, took a double first class honours degree and was awarded the University Botany Prize (1963). He then studied philosophy and history of science at Harvard University, where he was a Frank Knox Fellow (1963-64), before returning to Cambridge, where he took a Ph.D. in biochemistry (1967). He was a Fellow of Clare College, Cambridge (1967-73), where he was Director of Studies in biochemistry and cell biology. As the Rosenheim Research Fellow of the Royal Society (1970-73), he carried out research on the development of plants and the ageing of cells in the Department of Biochemistry at Cambridge University. While at Cambridge, together with Philip Rubery, he discovered the mechanism of polar auxin transport, the process by which the plant hormone auxin is carried from the shoots towards the roots.

From 1968 to 1969, as a Royal Society Leverhulme Scholar, based in the Botany Department of the University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, he studied rain forest plants. From 1974 to 1985 he was Principal Plant Physiologist and Consultant Physiologist at the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) in Hyderabad, India, where he helped develop new cropping systems now widely used by farmers. While in India, he also lived for a year and a half at the ashram of Fr Bede Griffiths in Tamil Nadu, where he wrote his first book, A New Science of Life, published in 1981 (new edition 2009).

Since 1981, he has continued research on developmental and cell biology. He has also investigated unexplained aspects of animal behaviour, including how pigeons find their way home, the telepathic abilities of dogs, cats and other animals, and the apparent abilities of animals to anticipate earthquakes and tsunamis. He subsequently studied similar phenomena in people, including the sense of being stared at, telepathy between mothers and babies, telepathy in connection with telephone calls, and premonitions. Although some of these areas overlap the field of parapsychology, he approaches them as a biologist, and bases his research on natural history and experiments under natural conditions, as opposed to laboratory studies. His research on these subjects is summarized in his books Seven Experiments That Could Change the World (1994, second edition 2002), Dogs That Know When Their Owners Are Coming Home (1999, new edition 2011) and The Sense of Being Stared At (2003, new edition 2012).

In his most recent book (2012), called The Science Delusion in the UK and Science Set Free in the US, he examines the ten dogmas of modern science, and shows how they can be turned into questions that open up new vistas of scientific possibility. This book received the Book of the Year Award from the British Scientific and Medical Network.

In 2000, he was the Steinbach Scholar in Residence at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute in Cape Cod, Massachusetts. From 2005-2010 he was the Director of the Perrott-Warrick Project, funded from Trinity College, Cambridge University. He is also a Fellow of the Institute of Noetic Sciences in California, a Visiting Professor at the Graduate Institute in Connecticut, and a Fellow of Schumacher College in Devon, England.

He lives in London with his wife Jill Purce. They have two sons, Merlin, a graduate student in Plant Sciences at Cambridge University and a research fellow at The Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, and Cosmo, a musician.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

162 of 168 people found the following review helpful By Dr. Richard G. Petty on November 13, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
When the first edition of this book came out in 1981 with the title "A New Science of Life," I well remember getting one of the first copies and being electrified by the ideas and the data to support them. There was also the guilty pleasure of reading a book that the editor of the esteemed journal Nature had declared, "This infuriating tract... is the best candidate for burning there has been for many years."

In the intervening years Rupert Sheldrake has worked tirelessly to either prove or disprove his hypotheses, published many peer-reviewed papers as well as several more books on this and related topics. I have also had the pleasure of meeting him several times and discussing his ideas with him in great detail. There are three things that have always come across: his intelligence, his integrity and his humility.

It is sad that when that Nature editor - Sir John Maddox - passed away last year, a number of commentators took the opportunity to renew their attacks on Sheldrake's work. Many of those attackers have clearly not examined the research - some even admitted it! - neither were they aware of the fact that Rupert had provided Sir John with detailed scientific responses to his critique of a later book, "Dogs That Know When Their Owners Are Coming Home: And Other Unexplained Powers of Animals," but never received a response. So most students of biology and behavior have probably never even heard about this work, and many online sites simply dismiss the notion of "morphic resonance" as pseudoscience.

This is the third edition of the book that started all the controversy.
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127 of 139 people found the following review helpful By Heidi Guedel on October 22, 2009
Format: Paperback
Length: 8:43 Mins
As the late American Attorney General, Robert F. Kennedy, once stated in a speech he delivered in South Africa decades ago, "Moral Courage" is the willingness to incur the backlash of your own peer group for the sake of the truth as you see it.

Dr. Rupert Sheldrake has demonstrated such Moral Courage for decades, himself - standing up under the poorly substantiated ridicule of the scientific community for his daring theories of Formative Causation, Morphogenetic Fields, and Morphic Resonance, which contradict the unproven (but generally accepted in mainstream scientific circles) material reductionist theories of a random, chaotic and mindless universe giving birth to an equally random and mindless process of abiogenesis and evolution.

This book is the up-to-date compilation of his more than 30 years of research and experimentation. It will surprise, challenge and enlighten you.
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52 of 56 people found the following review helpful By M. Hameer on November 29, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Sheldrake's hypothesis of morphic fields and morphic resonance cannot be explained by anyone better than Sheldrake himself. What I love about Rupert Sheldrake (besides his simple yet elegant hypothesis) is that he is willing to find ways to test his ideas. In this book, he has an appendix where he brilliantly puts forth ways of testing for the existence of morphic resonance.

Whether Sheldrake's hypothesis is correct or not, future experiments will tell (so far findings seem to favor his hypothesis). One thing is certain: his ideas are refreshingly original. Reading this book will take you on a journey into the mind of one of the greatest and original thinkers of our time.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on December 11, 2009
Format: Paperback
MORPHIC RESONANCE: THE NATURE OF FORMATIVE CAUSATION appears in a newly revised, expanded edition of A NEW SCIENCE OF LIFE, and will appeal to any interested in new science, biology and blends of new age thought. Using his theory of morphic resonance, Sheldrake was able to reinterpret the regularities of nature as being more like habits than laws. His ongoing research results in a vastly revamped title perfect for any collections with older editions.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Johnny on September 12, 2014
Format: Paperback
I've followed Rupert Sheldrake in videos and essays. He's a well-spoken gentleman and is very knowledgeable in his field of study, biochemistry. His other works seem well-grounded in experimental science, such as the unexplained power of animals and telepathy, which deserve much more research support from the scientific community. I found "Morphic Resonance: The Nature of Formative Causation" to be very thought-provoking and inspiring. I disagree with other reviewers who say the book is too complicated or too dense. I found it easy to understand and a pleasure to read, although the Kindle version leaves something to be desired in the way of diagrams and figures. However, I can give Dr. Sheldrake only three stars for the following reasons.

I agree with Dr. Sheldrake that material reductionism, which forms the basis of orthodox science, is incapable of fully explaining reality, especially as it pertains to biology. Dr. Sheldrake correctly points out many instances where material reductionism is at with odds with observations. His mistake is that instead of simply pointing out these inconsistencies and stating that science doesn't have the answers, he supplies his own hypothesis which simply opens him up to ridicule. In other words, he has turned the problem of material reductionism into his problem by putting forth an unprovable and unfalsifiable theory.

I'm not a biologist, and I'm sure that Dr. Sheldrake could counter what I'm about to say, but it seems to me that he grossly underestimates the power of DNA in morphology. All systems are self-organizing if they are non-linear, are not in a state of equilibrium and possess feedback. This occurs with mathematical certainty; it requires no morphic resonance to explain it.
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